Scientific Review Committee

The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) reviews all cancer-related research throughout Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and Penn State University. This includes therapeutic trials as well as studies of behavioral medicine in oncology, cancer epidemiology, and cancer control and prevention. There are checks and balances in place to ensure cancer-focused trials from all departments (e.g., Surgery, Dermatology, Gastroenterology) pass through the SRC for review and approval before proceeding to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Penn State University IRB has jurisdiction for all biomedical and behavioral research throughout our Cancer Institute, Penn State University and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. It serves as a "gatekeeper" to assure that investigators of cancer research studies have appropriately passed through our Cancer Institute SRC before commencing the IRB approval process.  

The goal of the SRC is to ensure that research studies conducted by our Cancer Institute investigators are of scientific merit, high quality, reliable and verifiable. In an effort to support investigators in the opening of trials, CTO personnel are available to assist with the paperwork for SRC submission and the deliberations between the SRC and investigators after review. Alternatively, the investigator can secure SRC approval independently and then present the trial to the CTO for further regulatory processing.

SRC Meeting Schedule (All meetings 3-5:00pm in T4007)

  • August 27, 2013 - Submission Deadline:  August 6, 2013
  • September 24, 2013 - Submission Deadline:  September 3, 2013
  • October 22, 2013 - Submission Deadline:  October 1, 2013
  • November 26, 2013 - Submission Deadline:  November 5, 2013
  • December 17, 2013 - Submission Deadline:  December 3, 2013

SRC Review Parameters

To evaluate the scientific merit of a protocol submitted, the SRC considers the following criteria:

  • Background data and scientific rationale to justify the proposed trial
  • Study design
  • Risk/benefit ratio
  • Expected accrual rates; adequacy of patient population
  • Adequacy of biostatistical design
  • Existence of an adequate data safety monitoring plan
  • Feasibility of completion within a reasonable time period
  • Resource utilization
  • Application format

SRC submission policy, flow chart and forms