Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium (MMCORC)

The Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium (MMCORC), formerly known as the MetroMinnesota Community Clinical Oncology Program (MMCCOP), has a long history of success, as demonstrated by the ongoing commitment of is original members and the consortium's growth from 1979 to 2018. Today, MMCORC is an established community program that began through its National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Community Hospital Cancer Program Award. This program improved cancer care delivery in the community and was the cornerstone for the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) initiative. It received the initial NCI CCOP grant in 1983 and has been awarded subsequent CCOP grants in 3- to 5-year increments until the 5-year NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) grant in 2014. In 2010, hospitals, clinics, and oncologists in the MN Community Group Outreach Program joined MMCCOP, resulting in a metro-wide community cancer research program in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 2014, MMCCOP received funding under the new NCORP grant program. In 2016, MMCCOP was renamed MMCORC to represent the disbanding of the NCI CCOP grant program and show the broad scope of oncology research services available to the community, consistent with a consortium model. MMCORC represents 25 hospital and clinics with a common approach and established mechanisms for identifying, enrolling, and following participants on NCI- sponsored treatment, cancer prevention and control, symptom management, and care delivery research protocols. The state health market remains extremely competitive and is constantly changing due to mergers and healthcare reform initiatives. Despite this environment, MMCORC hospitals and staff continue to collaborate and support the added time and expense of offering clinical research trials to patients in the communities we serve. The consortium incorporates a substantial segment of the oncology community and has provided a basis for communication, partnership, and collaboration among practicing oncologists, their hospital administrators, and other health professionals for 35 years. Combined, the consortium members see, on average, more than 17,170 new analytic cancer patients per year. In the consortium, 165 MD investigators represent medical oncology, hematology, and radiation and surgical oncology, including thoracic surgery, gynecologic oncology, radiology, neuro-oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, palliative care, and primary care, with 57 mid-level clinicians (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) considered associate investigators. MMCORC intends to continue to offer the community the most recent advances in cancer prevention, treatment, symptom management, and care delivery through continued affiliations with NCORP research bases such as Alliance, ECOG-ACRIN, NRG Oncology, SWOG via CTSU, URCC, and CCCWFU. By implementing proactive strategies to improve access and encourage participation from underrepresented and underserved groups, MMCORC is well positioned to achieve the goals of the NCORP set forth by the NCI.