Christiana Care CCOP ranks near top for enrollment in cancer clinical trials

Christiana Care CCOP ranks near top for enrollment in cancer clinical trials

exterior of Helen F. Graham Cancer Center
Christiana Care's Community Clinical Oncology Program at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center ranks among the top enrollers in cancer trials. Patients who join a clinical trial benefit from techniques and therapeutic advances that are at the vanguard of medical science.

Christiana Care’s Community Clinical Oncology Program is one of the nation’s top enrollers in cancer clinical trials in the newly formed Alliance of Clinical Trials in Oncology.

According to the Alliance’s Accrual Data and Protocol listing (Sept. 1, 2010–Aug. 31, 2011), the Christiana Care CCOP ranks number 6 in treatment trials and 1 in cancer control trials that seek to prevent cancer or control its incidence.

When the listings are combined, the Christiana Care CCOP ranks number 3 out of 210 participating organizations, ahead of many nationally recognized cancer programs such as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, The Ohio State University Medical Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Members of the Christiana Care CCOP included in the Alliance rankings are Christiana Care, Union Hospital, Cooper University Hospital and Beebe Medical Center.

“This is an exceptional achievement owing to dedication and hard work of all participants in the Christiana Care CCOP,” says Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.

At 24 percent, Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center has one of the highest patient accrual rates into cancer clinical trials in the U.S., far above the national average of 4 percent.

The Alliance, formed earlier this year, 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. NCI cooperative groups enroll some 25,000 patients in clinical trials each year.

Christiana Care Medical Oncologist Stephen S. Grubbs, M.D., served as a member of an Institute of Medicine planning group that recommended combining the three groups. Dr. Grubbs has since been elected to the Alliance Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, responsible for recommending overall policy and direction. Kandie Dempsey, MS, RN, OCN, CCRP, Cancer Research director, was appointed chair of the Alliance’s Clinical Research Professionals Committee, representing the certified professionals who monitor and ensure compliance with clinical trial protocols at their respective institutions in the United States and Canada.

Also receiving committee appointments to the Alliance are Andrew Himelstein, M.D., Jon Strasser, M.D., Diana Dickson-Witmer, M.D., Gregory Masters, M.D., Thomas Bauer, M.D. and Michael Guarino, M.D.