The Gulf South Minority/Underserved ? NCORP (GS-M/U-NCORP) and the Ochsner-Community-NCORP, the two NCORPs in Louisiana, have both met the objectives proposed for the last funding cycle, expanding access to and significantly increasing the number of patients participating in clinical trials in Louisiana and the Gulf South region. These successful NCORPs have agreed to come together to form the Gulf South Minority/Underserved Clinical Trials Network (Gulf South M/U CTN) NCORP, which will have as its primary affiliates the LSU ? Cancer Center New Orleans (LSU-CC-New Orleans), LSU ? Feist Weiller Cancer Center Shreveport (LSU-FWCC-Shreveport), Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBPCC) and the Ochsner-Cancer Center (Ochsner). The new Gulf South M/U CTN will provide cancer care and access to clinical trials for >50% of new cancer cases in the region, expand the number of sites offering access to clinical trials from 22 to 42, and exceed the required 30% proportion of minority patients participating in NCORP trials. The Gulf South M/U CTN will bring additional resources including the Louisiana Tumor SEER registry (LTR-SEER) and the state-wide cancer screening programs such as the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program (LBCHP), and the Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (LCCCP). In addition we will benefit from ongoing research led by our investigators and aimed at understanding cancer inequities and disparities in our region. The new Gulf South M/U CTN has also expanded its network with major health providers in the region including the Veterans Administration Hospital (New Orleans), Woman's Hospital (the largest dedicated clinical center for women's health) in Baton Rouge and the Christus Health community sites. The new Gulf South M/U CTN has garnered the support of the Louisiana Department of Health Secretary and the Governor, who are developing a cancer care plan for the state (Taking Aim at Cancer in Louisiana Collaborative -TACL), where the Gulf South M/U CTN is the major provider of state-wide cancer clinical trials. This support will help us to continue increasing the participation of patients in NCORP and non-NCORP studies. To achieve our goals we will implement the following three strategies. 1. Expand the number of sites through additional partnerships with community organizations such as FQHC's where we will test novel approaches to increase the participation of community physicians providing care to cancer patients in the region; 2. Support the development of CCDR and Health Disparities research initiated by our investigators to understand the inequities created by cancer in our region and 3. Increase our participation in national trials supported by NCORP and other organizations to expand the scope and depth of trials offered to our patients.
The Gulf South M/U Clinical Trials network brings together the strengths of the two NCORPs of Louisiana. This will double the number of sites offering clinical trials in the Gulf South. We will explore new approaches to increase the participation of minority-underserved patients and community physicians in cancer clinical trials.
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