Our clinical trials depend on patients – and the art and science of recruiting and retaining them. With the help of every office, SWOG Cancer Research Network offers multiple sources of accrual support to our members. This includes but is not limited to expert advice, trial promotion, training and education, extra funding, and fulsome data tracking.

To the untrained eye, these resources might seem scattered, so I thought it would be helpful to gather them up in a single post. This information will soon go up on SWOG.org under the “clinical trials” tab in the members-only portion of the website. When it’s online, I’ll let you know.
 
For now, follow the hyperlinks for more information or email our staff directly. (Note: To access many of these links, you need to be logged into SWOG.org. If you need CTEP credentials to log in, visit
this page for details).
 
Expertise

SWOG Recruitment and Retention Specialist Jennifer Maeser works with our investigators across the trial life cycle to offer advice and hands-on support. This may include early  accrual planning or interventions for struggling trials. Based in our statistics and data management center in Seattle, Jennifer has assisted with printed materials, kick-off meetings, videos, or other accrual tools. You can reach her at wraavsrez/ng/peno/qbg/bet

Patient advocates provide in-house expertise and external advocacy connections on every committee. Advocates offer some of the best accrual advice, in any stage of trial development, because they possess the patient perspective on barriers. For a list of SWOG advocates by committee, visit the advocate page on SWOG.org.

SWOG Training Manager Lisa Barnstrom offers a template for training slides for FDA registration trials or trials that are particularly complex or which have unusual endpoints. Lisa is based in our operations office in San Antonio and you can reach her at yoneafgebz/ng/fjbt/qbg/bet

Research support committees can really help with accrual. The recruitment and retention committee specifically offers help in attracting underserved populations to our trials, as does the adolescent and young adult committee. Members of the digital engagement committee can advise on digital tools that may help with patient recruitment and retention.

The National Cancer Institute’s Network Accrual Core Team offers the chance to get advice from academic and community physicians, research site staff, patient advocates, network administrators, and staff from across the National Clinical Trials Network. On monthly calls, the team dissects tough trials – ones that offer unique challenges to accrual – and suggests ways to enroll more patients. SWOG investigators have benefitted from this brain trust many times. To learn how to get your SWOG trial in front of the Accrual Core Team, visit this page on SWOG.org.

Awareness

SWOG Communications Manager Wendy Lawton can provide Twitter support at trial launch, and for major, priority trials for NCI and SWOG such as Lung-MAP or DART, write press releases to raise public awareness. Based here in the group chair’s office in Portland, Wendy may be contacted at ynjgbaj/ng/bufh/qbg/rqh

Each fall, SWOG NCORP group meeting workshops often feature study-specific training on NCORP trials to investigators and site staff. As well, the Oncology Research Professionals committee offers trial education sessions through the Oishi Symposium, a forum for site staff that takes place at every SWOG group meeting, and via webinars hosted throughout the year.

Money

The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research offers committee funds and trial-specific education funds that can be used to raise awareness of trials or educate site staff on trials. For questions about these programs, contact Hope Grants and Communications Manager Morgan Cox at zbetna/ng/gurubcrsbhaqngvba/qbg/bet

Often, SWOG investigators can tap industry funding for kick-off meetings and other trial promotional support. To learn more, visit the contracts and budgets portion of the SWOG website, which includes staff contact information.

Data

Our statistics and data management center provides daily registration updates on every SWOG trial, a terrific tool for tracking enrollment progress. To view these accrual reports, visit this page on SWOG.org.

In 2019, our accrual resources will get even better.
 
Our patient advocate committee is creating a new community advocate program which will bring in 10 more advocates who can help with accrual challenges and disseminate trial results. And we will add a plain language writer here in the group chair’s office to write lay summaries of newly activated SWOG trials, Tweets, patient materials, and more. You’ll learn more about both efforts – right here – as they roll out in the new year.
 
Dive in now, but stay tuned for more!