The Montana Cancer Consortium (MCC) NCORP Community Site will coordinate, support and improve the activities of physicians, cancer centers and hospitals across the entire state of Montana, as w/ell as portions of Northern Idaho and Wyoming, to maximize patient access to the highest levels of cancer care, especially accrual to NCI-sponsored clinical trials. In addition, MCC NCORP will design, participate in and influence cancer care delivery research, helping inform and speed validated care innovations into clinical practice. The region has been characterized as 'mega-rural'with severe access to care due to the vastness of the geography, lack of university-based treatment and research facilities, and lack of primary care providers. It is also home to seven American Indian Reservations, where issues of poverty, distance, and cultural taboos surrounding cancer care discussion and treatment create special disparities to prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of cancer. MCC is an independent not-for-profit institution that exists to maximize access to clinical treatment trials and research through centralized services and support for member physicians and sites that might not otherwise offer access to these critical opportunities. The MCC NCORP Community Site consists of ten member components and six subcomponents that collectively will serve over one million residents in an area covering over 200,000 square miles. Membership includes 53 Board Certified oncologists, virtually every practitioner in the region and their respective hospitals and clinics, representing all cancer car specialty areas. MCC core staff managed the NCI Community Cancer Oncology Program (CCOP) since 1996 and includes a component site selected as an NCI National Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) since 2007. MCC NCORP is affiliated with five national research bases, and is poised to provide and support expanded access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment, prevention, and control through NCI-sponsored clinical trials while improving the delivery of cancer care through research.
The uniquely rural and medically underserved population of Montana, Northern Idaho and Northern Wyoming offers stimulating challenges for implementing NCI-sponsored clinical trials. The collective experience of the component sites in successful clinical trial enrollment and care delivery research on both rural and American Indian underserved populations will benefit NCORP's diversity and disparity goals.