Clinical Trial Sponsors

Government agencies, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, sponsor and conduct clinical trials. In addition, organizations or individuals, including physicians, academic medical centers, foundations, volunteer groups, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, also sponsor cancer clinical trials.

NCI sponsors a large number of clinical trials each year, and it has developed a variety of programs to make cancer clinical trials widely available in the United States and elsewhere. These programs include the following:

Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program

The Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, which brings researchers, cancer centers, and doctors together into cooperative research groups. These groups work with NCI to identify important questions in cancer research and to design and conduct clinical trials that involve patients at multiple locations to answer those questions. Cooperative groups are located throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe. For more information, refer to the fact sheet NCI’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program at:

Cancer Centers Program

The Cancer Centers Program, which provides support to research-oriented institutions that have been recognized as NCI-designated Cancer Centers or Comprehensive Cancer Centers because of their scientific excellence. More information is available through the program’s Web site at:

National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)

The NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations. NCORP conducts multi-site cancer clinical trials and studies in diverse populations in community-based healthcare systems across the United States and Puerto Rico. The NCORP is housed in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention, with collaboration by the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, and NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.  The overall goal of NCORP is to bring cancer clinical trials (cancer control, prevention, screening, treatment, and imaging), as well as cancer care delivery research (CCDR), to individuals in their own communities, thus generating a broadly applicable evidence base that contributes to improved patient outcomes and a reduction in cancer disparities.  More information is available on NCORP's website at:

Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs)

The Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs), which bring together scientists and researchers to design and implement research programs, including clinical trials, to improve the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of specific types of cancer. More information about SPOREs is available at:

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, which is a research hospital located in Bethesda, Maryland. Trials at the Clinical Center are conducted by the components of NIH, including NCI. The NCI fact sheet Clinical Trials Conducted by the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has more information about the Clinical Center. This fact sheet is available at:

Adapted from the National Cancer Institute's PDQ Database: (Accessed July 2016)