Government agencies, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other divisions of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs sponsor and conduct clinical trials. In addition, organizations or individuals such as physicians, medical institutions, foundations, volunteer groups, and pharmaceutical companies also sponsor clinical trials.
The overall goal of the Heartland NCORP is to bring cancer clinical trials (cancer control, symptom control, prevention, screening, treatment and imaging), as well as cancer care delivery research to individuals in their own communities. This means patients can stay near home and yet receive expert care while at the same time they contribute to the overall knowledge of treating cancer. Heartland NCORP provides access to cutting edge therapies to a diverse population, including people who are often underserved because of where they live. Research in the community setting allows access to a larger and more diverse patient population in “real world” healthcare locations. This provides researchers with realistic information about how new therapies can be used in local communities and helps increase the generalizability of study findings. Engaging community oncologists in cancer clinical research can also speed up the acceptance and use of improved therapies into routine care. This helps all patients.