News Release: Research, School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute

Mar. 18,  2009

Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Awarded $60.5 Million for Six-Year Grant Renewal

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) has earned a six-year extension of its Cooperative Group Agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which awarded RTOG a $60.5 million grant to carry out its research effort. 

"The strength and breadth of RTOG's recent investigations and its innovative plans for future research is a testimony to the dedication, creativity and intellectual rigor of our member investigators," says Walter Curran, Jr., MD, RTOG group chair and principal investigator of the award. Curran is chief medical officer of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute and the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine. 

The NCI cooperative clinical research grant will help fund the RTOG's roster of 37 clinical trials open to patient enrollment at over 300 major research institutions, including Emory, in the United States, Canada and internationally.  The Emory Winship Cancer Institute currently has 26 active RTOG clinical trials and has enrolled over 50 patients on RTOG trials in its first eight months of activity.

RTOG has received 36 years of continuous funding from the NCI and this award will sustain the group's efforts through 2014. RTOG is the leading national multicenter clinical trials organization dedicated to testing novel radiotherapy and combined modality approaches in pursuit of improving the survival and quality of life of patients with cancer.  RTOG is administered by the American College of Radiology.

The NCI review panel rated RTOG's research accomplishments and future plans for patients with brain tumors, head and neck cancer, and genitourinary cancer as outstanding. In addition, the panel cited several of the group's accomplishments, including a reduction in local recurrence with the use of chemoradiotherapy for patients with advanced head and neck cancer; an increase in survival for patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma; and the establishment of a standard of care for bone metastases at a single high dose of radiation therapy.

"For over 40 years RTOG has set the standard for radiation therapy-related research both in the United States and internationally.  NCI's award of the maximum term of funding is a validation of our research," says Curran.

For more information about clinical trials at Emory Winship Cancer Institute, log on to:


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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