Guest Expert: Monica Bertagnolli, MD - Thoughts from the Group Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
Originally posted by: Anonymous on the former AccrualNet site on Feb 15, 2012.
We are fortunate this month to have Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as our Guest Expert. Dr. Bertagnolli, the Group Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, has long been an unwavering advocate for clinical trial teamwork. Despite her official position as leader or chair of many national efforts, she seems to always know what’s going on in the trenches and to be willing to pitch in at any level. After reading Dr. Bertagnolli's post below, please take this opportunity to give voice to YOUR thoughts!
THOUGHTS from THE GROUP CHAIR . . .
So much hard work goes into developing a cooperative group clinical trial – each requires many months of discussion and negotiation. The goal is to achieve the best possible data to address an important scientific question, one that will change for the better the way we manage patients with cancer. We try to design our studies well, paying attention to issues that make them difficult to execute. As a result, we continually balance important research needs, which often make trials more challenging, with a desire to keep studies simple to help lower cost and boost accrual.
For those of us who design clinical trials and work to find the funding that makes them possible, there is nothing more critical than speed of accrual. Slowly accruing studies often fail for that reason alone, and even if they ultimately reach their goals, slowly accruing studies cost more in the end. At a time where every single dollar is needed, the most important thing we can do to achieve more for our patients is to complete each trial as quickly as possible.
Particularly now, a small fraction of the studies desired by the cancer research community actually make it to the point of opening for patient accrual. As a result, each and every activated study is of great value. What an enormous lost opportunity when these studies fail to accrue quickly! Most important, each member of the clinical research team should understand what a tremendous contribution they can make by actively contributing to rapid study accrual.