The State of Minnesota in the US, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota (U of M), has launched a new cancer clinical trials network across various locations in the state.
The new Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network (MNCCTN) will be funded by the Minnesota Legislature as a part of the state’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE), a partnership between the state and U of M.
MnDRIVE’s newly secured $8m funding is expected to help the MNCCTN initiative, which will be led by U of M’s Masonic Cancer Center.
MNCCTN intends to improve prevention, treatment and survivorship for all Minnesotans by offering greater access to cancer clinical trials.
The trials will be initiated at the university’s two US National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centres including Masonic Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.
University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said: “This MnDRIVE initiative fuels research that addresses a pressing challenge—access to world-class cancer care for Minnesotans in every corner of our state.”
Essentia Health Community Oncology Research Program, Fairview Health Services, The Hormel Institute, Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium, and Sanford Community Oncology Program of North Central Plains will also be involved in MNCCTN.
In the first year of the MNCCTN cancer clinical trials, a total of 18 locations across Minnesota will participate. The programme will include additional sites across the state in the subsequent years.
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center medical oncologist Dr Charles Loprinzi has been appointed as the medical director of MNCCTN.
According to U of M, around half of Minnesotans are estimated to be diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening cancer during their lifetime.
The access to clinical cancer trials is not easy for many Minnesotans, with 56% of the state residents living more than 30 miles away from a hospital or clinic that offers access to such trials.