The National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has played an integral role in cancer research and in establishing the standard of care for cancer patients for more than 50 years. Formerly known as the NCI Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, the NCTN is comprised of more than 2,100 institutions and 14,000 investigators, who enroll more than 20,000 cancer patients in clinical trials each year across the United States and internationally.
Recognizing the recent transformative advances in cancer research that necessitate modernization in how cancer clinical trials are run, as well as inefficiencies and other challenges impeding the national cancer clinical trials program, the NCI asked the IOM to develop a set of recommendations to improve the federally funded cancer clinical trials system. These recommendations were published in the 2010 report, A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program.
In early 2011, the NCPF and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held a workshop in which stakeholders discussed the changes they planned to implement in response to the IOM goals and recommendations. Two years later, on February 11-12, 2013, in Washington, DC, the NCPF and ASCO reconvened stakeholders to report on the changes they have made thus far to address the IOM recommendations. At this workshop, representatives from the NCI, the NCTN, comprehensive cancer centers, patient advocacy groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), industry, and other stakeholders highlighted the progress that has been made in achieving the goals for a reinvigorated national cancer clinical trials system. Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century is a summary of that workshop.