Dr. Sparano Named Vice Chair of ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group

Sparano, Joseph A., MD

Joseph A. Sparano, MD, Associate Chairman of Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center has been appointed Vice Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, an organization devoted to performing collaborative research that spans the entire cancer care continuum.

In his new role, Dr. Sparano, who is also Professor of Medicine and of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will assist other ECOG-ACRIN leaders in defining research priorities and implementing a broad research portfolio, which includes programs in cancer control and outcomes, therapeutic studies and biomarker sciences.

The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group was formed in 2012 with the merger of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN). The alliance expands the breadth of scientific expertise available to the group and its institutional members, and presents opportunities for identifying and addressing the most important clinical questions in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Nearly 650 participating institutions across the globe work with ECOG-ACRIN, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cancer cooperative group and member organization of the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Montefiore and Einstein have been main member institutions of ECOG since 1978, receiving funding through the U10 federal grant program to advance cancer care through key scientific, administrative and clinical trials accrual contributions. The most recent institutional evaluation, conducted in 2012, indicated that accrual and scientific and administrative leadership at Montefiore and Einstein are all outstanding.

Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and its research partner, Albert Einstein Cancer Center, an NCI-designated Cancer Center, share a strong belief in the power of clinical and translational research to improve technologies and therapies for both rare and common forms of cancer. Long-term success has come through leveraging the partnership between Montefiore, which brings strengths in clinical research and recruitment of minority subjects in clinical trials, and Einstein, which brings strengths in basic science and translational research.

Dr. Sparano joined ECOG in 1991 as a member of the Biological Response Modifier Committee and Breast Committee. He has chaired or co-chaired 16 therapeutic clinical trials for the group, including the Trial Assigning IndividuaLized Options for Treatment (TAILORx)—an ongoing study in women with early stage breast cancer and the first NCI-sponsored trial integrating a gene expression assay in clinical decision-making.

Over the years, Dr. Sparano's research has focused on developmental therapeutic approaches for breast cancer, lymphoma, and HIV-associated cancers. His areas of expertise also include phase I-III clinical trials, developmental therapeutics and clinical application of genomic profiling in cancer management.

Montefiore and Einstein's nationally renowned faculty have a wealth of expertise and an unrivaled commitment to helping cancer patients live longer, healthier lives. A number of these researchers, in addition to Dr. Sparano, hold key scientific leadership positions at ECOG-ACRIN or at other cooperative member groups in the NCTN. These researchers include Mark H. Einstein, MD, MS, Co-chair of the Vaccine Subcommittee of the Gynecologic Oncology Group; Chandan Guha, MB, BS, PhD, Chair of the GI Translational Science Committee of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group; Steven Keller, MD, Chair of the Thoracic Surgery Subcommittee of ECOG-ACRIN, and Elisabeth M. Paietta, PhD, Director of the Leukemia Core Laboratories for ECOG-ARCIN.  

To learn more about cancer research and clinical trial opportunities at Montefiore, visit the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. To refer a patient, please call 718-862-8840.