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Clinical Trials Network Awarded $13.6 Million NCI Grant

Posted on September 4, 2019

LCRC partners, LSU Health New Orleans and Ochsner, in collaboration with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and LSU Health Shreveport Cancer Center, have been awarded a $13.6 million grant by the National Cancer Institute to expand its successful statewide clinical trials network with a special emphasis on minority and underserved cancer patients. Principal Investigator Dr. Augusto Ochoa, Director of LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, and his team will develop a new entity by combining LSU Health New Orleans’ previously funded Gulf South Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) with Ochsner’s Community NCORP. Primary partners of the new Gulf South Minority/Underserved Clinical Trials Network NCORP will be LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport Feist Weiller Cancer Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Ochsner Cancer Center.

The new Clinical Trials Network will provide cancer care and access to clinical trials for more than 50% of newly diagnosed cancer patients in the region, expand the number of sites offering access to clinical trials from 22 to 42 and increase the proportion of minority patients participating in NCORP trials. It will also take advantage of the clinical subspecialties at the primary affiliate sites, utilize the valuable samples in biorepositories to advance research in health disparities and treatment, as well as expand its partnerships with community health organizations.

“This funding recognizes the expertise of LSU Health New Orleans and our partners in cancer research and care,” notes Larry Hollier, MD, Chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans. “It will allow us to bring access to the latest advances in cancer care to even more Louisiana people diagnosed with this devastating disease.”

Major health providers in the region including the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans, Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge and the Christus Health community sites will also participate.

“A decade ago we started building this network with Mary Bird Perkins and LSU Health Shreveport,” recalls principal investigator Augusto Ochoa, MD, Director of LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center. “It was recently named a recipient of the Platinum Award by the NCI for being a leading organization in enrolling cancer patients into clinical trials. Last year alone, we enrolled more than 1,300 patients in Louisiana, and when combined with Ochsner, it was close to 1,500. We are the largest cancer clinical trials network in the state. With the addition of Ochsner, this new clinical trials network holds a hopeful future for our cancer patients. We will continue to build cancer care throughout the state through team efforts such as the Gulf South CTN.”