|NCI Launches a Pilot of its Community Cancer
Centers Program to Bring Quality Cancer Care to All
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes
of Health (NIH), today launched the three-year pilot phase of a
new program that will help bring state-of-the-art cancer care to
patients in community hospitals across the United States.
The National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program
(NCCCP) is designed to encourage the collaboration of private-practice
medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists — with close
links to NCI research and to the network of 63 NCI-designated Cancer
Centers principally based at large research universities. Building
on this expanded network, the NCCCP sites will explore ways of
sharing information, via electronic medical records, to further
enhance patient care. Evidence from a wide range of studies suggests
that cancer patients diagnosed and treated in a setting of coordinated
multi-specialty care and clinical research may live longer and
have a better quality of life.
“Improving access to cutting-edge therapies, and providing simple
and secure methods of exchanging medical information between health
care consumers and providers are key issues,” said Health and Human
Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “The NCCCP pilot program holds
great potential to inform us of the best ways to expand the reach
of clinical research and further the important adoption of electronic
medical records at the community level.”
The pilot program will research new and enhanced ways to assist,
educate, and better treat the needs of underserved populations — including
elderly, rural, inner-city, and low-income patients — as
well as racial and ethnic groups with unusually high cancer rates.
“A key component of the NCI Community Cancer Centers program will
be education,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. “Studying
new ways to help patients and members of the community better understand
the lifestyle issues that affect cancer risk could pay dividends
for many diseases by implementing approaches proven effective by
The pilot will begin at eight free-standing community hospitals
and six additional hospitals operated by health care systems. The
sites will be funded for a collective total of $5 million per year.
An NCI panel of experts and an independent group of outside experts
will set milestones, monitor progress, and evaluate success of
the three-year pilot and then issue recommendations for a full-fledged
The hospitals, their locations, and their cancer centers are:
- Billings Clinic, Billings, Mont. (Billings Clinic Cancer Center)
- Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn. (Helen & Harry Gray Cancer
- St. Joseph’s / Candler, Savannah, Ga. (Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis
Cancer & Research Pavilion)
- Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, La.
(Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer
- Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Sanford Cancer
- Spartanburg Regional Hospital, Spartanburg, S.C., (Gibbs Regional
- St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, Calif. (St. Joseph Hospital Cancer
- Christiana Hospital, Newark, Del. (Helen F. Graham Cancer Center
at Christiana Care)
- Ascension Health of St. Louis, Mo.
- St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind. (St. Vincent Oncology
- Columbia St. Mary’s, Milwaukee, Wis. (Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Center)
- Brackenridge Hospital, Austin, Texas (Shivers Center)
- Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver, Colo., will operate sites
- Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Penrose Cancer
- St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson , Md. (St. Joseph Cancer Institute)
- A coordinated regional program in Nebraska sponsored by Good Samaritan Hospital
in Kearney (Good Samaritan Cancer Center); St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center
in Lincoln (St. Elizabeth Cancer Center); and St. Francis Medical Center in Grand
Island (St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center).
NCCCP pilot sites will study how community hospitals nationwide
could most effectively develop and implement a national database
of voluntarily provided electronic medical records that would be
accessible to cancer researchers. They will also study methods
of expanding and standardizing the collection of blood and tissue
specimens voluntarily obtained from patients for cancer research.
“It is becoming clear that one of the greatest determinants of
cancer mortality in the years ahead will be access to care,” said
NCI Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D. “This program will succeed
if it can bring the benefits of our latest science to people in
the communities where they live.”
For a Q&A on the NCCCP, please go to http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/NCCCPpilotQ&A.
For more information on the NCCCP program, please visit the NCCCP
website at http://ncccp.cancer.gov.
For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI website
at http://www.cancer.gov, or
call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.