Quantifying data management and regulatory workload for clinical research is a difficult task that would benefit from a robust tool to assess and allocate effort. As in most clinical research environments, The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) Clinical Trials Office (CTO) struggled to effectively allocate data management and regulatory time with frequently inaccurate estimates of how much time was required to complete the specific tasks performed by each role. In a dynamic clinical research environment in which volume and intensity of work ebbs and flows, determining requisite effort to meet study objectives was challenging. In addition, a data-driven understanding of how much staff time was required to complete a clinical trial was desired to ensure accurate trial budget development and effective cost recovery. Accordingly, the UMCCC CTO developed and implemented a Web-based effort-tracking application with the goal of determining the true costs of data management and regulatory staff effort in clinical trials. This tool was developed, implemented, and refined over a 3-year period. This article describes the process improvement and subsequent leveling of workload within data management and regulatory that enhanced the efficiency of UMCCC's clinical trials operation.
Pam James, Patty Bebee, Linda Beekman, David Browning, Mathew Innes, Jeannie Kain, Theresa Royce-Westcott and Marcy Waldinger
Pam James, Patricia Bebee, Linda Beekman, David Browning, Mathew Innes, Jeannie Kain, Theresa Royce Westcott and Marcy Waldinger
Clinical trials operations struggle to achieve optimal distribution of workload in a dynamic data management and regulatory environment, and to achieve adequate cost recovery for personnel costs. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center developed and implemented an effort tracking application to quantify data management and regulatory workload to more effectively assess and allocate work while improving charge capture. Staff recorded how much time they spend each day performing specific study-related and general office tasks. Aggregated data on staff use of the application from 2006 through 2009 were analyzed to gain a better understanding of what trial characteristics require the most data management and regulatory effort. Analysis revealed 4 major determinants of staff effort: 1) study volume (actual accrual), 2) study accrual rate, 3) study enrollment status, and 4) study sponsor type. Effort tracking also confirms that trials that accrued at a faster rate used fewer resources on a per-patient basis than slow-accruing trials. In general, industry-sponsored trials required the most data management and regulatory support, outweighing other sponsor types. Although it is widely assumed that most data management efforts are expended while a trial is actively accruing, the authors learned that 25% to 30% of a data manager's effort is expended while the study is either not yet open or closed to enrollment. Through the use of a data-driven effort tracking tool, clinical research operations can more efficiently allocate workload and ensure that study budgets are negotiated to adequately cover study-related expenses.
William Bensinger, Mark Schubert, Kie-Kian Ang, David Brizel, Elizabeth Brown, June G. Eilers, Linda Elting, Bharat B. Mittal, Mark A. Schattner, Ricardo Spielberger, Nathaniel S. Treister and Andy M. Trotti III
Oral mucositis (OM) has emerged as a common cause of dose delays and interruptions of cancer therapies such as multicycle chemotherapy, myeloablative chemotherapy, and radiotherapy with or without concurrent chemotherapy of head and neck cancer. Research into both preventive and management strategies has lagged behind research into the common cancer treatment–related morbidities of nausea, vomiting, and cytopenias. This disparity is related to the complex risk assessment of multifactorial patient and treatment factors and different techniques of rating mucositis. In addition, relatively few clinical trials have focused on mucositis as a specific outcome. Currently, the only effective preventive strategies include the use of palifermin to prevent OM in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and oral cryotherapy used in conjunction with bolus 5-FU, melphalan, or edatrexate. For the most part, managing OM relies on supportive care and symptom palliation. However, OM is a common problem associated with significant patient morbidity and increased resource use. The magnitude of the problem demands innovative approaches based on expert judgment as evidence accumulates to support specific recommendations. To improve this situation, the NCCN convened a multidisciplinary task force to address key issues. This report integrates expert judgment with a review of key literature on risk assessment, prevention, and treatment strategies, and provides recommendations for the overall management of OM. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 1]:S1–S21)
Robert A. Figlin, Elizabeth Brown, Andrew J. Armstrong, Wallace Akerley, Al B. Benson III, Harold J. Burstein, David S. Ettinger, Phillip G. Febbo, Matthew G. Fury, Gary R. Hudes, Merrill S. Kies, Eunice L. Kwak, Robert J. Morgan Jr., Joanne Mortimer, Karen Reckamp, Alan P. Venook, Frank Worden and Yun Yen
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein complex functions as an integration center for various intracellular signaling pathways involving cell cycle progression, proliferation, and angiogenesis. These pathways are frequently dysregulated in cancer, and therefore mTOR inhibition is a potentially important antitumor target. Commercially available mTOR inhibitors include rapamycin (i.e., sirolimus) and temsirolimus. Other agents under investigation include everolimus and deforolimus. mTOR inhibition has been studied in various solid tumors, including breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal, prostate, lung, and head and neck cancers. Studies have focused on mTOR inhibition as a monotherapy or in combination with other drugs based on the principle that inhibiting as many targets as possible reduces the emergence of drug resistance. Temsirolimus is currently the only mTOR inhibitor that is specifically labeled for treatment of solid tumors. However, preclinical studies and early-phase trials are rapidly evolving. Additionally, research is further defining the complicated mTOR pathways and how they may be disordered in specific malignancies. To address these issues, NCCN convened a task force to review the underlying physiology of mTOR and related cellular pathways, and to review the current status of research of mTOR inhibition in solid tumors. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 5]:S1—S20)
Donald A. Podoloff, Ranjana H. Advani, Craig Allred, Al B. Benson III, Elizabeth Brown, Harold J. Burstein, Robert W. Carlson, R. Edward Coleman, Myron S. Czuczman, Dominique Delbeke, Stephen B. Edge, David S. Ettinger, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Bruce E. Hillner, John M. Hoffman, Krystyna Kiel, Ritsuko Komaki, Steven M. Larson, David A. Mankoff, Kenneth E. Rosenzweig, John M. Skibber, Joachim Yahalom, JQ Michael Yu and Andrew D. Zelenetz
The use of positron emission tomography (PET) is increasing rapidly in the United States, with the most common use of PET scanning related to oncology. It is especially useful in the staging and management of lymphoma, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer, according to a panel of expert radiologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, medical oncologists, and general internists convened in November 2006 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The Task Force was charged with reviewing existing data and developing clinical recommendations for the use of PET scans in the evaluation and management of breast cancer, colon cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and lymphoma. This report summarizes the proceedings of this meeting, including discussions of the background of PET, possible future developments, and the role of PET in oncology. (JNCCN 2007;5(Suppl 1):S1–S22)
Patrick Brown, Hiroto Inaba, Colleen Annesley, Jill Beck, Susan Colace, Mari Dallas, Kenneth DeSantes, Kara Kelly, Carrie Kitko, Norman Lacayo, Nicole Larrier, Luke Maese, Kris Mahadeo, Ronica Nanda, Valentina Nardi, Vilmarie Rodriguez, Jenna Rossoff, Laura Schuettpelz, Lewis Silverman, Jessica Sun, Weili Sun, David Teachey, Victor Wong, Gregory Yanik, Alyse Johnson-Chilla and Ndiya Ogba
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common pediatric malignancy. Advancements in technology that enhance our understanding of the biology of the disease, risk-adapted therapy, and enhanced supportive care have contributed to improved survival rates. However, additional clinical management is needed to improve outcomes for patients classified as high risk at presentation (eg, T-ALL, infant ALL) and who experience relapse. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for pediatric ALL provide recommendations on the workup, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of the disease, including guidance on supportive care, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and pharmacogenomics. This portion of the NCCN Guidelines focuses on the frontline and relapsed/refractory management of pediatric ALL.
Louis Burt Nabors, Jana Portnow, Mario Ammirati, Henry Brem, Paul Brown, Nicholas Butowski, Marc C. Chamberlain, Lisa M. DeAngelis, Robert A. Fenstermaker, Allan Friedman, Mark R. Gilbert, Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, Deneen Hesser, Matthias Holdhoff, Larry Junck, Ronald Lawson, Jay S. Loeffler, Paul L. Moots, Maciej M. Mrugala, Herbert B. Newton, Jeffrey J. Raizer, Lawrence Recht, Nicole Shonka, Dennis C. Shrieve, Allen K. Sills Jr, Lode J. Swinnen, David Tran, Nam Tran, Frank D. Vrionis, Patrick Yung Wen, Nicole R. McMillian and Maria Ho
The NCCN Guidelines for Central Nervous System Cancers provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the clinical management of patients with cancers of the central nervous system. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight recent updates regarding the management of metastatic brain tumors using radiation therapy. Use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is no longer limited to patients with 3 or fewer lesions, because data suggest that total disease burden, rather than number of lesions, is predictive of survival benefits associated with the technique. SRS is increasingly becoming an integral part of management of patients with controlled, low-volume brain metastases.
Louis Burt Nabors, Jana Portnow, Mario Ammirati, Joachim Baehring, Henry Brem, Paul Brown, Nicholas Butowski, Marc C. Chamberlain, Robert A. Fenstermaker, Allan Friedman, Mark R. Gilbert, Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, Matthias Holdhoff, Larry Junck, Thomas Kaley, Ronald Lawson, Jay S. Loeffler, Mary P. Lovely, Paul L. Moots, Maciej M. Mrugala, Herbert B. Newton, Ian Parney, Jeffrey J. Raizer, Lawrence Recht, Nicole Shonka, Dennis C. Shrieve, Allen K. Sills Jr, Lode J. Swinnen, David Tran, Nam Tran, Frank D. Vrionis, Stephanie Weiss, Patrick Yung Wen, Nicole McMillian and Anita M. Engh
The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Central Nervous System (CNS) Cancers provide interdisciplinary recommendations for managing adult CNS cancers. Primary and metastatic brain tumors are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with varied outcomes and management strategies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the NCCN CNS Cancers Panel's discussion and highlight notable changes in the 2015 update. This article outlines the data and provides insight into panel decisions regarding adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy treatment options for high-risk newly diagnosed low-grade gliomas and glioblastomas. Additionally, it describes the panel's assessment of new data and the ongoing debate regarding the use of alternating electric field therapy for high-grade gliomas.