A cooperative network of trained sites for the conduct of a complex clinical trial: a new concept in multicenter clinical research.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this report is to present a model of physicians in full-time clinical practice participating as investigators in multicenter clinical trials, sponsored by a pharmaceutical or medical device company. METHODS: This gas-exchange substudy was conducted as a pilot study to establish the feasibility of the 10-member EXERcise testing group of the Duke University Cooperative Cardiovascular Society (EXERDUCCS) consortium to perform a complex multicenter trial using cardiopulmonary exercise testing. An active interchange of information was established involving the principal investigator for the substudy, a dedicated full-time project coordinator, a medical director of the overall EXERDUCCS network site, the project coordinator for the sponsor, and all the participating EXERDUCCS investigators and coordinators. RESULTS: The sponsor set as a goal of enrollment of 6 subjects per site, and 8 of the 10 sites met this goal. As a result of the successful enrollment and completion of the study and substudy by the EXERDUCCS sites, the sponsor subsequently increased the payment stipends to the sites to compensate for the extra work and expense incurred. CONCLUSIONS: This cooperative experience accomplished several goals: (1) it allowed a complex clinical trial to be successfully completed in a time frame which would not have been possible using only single unconnected sites; (2) it educated the physician-investigators (and their personnel) in exercise cardiopulmonary; and (3) it prepared the sites for future clinical trials involving this methodology.
Davidson, RM; McNeer, JF; Logan, L; Higginbotham, MB; Anderson, J; Blackshear, J; Chu, A; Hettleman, B; McGrew, F; Meesse, R; O'Connor, C; Schneider, R; Wagner, GS; EXERDUCCS Investigators,
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