NIH Press Release
National Cancer Institute

Monday, May 4, 1998

NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641

Novartis Contact
(973) 781-5587

New Brochure Helps Launch
NCI Effort to Increase Cancer Treatment Trial Enrollment
Novartis Supports Clinical Trials Education Efforts

WASHINGTON A new brochure from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Taking Part in Clinical Trials, What Cancer Patients Need to Know is part of an overall effort by NCI to help increase enrollment to clinical trials. Designed for cancer patients, the brochure provides an overview of cancer treatment trials and answers questions about them.

Understanding cancer and evaluating potential treatments depends on clinical trials, and low enrollment to trials delays studies and their evaluation. The brochure is intended to help educate cancer patients about treatment trials and hopefully increase interest in participation. Supporting NCI in this effort is Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which provided partial funding for the brochure, and which also has initiated a new program, Living with Cancer, to provide information about and increase awareness of clinical trials.

"Providing patients and the public with reliable and understandable information is essential to improving access and participation in clinical trials. Clinical trials are perhaps the most critical way in which patients can join with researchers in the development of new cancer treatments," said Mary McCabe, R.N., director, Office of Clinical Research Promotion, NCI.

"As a company dedicated to the oncology community and with a great investment in research and development, it was natural for Novartis to partner with NCI, ONS, and AOSW on efforts to help educate about clinical trials," said David Parkinson, M.D., vice president of clinical research at Novartis. "Each person who participates in a cancer treatment trial contributes significantly to helping understand potential treatments. Any effort directed toward increasing participation helps our goal of finding effective treatments for cancer," added Parkinson, who had directed the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program before joining Novartis.

For more information about the new brochure or cancer treatment trials, call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or visit the new NCI website

The National Cancer Institute is the Federal government's primary cancer research agency. NCI is a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including central nervous system disorders, organ transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, dermatological diseases, respiratory disorders, cancer and arthritis. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.