The Years of Creativity: 1953-1965. Cooperative Oncology Groups and Clinical Trials
Pp. 85-93 (9)
Pierre R. Band
Cooperative oncology groups were formed by the Cancer Chemotherapy
National Service Center to test on humans promising chemotherapeutic drugs that were
coming through the screening program. Patients from several institutions were pooled to
shorten the time required to test new compounds against various malignancies, establish
standards and objective criteria for diagnosis, patient selection, treatment and
measurement of effect, and ensure statistically valid study designs and data analyses.
The different phases of clinical investigation of malignant tumors were created: Phase I
to establish the maximal tolerated dose of the new agent, its toxicity and pattern of
reversibility; Phase II to look for activity in a broad spectrum of malignancies, which
required the elaboration of objective criteria for therapeutic response; and Phase III to
determine the efficacy and safety of the new drug in the specific cancer sites where
activity had been observed in a Phase II study.
Cooperative oncology groups, Phase I, Phase II, Phase III.
Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y6, Canada.