Insights from building a new National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Network Program site


Aurora NCORP

Aurora Research Institute

Aurora Health Care


BACKGROUND: The new National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) went live August 1, 2014; 34 sites were selected for the program, including 7 new sites that previously did not have a research grant from the NCI. This report describes the first year of a new program site.

METHODS: Accrual, investigator and site participation, and number of open studies by the program over the first 12 months of the grant were compared to performance at our institution over the prior 12 months.

RESULTS: During the pre-NCORP period, 84 patients were accrued to NCI-sponsored trials and 106 patients to non–NCI-sponsored trials. In year 1 of the new program, 140 were accrued to NCI-sponsored trials—a 66% improvement, and 109 patients to non–NCI-sponsored trials (P =0.013 when comparing corresponding increases for NCI vs non-NCI trials). Success of the NCI-sponsored trials was associated with increased accrual to both treatment trials (P =0.03) and Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology-sponsored trials (P =0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: NCORP implementation was associated with a significant (P =0.013) improvement in accrual to NCI-sponsored trials that was immediate (1 year) and large (a 66% increase in accrual). In year 2, the intention is to increase cancer control studies; foster inclusion of radiation, surgical, gynecologic, and neurologic oncologists; and focus on minority outreach. Studies that accrue poorly will be assessed, and those accruing poorly on a national basis will be considered for closure. Studies accruing well nationally will be evaluated for barriers to local accrual.

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