Community Research Forum Annual Meeting Explores Developments and Strategies in Conducting Clinical Research

Dec 15, 2015

In September 2015, ASCO’s Community Research Forum (CRF) held its Annual Meeting at ASCO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. More than 75 physician investigators, program directors, and research staff attended the meeting, representing a wide range of community- based practices and research sites across the country.

The CRF was established in 2010 as part of ASCO’s efforts to support clinical investigators and community-based research sites. Each year, CRF holds an Annual Meeting to give physicianinvestigators and their research staff a unique opportunity to network and collaborate to propose solutions to common challenges faced by communitybased practices conducting research.

Presentations and panels at the 2015 meeting covered a range of topics, including best practices, precision medicine, coverage analysis, patient engagement, and resources for community-based research programs.

Presentations were given by recipients of ASCO’s Clinical Trials Participation Award (CPTA), which recognizes highquality clinical research sites. James L. Wade III, MD, FACP, FASCO, of Cancer Care Specialists of Central Illinois, and Kathy Wilkinson, RN, BSN, OCN, of Billings Clinic, shared insights and perspectives from their practices in a panel led by Stephen S. Grubbs, MD, Senior Director of the ASCO Clinical Affairs Department.

Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, Chair- Elect of the CRF Council, led a panel on precision medicine and implementing personalized care in community oncology, on which ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO, also participated. The panel examined the shift towards precision medicine in clinical trials and discussed trial designs, profiling patients for trials, and new clinical trial opportunities, such as ASCO’s Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study, the Society’s first-ever clinical trial.

The meeting included breakout sessions, during which participants engaged with one another to discuss strategies for effectively managing difficult aspects of conducting research in a community setting. Attendees shared ideas and experiences on topics such as building clinical trial menus, education and awareness, contract negotiations, financial concerns, and assessing the quality of research programs.

Nearly 20 attendees at this year’s meeting received a travel stipend award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO’s Mission Endowment Fund.

In addition to holding its Annual Meeting each year, the CRF has released several online tools and resources to help community-based cancer research sites conduct and manage their research programs efficiently and effectively. These tools include the ASCO Research Program Quality Assessment Tool, the ASCO Clinical Trial Workload Assessment Tool, and an online repository of resources.

Visit the CRF website for more information about these resources, other CRF initiatives, and updates and registration information for the next CRF Annual Meeting, which will be held in fall 2016.

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