NRG Oncology Announces New Leadership of the Organization’s Cancer Prevention & Control Committee, Immunotherapy Subcommittee, and Publications Committee

July 21 2023

NRG Oncology, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) group focused on improving outcomes for adults with cancer through international clinical research, recently announced the addition of three new leaders in various areas of the organization’s committee structure. The group has added a new Vice Chair for their NRG National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Cancer Prevention & Control (CPC) Committee, their Immunotherapy Subcommittee, and their Publications Committee.

Tracy Crane, PhD, RDN, was appointed Vice-Chair of the NRG CPC Committee. Dr. Crane is the Co-leader of the Cancer Control Research Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and an associate professor of medical oncology and public health at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. She is a distinguished leader in cancer control with her research priorities focused on improving adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors including diet, physical activity, and tobacco abstinence to reduce the risk of cancer and improve outcomes for cancer survivors. Dr. Crane’s research goals include developing targeted interventions that utilize ehealth and digital biomarkers to deliver the right intervention at the right time for cancer patients. In addition to her leadership role in cancer control at the University of Miami, Dr. Crane is also the Director for Lifestyle Medicine, Prevention and Digital Health at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.Dr. Crane has extensive experience in the conduct of clinical trials and has served as co-chair for several NRG Oncology and other cooperative group protocols. Her research is funded by the NCI, PCORI and ACS.

Dr. Crane will be working alongside NRG CPC Chairs Dr. Lisa Kachnic of Columbia University and Dr. Warner Huh of the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as current Vice-Chair, Dr. Julie Baumann of George Washington University Cancer Center. The NRG CPC Committee is responsible for the cancer control priorities of improvement or delay in decline of neurocognitive function, reducing gender specific symptoms such as lymphedema and sexual function, and testing therapeutic delivery modifications to improve quality of life and cost-effectiveness in localized cancers while maintaining efficacy.

Janice Lu, MD, PhD, was selected as the NRG Oncology Immunotherapy Subcommittee Vice-Chair. Dr. Lu is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. With extensive experience in breast cancer clinical trials and as a national protocol chair for multiple studies, Dr. Lu has contributed significantly to the field. She has also played a key role in breast cancer drug development, specifically in areas involving ADCs, immunotherapy, and cell therapy. Her career goal is to leverage her scientific and medical expertise to deliver state-of-the-art cancer care tailored to the individual needs of each patient.

Dr. Lu joins NRG Immunotherapy Subcommittee Chair, Dr. Susanna Ulahannan of the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center. The NRG Immunotherapy Subcommittee is structured under the NRG Medical Oncology Committee as a portion of the organization’s scientific core committees. This subcommittee was established to aid in cross-group collaboration and engagement surrounding immune-therapy agents and the leaders of this group serve as subject matter experts on topics pertaining to immunotherapy.

David Mutch, MD was appointed the NRG Publications Committee Chair. Dr. Mutch is the Vice-Chair of Gynecology in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and the Ira C. and Judith Gall Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine. He is a nationally renowned clinical expert in gynecologic oncology and has played a vital role in establishing clinical practice guidelines across the US. Dr. Mutch was also the recipient of the 2022 President’s Achievement Award from the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital for his accomplishments as a physician, researcher, and faculty partner who exemplified advances in medical knowledge, continuously improves the delivery of world-class patient care, and educates the next generation of clinicians. He specializes in gynecologic oncology with a focus on endometrial, vulvar, ovarian, and cervical cancers.

William Small Jr., MD, FACRO, FACR, FASTRO, was selected as the NRG Publications Committee Vice-Chair. Dr. Small is the Chairperson of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Loyola University Medical Center and the Director of the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. He has renown expertise internationally in gynecological, gastrointestinal, and breast cancers. Dr. Small has a long history of leadership and service to RTOG/NRG.He was the co-chair of the RTOG Gyn Committee from 2004-2013 and the co-chair of the NRG Gyn Committee from 2014-2020.He served on the NRG Uterine Corpus Sub-Committee from 2014-2022and was the RTOG Principal Investigator at Northwestern University from 1997-2013.He has been the NRG Principal Investigator at Loyola since 2013.He is a former member of the NCI Gynecological Cancer Steering Committee, as well as the cervical and endometrial task forces. He holds leadership positions in several national and international professional organizations including the American College of Radiology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the International Commission for Radiological Protection, and the American Radium Society. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Dr. Small is the former chair of the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG), and is currently an Executive Committee member.

Drs. Mutch and Small will work with current NRG Publications Committee Vice-Chair, Dr. Thomas Julian of the Allegheny Health Network, to lead this committee. The NRG Publications Committee is responsible for the promotion and facilitation of the publication of NRG studies to ensure the organization’s results are published in a timely manner, assure authorship lines are appropriate, review the science of abstracts and papers, assure timely reporting by assigning or reassigning responsibility, monitoring compliance with the NRG Publications Policy, and propose recommendations to update the NRG Publications Policy as necessary.

NRG Oncology extends our gratitude to our outgoing committee leaders, Dr. Krishnansu Tewari (former NRG Publications Committee Chair), Dr. Elizabeth Gore (former NRG Publications Committee Vice-Chair), and Dr. Debra Barton (former NRG CPC Vice-Chair) for their dedication and efforts on behalf of our organization and our mission. NRG looks forward to the contributions that come from each of these committees under their new direction.

About NRG Oncology

NRG Oncology conducts practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical and translational research to improve the lives of patients with cancer. Founded in 2012, NRG Oncology is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit corporation that integrates the research of the legacy National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) programs. The research network seeks to carry out clinical trials with emphases on gender-specific malignancies, including gynecologic, breast, and prostate cancers, and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types. NRG Oncology’s extensive research organization comprises multidisciplinary investigators, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, pathologists, and statisticians, and encompasses more than 1,300 research sites located world-wide with predominance in the United States and Canada. NRG Oncology is supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is one of five research groups in the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network.

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