News Release: Emory Healthcare, Winship Cancer Institute

Sep. 17,  2009

Emory Earns Provisional Full Membership in Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

Emory University Hospital through its Department of Radiation Oncology has earned provisional full membership in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).  

RTOG is one of nine National Cancer Institute-supported cooperative groups conducting large multi-center cancer clinical trials in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.  RTOG has been continuously funded by the NCI for over forty years, and Emory joins 28 American and 7 Canadian institutions who currently constitute the group's full member roster. Emory is the first institution in the United States in more than in three years to be granted this designation.  

"Emory's provisional full membership in RTOG is a major accomplishment," says Walter Curran, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and chief medical officer of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute.  "RTOG is the leading multicenter research organization testing novel radiotherapy approaches against cancer. The fact that Emory and its affiliated hospitals earned this designation in a little over one year's time speaks to the focus and dedication of our research faculty and staff at Emory, Emory Midtown, Grady, and the VA."  

The provisional full membership enables the Emory Winship Cancer Institute to establish affiliate members across the United States and Canada.  Affiliate members play an important role because clinical researchers are able to accrue patients from a wide geographic and demographic spectrum and more patients have an opportunity to participate in clinical trials.  

"The benefit to patients is increased access to new investigational therapies and the absolute highest standard of care, which are established by the NCI and other federal agencies," says Curran, who has served as RTOG Group Chairman for the past twelve years.  "We will work with the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education to expand the availability of RTOG trials throughout the state of Georgia."  

Emory will be re-evaluated by RTOG in 2010 for full membership status.  


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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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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