Alliance for Clinical trials in oncology Foundation
special projects allocation

The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation (Alliance Foundation) supports research proposals focused on addressing high priority research areas, defined during the Alliance 2023 Scientific Strategic Retreat.

Background - Every two years, Alliance leaders participate in a scientific strategic retreat, during which research priorities are defined. The goal of these priorities is to focus innovation by Alliance scientific committees on strategic areas, with the expectation that attention to these priorities will challenge researchers to accelerate the development of new treatments, cancer control approaches, and cancer care delivery results. These strategic priorities generally focus on fostering engagement of new disciplines or technologies relevant to Alliance research, or upon work to improve the design and implementation of Alliance clinical trials. Our goal is to identify discrete research projects that directly address one or more of these strategic priorities. Current Alliance Strategic Priorities announced in January 2023 are to:

Improve Operational and Trial Conduct Efficiencies

  • Eliminate burden at all levels (site, patient, NCTN) to improve operational efficiency
  • Reduce site burden through EHR based clinical research data transmission
  • Scientific validation of streamlined data collection
  • Expand implementation science, including de-implemenation

Encourage Biomarker-Based Discovery

  • Use annotated banked biospecimens, data, images, or novel methods to discover and/or develop promising biomarkers
  • Generate pilot data towards new clinical research and funding opportunities
  • Support novel study designs that include biomarkers

Eliminate Inequities/Deliver Optimal Care

  • Improve inclusion and data collection from under-represented populations, such as by race/ethnicity or rural versus urban
  • Utilize/develop/validate novel methods to support inclusion of diverse populations in research such as telehealth, electronic personalized system, participant navigation

Current Award Recipients

Priority #1 - Improve Operational and Trial Conduct Efficiencies
Scientific Review Coordinator - Isabelle Bedrosian, MD
Principal Investigator and Director, Alliance Procedure-Based Therapy Program

“Obtaining mCODE Structured Data Elements in Alliance Clinical Trials Using Electronic Health Record Based Tools”
Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Amye Tevaarwek, MD, Mayo Clinic
Hamid Emamekhoo, MD, University of Wisconsin

“Development of Infrastructure to Support Accurate and De-Identified Biomarker-Based Discovery, an Alliance TRP & SDMC Collaboration”
Nicholas B. Larson, PhD, MS, Mayo Clinic
Kristina Laumann, Alliance Statistics and Data Management Center

Priority #2 - Encourage Biomarker-Based Discovery
Scientific Review Coordinator - Mark Watson, MD, PhD
Chair, Alliance Biorepository Committee

“Predicting Response to Chemotherapy and Recurrence Risk from Breast Cancer Histology”
Frederick Howard, MD, University of Chicago
Alexander T. Pearson, MD, PhD, University of Chicago
Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, University of Chicago
Rita Nanda, MD, University of Chicago
Charles Perou, PhD, University of North Carolina
Galina Khramtsova, MD, PhD, University of Chicago

“Validation of the Sensitivity to Endocrine Therapy (SET-ER/PR) Index To Predict Survival Benefit From Paclitaxel Versus Anthracycline as Dose-dense Chemotherapy in CALGB 40101”
W. Fraser Symmans, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Otto Metzger, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Karla Ballman, PhD, Mayo Clinic

Priority #3 - Eliminate Inequities / Deliver Optimal Care
Scientific Review Coordinator - Electra D. Paskett, PhD
Principal Investigator and Director
Alliance Cancer Control Program

“Eliminating Inequities and Delivering Optimal Care within the Alliance”
Marie E. Wood, MD, University of Colorado
Aminah Jatoi, MD - Mayo Clinic
Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD - Georgetown University
John Leonard, MD - NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center
Niveditha Subbiah, LLM, MA - Alliance Cancer Control Program
Jill Oliveri, DrPH - The Ohio State University

Past Award Recipients


  • Proposal: "Fostering Diversity in Investigators and Accrual Within the Alliance"
    Marie E. Wood, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
    John P. Leonard, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College
    Aminah Jatoi, MD, Mayo Clinic
    Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, PhD, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center

  • Proposal: "Differential Effects of Social Disadvantage on Patient Outcomes in Gastrointestinal Clinical Trials"
    Rebecca A. Snyder, MD, MPH, FACS, FSSO, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

  • Proposal: "The Alliance Participant Engagement Portal (PEP)"
    Suzanne George, MD, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology

  • Proposal: "Enhancing SDMC Clinical Trial Infrastructure to Improve Efficiency and Consistency in Alliance Trials"
    Ann L. Oberg, MD, Alliance Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics

  • Proposal: "Value of De-escalation of Immunotherapy in Early Stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: OptimICE-pCR"
    Fabrice Smieliauskas, MD, Wayne State University
    Stephen Edge, MD, FACS, FASCO, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center


  • Alvaro J. Alencar, MD, University of Miami: "Health disparities in lymphoma: Analysis of a critical and often overlooked prognostic marker"
  • James L. Chen, MD, Ohio State University: "Alliance Harmonized and Unified Biodashboard (HUB) Initiative"
  • Wendy L. Frankel, MD, Ohio State University: "Automatic detection of tumor buds in colorectal cancer patients from H&E images"
  • Andrew Hantel, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Development and piloting of a novel provider feedback intervention to improve clinical trial and biobank enrolment diversity"
  • Maryam B. Lustberg, MD, MPH, Ohio State University: "PIN ALLIANCE: Power in numbers using harmonized GWAS and toxicity data"


  • Ya-Chen Tina Shih, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Tina W. F. Yen, MD, MS, Medical College of Wisconsin: "The effect of preoperative breast MRI on costs among women with breast cancer: an economic analysis of Alliance A011104"
  • Terrance M. Williams, MD, PhD, and David P. Carbone, MD, PhD, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center: "T cell receptor sequencing to predict responders and nonresponders to chemoradiation and atezolizumab for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer"
  • Federico Innocenti, MD, PhD, and Naim Rashid, PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: "Machine learning prognostic and predictive analyses for metastatic colorectal cancer – C80405"
  • Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Michigan and David Zahrieh, PhD, Mayo Clinic: "Patient-targeted ePRO educational resource (ePRO-E) to increase ePRO uptake within Alliance clinical trials"
  • Sumithra Mandrekar, PhD, Mayo Clinic and David E. Kozono, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital: "Streamlining tumor response criteria using iRECIST in Alliance immune-oncology trials"