Our History in RTOG

Our History in RTOG

Mercy Hospital, (now Regional Hospital of Scranton), began its involvement in RTOG (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group) through NOA (Radiation Medicine Associates of Scranton) in 1987.

After two years of active accrual, it became the first community-based hospital in the nation to be awarded full member status. Mercy and member hospitals were among a select group of 23 full members nationwide. Other full members included Albert Einstein Medical Center, The Mayo Clinic, the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University.

To maintain full member status, Regional was required to accrue at least 50 patients to RTOG studies.

Georgetown University, Desert Hospital in Desert Springs California, and Community Hospital of Indianapolis became affiliates of our institution for the purpose of participating in RTOG studies.

High data quality scores over the years have made Regional Hospital attractive to other institutes who are interested in becoming a member of RTOG. As a top accruer to RTOG chemoprevention studies, an audit was conducted to verify data by a representative of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and an observer from the National Cancer Institute.

Prior to full member status, institutes must first become an affiliate member with a parent institute to sponsor them. In 1997, the hospital became an affiliate. Our parent institution was the University of Pennsylvania. In 2003 the hospital became an affiliate of Thomas Jefferson, and in January 2005, we became a member of the Jefferson Cancer Network.

Currently enrolled to date: Over 800 patients to clinical trials. Top institution to accrue 137 patients to a Phase III prostate study (9202).

Participated in MammoSite Registry sponsored by Proxima Therapeutics Inc., being supervised by The American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Enrolled patients in a prospective, observational registry of the management of men with prostate cancer and a rising PSA following definitive surgical or radiological treatment of the primary tumors.

RTOG solicited our support to participate in the Quality of Life and Late Effects of Normal Tissue in Survivors of Head and Neck or Prostate Cancer research project. Evaluation on 219 patients provided data on the areas of continued problems due to treatment or disease.

We were pre-approved to participate in a trial of transrectal ultrasound guided permanent radio-active implantation of the prostate. A maximum of six patients per institution enrolled. Also approved: enrollment to a study of external beam radiation therapy combined with permanent source Brachytherapy for the prostate. A maximum of 12 patients registered.

In 2005 NROC was approved by the Radiological Physics Center for the use of IMRT for irradiating the prostate. The physicians of NOA have published 30 papers over 2 3 years regarding their clinical trials.

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) was initially organized in 1968 under the direction of Dr. Simon Kramer as a national clinical cooperative group for the purpose of conducting radiation therapy research and cooperative clinical investigations. Funding from the National Cancer Institute began in 1971.

Since its inception the Group has activated 460 protocols and accrued a total of about 90,000 patients to cooperative group studies.

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) is a multi-institutional cooperative organization of which the principal objectives include:

  • A national cancer study research group funded by NCI headquartered in Philadelphia with 35 years of experience in running clinical trials.
  • Comprised of over 300 of the major research institutions nationally and in Canada.
  • Currently have 40+ active studies that involve radiation therapy either alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs.
  • Interested in quality of life issues and their effects on the cancer patient.