Earlier this month, the National Cancer Institute announced that two Georgia-based consortiums have won millions of dollars in grants. The winners are formed collaborations of several institutions throughout the state that will lead NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) in their respective communities.
The award winners are a consortium led by Georgia Regents University Cancer Center in Augusta and a statewide partnership, named “Georgia NCORP,” made up of Atlanta’s Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, Savannah’s St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion, and Georgia CORE – the Center for Oncology, Research and Education. Georgia CORE’s affiliates in this endeavor are Harbin Clinic in Rome, John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus, Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. The Georgia NCORP award alone is $5.85 million over five years, providing Georgians with 110 oncology clinical providers in 41 different locations throughout the state.
GRU is working in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, University Cancer and Blood Center in Athens, the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and DeKalb Medical in Decatur. Additionally, Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah has been awarded NCI funding through a partnership with cancer centers in South Carolina.
While the awards bring valuable resources to those organizations, the funding and recognition are a big win for the state as a whole, according to C. Michael Cassidy, President and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. “Our strategic investments in statewide cancer initiatives led to Georgia’s emergence as a national leader in research with an unparalleled network of leading-edge cancer centers,” said Cassidy. “GRA Distinguished Cancer Scientists were actively involved in the creation of each of these programs.”
According to NCI, the five-year grants go to institutions and organizations that will ensure the latest scientific discoveries are translated into the most effective strategies to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Georgia fared exceedingly well with its two designations and awards to academic and community-based cancer centers, the collective reach of which nearly covers the state.
“These national awards are a result of the state’s remarkable progress in bringing the highest quality of cancer care and clinical trials to patients in their own communities,” said Georgia CORE President and CEO Nancy M. Paris. “In fact, the number of trials available in Georgia has doubled in just the last five years, thanks to the extraordinary level of collaboration among community and academic oncologists committed to a unified, comprehensive approach to meeting the highest international standards of care and research.”
The Georgia NCORP consortium has been designated as an NCORP Community Site, one of only 34 sites awarded nationwide this year. The GRU-led consortium has been designated as a NCORP Minority/Underserved Community Site – the only one for Georgia, and one of just 12 selected nationally. Recently, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University was named as a Lead Academic Participating Site for NCI’s new National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), one of only thirty cancer centers to receive this designation. The NCTN will concentrate on late-phase treatment and advanced imaging trials through its relationship with NCORP.
NCORP is NCI’s national network of cancer care investigators, providers, academia, and other organizations that conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in diverse populations across the U.S. More information can be found at ncorp.cancer.gov.