The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology will convene its 2018 Spring Group Meeting in Chicago May 10-12. Scientists, clinical research professionals, patient advocates and others interested in the latest developments in cancer research are expected to attend the four-day meeting at the Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel. Meeting attendees will select from nearly 100 disease, modality, administrative and special sessions to attend led by distinguished oncology researchers and clinical trial specialists from across the country. This meeting will showcase novel and innovative cancer control, prevention, and treatment trials that are conducted by investigators through a multidisciplinary academic and community research network, which is part of the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

Preview the MEETING SCHEDULE and REGISTER today.

New App: Just in time for the meeting, we’re happy to announce our new Alliance Meeting app for your mobile device! The new app allows you to stay up-to-date on session changes and meeting room assignments, connect with fellow attendees, and much more!  To get the app, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, search for “2018 Alliance Spring Meeting” and download it. Then create an account with the e-mail you registered with and a new password. Be sure to allow up to 30 minutes after registering for your account to link up with the app. 


Friday, May 11 | 10 am-12:30 pm


Welcome and Group Chair Announcements
Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, Alliance Group Chair
Richard L. Schilsky Cancer and Leukemia Group B Achievement Award and Charles G. Moertel Lecturer
Richard A. Larson, MD, University of Chicago
Meeting the Challenges of Cancer Clinical Trials Research: How Did We Get Here and What Do We Do Now?
Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, Alliance Group Chair
A Tribute to James F. Holland, MD and Jimmie C. Holland, MD
Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, Alliance Group Chair
Electra D. Paskett, PhD, Deputy Director and Principal Investigator, Alliance Cancer Control Program


The CRP Orientation Session (Wednesday, May 9 | 2 pm-6 pm) is for CRPs, data managers, nurses or others in their first 18 months of working with Alliance trials. Presenters will provide an overview of the Alliance organizational structure, protocol template, and data management, along with an eligibility check, information on RECIST/iRECIST and more.


The CTSU/CTMB Auditor Training Session (Thursday, May 10 | 1 pm-2:30 pm) is an open session for current Alliance auditors, anyone who may want to be an ad-hoc auditor for the Alliance within the next 18 months, or anyone who may want to learn more about the audit process. Current Alliance auditors who have received the training assignment through the CTSU/ Westat LMS can attend this session in lieu of completing the training online. After the session, auditors will be marked as complete for the required assignment within the LMS.

The auditor training session is the in-person equivalent of the mandatory computer-based training assigned to all Alliance auditors, including Alliance staff auditors, Alliance Audit Committee members, and current ad hoc auditors. The mandatory training is intended to provide a refresher on the CTMB Audit Guidelines, and deliver training on the new technology for audit preparation, conduct, and reporting.


The CRP Information Session (Thursday, May 10 | 3 pm-5 pm) will provide information to CRPs, data managers, and nurses regarding updates and resources from Alliance administrative, protocol, statistical and data center staff, along with CTSU updates. Attendees will also hear about a patient advocate perspective on clinical trials, writing a corrective action and prevention (CAPA) plan after an audit, and an update on the N1048 (PROSPECT) rectal cancer trial.


The CRP/Oncology Nursing Roundtables and Reception (Thursday, May 10 | 5pm-7 pm) will offer an interactive session where CRPs and oncology nurses can speak directly with staff or members from CTSU, the Alliance Statistics and Data Center, BioMS, CIRB, NCORP and Alliance Audit Committee at topic-specific tables. Other tables will feature topics on oncology nursing, CRP best practices, RCR and DTL implementation, regulatory issues and CTEP-AER submissions. This session will be ideal to ask questions, get ideas and share thoughts among colleagues and other sites.


The CRP Education Session (Friday, May 11 | 8 am-10 am) will offer presentations on how far breast cancer research has come in the past few years by Anna Weiss, MD, Alliance Executive Officer; Improving the Oncology Participant’s Experience by Tammy Neseth, MA, Mayo Clinic; and Alliance A221505 (A Phase III Randomized Trial of Hypofractionated Post Mastectomy Radiation with Breast Reconstruction) by Matthew Poppe, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute.


CRP Education Breakout Sessions (Friday, May 11 | 12:30 pm-1:30 pm and 1:30 pm-2:30pm)
Alliance Protocol Template - Presenters will discuss how Alliance protocols are set up, where to find specific information within the protocol document, and how a study calendar is organized.
RECIST/iRECIST - Scott H. Okuno, MD (Chair, Alliance Audit Committee) will provide valuable information on RECIST and iRECIST in the age of assessing immune response.
Nursing Orientation (only once 12:30 pm-1:30 pm) will provide an overview of insights into the role of nursing and clinical trial conduct, along with available
resources, from a panel of experienced nursing professionals.
IPEC: Everything You Want to Know (only once 1:30 pm-2:30 pm) will provide a detailed look at the Institutional Performance Evaluation Committee (IPEC) report, data submission requirements, how due dates are calculated and other helpful information within the report.


The Oncology Nursing Education Session (Friday, May 11 | 1:30 pm-2:30 pm) will feature a discussion led by Heidi Finnes, PharmD, BCOP (Chair, Alliance Pharmacy Committee) on new and upcoming agents that will be studied in Alliance trials.

The CRP and Oncology Nursing Open Forum (Friday, May 11 | 2:30- pm-3:30 pm) will offer insights and updates from Alliance leaders and an opportunity to discuss ongoing site challenges and potential solutions. Attendees will learn about recent committee initiatives to provide new resources for nurses and CRPs, along with ways to improve resource accessibility.


Clinical Trial Obstacles and Overcoming Them
Thursday, May 10, 1 pm- 2 pm






The Alliance New Investigators Panel will feature three esteemed investigators who will offer insight on how they developed Alliance clinical trials. Each investigator will present a brief presentation on obstacles faced when implementing clinical trials and how these challenged were addressed. Panelists will also participate in a question and answer session following the presentations. Moderator: Priya Kumthekar, MD, Alliance Executive Officer for Neuro-Oncology and Gastrointestinal (GI) Research, and panelists: Matthew P. Goetz, MD, Mayo Clinic; Michael J. Morris, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

The Value of Genetic Ancestry in Understanding Cancer Health Disparities
Friday, May 11 | 8 am-10 am

The Alliance Health Disparities Committee (chaired by Electra D. Paskett, PhD) will host this dynamic session that will examine disparities related to genetic ancestry. Speakers will include Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD, Harvard University, Chan School of Public Health; Beti Thompson, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center; Heather Hampel, MS, LGC, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Alice P. Chen, MD, National Cancer Institute. Topics will include the value of using ancestral information markers; the importance of self-reported race and ethnicity; insight into genetic testing and counseling in minority populations; and the NCI-MATCH clinical trial which utilizes information from the genetic testing of tumors to determine treatment. The session will also include an interactive panel discussion with these speakers, along with Alliance Patient Advocates Ivis Sampayo, Phyllis Pettit Nassi, MSW, and Coleen Crespo, MS (who organized the forum).

Alliance Foundation Trials (AFT) Sessions
AFT 25: COMET Investigator Meeting - Thursday, May 10 | 11 am - 1 pm
AFT 38/PATINA - Thursday, May 10 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
AFT 39/PRO-TECT - Thursday, May 10 | 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
AFT 25/CANVAS - Friday, May 11 | 9 am - 10 am
AFT 05/PALLAS - Friday, May 11 | 9 am - 10 am
AFT 19 - Friday, May 11 | 9 am - 10 am
AFT 27 - Friday, May 11 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
AFT 29 - Friday, May 11 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
AFT 16 - Friday, May 11 | 4:30 pm - 6 pm
AFT 41 - Friday, May 11 | 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
AFT 42 - Saturday, May 12 | 9 am - 10 am
AFT 32 - Saturday, May 12 | 10pm - 4:30 pm
AFT 9 - Saturday, May 12 | 10:30 am - 11 am

Alliance Poster Session and Reception
Friday, May 11 | 6 pm- 9 pm

This session will feature posters of all Alliance and AFT trials that are actively accruing patients, along with CRP/Oncology Nursing focused posters. The session will illustrate to all attendees the exciting work underway by Alliance researchers. These scientific poster presentations will be an integral part of the attendee experience.

Continuing Education Credits
SOCRA Credit -
A total of 95.5 credit hours will be offered, including concurrent sessions, at this meeting. To receive SOCRA credit, attendees must complete a required survey e-mailed to them after the meeting.
ACRP Credit - A total of 95.5 credit hours will be offered, including concurrent sessions, at this meeting. To receive ACRP credit, attendees must complete a required survey e-mailed to them after the meeting. The Alliance does not provide ACRP credit certificates, however individuals interested in receiving ACRP credit may submit a SOCRA credit certificate to ACRP for credit.
ONA Credit - A total of 7.67 contact hours have been submitted for approval. To receive ONA credit, attendees must complete a required survey e-mailed to them after the meeting.

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For other articles in this issue of the Alliance E-News newsletter, see below.