HealthDay News — Over the past 60 years, SWOG treatment trials have had a considerable impact on patients with cancer, according to a study published online June 5 in JAMA Oncology to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 2 to 6 in Chicago.

Joseph M. Unger, Ph.D., from the SWOG Statistical Center in Seattle, and colleagues used data from all treatment trials during SWOG’s history (1956 to 2016) to examine the extent to which positive National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cancer treatment trials had benefited patients with cancer in the U.S. population. Data were included from 23 positive SWOG treatment trials from a variety of disease settings.

A total of 12,361 patients were enrolled in the 23 positive trials. The researchers estimated that through 2015, 3.34 million life-years were gained from these 23 trials. Under most model simulations, estimates were greater than 2 million life-years gained. Per life-year gained, the U.S. dollar return on investment was $125. 

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“The NCI’s investment in its cancer cooperative group research program has provided exceptional value and benefit to the American public through its research programs generating positive cancer treatment trials,” the authors write.

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