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The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) was established primarily to evaluate the surgical management of patients with malignant solid tumors. The ACOSOG includes general and specialty surgeons, representatives of related oncologic disciplines, and allied health professionals in academic medical centers and community practices throughout the United States of America and abroad.


The ACOSOG is 1 of 10 cooperative groups funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop and coordinate multi-institutional clinical trials and is the only cooperative group whose primary focus is the surgical management of patients with malignant solid tumors. The Cooperative Group Program was established in 1955 with an initial Congressional appropriation of $5 million. Continued growth has led to a progressive increase in funding, with an NCI appropriation of $154 million for the Cooperative Group Program in 2001. The plan to develop a new oncology cooperative group focused on surgical therapies originated in 1993. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents approved the concept and established a working committee of 7 surgical oncologists to devise a plan for the group's organization and structure. The committee's work was supported through a planning grant from the NCI and from funds appropriated by the ACS Board of Regents. Many individuals contributed to the effort, including surgical oncologists, radiation and medical oncologists, and biostatisticians.


After developing a set of clinical trials for a broad range of surgical specialties, a grant was submitted to the NCI, and a site visit was held at Washington University in St. Louis in June 1997. Upon the recommendation of the NCI subcommittee H, the grant was funded with an official start date of May 15, 1998. The ACOSOG was initially based at the American College of Surgeons administrative office in Chicago, Illinois, and was led by the group chair, Dr Samuel A. Wells. In January 2001, the ACOSOG moved its operations to the Duke University Medical Center. This move allowed the ACOSOG to form an association with the Duke Cancer Center and with the Statistics and Data Center based at Duke University. In addition, the ACOSOG formed an alliance with the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a well-established academic clinical research organization. After the ACOSOG grant was refunded in December 2004, Dr Wells passed the reigns to Drs Heidi Nelson and David Ota who currently share the Group Chair position. Dr David Ota, MD, FACS, oversees the ACOSOG Administrative Coordinating Center (ACC) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, provides scientific leadership for the group and is based at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr Nelson recruited Dr Karla Ballman from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, Minnesota, to lead the ACOSOG Statistics and Data Center (SDC). The ACOSOG SDC is currently based at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, Minnesota, under the direction of Dr Karla Ballman. The Central Specimen Bank, funded by U24-CA114736-03 from the NIH, houses all of the biospecimens collected ...

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