The RTOG Foundation (RTOG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving outcomes for cancer patients through the conduct of practice-changing clinical trials. RTOG collaborates with partners from industry and federally funded programs to support its research.
RTOG is the successor to the NCI-funded Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group was organized in 1968 as national clinical cooperative group for the purpose of conducting multicenter radiation therapy research and clinical investigations. It was part of the NCI-funded cooperative group program from 1971 until 2014. During that time it activated over 500 protocols, accrued more than 110,000 patients to cooperative group studies, and published over 1,000 papers reporting the results of its findings.
In 2014, in response to NCI’s consolidation of its cooperative group research into the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Program, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group joined together with two other national cancer cooperative groups, the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), and the National Surgical Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) to form NRG Oncology (NRG). The RTOG Foundation continues the NCI-funded research of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group through its membership in NRG Oncology. In addition, it has developed an independent portfolio of industry-funded research partnerships that seek to further our understanding of effective therapies to improve the survival and quality of life of patients with cancer.
- Improve the survival outcome and quality of life of adults with cancer through the conduct of high-quality clinical trials.
- Evaluate new forms of radiotherapy delivery and test new systemic and targeted therapies in conjunction with radiotherapy in the context of clinical research.
- Develop and conduct practice-changing clinical trials for the NCI National Clinical Trial Network through RTOG’s membership in NRG Oncology.
- Develop and conduct industry-supported clinical trials that are important to RTOG’s research mission.
- Provide funding for basic, clinical and translational investigators to collaborate with RTOG in the development of both biologic and biophysical targeted therapies.
- Support young investigators from many disciplines within the RTOG research enterprise through fellowships and travel awards.
The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group was the leading multicenter research organization systematically testing novel radiotherapy approaches against cancer and pursuing fully integrated translational research to support and further this effort. Its research was directed towards evaluating new evidence-based approaches to patients with solid tumors of the brain, upper aerodigestive tract (head and neck), lung, gastrointestinal system, and genitourinary tract (prostate and bladder), with focused efforts directed within the working groups in breast cancer, gynecologic cancer and sarcoma. These efforts continue today through RTOG’s participation in NRG Oncology.
The RTOG Foundation had its origins in 1997 when the RTOG Fund under the auspicious of the American College of Radiology, the grant holder for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, was created for the purpose of receiving and allocating corporate and private donations to allow the Group to sustain and expand important activities critical to its research mission. In August 2013 the RTOG Foundation incorporated as a nonprofit foundation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in July 2014 RTOG Foundation, Inc., received 501(c)3 nonprofit status.
The RTOG Foundation has maintained relationships with the core membership from the legacy Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and is able to access new members through its membership in NRG Oncology. Today RTOG is a dynamic, multidisciplinary research group with vigorous participation by physicians and other investigators at many of NCI’s designated cancer centers, major community centers, and the major academic and regional centers of Canada. RTOG also has a strong international presence with access to sites on four continents. This participation includes leadership from medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists and laboratory scientists as well radiation oncologists.
The RTOG Foundation Operations and Statistics & Data Management Center is located at the offices of the American College of Radiology in Philadelphia
RTOG currently conducts its federally-funded clinical trials through its membership in NRG Oncology (NRG). NRG is a joint venture of the RTOG, GOG and NSABP Foundations, formerly the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), and the National Surgical Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). The three groups came together in 2014 in response to NCI’s restructuring of the cooperative group system into a new consolidated and integrated NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Program.