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National Cancer Institute names IU Simon Cancer Center one of 30 sites in the new National Clinical Trials Network

  • Aug. 26, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has been selected as one of only 30 sites in the country to lead cancer clinical trials in a new national network.

The National Cancer Institute designated the IU Simon Cancer Center as a Lead Academic Participating Site (LAPS) in its new National Clinical Trials Network. The network, which focuses on phase III clinical trials, is designed to:

  • Improve the speed and efficiency of the design, launch, and conduct of clinical trials
  • Make optimal use of scientific innovations
  • Improve selection, prioritization, support, and completion of clinical trials
  • Foster expanded participation of both patients and physicians

Lead sites will provide scientific leadership in the development and conduct of clinical trials.

The IU Simon Cancer Center was chosen as a lead site because of its demonstrated ability to enroll high numbers of patients onto trials as well as scientific leadership in the design and conduct of clinical trials. IU investigators have led trials that have defined the standard of care in many malignancies, including those of the testis, thymus, pancreas, and breast.

Kathy Miller, M.D., professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a physician researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center, oversees the network’s clinical trials at IU. Dr. Miller is an accomplished investigator who has led three national trials.

“Designation as a Lead Academic Participating Site ensures our patients access to the best NCI-supported clinical science,” Dr. Miller said. “This new network will speed up the availability of clinical trials, benefiting countless people who are diagnosed with cancer.”

Three affiliates are part of the IU Simon Cancer Center lead site:

  • Richard A. Roudebush VA Medical Center
  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
  • IU Health Central Indiana Cancer Centers

National Clinical Trial Network research at the affiliate sites is overseen and managed by the IU Simon Cancer Center, allowing patients full access to the network’s trials combined with the convenience and support that comes with receiving treatment locally. The National Clinical Trials Network is intended to improve treatment for the more than 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies in which people with either a high risk for cancer or diagnosis of the disease help physicians find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer as well as improve quality of life of cancer survivors.

Each year, the IU Simon Cancer Center offers more than 600 active clinical trials for pediatric and adult cancers. Learn more about clinical trials at www.cancer.iu.edu/trials

Michael Schug