ASCO believes that cancer clinical trials are vital to inform medical decisions and improve cancer care, and that all patients should have the opportunity to participate. To help advance the important work of community-based investigators and research teams, ASCO held its first annual Community Research Forum in September 2012. During the meeting, attendees shared their experiences, addressed challenges, and identified opportunities for improving quality and operational issues in their programs.
A highlight of the meeting included presentation and discussion of two projects related to workload assessment and quality assessment that were developed by ASCO volunteers over the past year. Use of automated-response technology during the meeting enabled attendees to actively assign acuity scores to research protocols and compare elements of their program with fellow attendees. The Workload Assessment Workgroup was led by Marge Good, RN, MPH, OCN, of NCI, and the Quality Assessment Workgroup was led by Thomas Marsland, MD, of Orange Park Cancer Center.
The meeting also included informational presentations on topics including insurance coverage of clinical trials, becoming active in ASCO, and the future direction of NCI-sponsored research at the community level. Yu-Ning Wong, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, gave a presentation on insurance coverage and directed attendees to ASCO’s newly developed resources on the topic, available under the “Resources” tab at ascoaction.asco.org. The discussion about the future direction of NCI-sponsored research at the community level was led by Steven Clauser, PhD, of NCI. As stated by the ASCO Community Research Forum Chair, Rogerio Lilenbaum, MD, of Cleveland Clinic Florida, “Most community research programs are engaged in NCI-sponsored clinical trials and account for a substantial proportion of the accrual over the past two decades. As a result, the current restructuring of the Cooperative Groups system will have a tremendous impact on programs across the nation.”
Volunteers will work over the next year to validate and finalize the projects presented at the September meeting, and they will begin work on new solution-oriented products for presentation in 2013. For more information about the ASCO Community Research Forum, send an email to ResearchPolicy@asco.org