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Fox Chase Cancer Center to Consult in the Formation of Clinical Trials Relationship; Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the National Cancer Institute to Form Group

PHILADELPHIA (May 1, 2001) -- Fox Chase Cancer Center's vice president for hospital and medical science administration, James Lynch, will address chief executives of academic teaching hospitals and health boards from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland regarding the formation of a clinical trials consortium. Lynch was invited by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Health Research Board of Ireland to present the Fox Chase model for a consortium during the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium meeting May 2, 2001 in Dublin, Ireland.

According to the Ireland-Northern Ireland-National Cancer Institute Cancer Consortium (www.allirelandnci.org), the opportunity to establish a coordinated approach came from the Memorandum of Understanding on Cancer signed in October 1999 by the Minister for Health and Children of Ireland, the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety of Northern Ireland and the Director of the (NCI). The Memorandum establishes a multilateral partnership to continue and intensify cooperation that will lead to improved scientific programs within the areas of cancer epidemiology, prevention, surveillance, early detection, treatment, clinical research, quality control, education and training, information collection and dissemination. These interactions are aimed at enhanced public health and patient care.

Recognizing the importance of clinical trials in improving patient care and the opportunities provided under the Memorandum, the Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland, and the Research and Development Office of Northern Ireland, proposed to the Board of the Consortium in October 2000 that an investment be made to build the capacity to participate in clinical trials in hospitals treating cancer patients on the island of Ireland.

The proposal envisaged that healthcare centers, using the National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group model, create an all-island capacity to participate in both local and international clinical trials under a reorganized and strengthened Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG).

Funding is now being made available to enable a competitive call for proposals from hospitals in Ireland to develop, build and enhance the capacity of hospitals with significant cancer services to conduct high-quality clinical trials of cancer therapies. The stated aim is to participate through a reconstituted ICORG in all-island clinical trials.

"The goal is for top academic centers and hospitals to lead the clinical trials effort," explained Lynch. "One key to carry out this plan successfully is to involve all the hospitals on the island, which can be done by setting up a network. My role is to introduce Fox Chase Cancer Center's network, which is a successful model that can be adapted to achieve their goals, and to describe the hospital resources needed to support a clinical research program.

"I'm glad to be a part of this undertaking. The mission of Fox Chase is to reduce the burden of cancer. Healthcare should know no political boundaries," said Lynch.

The Fox Chase Network (FCN), is a select group of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey linked with Fox Chase Cancer Center. This affiliation enables community cancer centers to develop or enhance community-based oncology programs. As part of the affiliation, medical staffs at Network hospitals have access to a Protocol Information Management System database created by Fox Chase to provide up-to-date information on a wide range of treatment options for their patients. Fox Chase and its affiliates have also joined forces in research, treatment, prevention and education efforts and work together to increase enrollment in clinical trials.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at www.fccc.edu.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

Media inquiries only, please contact Diana Quattrone at 215-728-7784.

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