Alliance Programs

The Alliance is organized into five programs, each led by a Co-Principal Investigator (Program Director), that operate under the direction of the Group Chair to manage scientific, administrative and operational activities of the Group. Each program includes an operational unit and one or more scientific or administrative committees that report directly to the Program Director. Each program effectively interacts with the disease committees, and the Program Director is responsible for ensuring optimal integration of their program’s activities into study development and execution. 

The Office of the Group Chair is responsible for the administrative and fiscal affairs of the Alliance, and provides support for scientific leadership and institutional membership services. It is the central communications hub that provides regular distribution of information essential for the conduct of Alliance business to participating members, the National Cancer Institute, regulatory agencies, other cooperative groups, and the public. The office organizes annual Group and scientific meetings and produces all Alliance publications, including a quarterly newsletter. Group Chair and Principal Investigator: Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, chief of the division of surgical oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Group Vice-Chair: Suzanne George, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical director at the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Statistics and Data Management Program - also known as the Alliance Statistics and Data Center (SDC) - supports the activities of the Alliance by achieving the highest standards for the conduct of clinical trials, including study design, statistical methodology, data management, protection of patients and their data, and regulatory compliance. The center is primarily located at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, with additional staff at The Ohio State University and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Sites house five key operational units organized by function that include Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Data Management, Systems Management, and Information Systems. Group Statistician and Principal Investigator: Sumithra J. Mandrekar, PhD, professor of oncology and professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic, and co-director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

The Central Protocol Operations Program (CPOP) oversees the development, maintenance and distribution of all study protocols that are generated by Alliance scientific committees. Program staff manages the complex process of study protocol development, which involves the committee chair, statistician, data coordinator, chairs of other involved disease and modality committees, other investigators contributing scientific resources, and patient advocates. The program also represents the interest of the Alliance in negotiations with the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical companies, other cooperative groups, and the general public. The Study Concept Review Committee (SCRC) is part of this program. Principal Investigator and Director: Gini F. Fleming, MD, professor of medicine, director of the medical oncology breast program, and medical oncology director, gynecologic oncology at the University of Chicago.

The Translational Research Program (TRP) focuses on molecularly-driven oncology, ensuring optimal integration of translational endpoints into Alliance trials and maximizing the scientific productivity resulting from pre-existing and developing Alliance tissue resources. The program promotes successful collaboration between Alliance committees and researchers within the National Cancer Institute's Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs), cancer centers and individual research laboratories. It also coordinates the Alliance Biorepository Systems, an integrated biorepository program with locations at The Ohio State University, Washington University Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and manages a network of molecular reference core laboratories that provide specialty biospecimen and image analysis services required for Alliance protocols. With seven committees (including Biorepository, Imaging, Karyotype Review, Leukemia Correlative Sciences, Pathology, Pharmacogenomics and Population Pharmacology, and Sequencing), an executive committee provides oversight. The program also has an advisory board that provides external scientific consultation. Principal Investigator and Director: W. Fraser Symmans, MD, professor and director of research operations in the department of pathology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Cancer Control Program (CCP) conducts innovative scientific studies, including interventional, methodological, and health policy research, to help reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of cancer in broad populations. The program is designed to help researchers better understand the factors that affect cancer risk, identify opportunities to prevent cancer or reduce the impact of cancer and/or its treatment on the patient, improve patient quality of life, and evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of strategies to prevent and control cancer in academic settings, the community and in underserved populations. There are six scientific committees, comprising Cancer in the Elderly, Health Disparities, Health Outcomes, Prevention, and Symptom Intervention. Principal Investigator and Director: Jan C. Buckner, MD, professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic and Deputy Director and Principal Invesitgator: Electra D. Paskett, PhD, Marion N. Rowley Professor of Cancer Research at The Ohio State Unviersity College of Public Health.      

The American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP) works to reduce the impact of cancer validating and disseminating strategies for its prevention and treatment. The program achieves this mission by increasing both surgeon participation in the Alliance and meaningful interactions between the Alliance and the college's cancer programs. The program has four committees that have unique goals and activities, and work together to reach the program's overall research goals. These committees include Cancer Care Delivery Research, Cancer Care Standards Development, Dissemination and Implementation, and Education. Principal Investigator and Director: Kelly K. Hunt, MD, professor of surgical oncology and chief of breast surgical oncology section at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.