National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health

Improving Access to Research-Based Cancer Care

Creating the Next Rim of Cancer Research and Care

Studies suggest that cancer patients diagnosed and treated in a cancer center that conducts multi-specialty care and clinical research may live longer and have a better quality of life. The NCCCP pilot offers more Americans access to research-based cancer care by affiliating with the hospitals and clinics where most cancer patients already receive care.

  • NCI estimates that 85 percent of Americans with cancer are initially diagnosed at community hospitals. Most patients also receive at least their first course of treatment there.
  • Depending on the type and stage of cancer they have, or if their cancer recurs, these patients may seek treatment at some point at one of the 63 NCI-designated Cancer Centers. Still, many patients are not treated at these major cancer centers because of distance, or for personal or economic reasons.

Significant advances in cancer treatment in recent years have made possible the concept of a community hospital-based cancer network. When the NCI-designated Cancer Centers were being established in the 1960s, there was a need for special care units in large hospitals to manage the side effects of the highly toxic chemotherapies of the day. Today, these treatments –and the newer generation of immunotherapies and other regimens – are less toxic, making it possible to administer more advanced care at community hospitals, often in an outpatient setting.

The NCCCP pilot extends NCI programs and services to more than a dozen new geographic areas, giving people – especially older, rural, inner city, and underserved individuals – easier access to clinical research and advanced cancer screening, early detection, treatment, and palliative care services.

National Cancer Institute U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health