There are now 10 organized cancer cooperative research groups, composed of 14,000 investigators—making for a fierce competition for study subjects.
“They only accrue 25,000 patients a year,” said Dr. Schuller, a co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Head and Neck Steering Committee. “And so we have a bunch of physicians that are bumping into one another that are waiting for the next patient to be approved to a trial.” When it comes to more uncommon malignancies, the problem is worse, he said.
But, he said, “there are also possible solutions. It’s not that this has been an unrecognized problem.”