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In sports, the Big Ten universities compete against each other, but now many will join together to fight cancer. Last week in Chicago, Illinois, leaders from the universities’ cancer centers kicked off the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium .
The cancer centers are uniting to transform cancer research through collaborative oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of the Big Ten universities listed below. The consortium forms a powerful collaboration because of the solid research infrastructure already existing at each university. The consortium also leverages geographical locations and existing relationships among the cancer centers.
According to Noah Hahn, M.D., executive officer of the consortium, associate professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center :
A critical byproduct of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium will be the creation of a new arena for junior faculty cancer researchers to design and lead potential practice-changing cancer studies. Opportunities for junior faculty to lead clinical trials have been evaporating in recent years, but the consortium aims to intentionally promote junior faculty participation and leadership in all trials under appropriate senior faculty guidance and mentorship in an effort to address those decreasing opportunities.
Patrick J. Loehrer Sr., M.D., director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, added :
Tremendous strengths exist in the cancer centers of the Big Ten. This is a rare opportunity for the universities to work together as part of a regional team science initiative to advance cancer research. The advantage of this, particularly during a time of austerity for research, is that we can build upon the strengths of the institutions and fortify some of the shortcomings. This allows us to be lean, efficient but, most importantly, collaborative.
The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium consists of the following universities and cancer centers:
- Indiana University (Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center)
- Northwestern University (Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center)
- Penn State University (Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute)
- Purdue University (Purdue University Center for Cancer Research)
- Rutgers University (The Cancer Institute of New Jersey becomes part of Rutgers on July 1)
- University of Illinois (University of Illinois Cancer Center)
- University of Iowa (Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center)
- University of Michigan (University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center)
- University of Minnesota (Masonic Cancer Center)
- University of Nebraska (Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center)
- University of Wisconsin (Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center)
The Indianapolis-based Hoosier Oncology Group will serve as the administrative headquarters for the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium. Since 1984, Hoosier Oncology Group has initiated more than 150 clinical trials with more than 4,000 patients.
- IU Simon Cancer Center Joins Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium. Indiana University School of Medicine. 2013 May 31.