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In 2001, a Clinical Trials Task Force was formed as part of ASCO's strategic planning process to recommend initiatives to increase clinical trial awareness and participation by physicians. The Clinical Trial Participation Awards were one of the recommendations of this Task Force. From 2003 to 2005, a total of 31 awards have been conferred, and the recipients were nominated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cooperative groups and ASCO's Clinical Practice Committee (CPC).
Feedback from ASCO members requested a more open process, with the ability to apply for this award. Many community-based oncology practices do not enroll patients through only one cooperative group; rather, they enroll patients onto trials through various mechanisms (e.g., Cancer Trials Support Unit, Community Clinical Oncology Program [CCOP], industry-sponsored trials). Thus, one particular cooperative group would not necessarily identify those practices as high accruers, and they may not have been eligible for this award under the original process.
A subcommittee of the ASCO Cancer Research Committee was developed to assess the process and criteria used to determine the recipients of this award, and to make recommendations for changes in 2006. The chair of this subcommittee is Charles McKay, MD. The other members of this subcommittee are C. Norman Coleman, MD, Robert Comis, MD, Ellen Feigal, MD, Michael Friedman, MD, Dean Gesme, MD, H. Kim Lyerly, MD, and Peter Paul Yu, MD.
Two nominations were requested from ASCO's CPC, the CCOP, each of the NCI Cooperative Groups (American College of Radiotherapy Imaging Network, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, Cancer and Leukemia Group B, Children's Oncology Group, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, Gynecologic Oncology Group, North Central Cancer Treatment Group, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Southwest Oncology Group), and each of the following community-based oncology research networks: US Oncology (Houston, Texas); Minnie Pearl Cancer Research Network (Nashville, Tennessee); University of California, Los Angeles, Oncology Research Network (Los Angeles, California); and Hoosier Oncology Group (Indianapolis, Indiana).
Nominations were based on the following criteria:
Each of the nominated practices were invited to apply for this award by completing an online application. The online application contained both quantitative and qualitative measures, including nomination criteria and innovative techniques employed by the practice to increase their overall accrual, accrue minority populations, overcome barriers to research, and ensure and maintain the quality of research. The applications were peer reviewed and scored by members of the subcommittee, and each application was reviewed and scored by at least one subcommittee member who was also a community-based oncology researcher. The 12 applicants with the highest scores were chosen to receive this award and will be announced at the 2006 ASCO Annual Meeting.
The subcommittee plans to continually evaluate this process, and requests feedback and suggestions from ASCO members. Please direct all comments and suggestions to ASCO's Cancer Research Department atgro.ocsa@hcraeserrecnac.