NRG NCORP Town Hall at NRG 2020

July 17 2020

Dr. Deborah W. Bruner started the NRG National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Town Hall with updates from the NRG NCORP and introductions of the sessions speakers. Dr. Bruner provided an overview of the NRG NCORP organizational structure and the program’s aims including symptom management, prevention, survivorship, palliative interventions, cancer care delivery research, and cancer disparities research. In this session, Dr. Bruner highlighted the top accruing NCORP sites to NRG trials from 2017 through 2020. Congratulations to our top accruers, listed below!

Top Accruing NCORP Sites – CTEP Trials

  • Helen F Graham Cancer Center
  • Carle Cancer Center
  • Maine Medical Center – Scarborough
  • Beebe Health Campus
  • University of New Mexico Cancer Center
  • CaroMont Regional Medical Center
  • Northwell Health/Center for Advanced Medicine
  • Decatur Memorial Hospital
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • NYP/Columbia University Medical Center

Top Accruing NCORP Sites- DCP Trials

  • University of New Mexico Cancer Center
  • Helen F. Graham Cancer Center
  • Augusta University Medical Center
  • John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion – Saint Joseph’s
  • Oschner Medical Center - Jefferson
  • Sparrow Hospital
  • Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital

Dr. Bruner moved on to overview the open NRG NCORP trials, recent publications highlights, and congratulate the awarded NRG NCORP Cancer Care Delivery Research Fellow, Dr. Megan Mullins at the University of Michigan, and the NRG NCORP Pilot Awardees. Dr. Aditya Varnam Shreenivas of the Medical College of Wisconsin received the Cancer Prevention and Control Pilot Project Award for “Buprenorphine a less toxic opioid substitute for treatment of radiation induced mucositis pain in head and neck cancer patients”. Drs. Krupal B. Patel and Maija Reblin of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center received the Cancer Care Delivery Research Pilot Project Award for “Assessing the impact of financial toxicity in head and neck cancer patients and their caregivers”.Congratulations to all awardees!

Dr. Robert Schoen, the Study Chair and Principal Investigator for the new FORTE trial studying five versus ten year colonoscopies for patients with 1-2 non-advanced adenomatous polypos, also known as study NRG-CC005. More information on this trial can be found in this article.

Dr. Douglas A. Levine, the Study Chair and Principal Investigator for the recently opened SOROCk trial comparing two surgical procedures in women with BRCA1 mutations to assess the risk reduction for ovarian cancer. This trial is also known as NRG-CC008. The two procedures being compared on the SOROCk trial are bilateral salpingectomy with delayed oophorectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The standard of care for this patient population is to remove both the ovaries and fallopian tubes, however, the removal of only the fallopian tubes may also help lessen the risk of ovarian cancer without needing to remove the ovaries. This trial will also survey patients on their quality of life before, during, and following treatment.

Dr. Worta McCaskill-Stevens, the Chief Community Oncology & Prevention Trials Research Group, provided an overview of the NCI’s continued efforts and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic included the activation of five NCORP trials, the receipt of five NCORP concepts, five NCORP protocols, and 46 amendments, and COVID-19 trials such as the NCCAPS national history study of COVID-19 in cancer patients and the SARS-CoV-2 study of tocilizumab for hospitalized cancer patients with COVID-19. Dr. McCaskill-Stevens emphasized that the NCI continues to be flexible and to provide guidance documents for patients and researchers during the pandemic. She noted that the NCI is aware of expected delays and also focused on NCI’s ongoing efforts to decrease disparities for minorities in cancer research. Dr. McCaskill-Steven’s mentioned that NCI’s stance is that we need to eliminate injustices and focus on recruiting individuals into our research processes and to attend our meetings.

Dr. Ann Geiger, the Scientific Director of Cancer Care Delivery Research in the NCORP, provided an overview of Cancer Care Delivery Research efforts in NCORP including two NCORP CCDR abstracts being presented at ASCO 2020. Dr. Geiger mentioned that continued efforts are going into the operationalization of rural practices in which the NCORP CCDR aims to review and better understand the strengths, limitations, and barriers that rural practices face. Additionally, Geiger mentioned the NCORP CCDR is focusing on recruitment efforts and best practices for NCORP site recruitment, promoting consistency in efforts across the NCORP sites, aiming to complete coding, describing the burden and data quality issues that are currently presented, and encouraging multilevel analytic approaches. 

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