The Queens Cancer Center (QCC) is uniquely qualified to become a Minority Based Community Clinical Oncology Program. QCC is part of the Queens Health Network (QHN) which is comprised of the only two public hospitals in Queens, Queens Hospital Center (QHC) and Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC). The public hospital system of New York City provides care for a population composed almost entirely of patients from minority groups, lower economic social strata, and the uninsured. These are the very patients that this minority based CCOP RFA is targeting. Since its inception in 2002, the QCC has been dedicated to bringing the best possible cancer care to the people in Queens who were previously underserved, including minority patients, recent immigrants and patients without insurance or means. It is the only clinical comprehensive cancer center within the public hospital system of all of New York City. The population served by the Queens Health Network has an unfortunate history of late stage cancers of all kinds and poorer survival. The mission of the QCC is to reduce the rates of late stage disease and to improve the care for cancer. The strategies to accomplish this include education of the community, introduction of cancer control trials, outreach for early detection programs and state of the art cancer care including access to clinical cancer treatment trials. The patient population in the Queens Health Network is overwhelmingly from minority groups. These are the patients who do not have access to clinical trials. The Queens Health Network is the only health facility in Queens, a borough with more than 2 million people that offers access to multi-institutional treatment trials. The organization is already in place to offer some trials, but more staff is needed to expand this effort to a larger population. The purpose of this grant is to establish a minority base CCOP in the Queens Health Network so that more patients can be given access to cancer control and treatment trials.
Research in cancer control, prevention, early detection and treatment has not been offered equally to minority patients;perhaps resulting in later stage disease at presentation and worse outcomes. It is essential that the NCI support public hospital systems such as ours, with a proven track record in research, to enhance their infrastructure so that disparities in cancer care for these communities can be reduced.