New Resources Developed by ASCO’s Community Research Forum

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The ASCO Community Research Forum (CRF) is a solution-oriented venue for community research sites to overcome barriers to conducting clinical trials. Each year, the CRF council, comprising ASCO member volunteers, selects topic areas and specific solution-oriented projects for working groups to make the projects a reality. These projects address challenges related to conducting clinical research in the community setting. Ultimately, the CRF and its initiatives facilitate community-based research.

The CRF released several online tools and resources over the past year to help cancer researchers and their staffs conduct and manage clinical trials. Resources include:

  • ASCO Clinical Trial Workload Assessment Tool: A free, user-friendly online resource to help research administrators assess clinical-trial associated workload of staff, based on the complexity of research protocols and the number of patients assigned to each staff member. The tool enables administrators to more effectively monitor and manage staff capacity, productivity, and needs. Results from the tool can be used in a variety of ways, including budgeting and new staff justifications. The tool provides site-specific, individual staff–specific, and protocol-specific reports. Findings from a national study using this tool are expected to be published later this year.
  • The ASCO Research Program Quality-Assessment Tool: Basics for a Quality Community-Based Research Site is a free, downloadable tool designed to help community-based research sites develop an internal quality assurance program and exceed the minimum standards of conducting clinical research. The tool also provides an overview of ASCO’s recommendations for the components needed for an internal quality-assessment program. A checklist is included to help researchers conduct an assessment to see how their research program measures up to these key quality standards. The CRF recently received a Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Mission Endowment grant to develop an online version of this tool, which is expected to be released in early 2016.
  • Resources for Researchers: Available on the CRF’s website, resources include comprehensive materials related to conducting and managing clinical trials. It includes links to existing resources covering a  range of topics, including tips for getting started as a research site, minimum standards and exemplary attributes of clinical trial sites, standard operating procedures, good clinical research practices, general research program administration, budget management, study start up, project management, management of trial participants, and data management.

These tools and resources can be found at

ASCO’s 2015 Community Research Forum Annual Meeting

The need for specific resources is typically identified through feedback received from participants at the CRF’s Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting, scheduled for September 20 to 21, 2015, will host presentations and panels geared toward health care professionals who conduct cancer clinical trials in a community

This meeting provides a unique forum for community-based researchers and research staff to discuss barriers and propose solutions to common challenges in conducting research, as well as provide input on ASCO programs and policy issues affecting clinical research. It also provides an exclusive opportunity for participants to network and collaborate with investigators and research staff from all types of community-based research sites and programs.

Learn more about the Community Research Forum at ■

Originally printed in ASCO Daily News. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “New Resources Developed by ASCO’s Community Research Forum.”’s-community-research-forum. All rights reserved.