The University of Kansas Cancer Center and Midwest Cancer Alliance have received a grant to expand the reach of cancer clinical trials to Kansas’ rural communities. The 6-year grant designates the team as a minority/underserved (MU) community site of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). There are 14 such sites in the United States, and the KU Cancer Center-Midwest Cancer Alliance is the only on that focuses on rural communities.
Expansion of Advanced Cancer Research as a Care Option into Rural Kansas
As an NCORP MU community site, KU Cancer Center and Midwest Cancer Alliance will accrue individuals to NCI-approved cancer clinical trials and research studies that encompass cancer prevention, screening, supportive care and symptom management, treatment, quality of life, and cancer care delivery.
Leveraging the Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA)
MCA, the outreach network of the University of Kansas Cancer Center, is a membership-based organization that partners with cancer research, care, and support professionals to advance the quality and accessibility of cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship in the Heartland. Members of the MCA have access to second opinion and consultation services, outreach programs, continuing education opportunities, patient navigation support, and more.
Executive Director Hope Krebill, MSW, BSN, RN, notes, “This grant enhances our ability to leverage the expertise of our rural cancer providers and KU Cancer Center researchers to expand clinical trials and decreases barriers to participation, with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer disparities and preventing and treating cancer more effectively.”
According to Gary Doolittle, MD, Midwest Cancer Alliance Medical Director and Co-principal Investigator for the NCORP grant, bringing clinical trials to a broader patient population may reduce disparities in cancer, given that providing clinical trials to cancer patients is considered a standard of care. Per numerous studies, including a 2017 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, people in rural America are more likely to die from cancer than those in the country’s metropolitan counties.
KU Cancer Center Director
Roy Jenson, MD, Director of the KU Cancer Center noted, “This grant is an affirmation and recognition of our scientific leadership and expertise in cancer prevention, survivorship, and cancer-care delivery research.” Dr. Jenson continued, “That we are the single site focused on rural communities underscores our vital role in helping our fellow Kansans.”
Gary Doolittle, MD, Midwest Cancer Alliance Medical Director and Co-principal Investigator for the NCORP
Roy Jenson, MD, Director of the KU Cancer Center
Priyanka Sharma, MD
Call to Action: Are you based in or near Kansas and have a loved one with a cancer diagnosis? The NCORP grant with University of Kansas opens up opportunities. TrialSite News will monitor the ongoing studies. Do you represent a sponsor searching for oncology investigator partners? MCA could be an intriguing option.