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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue:The Aging Veteran | Table of Contents: Summer 2018 | Download this issue

New Initiatives | Announcements

VA partnership with NCI to boost Veteran access to clinical trials


 VA is partnering with the National Cancer Institute to broaden access to clinical trials for Veterans. The program is launching at 12 VA facilities throughout the U.S. (Photo ©National Cancer Institute)
VA is partnering with the National Cancer Institute to broaden access to clinical trials for Veterans. The program is launching at 12 VA facilities throughout the U.S. (Photo ©National Cancer Institute)

VA is partnering with the National Cancer Institute to broaden access to clinical trials for Veterans. The program is launching at 12 VA facilities throughout the U.S. (Photo ©National Cancer Institute)

Veterans with cancer who receive care from VA will now have more access to the latest treatment options, thanks to a partnership between VA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment, or NAVIGATE, is launching at 12 VA sites throughout the country. The collaboration will make it easier for Veterans to join clinical trials sponsored by NCI's National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

NAVIGATE will build infrastructure at the VA sites to enable more Veterans to take part in cutting-edge clinical trials sponsored by NCI. Such trials typically test cutting-edge experimental treatments such as precision-medicine therapies based on patients' genetic profiles, or immunotherapies that harness patients' own immune systems to bring about cures.

The NAVIGATE network will also establish best practices and share insights to help other VAs nationwide enroll more Veterans in cancer clinical trials. Special attention is being given to minority patients, who often have poorer access to new treatments and are not as well-represented in clinical trials in the U.S.

While VA has a robust research program—including clinical trials on cancer and other diseases—at more than 100 sites nationwide, VA facilities often face challenges initiating and completing trials. Local VA research staff, for example, may lack adequate support to handle certain regulatory and administrative tasks involved in these studies. NAVIGATE will help remove those barriers.

"NAVIGATE is an opportunity for VA and NCI to partner at the national level to make clinical trials more accessible to Veterans," said Dr. James H. Doroshow, deputy director for clinical and translational research at the NCI. "This agreement will not only provide Veterans greater access to NCI clinical trials, it will … also work to help Veterans overcome barriers they've faced trying to access clinical trials as part of their cancer care."

VA health systems that will participate in NAVIGATE are located at Atlanta; the Bronx, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Denver; Durham, North Carolina; Hines, Illinois; Long Beach, California; Minneapolis; Palo Alto, California; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio; West Haven, Connecticut; and Boston. Boston will also serve as a coordinating center for the effort.


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