CROS NT Teams Up with World Cancer Research Fund to Report the Facts about Cancer

WCRF 25CROS NT is teaming up with World Cancer Research Fund as its sponsored charity again in 2016 to spread awareness about the charity’s work in preventing cancer. We are joining forces with WCRF, who is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, this February 4th on World Cancer Day to highlight the facts about cancer prevention and oncology clinical research. 


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and accounted for about 8.2 million deaths in 2012. The field of oncology has over 450 different indications making it a complicated area to diagnose and treat. There is currently a shortage of cancer drugs due mostly to drug development companies cutting oncology development programs due to money or quality issues. Oncology drug development consumes an average of seven years in clinical development and yields a discouraging success rate: only 7% of oncology agents entering Phase I gain marketing approval.

Researchers estimate that a significant number of cancer-related deaths are in fact preventable. Several factors can increase our risk of cancer including tobacco use, poor diet, obesity, lack of physical activity, genetics, infections, pollutants and toxins in the environment.


Developing new drugs for cancer treatment is extremely complicated, time-consuming and expensive. According to recent reports, 11 of the 12 oncology drugs approved by the FDA last year were priced at over $100,000 USD per year. Oncology has unique characteristics when it comes to drug development. Not only does the disease have a high impact on patient life, but clinical trial recruitment is generally very slow and treatment involves numerous combinations and regimen modifications during the treatment.

CROS NT recommends several “good practice designs” for oncology studies that can improve the quality of clinical research, improve efficiency or terminate drug trials for candidates destined to fail and cut the costs of bringing a cancer drug to market.

  • Adaptive Trial Design: This allows biostatisticians to make changes to study design based on accumulated data. In contrast to other therapeutic areas where Phase I trials are conducted on healthy volunteers, and patients with the targeted disease are involved starting in Phase II, oncology patients are already involved in Phase I. Biostatisticians look to evaluate toxicity and efficacy together through flexible designs which can minimize the number of patients needed. In later phases, seamless II/III adaptive designs combine Phase II dose escalation with a confirmative Phase III trial therefore reducing timelines and using the same patients for the selected doses.
  • Speed up the Planning Phase: A team with previous oncology experience will enable a reduction of time from the first study synopsis to first patient in the study because it defines adequate target criteria, planning interim analyses and specifying the most efficient statistical method for analysis.
  • Standardized Information: Establishing uniform technical specifications, criteria, methods, processes or practices, adverse effects documentation, QoL questionnaires and follow up information.
  • Consider EDC even in early phases: Electronic data-capture systems allow statisticians to receive and analyze data in real time to make important interim decisions.

Oncology is a particular area of expertise for CROS NT, and we have completed over 100 studies in multiple oncology indications from small Phase I trials to large Phase III and IV multinational trials. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 1.6 million new cases will be diagnosed in 2015. This is why we support the research done by the World Cancer Research Fund, which is the leading authority on the link between diet, weight, physical activity and cancer.


We recommend doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity physical activity every day, and limiting the amount of sedentary time (time spend sitting and lying down when not sleeping) to reduce your risk of cancer. We have strong evidence that being active directly reduces the risk of three cancers: bowel, breast and womb (endometrium). By following our recommendations, one in nine cases of bowel and breast cancer could be prevented.

How does exercise reduce cancer risk?

How physical activity protects us against cancer is still being researched, but so far the evidence shows that being physically active can lower the risk of cancer in several ways. For example: studies have shown that regular physical activity helps move food through the digestive system more quickly, meaning there’s less time for cancer-causing compounds to come into contact with the lining of the bowel and damage cells. Physical activity also reduces insulin resistance (a condition that makes the body less efficient at controlling blood sugar levels), which has been shown to have a role in cancer development. And evidence shows that regular physical activity can help keep hormone levels healthy, which is important as having high levels of some hormones can increase our cancer risk.

Physical activity also burns calories, which can help people to avoid weight gain. Being overweight or obese is linked to 10 common cancers, so maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important ways people can lower their cancer risk.

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