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SWOG Update
April 2010

Welcome to the April 2010 SWOG Update.

For all members and friends of the Southwest Oncology Group, the SWOG Update will keep you informed of what's happening with the Group. News to report? Send it to

View a one-page version for printing.
Study Updates  
S0941: TKIs against biliary cancers
bile ducts illustration Just launched, S0941 tests combined erlotinib and sorafenib on patients with unresectable or metastasized gallbladder carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma. [more]
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SWOG cancer trials network awarded $120+ million in competitive renewal of NCI grants

Dr. Anne Schott at podium announcing renewal of grant
The award was announced at an April 9, 2010 press briefing by Group Executive Officer Anne F. Schott, M.D. (above, at the briefing), and Michigan Congressman John Dingell. "The Southwest Oncology Group's research saves mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, and we all benefit from them getting additional investment to do more of their fine work," Dingell said in a statement. Photo: SWOG
Noting that the organization's research "has touched the lives of virtually every adult cancer patient in this nation," the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program has renewed the Southwest Oncology Group's treatment grants for six years, with a total funding package over that period expected to exceed $120 million.

"We're proud to be first among the ten NCI cooperative groups to embrace -- and to be funded for -- comparative effectiveness research as part of our mission," says SWOG Group Chair Laurence H. Baker, D.O., referring to recent Group initiatives to develop more formal methods of identifying which studies will have the greatest clinical benefit.

The principal grant, more than $63 million, will be administered by the University of Michigan Medical School, where SWOG is headquartered, and is the largest single research award ever to that school. Most of the remainder of the NCI package will be distributed directly to the Group's member institutions, including twelve U10 grants to core members.

The eighteen-month competitive renewal process that preceded the award involved a rigorous review of all SWOG activities, committees, and U10 institutions. NCI's Sub-committee H, which reviewed the grant application, praised the Group's "outstanding record of productivity," citing the more than 300 peer-reviewed publications that document SWOG trial results during the previous five-year grant cycle.

The grant package supports the Group's Ann Arbor headquarters, its operations office in San Antonio, and its statistical center in Seattle. But the majority of the funds go to member institutions nationwide, helping them defray the cost of bringing patients into clinical trials and supporting investigators leading those trials.

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