September 23, 2021

Eng named co-chair of NCI clinical trials steering committee

Vanderbilt’s Cathy Eng, MD, has been elected co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee.

Cathy Eng, MD

Cathy Eng, MD, has been elected co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee, which is responsible for supervising clinical trials.

The clinical trials overseen by the committee include neuroendocrine tumors, gastroesophageal carcinoma, rectal-anal and colon cancers, hepatocellular tumors and pancreatic cancer.

“We help evaluate and prioritize NCI-sponsored studies involving the National Clinical Trials Network for all phase 2 and phase 3 trials that have more than 100 patients involved,” said Eng, professor of Medicine, David H. Johnson Professor of Surgical and Medical Oncology and co-leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).

In taking on the new responsibility, Eng stepped down from serving as vice-chair of the SWOG Gastrointestinal Committee because it is one of the organizations that conducts clinical trials on behalf of the NCI. The chairs of the NCI steering committees are responsible for leading clinical trial initiatives in an unbiased manner.

Eng’s three-year term began Aug. 23. The other co-chair is Karyn Goodman, MD, professor of Radiation Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“I believe this is the first time two women are leading these efforts,” Eng said, who is also co-director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Vanderbilt and director of the VICC Young Adult Cancers Initiative. “I was delighted that I was nominated by my peers. It was a very competitive process, and I am honored to serve in this role.”

The NCI Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee focuses on areas of unmet clinical need, important unanswered clinical questions and potential new approaches to disease management. It works with entities that facilitate NCI-sponsored cancer clinical trials, including SWOG, ECOG, NRG and The Alliance. The NCI has a total of 13 steering committees that focus on specific types of cancer research initiatives.