IOM: Cancer research needs new focus

Improved treatments for cancer will be delayed and patient lives will be lost unnecessarily unless the efficiency and effectiveness of the clinical trials system improves, a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concludes.

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program asked the IOM to assess the state of cancer clinical trials and provide advice on improvements. The IOM recommends changes to transform the Cooperative Group Program into a dynamic system that efficiently responds to emerging scientific knowledge; involves broad cooperation of stakeholders; and leverages evolving technologies to provide high-quality, practice-changing research. Four overarching goals should guide improvement efforts:

  • Improving the speed and efficiency of the design, launch, and conduct of clinical trials
  • Making optimal use of scientific innovations
  • Improving selection, prioritization, support, and completion of clinical trials
  • Fostering expanded participation of both patients and physicians

For more on the report go to: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010.