NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 25, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 17 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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CCOP ProfileCCOP Profile

Southeast Cancer Control Consortium, Inc., CCOP
Principal Investigator: Dr. James N. Atkins • Administrator: Susan Tuttle, RN, CCRP • SCCC Operations Office, 2150 Country Club Road, Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 • Phone: 366-777-3036 • Web site:

In 1986, Dr. Charles L. Spurr, a medical oncologist with Bowman Gray School of Medicine, developed the concept for the Southeast Cancer Control Consortium (SCCC). The consortium received NCI funding as a Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) in 1987 and is designed to treat adult oncology patients as well as deliver community-based cancer prevention and control programs. In 1993, Dr. Spurr handed over leadership to Dr. James N. Atkins, a medical oncologist affiliated with Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C., and a clinical associate professor of internal medicine and oncology at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem.

SCCC includes 122 physicians, among them oncologists, surgeons, urologists, and radiation oncologists. Its operations office is located in Winston-Salem and is staffed by five employees who oversee the daily functions of the program.

SCCC's mission is to offer clinical trials aimed at cancer prevention and control in the communities it serves, thus improving the quality of cancer treatment, reducing incidence through education, and reducing morbidity and mortality through early diagnosis.

Community Characteristics
In the beginning, 11 charter communities participated in SCCC. Now participation has grown to include 17 communities and 21 institutions within a 5-state area: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Each community has a designated community leader who is responsible for local coordination of participation in clinical trials and cancer prevention and control programs, and a study coordinator who assists the community leader in implementing CCOP activities in their community. The affiliation with local institutions provides patients with access to state-of-the-art clinical research trials in rural and medically underserved areas, where minority populations are as high as 45 percent.

Recruitment and Outreach Activities
Since 1987, SCCC has enrolled 9,501 participants in clinical trials. The population of SCCC's referral area exceeds 9 million people, with an average of 20.4 percent who are African American.

Accrual to clinical trials for minority populations is challenging, but on average, SCCC achieves a 15-percent minority enrollment for its trials. Minority nurse recruiters have been used in several communities to provide cancer education and promote clinical trial research.

In addition to its funding as an NCI CCOP, SCCC collaborates with eight NCI-funded clinical trial cooperative group research bases, including the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, for which it is the highest accruing CCOP for treatment studies; the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, for which it is the second-highest accruing CCOP overall; and the Southwest Oncology Group, in which SCCC recruits patients for cancer-treatment and cancer-control studies. Other research affiliations are with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the Cancer Trials Support Unit, the University of Rochester Cancer Center, the University of Michigan Cancer Center, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University. SCCC receives its clinical trial protocols and processes the resulting data through the eight research bases; patients are recruited to clinical trials through the CCOP itself.

Other Key Facts
SCCC was the number-one accruing CCOP for the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial and the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene Trial. It was the number-two accruing CCOP for the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial and the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial.

This year, Dr. Atkins was recognized for his outstanding contribution as a community investigator by the Association for Community Cancer Centers, and in March, he received the NCI Harry Hynes Award for outstanding dedication and commitment in bringing clinic trials to the community.