News Release:

Jun. 23,  2010

Emory Earns Full Membership in Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

News Article ImageRadiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) is one of nine National Cancer Institute-supported cancer cooperative groups conducting large multi-center cancer clinical trials in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) has awarded full membership status to Emory University, through the Department of Radiation Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine. RTOG is one of nine National Cancer Institute-supported cancer cooperative groups conducting large multi-center cancer clinical trials in the United States, Canada and elsewhere. RTOG has been continuously funded by the NCI for over forty years, and Emory joins 28 American and seven Canadian institutions who currently constitute the group's full member roster.

Emory is the first institution in the United States in more than in three years to earn full membership in RTOG. In the Southeast, only Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the University of Alabama at Birmingham hold full membership status in RTOG. Both facilities are NCI-designated cancer centers.

"Emory and its affiliated hospitals earned this designation in less than two years, which speaks to the focus and dedication of our research faculty and staff at the Winship Cancer Institute, Grady, Emory Midtown and the VA," says Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, executive director of Winship and chair of Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology. "Full membership means our clinical trials data management meets and exceeds rigorous standards for the highest quality of care."

Full membership enables Emory and the Winship Cancer Institute to establish affiliate members across the United States and Canada. Affiliate members play an important role because clinical researchers are able to accrue patients from a wide geographic and demographic spectrum and more patients have an opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

"The benefit to patients is increased access to new investigational therapies and the absolute highest standard of care, which are established by the NCI and other federal agencies," says Curran, who was recently re-elected to serve as RTOG Group Chairman. "We will work with the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education to expand the availability of RTOG trials throughout the state of Georgia and beyond."

The RTOG is the lead American cancer cooperative group conducting large clinical trials for patients with brain tumors, tumors of the head and neck region, and prostate cancer. In addition, its clinical trial portfolio includes clinical trials for patients with cancers of the lung, gastrointestinal tract, breast, and gynecologic and genitourinary systems.

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