The Toledo Community Oncology Program (TCOP) is one of the original 27 clinical research programs, sponsored by the National Cancer Research Institutes (NCI), that continues in operation. TCOP has celebrated their twenty-eighth anniversary. We bring top-notch cancer prevention, treatment, and research to both urban and rural communities throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
Clinical Community Oncology Programs (CCOPs) were founded on the belief that advances in cancer care are a direct result of participation in clinical trials, and that involvement of dedicated community physicians and staff would provide the necessary volume of patients to answer clinical research questions in a timely manner. Due to the effective collaboration of the community and traditional research centers at universities, much of the cancer care given 20 years ago is not the standard of care given today, just as today’s standards will be changed in the future due to ongoing cancer research efforts. Currently, there are 48 funded CCOP programs in 28 states with 16 minority-based CCOPS funded in 12 states and Puerto Rico. Since 1983, CCOPs have accrued more than 150,350 patients to clinical trials and 106,800 patients to prevention trials.
Over the years, TCOP has grown to include 14 institutions and six private oncology offices in northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan, and Fredericksburg, Virginia. It provides a regional Institutional Review Board to review and monitor cancer research protocols at all participating hospitals and clinics. Dr. Rex Mowat, M.D. and Dr. James Fugazzi, M.D., are the principal investigators. Currently, 60 participating physicians from medical and radiation oncology, general surgery, pathology, thoracic surgery and urology play an active role, along with at least 90 allied health professionals, such as oncology nurses and clinical research assistants. This committed team has been regularly accruing more than 200 patients annually on treatment related to research trials.
In 1989, TCOP became a primary member of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) as secondary research bases. TCOP physicians have been named as authors on numerous peer reviewed published manuscripts from these research bases. Many TCOP physicians have chaired protocols and have served as chairs of the NCCTG Surgery Committee, RTOG Economic Impact Committee and ECOG Quality of Life Committee.
Looking back over the past 28 years, TCOP can be proud of its accomplishments. Toledo has made a major contribution in the success of the National Cancer Institute sponsored community-based research effort, and at the same time this participation has provided our community with state-of-the-art cancer care. TCOP is committed to continuing these efforts in meeting the challenge of cancer.