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$4 million NCI grant funds comparative effectiveness research at Southwest Oncology Group
Date:10/15/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A $4 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant will help position the Southwest Oncology Group, one of the largest NCI-funded clinical trial cooperative groups, as a national leader in comparative effectiveness research on cancer.

The Grand Opportunities (GO) award supports the development of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research in Cancer Genomics, or CANCERGEN, under the direction of Scott Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Researchers at the University of Washington, Cancer Research And Biostatistics (CRAB) in Seattle, and the Center for Medical Technology Policy in Baltimore will co-lead the effort.

CANCERGEN will create a comprehensive process to evaluate emerging cancer genomics technologies and identify those that are most promising. The University of Michigan-based Southwest Oncology Group, or SWOG, will use this process to help it select and launch those clinical trials that will have the greatest impact.

"CANCERGEN will provide us objective tools to determine which proposed trials are most likely to have a significant clinical benefit for patients," says SWOG Group Chair Laurence H. Baker, D.O., "and we will commit to doing only those trials that meet this new standard."

Comparative effectiveness research, or CER, has gained national attention and a surge of federal stimulus funding because it is seen as a means of slowing the growth of runaway health care costs in the U.S. by moving the system away from expensive but marginally effective treatments.

A recent Institute of Medicine report on comparative effectiveness research has influenced many of the health care reform proposals now wending their way through the U.S Congress.

"Realizing [CANCERGEN's] vision will go a long way to help achieve the health care reform goal of making cancer treatment more effective and less expensive," says the Hutchinson's Ramsey.

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Contact: Frank DeSanto
fdesanto@umich.edu
734-998-0114
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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