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Clinical trials may be closer than you think


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Clinical trials may be closer than you think

Source: (National Cancer Institute)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Many cancer patients are interested in clinical trials but often don't know where to go for local information about trials that may be available in their home area. They are often surprised to learn that a clinical trial doctor or clinic is as close as their nearby community cancer clinic.

As part of a little known Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), started in 1982, there are more than 6,000 clinics and almost 4,000 physicians who participate in national clinical trials. The trials have contributed substantially over the past 23 years to current knowledge about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute has prepared an online map to help you locate a participating community cancer center in your area. Click here to view the map.

CCOPs Facts

There are 3,675 physicians in the CCOPs, ranging from 2 to 132 per program.

There are 415 hospitals participating in the CCOPs, ranging from 1 to 23 per program.

There are 68 active prevention and control trials and 283 active treatment trials in the CCOPs network.

The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR), one of the largest breast cancer prevention studies ever conducted, completed recruitment in October 2004 with 19,747 women, 6,579 at CCOP sites (33 percent). The Southeast Cancer Control Consortium CCOP was the top accruer to STAR.

Although Minority-based CCOPs make up less than 20 percent of CCOP grantees, they contribute 33 percent of the network's minority accruals and 7 percent of minority patients on all cooperative group trials.

The most common symptoms addressed in CCOP symptom-management trials are pain, anorexia, mucositis, neuropathy, and hot flashes.

The primary NCI mechanism for conducting phase III clinical trials in symptom management, palliative care, and other cancer control issues is the CCOP Network.

Since 1982, CCOPs have enrolled 104,160 patients - approximately 1/3 of all NCI treatment trial participants - to NCI-sponsored treatment clinical trials.

One of the first clinical trials to show cancer-preventive effects of aspirin was the CCOP-conducted Colorectal Adenoma Prevention Study in 2003, after several epidemiologic studies linked such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to lower rates of colorectal adenomas (polyps).

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), an ongoing study of dietary supplements in prostate cancer prevention, enrolled 35,534 men in 3 years; 10,270 (29 percent) of these at CCOP sites. The Upstate Carolina CCOP was the second top accruer overall to SELECT and the University of Illinois at Chicago MB-CCOP was the top accruer of African-American men to the study.

Since 1990, prevention clinical trials conducted by the CCOP Program have enrolled 92,300 people who are at risk for cancer.

The first large-scale prevention trial to use the CCOP network was the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial testing tamoxifen in 1992. More than 13,388 women joined in just 4 years, 4,087 of them at CCOPs (30.5 percent).

Tamoxifen, which in 1998 was the first drug approved by the FDA for cancer risk reduction, was approved based on the results of the CCOP-conducted Breast Cancer Prevention Trial.

The CCOP-conducted Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) enrolled 18,882 participants - 7,312 from CCOP sites (38.7 percent). The drug studied, finasteride, is the first drug found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

SOURCE: A Service of the National Cancer Institute

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