Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and U.S. Rep. John Carney (both D-Del) announced $4.6 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health for the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). CCOP is a network for testing and validating medical interventions against cancer, and for delivering the benefits of scientific discovery to the public and community physicians.
Carper and Carney were joined by some of the representatives from the program's affiliates at Christiana Care's Helen F. Graham Cancer Center for the announcement. The affiliates are Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Beebe Medical Center, Union Hospital of Cecil County in Elkton, Md., and Cooper University Hospital in Voorhees, NJ. The CCOP program received a three year,
$4,691,802 grant that will enable them to develop and administer research protocols to fight cancer. The research money will be used to fund cancer prevention trials, cancer treatment trials and cancer control trials.
"The key to getting better results in our health care system is better coordination of care and using early screening to prevent and treat illness as early as possible," said Sen. Carper. "This grant will enable the region's hospitals to study new ways to detect, treat, and prevent cancer while also providing patients that participate in the studies with innovative, top-notch care. This is a promising step in cancer research for both the patients and health care providers."
"Investing in cancer research saves lives and strengthens our economy," Senator Coons said. "Funding cutting-edge scientific and medical research is how we will cure our way out of this tough economy and deliver the next generation of treatments and cures that will ease the pain of Delawareans across the state."
"Christiana Care and its partners have done an outstanding job developing the Community Clinical Oncology Program into a world-class resource for cancer research," said Congressman Carney, a member of the Delaware Cancer Consortium Advisory Council. "The funding announced today will give more Delawareans access to cutting-edge research and technology in the fight against cancer. I'm proud to continue my support for the significant progress being made by Christiana Care, the Delaware Cancer Consortium, and partners throughout the state."
"Through this National Cancer Institute grant, people in our area will continue to have access to many cancer trials and our doctors and researcher coordinators will be better equipped to treat and prevent this disease," said Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., medical director of Christiana Care's Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.
"As we know, government funding for pediatric cancer research is just a fraction – a mere 4 percent – of what is spent on adult cancer research. To get the most out of the funding we receive, we need to work together with our adult oncology colleagues to maintain an efficient and productive clinical research infrastructure," said Andy Kolb, M.D., director of the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. "Collaborative research offers hope for better treatments and cures for all cancers."
The national CCOP began in 1983 and Christiana Care Health System began participation in 1987. From June of 1987 through May of 2012, a total of 7,276 individuals participated in an NCI designated clinical trial through Delaware's program. This includes 4,471 individuals accrued to treatment trials and 2,805 accrued to prevention and cancer control trials. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect,
diagnose, or treat diseases. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists' knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts. The Delaware CCOP's accrual rate is one of the top three (out of 49) in the United States.