Cancer Centers Seek Greater Enrollment in Early
Researchers from National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers met in Denver last month to share preliminary findings from seven pilot studies aimed at increasing participation in early phase clinical trials, particularly among elderly and underserved populations.
The meeting was the third workshop organized under the 2003 NCI-led initiative, "Overcoming Barriers to Early Phase Clinical Trials." The workshops allow grantees to exchange ideas on why certain groups do not join phase I and II clinical trials and what can be done about it.
"We are looking at a variety of different approaches for overcoming barriers, and it's important to say at this point that the initiative is still a work in progress," said Dr. Edward Trimble of NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. Among the strategies being tested are the use of counselors to guide patients through the clinical trials process, community education programs, and equipping oncologists with Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) so they can identify open trials during office visits with patients. Read more
Bringing Health and Hope to Us All
In this issue of the Bulletin, we celebrate the NCI Cancer Centers Program and the 60 institutions it currently funds. It's impossible to capture the program's history and spirit in 8 pages and a few thousand words, but I hope you'll come away understanding how important the Cancer Centers are in supporting NCI's mission.
It's been 35 years since the Yarborough Committee - a panel of medical and policy experts convened by the Senate committee chaired by Sen. Ralph W. Yarborough (D-Texas) - recommended that Comprehensive Cancer Centers serve as a focal point to speed progress in a new, coordinated assault on cancer. President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act 1 year later, and many of us have spent untold hours attempting to achieve the noble goal set forth in that law. Read more