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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 28, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Curing Cancer Trials: Understanding the co-ops

Primer on cancer trial cooperative group networks

Since its inception in the 1950s, the cooperative oncology group system has been instrumental in establishing standards for cancer treatment and clinical research.

NCI's Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program is the nation's largest publicly funded clinical trials network, consisting of nine groups focused on adult cancers, and one focused on pediatric cancers.

There are four main types of groups: some focus on particular diseases, such as the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG); some focus on a particular treatment modality, such as the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG); some focus on a particular patient population, such as the Children's Oncology Group (COG); and a few are large multimodality groups such as SWOG.

Cooperative groups provide funding, oversight and data management for trials conducted by a network of members including researchers, cancer centers, and community physicians throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Each group has an operations center and a statistical center, scientific committees and data management infrastructure.

In total, the program involves more than 3,100 institutions and more than 14,000 individual investigators. The cooperative groups place more than 25,000 patients into clinical trials - mostly...

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