October 16, 2008 - The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and US Oncology Inc. have entered into a collaboration to increase patient access to national cancer clinical trials with a radiation focus in the community setting.
The collaboration means patients receiving cancer care at practices affiliated with US Oncology have access to RTOG trials for disease sites including brain, head and neck, lung, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, cervix and breast cancers. RTOG trials focus on testing the integration of radiation therapy with new systemic therapies and surgery.
The collaboration also marks the first time US Oncology, as a network of member practices, has participated in cooperative group trials in radiation oncology. In addition, US Oncology is the first multistate, national organization to become an affiliate member of RTOG. Current members include large regional practices and academic practices with several facilities in metropolitan areas.
“Our collaboration with US Oncology and its network of member practices is attractive due to the organization’s strong commitment to clinical trial participation, leadership and accrual,” said Walter Curran, M.D., Group Chairman of RTOG and professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology of Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Curran also serves as Chief Medical Officer of the Winship Cancer Center at Emory University. “We were confident their track record as a multisite organization with significant accruals in a variety of clinical trials would be a good fit,” said Dr. Curran.
US Oncology was granted affiliate member status in the RTOG late last year. The collaboration began with 10 US Oncology affiliated practices working as a network, which include: Texas Oncology practices at Sugar Land, Medical City Dallas, Sherman, Methodist Dallas, Klabzuba and Bedford Harris; Kansas City Cancer Center’s North, South and Southwest sites; Willamette Valley (OR) Cancer Center; Central Indian Cancer Center-South; Arizona Oncology Associates-Tucson; Rocky Mountain Cancer Center-Aurora, and New York Oncology Hematology-Albany.
Benefits for patients participating in the radiation therapy trials include increased access to new investigational therapies, the state-of-the-art in standard care and close monitoring by physicians and other clinicians during the trial.
The collaboration provides RTOG access to US Oncology’s large patient population, making radiation therapy trials more accessible to cancer patients in the community setting nationwide.
US Oncology affiliated practices participating in the RTOG trials program have increased access to new investigational radiation therapy treatments and the ability to work with other oncologists and leading researchers to advance the quality of care for cancer patients.