CureSearch Annual Report 4 Reflections on the Children’s Oncology Group’s First 10 Years
As the COG enters its second decade, now is an opportune time to look back on the first ten years and reflect on what makes the COG the world’s premier clinical trials group. My prior experiences as Chair of the AML Committee, and more recently Group Vice Chair, have given me the opportunity to understand exactly how the COG works. Based on these observations, I respectfully offer the following thoughts on why the COG continues, despite significant challenges, to find ways to improve the lives of children with cancer.
The success of any organization is dependent upon outstanding leadership. Dr. Gregory Reaman, the founding Chair of the COG, has been a superb leader. Under his direction, four accomplished pediatric cooperative groups were merged to form the COG. The assimilation of four distinct cultures into a single, highly successful new organization required extraordinary leadership.
Following the creation of the COG, Dr. Reaman has been able to effectively keep over 7,500 individual members in over 200 institutions around the world all “rowing the same direction.” His passion for improving the outcomes of children with cancer has been evident in every aspect of his work. He has served the COG with great distinction.
The great improve-
ments in survi- val of children with cancer are directly attributable to these children and their parents. As investi- gators and care pro- viders for these children, we honor them and their contribu- tions.
Dr. Reaman has been extremely fortunate to have outstanding partners. These include members of Dr. Reaman’s leadership team; Study Development Office and Statistics and Data Center staff; Operations staff in Arcadia, Bethesda, Gainesville and Omaha; members of the Executive Committee, Voting Body and Scientific Council; disease, discipline and scientific chairs; study chairs and study committee members.
As the pediatric cooperative group of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the COG has
benefited greatly from a critical and highly effective partnership with the NCI. Dr. Malcolm Smith and Dr. Nita Seibel advocate daily for resources from the NCI that enable the COG to accomplish its mission.
As a national and international clinical trials group, the COG’s success is also dependent upon support from participating hospitals, physician groups and universities. Given the increasingly difficult financial times member
institutions are facing, their ongoing commitment and support of the COG’s research mission is quite remarkable and very much appreciated.
Finally, I continue to be in awe of the courage of children who participate in COG’s important research studies. The future is uncertain and the challenges we face are great. However, given the COG culture that values research and the deep commitment shared by all who care for children with cancer, I see nothing that will preclude us from continuing to improve outcomes for these children. I have every confidence that Dr. Peter Adamson, COG Chair-Elect, and his leadership team will find creative and innovative ways to move the group forward with even greater successes in the future.
Franklin O. Smith, MD Marjory J. Johnson Endowed Chair and Professor of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Vice Chair, Children’s Oncology Group
A Tribute to Our Physician
Our son Caleb was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumor in 2000 and treated at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, by Dr. Patricia Robertson. He is now a 10-year cancer survivor and Dr. Robertson continues to treat him with the same level of care and attention as she did when he was ill. Words cannot express our gratitude for the exceptional and compassionate care our son received by this brilliant Children’s Oncology Group physician. Because of the COG, many children with cancer are living long and healthy lives.
Caleb Cook and his sister Kendra Dana A. Cook
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