ECOG-ACRIN Office of Communications
Principal Investigator Committee will choose a Group Co-Chair Elect to begin the transition
Philadelphia, Pa., August 15, 2016 — The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) announced today that Robert L. Comis, MD, a professor of medicine at Drexel University, is stepping down from his position as Group Co-Chair of the organization. His departure, effective February 28, 2019, will coincide with the end of ECOG-ACRIN’s current National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Operations Center U10 grant award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Dr. Comis chaired the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) since 1995 and envisioned the 2012 merger of ECOG with the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) as an opportunity to create a new type of research organization with complementary therapeutic and medical imaging strengths. The merger resulted in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, an organization that designs and conducts biomarker-driven cancer research in adults who have or are at risk of developing cancer. The Group aims to achieve earlier cancer detection, more successful therapeutic interventions, higher rates of prevention, and better patient outcomes.
It is the responsibility of ECOG-ACRIN’s Principal Investigator Committee to elect a new Group Co-Chair from the cancer treatment-related disciplines to serve for two five-year funding cycles (2019-2029). The election will take place in November at the Fall 2016 Group Meeting. The electee will serve together with Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, who will remain as the Group Co-Chair representing the diagnostic imaging-based disciplines through the end of the next funding cycle (2024). Dr. Schnall is the Eugene P. Pendergrass Professor of Radiology and Chair of the Radiology Department at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
The merger of ECOG and ACRIN is one of Dr. Comis’ many major leadership achievements in cancer. Among his most recent scientific achievements, Dr. Comis cemented the Group’s capabilities in precision medicine. ECOG-ACRIN investigators designed, and are now conducting, the NCI-MATCH (EAY131) trial, the largest, most scientifically rigorous precision medicine cancer trial to date. The Group designed, and is conducting, two trials within the ALCHEMIST suite of biomarker-driven precision medicine treatment studies for patients with lung cancer.
The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group is a membership-based scientific organization that designs and conducts cancer research involving adults who have or are at risk of developing cancer. ECOG-ACRIN comprises nearly 1100 member institutions in the United States and around the world. Approximately 12,000 physicians, translational scientists, and associated research professionals from the member institutions are involved in Group research, which is organized into three scientific programs: Cancer Control and Outcomes, Therapeutic Studies, and Biomarker Sciences. ECOG-ACRIN is supported primarily through National Cancer Institute research grant funding, but also receives funding from private sector organizations through philanthropy and collaborations. It is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. For more information, visit ecog-acrin.org or call 215.789.3631.