Department of Surgery
Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)
The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) was one of the first cooperative groups to perform multi-center, prospective cancer clinical trials, with primary supervision and funding by the National Cancer Institute. Designed to answer scientific questions, ECOG has evolved into 23 primary institutions with several hundred affiliated institutions through the Cooperative Group Outreach Program (CGOP) or the Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOPs).
The CWRU Program consists of a consortium between MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals System, with four CGOPs at Akron City Hospital, Aultman Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, and Humility of Mary Health Partners. Our program has been continuously funded for 31 years with a of $2.7 million grant that runs through April 2010. Upon the retirement of Dr. Edward G. Mansour in early 2005, Dr. Bruce J. Averbook, Division of Surgical Oncology, was elected by the ECOG leadership as the Principal Investigator of the program.
Dr. Averbook and Dr. Jean Stevenson, both in the division of Surgical Oncology, work closely with medical oncologists in educating patients about enrollment in ECOG clinical trials. This team approach plays a pivotol role in patient enrollment and conducting protocols, and is very important to the program's success.
Currently, ECOG has more than 90 active clinical trials, distributed among 16 committees. These trials include brain tumor, breast, gynecological, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, head and neck, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, myeloma, sarcoma, thoracic, health behavior and practice, lab science and pathology, prevention, and symptom management.
Examples of ECOG clinical trials that have changed or improved cancer treatment methods include:
- The role of adjuvant therapy in node negative breast cancer
- An effective chemotherapy regimen in acute promyelocytic leukemia
- A less toxic regimen for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
- The ineffectiveness of intensive bone marrow transplant in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer
- An effective treatment program involving chemotherapy and radiation for early lung cancer