Departmental News


In May 1999, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery joined the recently established American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACoSOG) in order to participate in multi-center clinical trials of thoracic surgery for the treatment of lung cancer and other cancers in the chest. Our surgeons' participation will provide patients with the only available access to these trials in Suffolk County.

The primary goal of the ACoSOG is to conduct clinical trials evaluating surgical therapies in the management of patients with malignant solid tumors. Initially studied will be patients with the most common tumors, such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. The trials will also evaluate selected new operations, technology, and instrumentation as they are introduced into clinical practice.

In addition, the ACoSOG will perform trials that are based on new basic science discoveries, such as the evaluation of new molecular markers in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer and the role of interventional therapy in patients who are found to have a genetic predisposition for cancer.

At present, eligible patients may be enrolled in the following four ACoSOG clinical trials designed to evaluate potential treatment advances for lung and esophageal cancer:

n Randomized prospective trial of mediastinal lymph node sampling versus complete lymphadenectomy during the conduct of pulmonary resection in patients with N0 and N1 (less than hilar) non-small cell carcinoma
n A prospective multi-institutional study in resectable lung cancer of the prognostic significance and incidence of occult distant disease
n A multi-center clinical trial to assess the utility of positron emission tomography (PET) in the staging of potentially operable non-small lung carcinoma
n A multi-center clinical trial to assess the utility of positron emission tomography (PET) in the staging of potentially operable esophageal carcinoma

Last year, ACoSOG received funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct multi-center cooperative group trials. In cancer research, cooperative groups are networks of medical centers around the country that conduct studies jointly. ACoSOG is the first new cooperative group sponsored by the NCI in 18 years and the only one to focus on surgery.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery; its achievements have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients.

The participation of our thoracic surgeons in the ACoSOG trialsóin addition to that of our surgical oncologistsówill make a significant contribution to Stony Brook's Cancer Institute, now in the final stages of its development to become a world-class, regional comprehensive cancer institute for the very best in cancer care, research, and prevention.

For more information, please call 631-444-1820.

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