q Cancer :: North Central Cancer Treatment Group Receives $34.4 Million Grant from the National Cancer Institute | Cancer | Spirit India

Cancer :: North Central Cancer Treatment Group Receives $34.4 Million Grant from the National Cancer Institute

The North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), a clinical research group based at Mayo Clinic, has received a $34.4 million renewal grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The grant, to be awarded over a six-year period, will help fund NCCTG’s efforts to develop and conduct clinical trials to test new cancer therapies.

Since its first funding in 1979, NCCTG has received continual funding from NCI for its programs. Every six years, the group applies for renewed funding for its research activities.

“NCCTG brings state-of-the-art cancer treatments directly to patients within their own communities,” says Jan Buckner, M.D., a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and NCCTG group chair. “We turn promising research ideas into clinical trials offered to patients through their local oncologists throughout the United States. This grant will help us to continue our mission to improve outcomes for cancer patients and increase our understanding of cancer biology.”

The grant supports several clinical research initiatives including projects to:
• Test the effectiveness and safety of promising medications that target biological or molecular processes to reduce cancerous tumors
• Determine how surgical therapy can be used along with radiation and medications to treat patients with cancer that has spread from the original site in the body (metastatic disease)
• Conduct definitive Phase III trials for promising regimens
• Develop new clinical trial designs and statistical analysis methods
• Conduct translational research to study the impact of genetics on disease diagnosis, expected prognosis, drug absorption and treatment effectiveness
• Establish an Imaging Initiative to develop and implement standards for using imaging in clinical trials
• Expand the use of patient-reported information and quality of life analysis in clinical trials

“NCI recognized NCCTG’s significant contributions to improving cancer treatments, especially in the areas of breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, neuro-oncology and quality-of-life research during the previous grant 6-yearperiod. The NCCTG Statistics and Data Center, part of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, along with several disease committees received ratings of ‘outstanding’ as part of the grant review process,” says Dr. Buckner.

“NCCTG’s strong connection with Mayo Clinic Cancer Center clinicians, scientists and administrators was highlighted as an essential aspect of NCCTG’s clinical research success. NCI reviewers recommended full funding for the requested operations budget of $50.5 million; the award for $34.4 million represents 68 percent of this requested budget. In addition to this award, we will continue to explore supplementary sources of funding through complementary grants and contracts.”

NCCTG researchers collaborate with other cooperative groups, academic institutions and medical centers. Investigators within NCCTG also collaborate with other Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers who operate Phase I (novel therapy safety trials) and Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant research programs.

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