Puget Sound Oncology Consortium
The Puget Sound Oncology Consortium (PSOC) is a nonprofit corporation located at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Physicians in the Puget Sound area established PSOC in 1983 to conduct and promote clinical trials. Members of the organization include individual physicians in private practice and academia throughout the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, northern California and Hawaii. PSOC is governed by the Executive Committee according to its bylaws. Officers are elected to three-year terms by PSOC members.
Nancy Knudsen, RN
The mission of the Puget Sound Oncology Consortium (PSOC) is to:
- regularly provide all interested physicians in the Puget Sound area with current information about national (SWOG, NSABP, GOG) and local PSOC clinical trials available in this region;
- encourage and facilitate entry of patients into clinical trials by providing information and access to protocols;
- act as a forum for the development of pilot studies which may be expanded subsequently into group-wide national studies; and
- sponsor periodic educational meetings featuring individuals from outside the Puget Sound area who are involved in newer aspects of oncology research and care.
With a membership of more than 350 physicians (including 185 medical and radiation oncologists) throughout Washington state, PSOC assists these community physicians in entering their patients in national and local studies. For national trials, PSOC screens potential participants for eligibility, enrolls patients to studies, assures protocol compliance, and performs data collection and data submission. For local trials, PSOC staff also assist in developing study protocols, compiling data, and analyzing results.
Local PSOC Clinical Trials
The PSOC has three active committees - gynecologic, lung and lymphoma - that develop and review studies in the local area. Physicians throughout the Northwest participate in PSOC protocols. PSOC also has 17 institutions in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California and Hawaii participating in high-dose therapy/stem cell transplant studies. There are eight local studies currently enrolling participants for research in new treatments for lymphoma, ovarian cancer and lung cancer.
Education and Information Services
PSOC sponsors periodic meetings that include PSOC guest lecturers who provide scientific updates. The meetings have brought a series of distinguished lecturers to Seattle over the years. PSOC programs are certified for continuing medical education credit. The PSOC publishes a clinical trial priority list four times per year. This list includes clinical trials from NSABP, GOG, PSOC, SWOG and individual institutions. The list is arranged by disease site, and gives the study numbers, treatment regimen and brief eligibility information.
National Clinical Treatment Trials
PSOC participates in two national groups:
The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) evaluates adjuvant therapy in breast and bowel cancers and surgical procedures for breast cancer. PSOC enrolls 30 to 35 patients per year into NSABP Trials.
The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) evaluates treatment for early and advanced gynecologic malignancies, and manages a tissue bank. The multi-site GOG, which includes both the Hutchinson Center and the University of Washington, is currently conducting numerous studies for cervical, endometrial, ovarian, and vulvar cancers.
The breast cancer prevention trial, the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR), is now recruiting volunteers at more than 400 centers across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The trial will include 19,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer to determine whether the osteoporosis prevention drug raloxifene is as effective in reducing the chance of developing breast cancer as tamoxifen has proven to be.