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Community Clinical Oncology Program (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group)

Deborah W Bruner

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National Cancer Institute (NIH)
The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) is unique in that it is the only CCOP focused solely on providing radiation (RT)-related symptom amelioration trials, as well as bringing state-of-the-art RT treatment trials to the CCOP community. The RTOG CCOP conducts trials that can only be accomplished in a RT specific group, such assessment of different fractionation schedules for the palliation of painful bone metastases, the use of stereotactic radiosurgery to palliate spinal metastases, and the use of hippocampal avoidance with RT treatment planning to minimize memory loss after whole brain RT for brain metastases. To meet our unique mission we have instituted significant strategic changes including new PI leadership; a lengthy evaluation of facilitators and barriers to concept development and patient accrual over the current grant period; a revised committee structure including a new Steering/Concept Review Committee to strengthen the science, increase our portfolio, and further engage the CCOPs and improve accrual. Objectives include: 1) provision of a cancer control research program to study interventions to prevent or manage symptoms, and the study of biological measures that will assist in earlier prediction of outcomes. This aim is focused on 4 research themes important to patients treated with RT: Protectants for Mucositis & Epithelial Injury; Neurocognition; Palliation & QoL; and Late Effects & Survivorship. 2) Provision of access to the full complement of clinical and translational protocols available through the RTOG to CCOP members, and 3) maintenance of an infrastructure and tools for conduct and assessment of the impact of RTOG cancer control studies. The CCOP has leveraged its NCI funding to help support these objectives by developing shared resources with the RTOG including a Translational Research Program, a Feasibility Review and Clinical Trials, Education and Recruitment Working Groups. Our past work, new vision and strategic changes will advance symptom management science and provide evidence for interventions that will ultimately improve the quality of survival for patients with cancer treated with RT.

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