August 25, 2011 — US Oncology Research (USOR) and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) announced that USOR has earned Full Member status. As a Full Member, USOR has proven to be a leader in radiation clinical trials. The organization is one of fewer than 50 to reach this status.
Since becoming an Affiliate Member of RTOG in 2008, USOR quickly became one of the top accruing members. Its network of oncology practices eventually enrolled more patients in RTOG trials than any other member. In 2010, RTOG announced USOR ranked number one in patient accruals, surpassing all affiliate and full RTOG members.
All together, network physicians have enrolled 163 patients into RTOG clinical trials held at community-based oncology practices. This allows patients to receive cutting-edge radiation clinical trials in their hometowns.
"US Oncology Research has been an outstanding Affiliate Member, and we're excited to award the network Full Member status. We at RTOG are very pleased that US Oncology Research achieved full member status as quickly as they did," said Walter J Curran, Jr., M.D., chairman, RTOG group chairman and executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. "Their commitment to providing the infrastructure to accrue large numbers of patients into clinical trial research from community-based practices will not only benefit their patients, it will also help us answer our research questions faster, and that will benefit all cancer patients."
Radiation oncology-focused clinical trials offer cancer patients integrated and unique therapies that can provide a better chance for survival. Clinical trials in cancer care, whether focused on chemotherapy, radiation or other treatment methods, seek improvement upon standard treatment, so each patient has the best opportunity for a positive outcome.
"We are making great strides in a concentration that is quite unique," said Vivek Kavadi, M.D., medical director of radiation oncology for US Oncology and radiation oncologist with Texas Oncology-Sugar Land. "Having radiation oncology clinical trials available in local communities is crucial for our patients. They are able to participate in integrated, radiation-focused clinical trials that are truly state-of-the-art."
There are 19 RTOG approved sites affiliated with USOR. These community-based practices are located across the country and had 91 accruals in 2010. USOR averages eight accruals per month.
In order to remain an RTOG Full Member, the membership evaluation committee, according to the RTOG membership evaluation policy and the group bylaws, must evaluate USOR yearly.
Based in Philadelphia, RTOG is a key clinical research component of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and serves as a multi-institutional, international clinical cooperative group funded primarily by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).