The ICORG membership has grown steadily since its inaugral roster of 32 back in October 1996 and is now 126. The recent growth has been due mainly to the addition of members from north of the border.
Following discussions with the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) in the early part of 2000, and representations made to the board on ICORGs behalf by John Crown, John Armstrong and John Kennedy the board of the society have decided to increase the ICORG central office annual funding substantially. The executive of ICORG are very grateful to the ICS for this essential support.
This study is an indication of what Irish investigators can achieve when they work together. It will be a unique achievement when completed in the final quarter of 2001. It will be an Irish designed study set up to answer an important clinical question fully completed in Ireland. In November of this year it enrolled its 200 patient, the target of 260 patients will be reached in the fourth quarter or earlier.
During the week of the 6th of November the 100th Irish Patient was enrolled into the B.I.G. node positive study. This is the first time that a multi-national oncology study has accrued 100 Irish patients and must auger well for the future of ICORG and oncology clinical research in Ireland. This achievement is all the more important in light of the fact that this is the first multi-national study that is co-chaired by ICORG. It will help strengthen the ICORG negotiation position when discussing future key projects with companies or collaborative groups. Study has been extended to 2700 patients (ending May 2001 approx.) Ireland has one of the best accrual rates in Europe. SVUH 2nd highest accruing site out of 188 sites worldwide.
ASCO abstracts (99 – Lung, 00 – 2 NHL)
ICORG is very proud to announce that the 97-03 lung study was chosen to be presented in poster format at ASCO 1999 in Atlanta, this is a considerable achievement in view of the fact that less than 100 abstracts were chosen out of a total of more than 600 submissions.
In line with the growth in the quantity of oncology clinical research in Ireland in the last two years, the number of active sites, the number of protocols open and the number of patients accrued on to these studies there have been a number of new research co-ordinator’s appointed.
The ICORG central office have been involved to lesser or greater extent in 5 IMB audits, the most common errors found can be discussed with the ICORG central office. All audits were passed without critical findings.
An extensive list of the most common errors will be posted on the site in the near future.
Two ICORG sites past Irish Medicines Board audit: There is a new initiative by the Irish Medicines Board to audit a percentage of the most active Irish investigators each year. This started in 1999. Two ICORG study sites were chosen for review in the first year. The audit possibility has always been available to the Irish Medicines Board in the past but for a variety of reasons has not been enforced prior to 1999.
ICORG will be continuing its key role in the expansion of Oncology clinical research in Ireland next year through a variety of initiatives. These will include a research nurse training week in March. 13 new studies are currently planned with more than 10 others under consideration. 4 ICORG Irish study set up meetings are planned for January and February, to follow on from the successful one held in December for the prostate study. In general ICORG will be bringing enough sponsored studies to the many active centres to ensure that many if not all of the centres can expand their research nurse resource. There are also initiatives planned in the areas of patient advocacy and fund raising. Most of these moves will be advertised both on the web site and in the medical press.