Today, many seriously ill cancer patients do not have satisfactory standard treatment options. Many patients wish to be enrolled in clinical phase I and early phase II trials to gain access to new investigational therapies. In the Nordic countries, however, the number of these trials are limited. It is important to ensure the access to new investigational therapies. Patient recruitment is critical to the drug development program and pharmaceutical companies often choose tertiary oncologic centres with larger patient populations for initiating such trials.
The network is designed to promote patient access to new investigational drugs and access to phase I and early phase II programs in the Nordic countries.
The network was founded in March 2011 and is based on a collaboration between Clinical Cancer Research Unit, Department of Oncology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; The Phase I Unit, Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Clinical Trial Unit, Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Early Clinical Trial Unit, Department of Oncology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Clinical Trial Unit, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway and Clinical Trial Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark attended the collaboration in 2013 and 2014.
The departments included have all been involved in drug development for many years. Thus, all departments have considerable experience and reputation for scientific and medical expertise.
The collaboration addresses the following:
Each department should have a representative from the phase I units, a representative from the Clinical Research Units (or equivalent) and a representative for the research nurses. Other relevant persons will be invited ad hoc.
The chairman and secretary are selected for two years.
Twice yearly. The organizer of the meetings is responsible for all practical issues.
Each member covers their own travel expenses.
Nordic NECT has received funding from the Nordic Cancer Union and The Norwegian Radium Hospital Foundation for a Project Manager/Secretary, 50-100% position for 3 years.
Steinar Aamdal, Professor, MD, PhD