The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the Midwest Cancer Alliance has received a six-year grant to expand its clinical trials to rural communities in the US state of Kansas.

The cancer centre has been designated as the minority/underserved (MU) community site as defined by the Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI).

KU Cancer Center is the only study facility in the state that has plans to work with rural communities.

KU Cancer Center director Roy Jensen said: “This grant is an affirmation and recognition of our scientific leadership and expertise in cancer prevention, survivorship, and cancer-care delivery research.

“That we are the single site focused on rural communities underscores our vital role in helping our fellow Kansans.”

As a NCORP MU community site, KU Cancer Center and Midwest Cancer Alliance will be responsible for adding individuals to cancer clinical trials and research studies approved by NCI.

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The clinical trials will include areas such as cancer prevention, screening, supportive care and symptom management, treatment, quality of life, and cancer care delivery.

NCORP includes investigators, academic institutions, cancer care providers and similar organisation in the country who aim to improve outcomes and work towards reducing cancer disparities.

Midwest Cancer Alliance executive director Hope Krebill said: “This grant enhances our ability to leverage the expertise of our rural cancer providers and KU Cancer Center researchers to expand clinical trials and decrease barriers to participation, with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer disparities and preventing and treating cancer more effectively.”

Midwest Cancer Alliance medial director and NCORP grant co-principal investigator Gary Doolittle said: “While improvements in cancer care have been significant over the last several decades, the need to provide dedicated, comprehensive care continues to grow, particularly in rural areas.”