Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has been selected as a Lead Academic Participating Site for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) new National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). The distinction comes with a five-year award.
Effective March 1, 2014, the NCTN will serve as NCI's primary infrastructure to conduct phase II and III cancer clinical trials. NCTN clinical trials will enroll over 17,000 patients per year with a variety of cancer types and from diverse backgrounds. The NCTN trials will be managed by five network groups, one of which will be co-led by Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of Winship and Deborah W. Bruner, PhD, RN, associate director for outcomes research at Winship.
Winship is one of 30 American cancer centers, and one of only five in the Southeast, to be chosen during a peer-review application process for this status.
"In selecting Winship for this designation, the NCI recognizes our outstanding record in offering cancer patients participation in high quality clinical trials as well as our national leadership in research," says Curran.
Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, Charles A. Staley, MD and Jonathan J. Beitler, MD, MBA, all Winship members, will serve as principal investigators for Winship's NCTN participation. They will use the grant to support efforts to optimize the design and conduct of Winship's trials as well as to support patient enrollment in NCTN trials.
Ramalingam notes, "this award will open new doors for Winship researchers to take their ideas to the national stage, and for our patients to access innovative clinical trials developed by the brightest minds across the nation."
In 2013, 760 patients were enrolled in 250 Winship clinical trials, testing new therapies. In the last seven years, 75-percent of new cancer treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration have been tested in clinical trials available at Winship.