NCCN launches imaging research consortium

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has established a new initiative, the NCCN Specialized Imaging Research Consortium, designed to advance the treatment of patients with cancer through the clinical application of specialized imaging technologies.

Imaging plays an important role in clinical cancer care, according to NCCN, and the increasing availability and use of advanced imaging methods have created a need for expertise in such techniques to guide their appropriate use in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer.

Thus, NCCN established the NCCN Specialized Imaging Research Consortium (SIRC), which aims to support oncology research and advance technology development in order to improve patient outcomes.

Bringing together imaging scientists, oncologists and experts from NCCN Member Institutions, SIRC will perform clinical trials of emerging therapeutics integrated with evidence-based research to guide the use of advanced imaging in clinical cancer care.

SIRC’s mission aims to:

  • Establish and standardize new models for predicting and monitoring response to therapy.
  • Develop a better understanding of the mechanisms of tumor resistance.
  • Use imaging and analytic systems to advance cancer drug development.
  • Share or distribute the information with the radiology community.
  • Stimulate collaborative efforts to evaluate technically challenging treatment approaches.
  • Provide expertise to help evaluate the role of imaging in clinical cancer care and guide its use.

SIRC is advised by an interdisciplinary Consortium Advisory Group (CAG), which has defined oversight and quality control functions. The CAG works with NCCN Oncology Research Program to shape the goals, strategy and implementation of the SIRC.

“The future promise of ‘Personalized Therapy’ will require the support of a new imaging paradigm—one that will allow us to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the cancer process at the cellular, molecular and genetic level,” commented the CAG chair, Donald Podoloff, MD, division head, diagnostic imaging, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The NCCN Oncology Research Program draws on the expertise of investigators at NCCN member institutions to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.

To date, this research model has provided 87 investigators with more than $30 million in funding and has produced numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.