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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 09/25/08

Central Institutional Review Board Initiative (CIRB)

The Central Institutional Review Board Initiative (CIRB) provides an innovative approach to human subject protection through a “facilitated review” process that streamlines local IRB review of adult and pediatric national multi-center cancer treatment trials. The Initiative consists of two central IRBs, one for adult trials and one for pediatric trials. The adult CIRB reviews all phase 3 adult Cooperative Group studies and the pediatric Board review all Children’s Oncology Group phase 2, phase 3 and pilot studies. Under the CIRB model, the CIRB conducts full Board review of a new study, the local IRB chair or an IRB subcommittee at participating institutions reviews the CIRB materials for local context and if approved, the CIRB becomes the IRB of record for the life of that study.

The benefits to research participants include study review by individuals who represent a broad range of oncology expertise including patient advocates, oncology physicians and nurses and other health professionals as well as ethicists. The benefits to local IRBs include the ability to carry out local review without convening the entire Board. Continuing reviews, amendments and non-local AEs are handled by the CIRB as well. The benefits to investigators include time saved since they can download an already completed IRB application for each study as well as eliminating the need to submit amendments, continuing reviews and non-local AEs to their IRB. In addition, subjects are enrolled in trials faster since the full local IRB does not need to meet.

If you are interested in learning more about the Initiative please see our website at A roster of enrolled institutions can be found at . If you are interested in joining the Initiative please call 888-657-3711.