For Immediate Release April 25, 2019


Karen Warmkessel:

UMGCCC Recognized by Major Research Group within the National Cancer Institute National Clinical Trials Network

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) has been recognized by NRG Oncology, a major research group within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network, as one of its top "main member" sites worldwide to enroll patients in clinical trials in 2018.

Many of these multi-institutional trials involve radiation therapy, and UMGCCC's No. 6 ranking on NRG Oncology's list of "top accruing main member sites" is due to the efforts of physicians in the University of Maryland Department of Radiation Oncology, led by William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO. Patients recruited to take part in clinical trials for a variety of cancers were not only from UMGCCC, but also the department's community-based practices and affiliated cancer centers within the University of Maryland Cancer Network.

"This is a remarkable achievement – one that has no doubt improved the lives of the cancer patients that we care for every day and ultimately many patients around the world," says Dr. Regine, the Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Endowed Chair and professor of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and chief of radiation oncology at UMGCCC. "I'm very proud of our clinical research program led by Dr. Mark Mishra and the great efforts of our staff, who are committed to making a difference in the lives of not only our patients, but of many patients worldwide."

Clinical trials afford patients an opportunity to receive potentially effective new treatments that are still under investigation and not yet commercially available. NRG Oncology's list of top "main member" sites includes 10 other institutions in the United States, Korea and Canada. There are more than 140 "main member" institutions within the research group.

Mark V. Mishra, MD, an associate professor of radiation oncology and director of radiation oncology clinical research at UMSOM, who treats patients at UMGCCC and the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, says, "NRG Oncology conducts practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical trials resulting in improved survival and quality of life of patients with cancer."

"Our top ranking for 2018 builds on positive changes we have made in research infrastructure, technologies, expanded staffing and support, and physician outreach across the University of Maryland Cancer Network over the last three years," Dr. Mishra says. "Patients can take part in clinical trials available at our NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center but don't need to come downtown for treatment. They can be treated closer to home at our affiliated cancer centers.” Dr. Mishra notes that nearly half of the 27 patients enrolled in these NRG Oncology clinical trials last year came from a UMGCCC-affiliated practice.

They include cancer centers at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson; University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie; and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air as well as Central Maryland Radiation Oncology in Columbia in Howard County and the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore.

Dr. Mishra adds that UMSOM faculty members have co-authored at least 10 articles in major medical journals, such as The Lancet and JAMA Oncology, in the last three years as a result of their research conducted through NRG Oncology and the former Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), which is now part of NRG Oncology. NRG Oncology also includes two other former research groups – the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). It is one of five U.S. research groups in the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN).

About the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. The center is a joint entity of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). It offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types of cancer and has an active cancer research program. It is ranked among the top cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


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