ACRIN, ECOG merge clinical trials

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Two National Cancer Institute clinical trials group members—the American College of Radiology’s Imaging Network (ACRIN) and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)—are combining their cancer research program to form a single organization.

The tripartite program will consist of research into the early detection and diagnosis of cancer; biomarker-driven phase II and phase III therapeutic studies for multiple cancer types and stages; and genetic, molecular and imaging marker research to predict and monitor treatment response.

ECOG has experience carrying out large-scale clinical trials studying major diseases, while ACRIN brings a diverse background of imaging research and an IT infrastructure, the ACR said.

"We are excited by the ECOG partnership opportunity to develop a unique multidisciplinary organization positioned to study the entire cancer care path from early detection through management of advanced disease," stated Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, ACRIN network chair.

The new organization will rely on public and private funding, including continued support as members of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Clinical Trials Cooperative Group. In Spring of 2012, NCI will announce a restructuring of its cooperative group program, within which ACRIN and ECOG will function as one organization.