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With financial support from The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research, a team of patient advocates and communications staff from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) has chosen the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) to lead a project that will result in a template and set of guidelines for describing NCI-funded cancer clinical trials actively recruiting patients. SWOG Cancer Research Network, an NCTN member, initiated the project to make their trials more accessible to the public.
No NCTN group currently has documented guidelines on how to describe their active cancer trials in plain language. NCTN trials are chiefly paid for with National Institutes of Health funding, through the NCI, and test new treatment and prevention strategies for all major cancer types. Thanks to the national network, and the NCI's Community Oncology Research Program, the trials are available at thousands of cancer centers, academic hospitals, and community clinics and hospitals across the United States. Clinical trials are often the only way cancer patients can get access to cutting-edge cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies.
According to Wendy Lawton, SWOG's communications and public relations manager: "The NCTN is the oldest and largest publicly funded cancer trials network in the nation, so the information created by this template has the potential to reach tens of thousands of people affected by cancer each year. This is the first time the NCTN has come together to create a tool for patient communication on this scale, and it will benefit so many people with cancer and their loved ones."
Jill McNair, CISCRP's senior director for patient engagement, remarks: "This work mirrors the early Trial Results Summaries template work we did beginning back in 2010, and we were honored to have our expertise recognized by being awarded this contract."
The groups that comprise the NCTN include Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Children's Oncology Group, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, NRG Oncology, SWOG Cancer Research Network, and their partners at Canadian Cancer Trials Group. The network goal for the plain language project is to improve public awareness and understanding of their trials in order to increase enrollment. With greater participation, more trials are completed and finished in less time, speeding the availability of lifesaving treatment and prevention strategies to patients.
Morgan Cox, grants and communications manager for The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research says: "We're thrilled to be funding this crucial work on behalf of the NCTN and the patients they serve. Partnering with CISCRP will help transform how these cancer studies are communicated and made available to the public that makes them possible."
Visit http://www.CISCRP.org for more information.