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Five-year grant helps out a cancer treatment center in Grand Island

CHI Health St. Francis (NTV File Photo)

The CHI Health St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center has announced that it will be awarded $708,454 for a five-year grant to support research activities across the CHI Cancer Centers network.

The National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Program grant is a five-year term grant which is renewed annually based on the research performance of sites as evaluated by a yearly Research Performance Progress Reports, which St. Francis has received for four year.

Medical Director of Oncology at the St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center Dr. Mehmet Sitki Copur, MD, FACP, said the grant is further proof of the Cancer Treatment Center’s commitment to pursing excellence in health care quality and access for all those they serve.

“CHI has put in place several initiatives that serve our community patient populations across the network and St. Francis has been the proud leader and supporter of this initiative,” Copur said. “Through this grant, we not only bring the cutting-edge cancer care to our patients near where they work and live, but we also build and support several crucial cancer initiatives.”

According to Copur, those initiatives include the ability to offer nurse navigators, genetic counseling, data collection, outreach coordinators, interpreters and informed consent in languages other than English.

Copur said there are many other initiatives that can help remove barriers to care and support the needs of patients.

“Advances in understanding the biology of cancer have revolutionized the treatment in the last decade, but much of the knowledge is still being tested in clinical trials,” Copur said. “The St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center has been involved in national clinical trials for the last two decades and has utilized several awards and grants in the past to allow the difficult task of conducting clinical trials in the community setting.”

Copur said the most recent and prestigious of these grants is the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Program (NCORP) grant. Since 2014, St. Francis has been one of the 34 awardees of the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Program grant as part of the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI). CIRI has worked closely with CHI cancer centers across the country to build the CHI Oncology Research Alliance.

The St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center states that they have been given a leadership role for the entire CHI network. Copur and his team have worked with CIRI to share their expertise in conducting Phase I, II and III clinical research trials.

Accrual rates to cancer clinical trials vary from 3-25 percent across accredited CHI sites with St. Francis typically among the national leaders.

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