The primary mission of the cancer clinical research team from New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) and Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology (CCRO) has been to improve cancer outcomes and decrease cancer burden for the people of Southeastern North Carolina (SENC) utilizing the mechanism of clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Over the past decade, the group has worked toward that goal via two major five-year Cancer Disparities Research Partnership grants from the NCI. After building a solid clinical research infrastructure, the team has steadily increased enrollment of underserved populations onto treatment trials, followed by cancer control and symptom management trials. The current formation of the proposed SENC CCOP combines NHRMC and CCRO resources for the project, "Advancing Clinical Trials in Coastal North Carolina" to sustain and extend the successes achieved in improving cancer outcomes for underserved populations via the CDRP projects to the entire population of SENC. The SENC CCOP plans to annually accrue 80 patients on treatment trials and 70 patients on cancer control studies utilizing offerings from three cooperative groups (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Cancer and Leukemia Group B, Gynecologic Oncology Group) and the Wake Forest University CCOP Research Bases.
The specific aims of the SENC CCOP are: (1) to improve cancer care for patients diagnosed with malignant disease in coastal North Carolina (NC) (a population to which clinical trials are otherwise unavailable due to significant geographic distance from comprehensive cancer centers) through participation in National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored treatment trials;(2) to build upon prior successes achieved through the Cancer Disparities Research Partnership (CDRP) program by increasing enrollment of underserved populations onto NCI sponsored clinical trials;(3) to reduce the burden of cancer in SENC by increasing accrual to Department of Cancer Prevention (DCP) clinical trials.
In 2010, 45,000 people were diagnosed and 19,000 died of cancer in North Carolina (NC). Residents of Southeastern NC, a large proportion of whom are African American, poor, or elderly, are disproportionately affected by cancer. The SENC CCOP seeks to decrease this cancer burden in coastal NC by increasing enrollment onto clinical trials for cancer treatment and control sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.