The long-term objectives of the Illinois Oncology Research Association Community Clinical Oncology Program (IORA CCOP), based in Peoria, IL, remain essentially unchanged as it continues to work within a community setting to accelerate the development of interventions for preventing, treating, recovering from and curing cancer. Specifically, the IORA CCOP seeks to expand accrual to cancer clinical trials in the communities of central and western Illinois;stimulate quality care throughout the community through participation in and adoption of results from clinical research trials; promote the continued growth of a scientifically viable community cancer network to work with NCI- sponsored cooperative group trials;promote cancer prevention, control, and treatment by educating health care professionals and the public on the importance of cancer prevention, early detection, proper treatment and continuing care and by involving primary care physicians and other specialists in cancer prevention trials whenever possible;add to the knowledge base of known and new cancer treatments;and encourage the involvement of minority and underserved populations in cancer clinical trials and associated research. The IORA CCOP and its affiliates offer access to cancer clinical trials in an 18-county catchment area. This area spans more than 12,000 square miles of mostly rural country, yet most patients are easily within a one hour drive of one of the IORA CCOP's 25 components/affiliates in 16 communities. Although 6 of the affiliates are in Peoria itself, the IORA CCOP medical oncologists travel to all 15 communities outside Peoria weekly and all communities are supported by the affiliated radiation facilities in the region. The IORA CCOP uses state-of-the-art research protocols directly from the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and indirectly, through the Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU), with other research groups in the United States and Canada. The IORA CCOP enjoys excellent working relationships with these groups. Its centralized record keeping and quality control systems, its years of clinical trials experience, the expertise of its staff, the commitment of the CCOP oncology team, and the active involvement of the research patient advocates all lend themselves to continued quality research conducted in a community setting and resulting in patient benefit and documented results.
As the U.S. DODulation apes, cancer continues to have a maior impact on the lives of its citizens. Since most cancer patients are treated in their home communities, it is critically important to the public health of cancer patients and their families that quality cancer care be available locally. Cancer clinical trials offer the best in cancer prevention, treatment and symptom management, and the Community Clinical Oncology Program is the ideal mechanism for making these best treatments available in the community and consequently having a positive impact on the treatments of all cancer patients, even those not participating in a clinical trial.
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