E-Newsletter - February 2018


Alliance/American College of Surgeons Clinical research program to Present Clinical Trials Training Course + Host an investigators lunch at Society of Surgical Oncology Meeting






                Hunt                                    Katz                              Mamounas






              Carpizo                                 Unzeitig                                    You

The American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP) has partnered with the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) to develop an educational program to help provide a more systematic introduction to surgeons interested in clinical trials - entitled Clinical Trials for Surgeons: Hurdles and Opportunities. This two-hour session will take place Friday, March 23, 4 pm-6 pm CT, at the 71st SSO Annual Cancer Symposium in Chicago, IL.

This session will provide a practical and organized toolbox for surgeons who are interested in clinical trials to actively participate in these studies at their own institutions. Specific areas covered in the course will include National Institute of Health oversight of clinical trials research; ethical issues pertaining to research involving human subjects; roles and responsibilities of the participating principal investigator and institution; trial protocol structure; and practical issues associated with trial implementation.

Kelly K. Hunt, MD, FACS, principal investigator and Director, ACS CRP, will begin the course with an overview of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) and the NCI’s previous and current structure, as well as a discussion of how past surgical oncology trials have changed the management of patients today. Without the evidence provided by these clinical trials, data would not be available to guide the advances in practice that have occurred in recent years.

The second part of the session will center on how a surgical trial investigator can navigate the national and local infrastructure of clinical trials research. Matthew H.G. Katz, MD, FACS, Chair, ACS CRP Cancer Standards Development Committee, will discuss national oncology trial cooperative groups, trial sponsors, and regulatory bodies and—based on his experience as the national principal investigator of Alliance A021101—a neoadjuvant chemoradiation study in pancreatic cancer. Eleftherios Mamounas, MD, MPH, FACS, medical director, Comprehensive Breast Program, University of Florida Health Cancer Center, Orlando, will then provide a case study using the NRG B-51 trial that looks at the possibility of avoiding radiation in patients with breast cancer with a complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

The final part of the session will focus on the fundamentals of becoming involved in clinical trials, whether at an academic institution or in the community. Darren Carpizo, MD, PhD, FACS, director, hepatobiliary program, and surgical oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, will provide an overview of opportunities for university surgical oncologists, focusing on correlative sciences, cancer care delivery research, and multicenter trials outside of the cooperative groups. Gary Unzeitig, MD, FACS, a breast surgeon from Laredo, TX, will then discuss opportunities for the community surgical oncologist. Finally, Y. Nancy You, MD, MHSc, FACS, Vice-Chair, ACS CRP Education Committee, will provide a case study highlighting these components as they pertain to the Alliance Preoperative Radiation or Selective Preoperative Radiation and Evaluation before Chemotherapy and TME [total mesorectal excision] (PROSPECT) trial for rectal cancer.

The ACS CRP is dedicated to educating surgeons on clinical trials research. Feedback from the course presented at the SSO annual meeting will provide the ACS CRP Education Committee with information on areas to target for future educational programs, including courses and panel sessions at ACS Clinical Congress. For information contact Amanda Francescatti, Senior Manager, ACS CRP, at afrancescatti@facs.org.

Note: This is an edited version of what appeared in the January issue of the ACS Bulletin by Amanda Francescatti, MS; Y. Nancy You, MD, MHSc, FACS; and Judy Boughey, MD, FACS.

Alliance/ACS CRP investigators lunch at Society of Surgical Oncology Meeting

Also, plan to join the Alliance/ACS CRP for an investigators lunch Saturday, March 24, 12:30-1:30 pm CT, at the SSO Annual Cancer Symposium. The lunch will highlight both breast and GI trials. There will also be webinar capabilities for those who cannot attend in person. Click here for more information.


For other articles in this issue of the Alliance E-News newsletter, see below.