Cancer affects 1.6 million Americans in the US each year. Over 37,000 Washington State residents are diagnosed with cancer each year and it has been the overall leading cause of death since 2004. In 2012, cancer was responsible for 12,170 deaths and accounted for approximately 24% of all deaths statewide. Since 1983, the NCI has extended cancer research into the community and facilitated the translation of research into evidenced based practice through the Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOPs). For the past 30 years, cancer patients in the Pacific Northwest have had access to NCI funded oncology clinical trials via two large community based research networks: Northwest CCOP and Virginia Mason CCOP. These two highly experienced CCOPs share a 30 year history as separate, but adjacent CCOPs and have joined to form the Northwest NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NW NCORP). The NW NCORP recognizes the critical contributions that community cancer research programs occupy in clinical research continuum. According to the NCI about 85% of cancer patients are treated in or near their communities. Community hospitals keep patients close to family, friends, and jobs, while treatment at major Cancer Centers may require extended commutes or long stays away from home. Our service orientation and position in the cancer research design-implement-delivery continuum demands collaboration with likeminded community-based entities and modernization of our ability to connect to diverse patient populations and other stakeholders. With our fundamental principle of clinical research collaboration and cancer care delivery, the specific aims of the NW NCORP community site are: (1) Accelerate access to clinical trials in "real-world" healthcare delivery settings for cancer patients across the lifespan (pediatrics, adolescent and young adults, and adults);(2) Build infrastructure for the cancer care delivery research program (CCDR) in preparation for the capacity to conduct CCDR clinical trials across the NW NCORP Network;and (3) Develop active strategies for enhancing interaction with NCI-supported programs.
As a network of community hospitals, clinics, and multidisciplinary providers focused on the entire spectrum of cancer patients (pediatrics to aging adults), the NW NCORP offers a real-world setting for cancer patients to access new and emerging medical treatments and supportive care via a national clinical research network.