Celebrating 10 Years of AACI’s CRI Meeting

CRI 2018 program coverOver on Twitter, we’ve been sharing facts and figures (plus a few snapshots) that showcase our annual Clinical Research Initiative Meeting through the years. From 83 attendees in 2009 to almost 400 this year, the meeting has seen rapid growth. 

As we gear up for this year’s meeting, let’s take a trip down memory lane…

  • Since 2009, AACI’s CRI has had four steering committee chairs: Dr. James Thomas (Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center), Dr. Tony Reid (UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center), Dr. Paul Martin (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) and Dr. Carrie Lee (UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center). Fun fact: Dr. Thomas is the only attendee who has registered for all 10 meetings! 
  • In 2011, 18 abstracts were submitted to the meeting. In 2018, that number has grown to 68. Check out this year’s abstracts.
  • The CRI Listserv gives AACI’s 98 member centers a platform to share resources & crowdsource best practices. The Listserv had 330 subscribers in 2012. Today, that number has grown to 637.
  • Last year’s program theme was “Moving Science Forward.” This year’s CRI meeting is all about “Leveraging Change to Advance Cures for Cancer Patients.”
  • Over 60 posters will be on display at this year’s meeting. Members can join us for a poster session from 6:00-6:30 pm on Wednesday, July 11. Posters 2015
  • To follow along with the sessions and share your own thoughts (and photos!), use the hashtag #CRI2018 throughout the meeting (July 11-12, Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel) and stay tuned for the rest of our #10yearsofCRI tweets today and tomorrow.
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Webinar Tackles Clinical Trial Management at Satellite Sites

AACI CRI logo

On Wednesday, June 6, AACI’s Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) hosted “Satellite Locations,” a webinar presented by Andrea Kruse, clinical trials network manager at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, and Cathy Hugney, RN, CCRP, regional oncology program manager at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. The discussion was moderated by Laurin Priddy, clinical research manager at Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The webinar followed from a lively discussion of the topic on the CRI Listserv, where staff from our 98 member centers crowd-source information from their peers on best practices. In fact, Priddy says she developed the “Satellite Locations” webinar as she solicited help from colleagues to deal with her own “growing pains” related to efforts to institute efficient satellite site communication and clinical trial portfolio expansion at her cancer center. Clearly a hot topic, the webinar attracted 190 registrants from 59 AACI cancer centers – more than half of our member centers.

In addition to Priddy’s wealth of experience, Kruse and Hugney brought their own specialized knowledge. Kruse oversees the research operations of Dana-Farber’s New England network, which consists of four satellite locations, three physician practices, and multiple community hospital partners. The goal of the network, Kruse says, is to increase patient access to high-quality oncology care in integrated community settings while offering access to cutting-edge therapies that are centralized at Dana-Farber’s main campus in Boston. For the past 40 years, Hugney has worked in various capacities at several Cleveland Clinic facilities. Since 2011, she has managed research at eight of its regional sites, including hospitals, family health centers, stand-alone cancer centers and, most recently, community outreach programs.

Kruse and Hugney covered a range of topics, from the structure of their main campus and satellite sites, to how studies are opened at regional sites, how budgets and monitoring visits are managed, and the ways drugs and live tissue samples are transported between locations for storage at the main campus.

A common theme linking the presentations was the role of technology in maintaining connections among primary sites and satellite locations. For instance, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center uses Skype to loop satellite staff into disease group meetings and other important discussions at the main campus and submits institutional review board applications electronically for trials. The center also uses shared computer drives and SharePoint, a web-based collaborative platform. Both cancer centers manage medical records electronically via Epic.

Other shared practices between the two systems include granting primary investigators the authority to determine which trials are open at satellite locations, making all Phase 1 clinical trials available to satellite patients, and counting trial participant accrual at satellite sites towards the main campus totals.

Slides and video of the webinar will soon be available through the AACI website. The discussion will continue at the 10th Annual CRI Meeting“Leveraging Change to Advance Cures for Cancer Patients”— slated for July 11-12 in Chicago.