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NCI DCP News Note

NCI Approves Funding Plan for NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)

Posted: June 25, 2014

On June 24, 2014, the Scientific Program Leaders (SPL) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) approved the funding plan for the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations. NCORP will conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and studies in diverse populations in community-based healthcare systems across the United States. The program will receive $93 million a year for five years. The NCI Office of Grants Administration will be contacting applicants selected for funding in the next several days to negotiate awards. NCI will publish a final list of NCORP sites as soon as all awards have been issued, but no later than August 1.

NCORP will design and conduct trials to improve cancer prevention, cancer control, screening for early cancers, and post-treatment surveillance; it will also study delivery of cancer care and perform comparative effectiveness research. In addition, NCORP will facilitate access to treatment and imaging trials conducted by the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN).

NCORP will emphasize the importance of including minority and other underserved patient populations in clinical research, posing research questions that address health disparities in many aspects of cancer control and cancer care. The program will also integrate a variety of health services and seek to accelerate adoption of new knowledge by practitioners and heath care systems.

NCORP has been under development at the NCI for well over a year. The concept was approved by the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors one year ago and the Funding Opportunity Announcements for NCORP sites and Research Bases were released in November 2013. Applications were reviewed by expert panels assembled by the NCI and then evaluated by NCI program staff to make final funding decisions over the past few months.

NCORP replaces two previous programs for the conduct of clinical research in community settings: the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (Community Clinical Oncology Programs, Minority-Based Clinical Oncology Programs, and Research Bases) and NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). Most of the study sites in these programs will be incorporated into NCORP. At all sites, the NCI will ensure that patients in active trials or in follow-up programs will still be able to continue on study. Approximately $12 million of NCI funds will be provided for a responsible transition that does not jeopardize patient care or existing studies.

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