Dec. 12, 2013:

Representatives of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) institutions met recently in Chicago to discuss development of a collaborative IRB review process for Big Ten CRC studies.

Participants focused on the benefits and challenges of a reciprocal deferral agreement, which would expedite the approval process for multi-site trials and avoid duplicate reviews at each site. Carol Pech, Ph.D., associate director of the Health Sciences Institutional Review Boards Office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented a model of a working IRB collaboration, the Wisconsin IRB Consortium.

“We appreciate our member institutions sharing their ideas and concerns about the IRB process,” said Noah M. Hahn, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and executive officer of the consortium. “Combining innovative oncology clinical trials with effective processes to complete the studies, including collaborative IRB review, requires input and participation from many different offices at Consortium institutions.”

Ten of the 12 Consortium member institutions participated in the meeting. As a follow up to the meeting, the University of Wisconsin will circulate a proposed IRB deferral agreement for consideration by each Big Ten CRC institution. The Big Ten CRCadministrative headquarters will gather feedback about the proposed agreement.

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment-changing paradigms. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions provide in excess of $141 million in direct financial aid to more than 8,200 student-athletes playing on more than 300 teams in 43 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 26 official conference sports, 13 for men and 13 for women, and will add men’s and women’s lacrosse as the 27th and 28th official sports for the 2014-15 academic year. For more information, visit