13th Joint ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, Waldhaus Flims, Switzerland

Application is now open for Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop. Deadline for receipt of applications is Monday 14 February 2011.

Errors made in the design and conduct of a clinical trial can make it impossible for the trial to provide a definitive answer about the effectiveness of a new approach. Poor design can thus lead to the abandonment of promising avenues that are based on sound basic scientific work  and to delays in the introduction of new treatments into the general practice of medical oncology.

ECCO, AACR, EORTC and ESMO have responded to this problem by establishing the Flims Workshop to provide participants with the training they need to design and conduct better clinical/translational trials and in so doing develop a strong, expanding base of well-trained clinical researchers.

2011 marks the 13th year of Flims, which was founded in 1999. Since its inception around 950 fellows from 34 countries, both developing countries, such as Romania, Cuba and Egypt, and developed countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have attended the annual Workshops.

Applicants for the Workshop must apply online via the ECCO website and submit a letter of motivation as well as a one-page study concept for a clinical therapeutic protocol which, if successful, they bring with them to be designed and written during the five day meeting. Heads of Department must support applicants, and selection is based on competitive scoring of the submitted trial concepts by the Workshop Faculty.

It is intended that all proposals be genuine projects likely to be developed into an actual clinical trial. Consistent with this goal, every student is required to submit a completed protocol by the end of the Workshop. The 40 strong Faculty is composed of an outstanding group of highly experienced clinical investigators from Europe and the U.S. who are available on-site for the entire week to work with students in writing, reading and revising draft protocols. The aim is that participants submit the protocol to their Ethics Board when they return home and that the designed study is indeed conducted.

Participants attending the Workshop will be exposed to four educational formats to serve a variety of didactic needs:

  • protocol development sessions;
  • small discussion groups focusing on topics essential to the success of clinical trials;
  • lectures on specific topics presented by experts in the field;

 individual counselling sessions.

The minimum selection criteria for the Workshop are as follows:

  • Be a junior physician specialising in medical, radiation, surgical or paediatric oncology, or a clinical professional who manages cancer patients (i.e. urologists, gynecologists, neuro-oncologists, hematologists), or a radiologist with strong involvement in cancer care. Candidates must be in at least the 2nd year of training and within 5 years of completion of Residency/Fellowship training in one of the afore mentioned or related disciplines;
  • Have a major interest in clinical research and intend to develop a career in that field;
  • Aim to write and conduct a clinical protocol for a study not previously performed, nor written, which is also considered feasible within the institutional setting and the time of completion of the candidate’s clinical training;
  • Be fluent in written and spoken English and have good computer skills;
  • Have support from the Supervisor/ Head of Department and sustained commitment in the years following the Workshop.

The deadline for applications to the Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop is Monday 14 February 2011.

For further information and to apply online, please visit the Workshop website or contact Ms. Samira Essiaf, Workshop Coordinator at: samira.essiaf@ecco-org.eu

Mala Heal and John Bean

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