ASCO Applauds NCI Announcement on Increased Funding for National Clinical Trials Network

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ON JUNE 2, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, released the following statement: 

Today at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Norman Sharpless, MD, announced $10 million in new funding for the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). ASCO applauds Dr. Sharpless’ leadership in ensuring NCI’s continued commitment to clinical trials, which expand our knowledge of cancer and offer the best treatment options for many patients. Dr. Sharpless also highlighted the need to address cancer research challenges such as poor accrual rates, eligibility criteria, and cancer heterogeneity. This new investment of funds will be a pivotal beginning to improving reimbursement rates and expanding clinical trial access to more patients. ASCO enthusiastically agrees that we need to give even more patients the chance to participate in these trials, which are fundamental to making continued progress in cancer treatment and prevention. 

We are also working to address the opportunity that big data represents for improving patient care through our CancerLinQ initiative. Beginning in 2017, we have been partnering with NCI to exchange information between CancerLinQ® practices and NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, one of the primary sources of data on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. The partnership aims to put valuable population-level cancer data at oncologists’ fingertips, while also strengthening the nation’s cancer surveillance efforts through a national data sharing collaboration. 

ASCO looks forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Sharpless and NCI to implement the roadmap and priority areas he presented to the nearly 40,000 members of the oncology community gathered for the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. Today, Dr. Sharpless’ four areas of focus included not only clinical trials and big data, but also basic research and workforce development. We are committed to working together to push the frontiers of knowledge to better understand, diagnose, and treat cancer. ■




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