The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MBCCOP) improves access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment and cancer prevention and control research trials to the urban and rural communities of Richmond and Southside Virginia. Over forty percent of new cancer cases seen in the VCU MBCCOP are from minority populations, primarily African-Americans. Organizational and operational plans, which provide the structure for the effective implementation of multidisciplinary research, are presented. This application emphasizes the unique urban and rural population available to the VCU MBCCOP, the history of extensive participation by primary health care providers and specialists, in particular, surgeons, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists in clinical research at VCU, and VCU initiatives in cancer outreach conducted at rural MBCCOP sites. Currently, the VCU MBCCOP has affiliations with four CCOP research bases: NSABP, CALGB, GOG, and NCCTG. It also participates in trials available through the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU). The application describes the working relationships with the research bases and the focus of the VCU MBCCOP to accrue significant numbers of minority participants to both treatment and cancer prevention and control clinical trials. Working relationships of the VCU MBCCOP investigators, clinical research teams, and support services and personnel are described. The role of the VCU MBCCOP in promoting quality cancer care through treatment and cancer prevention and control studies to traditionally underserved segments of the population, the urban and rural minorities, as well as future plans are discussed.
The enrollment of minority participants in clinical trials provides a broader knowledge of the impact of new cancer treatments on the entire population. In addition, inclusion of minority participants in cancer prevention and control trials enables an understanding of potential differences between racial and ethnic populations in the effectiveness of the interventions.
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