August 08, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $3.7 Million In Federal Funds Awarded To University Of Rochester For Critical Cancer Research

National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Grant Awarded to University of Rochester to Study Better Ways to Prevent, Control, Screen & Treat Cancer in Individual Communities

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the University of Rochester will receive $3,730,599 in federal funds to design and conduct clinical trials aimed at improving cancer prevention, cancer control, screening, and post-treatment management. These funds will be allocated through the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). This funding provides continued support for the University of Rochester Cancer Center (URCC), which has been a part of NCI’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) program, now a part of the larger NCORP, since 1983. NCORP is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide care to diverse populations in community-based healthcare practices across the United States. The objective of NCORP is to bring cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research to individuals in their own communities, like Rochester, with the overarching goal of improving patient outcomes and a reduction in cancer disparities. Schumer explained that the University of Rochester will participate in this new program that will conduct clinical trials and other studies with an emphasis on cancer care delivery research. This grant will allow URCC to continue its research focus on decreasing physical and psychological treatment-related illnesses and deaths among cancer patients, survivors, and their care partners by improving the quality of cancer care that addresses toxicities and side effects stemming from cancer treatment. Over the past 30 years, the URCC has evolved and developed considerable resources for cancer control and cancer care delivery research activities. Symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment can significantly affect patients’ well-being and are frequently dose-limiting factors in potentially curative treatments.

“Almost every person you meet today has been affected by cancer in some way, whether it is a family member, friend, or something even they themselves have battled,” said Senator Schumer. “In order to stem the tide of cancer and learn better ways to treat, care for, and even prevent it, we must study it. I am proud to announce that one of New York’s top research universities, the University of Rochester, has been selected to receive a major $3.7 million federal grant to conduct clinical trials focused on lessening illnesses in patients and survivors that result from cancer treatment. This is the kind of research that will help us better understand ways to make cancer treatment more effective and less invasive, so that survivors and patients might contend with fewer risks following treatment, and continue to lead healthy and happy lives once in remission.”

“The University of Rochester is home to world-class medical research and it is critical that we continue to invest in cutting-edge, life-saving cancer research,” said Senator Gillibrand. “While cancer continues to claim lives, with the right investments in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, families will have the tools and resources needed to combat this terrible disease. I am pleased the University of Rochester will get critical funding to ensure advancements in the field of cancer treatment and remediation.”

"This grant emphasizes our focus on cancer control and survivorship,” Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., Director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute. “It contributes to our legacy of excellence in this area, and it fits perfectly well with our strategic plan.”

“We are honored and very happy to receive this grant. It recognizes and supports the research contributions to patient care of a very talented group of the University of Rochester faculty and staff,” said Gary R Morrow, Ph.D. MS, Program Director of the Cancer Control Research Training Program at the University of Rochester. “Symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment can significantly affect patients’ well-being and are frequently dose-limiting factors in potentially curative treatments. Supportive care of cancer patients makes the best medical care possible.   Many of the important advances in the control of symptoms and side effects  of chemotherapy and radiotherapy such as nausea, vomiting, cognitive and sleep disturbances and fatigue have been made right here in Rochester.  This award will enable that research progress to continue and expand.”

NCORP is a community-based program that builds upon the scope and activities of NCI's previously supported community networks, the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) and the Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). The CCOP Network has three components that work together to provide community cancer care and access to NCI clinical trials, including Community Clinical Oncology Programs, Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Programs, and Research Bases. The National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) is a public-private partnership of the NCI and a network of community hospital-based cancer centers from around the United States. The NCCCP works to improve the quality of cancer care delivered at community hospitals and to enhance the level of cancer research taking place in the community.

NCORP seeks to integrate these prior networks into one new program to preserve and enhance cancer research in the community. The overall goal of NCORP is to bring cancer clinical trials, as well as cancer care delivery research (CCDR), to individuals in their own communities, thereby generating a broadly applicable evidence base that contributes to improved patient outcomes and a reduction in cancer disparities. Cancer care delivery research within NCORP focuses on diverse and multi-level factors (e.g. social, financing systems, process, technology, and others) that affect access to and quality of care in the community.