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About the Academic GI Cancer Consortium (AGICC)

Collaboration & Innovation in Cancer Research

Providing expertise and innovative solutions for the rapid design, implementation, management and completion of complex GI cancer trials.
What is the Academic GI Cancer Consortium?

The Academic GI Cancer Consortium is an innovative and focused full service research model created to enhance the state of care for GI cancer patients, with a goal of expediting the process of identifying and efficiently testing active new compounds for the treatment of GI cancers. Our ability to rapidly design and execute focused clinical trials in GI cancers will enhance our partner sponsors ability to make informed decisions on the development of their compounds. Ultimately, the Academic GI Cancer Consortium’s goal is to serve as an important model for speeding time-to-market for drugs targeting all GI cancers.

The Consortium initiative, first proposed by Lawrence Leichman, M.D., originated from frustration over the lack of compounds currently on the market for GI cancers that could prove effective over the long term, and with the potential for targeting actual cancer-causing molecular events. The use of targeted agents presents opportunities that may reduce the problems associated with cytotoxic drugs that not only kill large numbers of cancer cells, but kill normal tissue as well, typically leading to severe side effects for GI cancer patients. The challenge was to create a new process for clinical trials that would be faster and more efficient, in order to expedite the identification and testing of targeted agents that are in development but still require evaluation for usefulness. To that end, AGICC assembled the best possible team of institutions and investigators to assist in the design and rapid completion of Phase I and II clinical trials in GI malignancies.

A Request For Application was sent to leading U.S. institutions announcing the formation of AGICC, and seeking applications from interested institutions and investigators for membership in the Consortium. The institutions were selected based upon criteria that included institutional commitment to a GI cancer program, the Principal Investigator’s experience and expertise, and clinical research operations.

AGICC officially launched with a kick-off meeting in September 2008 at Christiana Care Healthcare Systems in Newark, Delaware. There, protocols for the first trials in colorectal cancer were discussed, along with plans to enroll the Consortium’s first research participants in 2009.

This innovative model is the merger of full service operations with a select group of the best and brightest investigators from prestigious cancer centers around the country. Each member demonstrates clinical and translational research capabilities in GI cancers and shares a common commitment to exploring and creating new frontiers in GI cancer research.

The Academic GI Cancer Consortium builds upon the complementary strengths of the member institutions selected for the Consortium, each of which is funded via a competitive support grant to be used for expanding and supplementing their ongoing clinical and translational gastrointestinal cancer programs.