Main Line Health Community Clinical Oncology Program Grant Renewed by The National Cancer Institute
18 Year Old Community-Based Clinical Trials Program to be Continued 3 More Years
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has renewed the Main Line Health Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) grant awarded to Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR). The focus of the Main Line Health (MLH) CCOP is to provide patients access to state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary cancer clinical trials, reduce barriers to accruals, and educate the MLH community about cancer clinical trials. Funds of almost $1.5 million over three years will be used to accrue appropriate patients for NCI clinical trials at Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and Paoli Hospital.
The Community Clinical Oncology Program of the National Cancer Institute is a network for conducting cancer prevention and treatment clinical trials by connecting academic centers with community physicians. “On a national level, the CCOP program has created an infrastructure for clinical research in the community, and as a result has been a major contributor to many of the clinical trials in cancer over the last three decades,” states Paul Gilman, MD, CCOP Principal Investigator, Division of Hematology/Oncology Chief, and Director of LIMR’s Center for Clinical Cancer Research and Lankenau Medical Center’s Cancer Center.
Eighty-five percent of cancer patients are diagnosed and subsequently treated in their local communities, and according to the National Comprehensive Care Network’s Clinical Practice Guidelines, the best management of any cancer patient is in a clinical trial. The Main Line Health CCOP serves as a clinical trials accrual group by providing access to national NCI-approved cancer prevention, control, and treatment trials to patients and physicians in their own communities.
By providing access to clinical trials and a network to expedite the knowledge gained from national trials to community multi-disciplinary cancer programs, quality cancer care is fostered. Dr. Gilman notes, “For Main Line Health, the CCOP means that in addition to providing the very best in cancer care to the communities we serve, it allows us to contribute in a meaningful way to cancer research and treatments that lead to medical breakthroughs.”
The many advantages of the NCI-sponsored consortium between Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and Paoli Hospital to the MLH community include having access to state-of-the-art clinical trials and new cancer treatments before they become available to the general public, and allowing patients to be more active in their healthcare. Community education regarding clinical trials and their benefits is also crucial to MLH’s CCOP. The aim is to improve patient awareness, services, and clinical outcomes to the nearly one million people residing in the Main Line Health system’s service area.