PHILADELPHIA, PA: Today, the Coalition of National
Cancer Cooperative Groups delivers its message nationwide about the importance
of cancer clinical trials, following several recent high profile events in
Washington, DC. Appearing on newsstands today in the June 7 issue of Newsweek
is a special section, published by the Coalition, called "Knowledge is Power:
Educate Yourself Now On Cancer Clinical Trials." Also, Dr. Robert L. Comis,
President and Chairman of the Coalition, testified before the House Government
Reform Committee to examine barriers to cancer clinical trial participation.
And together with the leaders of the Cooperative Groups, he presented
recommendations to improve the nation’s clinical trial process in a white paper
entitled, "Harnessing the Science – Advancing Care: a Proposal to Improve the
Publicly-Funded Cancer Clinical Research System."
"Knowledge is Power"
Singer/songwriter Anastacia is featured in the
Newsweek Awareness Campaign with a profile on her experience as a breast cancer
survivor and supporter of research and awareness for young women. The special
section also contains key information about cancer clinical trials to help
cancer patients make more informed decisions about their treatment options. The
Newsweek supplement is part of the Coalition’s ongoing effort to raise
awareness about cancer clinical trials. The campaign will reach nearly 57
million Americans through Newsweek and distribution of materials at airports,
drug stores, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and medical meetings.
Comis Testifies Before House Committee
Robert L. Comis, MD, President and Chairman of the
Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Group Chair of the Eastern
Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), and Professor of Medicine, Drexel University
College of Medicine, was part of a panel of experts who recently outlined
progress to date and issues remaining in increasing participation in cancer
clinical trials as he testified before Congress. Dr. Comis told the House
Government Reform Committee that poor funding and increasing regulations are
among the barriers to patient participation in cancer clinical trials. For the
full transcript, visit http://www.reform.house.gov/GovReform/Hearings/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=992.
Recommendations for Improving the Cancer Clinical Research
The Coalition has recommended improvements to the national
clinical trial system in a document called, "Harnessing the Science – Advancing
Care: A Proposal to Improve the Publicly-Funded Cancer Clinical Research
System." This document was prepared under the guidance of the Cooperative Group
Chairs and the Coalition’s Patient Advisory Board. It was presented as part of
Dr. Comis’ testimony to the House Committee and was previously presented to
Andrew von Eschenbach, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). “The
overall goal of our recommendations is to reduce the time it takes to activate
new trials and increase the number of completed, high-quality trials," said Dr.
Comis. "With the support of the NCI, we are confident that these
recommendations will give the system renewed vigor to achieve its mission of
reducing the burden of cancer."
"Harnessing the Science – Advancing Care" contains 25
recommendations that address streamlining the system, establishing scientific
priorities, accelerating protocol development and improving funding.
About the Coalition
The Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups is a
non-profit chartable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of
life and survival of cancer patients by increasing participation in cancer
clinical trials. The Coalition’s programs and services are constructed to
achieve this mission through the following strategic imperatives: providing
leadership, increasing awareness, involving doctors, and improving the nation’s
cancer clinical trial system. Our nationwide network includes 8,000 medical,
surgical, and radiation oncologists and researchers. Thirty-six patient
advocacy organizations are Associate Members. For additional information, visit