The broad-based group includes representatives from industry; professional associations, including ASCO; and institutions involved in clinical research. In June 2005, after a year of development, the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) National Cancer Advisory Board accepted a plan to restructure the NCI clinical trials system. The plan was developed by the Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) under the leadership of James H. Doroshow, MD, director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnostics.

Doroshow pointed out, accruing patients faster is essential to increasing the speed with which trials are completed and getting new therapies into the community. Some of the recommendations aimed at improving scientific quality, such as credentialing and speeding patient accrual, have some community oncologists concerned about their ability to commit resources to the training they may need to do for their staffs and their ability to accrue more patients.Soon, oncologists will begin to see how many of these recommendations will be implemented. The entire plan is projected to be complete in 2009 or 2010, with the majority of initiatives implemented by 2008.

The recommendation led to an idea of a formation that will facilitate community oncologists’ involvement, including efforts to increase community oncologist involvement in clinical trial design, establishing the network of scientific steering committees.