Christiana Care Medical Oncologist Stephen S. Grubbs, M.D., and Cancer Research Director Kandie Dempsey, MS, RN, OCN, CCRP, were named to leadership roles with the newly formed Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. Additional physician investigators will serve on Alliance committees.
The Alliance merges three National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded research cooperative groups: Cancer and Leukemia Group B/CALGB, North Central Cancer Treatment Group/NCCTG and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group/ACOSOG. The integration into one cooperative group leverages the talents and resources of all three to bring the latest cancer control, prevention and treatment clinical trials more quickly to patients at their community cancer centers.
Dr. Grubbs was elected to the Alliance Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, responsible for recommending overall policy and direction, as well as Alliance priorities and activities. Ms. Dempsey was appointed chair of the Alliance’s Clinical Research Associates (CRA) Committee, representing the certified professionals who monitor and ensure compliance with clinical trial protocols at their respective institutions in the United States and Canada. The CRA Committee plays a critical role in educating CRAs on clinical research methods, policies and procedures, NCI initiatives and Alliance research.
The following physicians accepted appointments to serve on Alliance committees:
- Thomas L. Bauer, M.D. and Greg A. Masters, M.D., Respiratory Committee.
- Andrew L. Himelstein, M.D., Study Concept Review Committee and Symptom Intervention Committee.
- Jon F. Strasser, M.D., Radiation Oncology Committee.
Additional appointments are anticipated.
“Congratulations to both Dr. Grubbs and Kandie Dempsey for this well deserved recognition, and to our physician investigators who have agreed to serve on Alliance Committees,” says Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America Endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care. “The stature of these appointments acknowledges the robust contribution of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center research team to NCI clinical trials cooperative group programs, and strengthens our collaborative potential.”
Collectively, NCI cooperative groups enroll some 25,000 patients in clinical trials each year. At 24 percent, the Graham Cancer Center is a top enroller among the 3,100 participating institutions, and far above the national average of 4 percent enrollment. Christiana Care physician investigators have had leadership roles on multiple NCI cooperative group committees.
The Alliance merger reduces the number of NCI cooperative groups from nine to four. This comes at a time when NCI wants to transform the clinical trials system and expand scientific research opportunities across all aspects of the health care system to benefit cancer patients. Combining the three groups follows recommendations from an Institute of Medicine planning group. Dr, Grubbs served as a member of that group conceived at the request of the NCI director.
Alliance leaders, all former members of the three cooperatives, will serve three-year terms to guide the Alliance through the transition. Dr. Grubbs served as a member of the CALGB Board, as a CCOP compliance officer and on numerous Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) committees. Kandie Dempsey chaired the CALGB CRA Committee.