How We Approach Finding Cures
The Up the Volume Foundation supports only large-scale, multi-institutional, cooperative research efforts. We believe this approach is most likely to result in practical outcomes that will improve care and help the most women. Several decades ago when the specialty of gynecologic oncology was originated, small studies done by prestigious institutions were adequate to establish standards of care for women with gynecologic cancers. Over time it became evident that many ideas from individual institutions were based on the beliefs, philosophies and biases of small groups of investigators and needed further validation through larger-scale studies that could only be accomplished by groups of institutions enrolling greater numbers of patients. Utilizing these multi-institutional studies, some ideas have been validated and many have been disproven.
We now know that these large-scale, multi-institutional trials are necessary to establish evidence-based standards of care in gynecologic oncology. We do not fund small trials with little chance to result in practical outcomes for women.
Most of these trials are performed by cooperative study groups of doctors who are experts in treating gynecologic cancers. These groups have often relied on federal funds to support their research. More recently, they have had to supplement federal funding with additional sources of funding such as grants from pharmaceutical companies that produce drugs that are being tested.
The Up the Volume Foundation will allocate grants, without bias; to support clinical studies that will prove which treatment options are best. If gynecologic cancers are treated uniformly with proven options rather than treatments based on physician beliefs or philosophies, then the length and quality of the lives of women with gynecologic cancers will be improved.