National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
June 28, 2011 • Volume 8 / Number 13

Cancer.gov Update

NCI Launches International Clinical Trials Portal

Screenshot of the International Collaboration in Clinical Trials portal

NCI has launched the International Collaboration in Clinical Trials portal, a site designed to strengthen international alliances in cancer clinical trials. The portal provides a central location for online resources that will help investigators outside the United States navigate the legal and regulatory issues that come with collaborating on clinical trials with U.S.-based research groups.   

Legal, regulatory, logistical, and financial hurdles often delay international clinical trials, and clinical investigators from other countries sometimes need step-by-step guidance on launching a study protocol or joining a U.S. cooperative research group. Moreover, international cancer researchers typically have questions about NCI's role in clinical trials and how the U.S. clinical trials process works in general.

NCI conducted in-depth interviews with clinical cancer investigators from more than 11 countries to determine what should be included in the new portal. Based on those interviews, the portal provides background information on NCI-designated cancer centers, U.S.-based clinical trials cooperative groups, and NCI's international programs.

A section of the site is dedicated to answering common questions about biospecimen collection, clinical trial ethics, insurance, drug labeling and distribution, and quality assurance. As international investigators navigate through the portal, they will find links to registration forms and laws that regulate U.S. clinical trials.

"This new portal on Cancer.gov will help NCI's existing partners—and prospective new partners—navigate hurdles to keep up momentum of our clinical trial alliances," said Dr. Ted Trimble, acting director of NCI's Center for Global Health. "Collaborating internationally on cancer clinical trials enables progress in cancer treatment and screening. Completing larger trials across multiple countries can ensure that new methods have a global reach."