2014 Announcements

November 3, 2014

White House Names Patient Advocate Halpin-Murphy a "Champion of Change"

Pat Halpin-Murphy, a member of NRG Oncology's Patient Advocacy Committee, has been named a Champion of Change by the White House for her work in advocating for women's health care and insurance coverage.  Pat is the former chair of the NSABP's advocacy committee and founder of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.  Watch video

MedScape Article Response

Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, an NRG Oncology Group Chairman and Executive Director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta responds to an article written by MedScape reporter Nick Mulcahy and posted on October 23, 2014 that states a group of patients with advanced cancer “has been forsaken” by NRG Oncology. Read response.

October 27, 2014

NRG Oncology Activates Two Clinical Trials

The NRG-BN001 clinical trial will evaluate novel radiotherapy approaches for improving survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma brain tumors. 
Read press release

The NRG-HN002 trial will evaluate less-intensive therapy for patients with oropharyngeal cancer at low risk for cancer recurrence. Read press release

October 20, 2014

Doctor Aghajanian Recognized for Research Contribution 

Carol Aghajanian, MD, PhD is the recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s 2014 Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Award and Lectureship. The prestigious award recognizes the contributions of individuals to the development of novel agents for cancer therapy. Read announcement.

September 29, 2014

NRG Oncology Launches Phase III Study Evaluating Radiotherapy in Addition to Chemotherapy for Patients with Inoperable, Localized Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (IHC)

NRG Oncology announces the activation of NRG-GI001, a trial enrolling patients with inoperable, localized IHC to evaluate the value of adding liver-directed radiotherapy (RT) to the standard treatment for IHC of gemcitabine/cisplatin chemotherapy. 
Read press release

September 18, 2014

Important Notice about Shipping Biospecimens on Dry Ice

Effective October 1, 2014, Federal Express and other shippers will require new labels (UN 1845, class 9) for dry ice shipments. As of this date, Federal Express and other shippers will no longer pick up packages with the old label. This change is directed by  the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

For more information:

Link to flyer
Instructions from Federal Express
Download new label image

September 15, 2014

Wall Street Jounal Interview with Dr. Irene Wapnir

Dr. Irene Wapnir, NRG Oncology breast cancer researcher and principal investigator, appeared in a Wall Street Journal video interview of Dr Laura Esserman Sunday, September 14, focusing on the debate among physicians about overtreatment that may result from screening breast cancer patients, particularly in cases of DCIS.  See complete interview.

August 25, 2015

NRG Oncology Trial Activates Trial to Evaluate Metformin for Improving the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 

The NRG-LU001 study is the first clinical trial to investigate whether the addition of the drug metformin can be well tolerated and improve progression-free survival for patients with locally advanced, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with standard concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Metformin is used in the treatment of millions of diabetic patients worldwide. 
Read press release

August 9, 2014

NRG Oncolgy Introduces New Communications

NRG Oncology is pleased to announce a new weekly email communication that will provide comprehensive information about NRG Oncology and its clinical trials. Starting August 11, NRG Oncology will distribute a broadcast each Monday with important information from the operations and Statistics and Data Management Center offices that will include regulatory and protocol updates, membership information, a recent publications’ listing, and other news. Read full announcement.

June 13, 2014

Bernard Fisher, MD, named ASCO Oncology Luminary

Bernard Fisher, MD, FASCO, first chairman of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, was named one of ASCO's "Oncology Luminaries" for his research defining breast cancer as a systemic disease and for pioneering work in the conduct of multicenter randomized clinical trials, which, ASCO noted, set a standard in the oncology arena.  For more information, see http://cancerprogress.net/node/2076.  Other researchers named by ASCO as oncology luminaries are listed at http://cancerprogress.net/celebrating-oncology-luminaries

April 3, 2014

NSABP P-1 Article examines association of behavioral risk factors as predictors of breast cancer incidence

The NSABP P-1 trial provides an opportunity to examine the association of behavioral factors with prospectively monitored cancer incidence and interactions with tamoxifen.  This according to an article published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Follow this link to the abstract:  http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/01/1055-9965.EPI-13-1105-T.abstract
Cigarette Smoking, Physical Activity, and Alcohol Consumption as Predictors of Cancer Incidence among Women at High Risk of Breast Cancer in the NSABP P-1 Trial.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Feb 25.  Authors:  Stephanie R. Land, Qing Liu, D. Lawrence Wickerham, Joseph P. Costantino, and Patricia A. Ganz.

March 20, 2014

NSABP B-17/B-24 Article in JNCI Acknowledged for High Citation Level

Irene L. Wapnir, MD, senior author of a manuscript* that resulted from the NSABP's B-17/B-24 breast cancer trials, was notified by the JNCI  that the group's article on long-term outcomes of IBTR in DCIS after lumpectomy was  rated one of the 50 most-cited articles published in 2011 in that journal.  
The journal notification thanked Dr Wapnir and noted, "Standout contributions like yours help make JNCI successful and highly ranked."
Follow this link to the free PMC version of the paper:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21398619
*Long-term outcomes of invasive ipsilateral breast tumor recurrences after lumpectomy in NSABP B-17 and B-24 randomized clinical trials for DCIS.  JNCI 2011; 103:478-488.  Authors: Irene L. Wapnir, James J. Dignam, Bernard Fisher, Eleftherios P. Mamounas, Stewart J. Anderson, Thomas B. Julian, Stephanie R. Land, Richard G. Margolese, Sandra M. Swain, Joseph P. Costantino and Norman Wolmark

March 2014

Deborah W. Bruner, PhD Recognized as Top Funded Nursing Researcher 

Deborah Watkins Bruner, PhD, RN, FAAN, NRG Oncology Publications Deputy Group Chair and Cancer Prevention and Control Committee Co-chair, is the top-ranked nurse researcher in terms of total grant support as a principal investigator from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2013. Bruner was awarded $2.8 million in NIH research grants in 2013 — the highest amount of support given to any nurse researcher. Bruner consistently ranks high in NIH research funding and is among the top 2 percent of NIH investigators from all disciplines for funding. In 2012, she was also the top-ranked nurse researcher with more than $4.4 million in NIH funding. This national ranking is based on data provided by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research about principal investigator recipients of NIH funding in 2013.

She is the first and only nurse to lead a National Cancer Institute Clinical Community Oncology Program (CCOP) Research Base. “As the principal investigator of the RTOG CCOP Research Base, Dr. Bruner has been a national leader in promoting the conduct of cutting-edge cancer research within a community cancer center setting where the vast majority of cancer care is delivered,” says NRG Oncology Group Chair Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, Executive Director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. “The results of the CCOP-sponsored research have significantly advanced the care of patients with cancer.”

Bruner is the Woodruff Professor of Nursing at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and is the associate director of cancer outcomes at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  She also serves as a member of the NCI’s Symptom Management Steering Committee that she co-chaired for the past six years. Her research focus includes quality of life and symptom management across cancer sites, as well as decision-making preferences and utilities for cancer therapies. She also is internationally recognized for her research in sexuality after cancer therapy.

February 27, 2014

As of March 1, 2014 the legacy groups, NSABP, RTOG, and GOG transition to NRG Oncology—one of the five NCI-funded Lead Protocol Organizations (LPOs). March 1 is also the official start of the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) which is replacing the 50-year old Clinical Cooperative Group Program. Much work has taken place to prepare for this historic change and more transitional progress will be made in the coming months.

For more information, please read:

An NRG Oncology eNews Update 

News from the CTSU

February 24, 2014

NSABP C-08 Article In J Clin Oncol Receives Commendation

Carmen Allegra, MD, senior author of a manuscript that resulted from the NSABP's C-08 colon cancer trial, was notified by the Journal of Clinical Oncology that the group's article, "Phase III trial assessing bevacizumab in stages II and III carcinoma of the colon:  Results of NSABP Protocol C-08" (J Clin Oncol 2011), has been rated one of the 50 most-cited articles published in 2011 in that journal.  Editor Stephen Cannistra, MD, noted the journal was informed by Thomson Reuters News Corporation, which compiles journal citation data, that the C-08 article has been cited 154 times since its publication. 

Co-author Greg Yothers, PhD, biostatistician, said that this paper, which describes the trial's primary findings, serves as an example of how a report of negative results can have significant impact.  He noted, "Our efforts are changing the direction of research in colorectal cancer, and this will eventually lead to better outcomes for patients."

Follow this link to the free PMC version of the paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20940184

February 4, 2014

Adding Chemotherapy Following Radiation Treatment Improves Survival for Adults with Low-grade Glioma Brain Tumors

Adults with a low-grade glioma brain tumor who received chemotherapy following completion of radiation therapy lived significantly longer than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to long-term follow-up results from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group-conducted trial RTOG 9802: A Phase II Study of Observation in Favorable Low-Grade Glioma and Phase III Study of Radiation With or Without PCV Chemotherapy in Unfavorable Low-Grade Glioma.

RTOG and the National Cancer Institute made the results public because of the significant impact this new information may have on patient care and on ongoing active clinical trials. Full details from this analysis are to be presented at a scientific meeting in 2014 and in a peer-reviewed publication. To read the full announcement, visit: RTOG 9802 Announcement.

January 20, 2014

NRG Oncology Leader Elected to Board of American Society of Clinical Oncology

Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and one of three founding principal investigators of NRG Oncology, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization representing all specialties of physicians who care for people with cancer.  Curran is one of four new members elected to serve a four-year term, which begins in June 2014.

Curran, a renowned expert and researcher in the management of patients with locally advanced lung and brain malignancies, is the only radiation oncologist to serve as director of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center. 

“It is truly an honor to be elected to serve on the ASCO Board,” says Curran. “I look forward to being a part of the national discussion on how cancer care must evolve over the next decade and how physician-investigators must design and complete the very best clinical trials to further advance the care of our patients.”

Curran is the Lawrence W. Davis professor and chair of Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology. Since 1997, he has served as group chair and principal investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, an NCI-funded cooperative group.

May 29, 2013

B-32 Abstract Named "Best of ASCO"

Dr. Thomas B. Julian's presentation at the 2013 ASCO meeting on long-term results from the NSABP B-32 trial has been named a "Best of ASCO" abstract and will be featured at Best of ASCO meetings here and abroad this summer.  "Best of ASCO" presentations are considered to contain the most "high-impact and practice-changing" research results.

The abstract* summarizes findings from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project's study in women with breast cancer, which disclosed no significant overall or disease-free survival differences at 10 years between women with negative sentinel nodes who underwent SNR and those who underwent SNR plus axillary dissection.  The researchers also found that the detection of occult tumor cells in the H&E-negative sentinel nodes offered no benefit.

Three Best of ASCO conferences will be held domestically in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, and 25 will be held in other parts of the world including France, Egypt, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and India.  For more information about Best of ASCO meetings this year, go to http://boa.asco.org/

*Julian TB, Anderson SJ, Krag DN, Harlow SP, Costantino JP, Ashikaga T, Weaver DL, Mamounas EP, Wolmark N.  "10-year follow up results of NSABP B-32, a randomized phase III clinical trial to compare sentinel node resection (SNR) to conventional axillary dissection (AD) in clinically node-negative breast cancer patients."




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