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Spectrum sensing is a fundamental requirement in cognitive radio (CR) networks. When the constraint on detection performance is satisfied, the achievable throughput of the CR networks is expected to be maximized. Considering from a basic frame structure of CR networks, both the sensing time and the number of CRs have effect on the throughput. Current research on maximizing the throughput focuses on assuming that one parameter is fixed and coping with another one. As a result, the throughput is maximized in terms of only one factor. To overcome this drawback, a joint optimization scheme to maximize the throughput is proposed in this paper which chooses both the sensing time and the number of CRs as the optimization parameters. The optimization problem is formulated based on a throughput model with constraint on giving adequate protection to the primary user and it can be solved by an iterative algorithm. Simulation results are provided to show that significant improvement in the throughput of the CR networks has been achieved by using the proposed scheme.