Yale Cancer Center named lead site by the National Cancer Institute in new National Clinical Trials Network

Contact: Vicky Agnew (203) 785-7001

New Haven, CT (March 31, 2014) – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has named Yale Cancer Center a lead site in a new clinical trials research network dedicated to improving treatment for the more than 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year. The new system, called the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), is a network of clinical trial operations and statistical centers as well as up to 30 cancer centers. The participating cancer centers will function as lead academic sites to provide scientific leadership and expand the reach of the network.

“Clinical trials are the primary way advances in cancer treatment are made for cancer patients.  Yale Cancer Center is gratified to join the NCTN since collaborating with other leading cancer centers will help us all deliver breakthroughs more quickly,” said Howard Hochster, MD, professor of Medical Oncology and associate director for clinical sciences at Yale Cancer Center. “We’re committed to bringing the best clinical and translational science from Yale to the group and using these collaborations to help lead the next generation of clinical trials to the national stage.”

One hundred clinical trials for multiple types of cancer are available to patients of Smilow Cancer Hospital and affiliated Care Centers. The growing portfolio of trials includes Phase I trials, which are the critical first step in testing new cancer drugs in patients. Patients should discuss with their physician whether they are eligible for a clinical trial.

The goals of the NCTN, which will focus on late-phase clinical trials, include:

  • Improving the speed and efficiency of the design, launch, and conduct of clinical trials
  • Making optimal use of scientific innovations
  • Improving selection, prioritization, support, and completion of clinical trials
  • Fostering expanded participation of both patients and physicians

“The new network represents an unmatched effort to integrate and streamline the process of cancer clinical trials research,” said James Doroshow, MD, deputy director for clinical and translational research at NCI. “The conduct of NCI-supported trials, which are publicly funded, involves a complex system of designing, reviewing, and initiating studies. The new NCTN replaces a structure that was more than 55 years old.”


Yale Cancer Center (YCC) is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only such center in Connecticut. Comprehensive cancer centers play a vital role in the advancement of the NCI’s goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer through scientific research, cancer prevention, and innovative cancer treatment. www.yalecancercenter.org

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven is part of the nationally recognized Yale-New Haven Hospital, and is affiliated with Yale Cancer Center. Smilow Cancer Hospital, t he most comprehensive cancer facility in New England, is a 14-story, 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital, which includes 168 private inpatient rooms, outpatient multidisciplinary treatment centers, 12 operating rooms, infusion suites, diagnostic imaging services, a floor for children with cancer, a specialized women's cancer center and diagnostic and therapeutic radiology services for children and adults. YNHH’s York Street campus and associated ambulatory sites are Magnet-designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. www.ynhh.org/smilow .

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.



This article was submitted by Renee Elizabeth Gaudette on March 31, 2014.