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April 30, 2019

USC Norris launches IMPACT programme for cancer clinical trials

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US has launched the new IMproving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials (IMPACT) programme to increase diversity in cancer clinical trials.

Developed by Lazarex Cancer Foundation, the IMPACT programme combines financial reimbursement and outreach to help cancer patients learn about and access advanced treatment in clinical trials.

IMPACT is aimed at creating equal access to clinical trials for all patients and will educate patients about clinical trials as an opportunity for treatment of advanced cancers.

IMPACT involves a partnership between Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Amgen–the Founding IMPACT Sponsor, UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Norris.

Lazarex Cancer Foundation founder Dana Dornsife said: “By offering reimbursements through IMPACT, patients can say ‘yes’ to participating in clinical trials.

“Consequently, clinical trials see increased patient enrollment, minority participation, and patients are better able to stay the course of the trial.”

The IMPACT programme will also be studied as a non-therapeutic interventional trial focused on educating cancer patients about clinical trials.

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Additionally, IMPACT coordinates NeighborGood, a community outreach effort, with other community organisations, advisors and health clinics to raise awareness on topics such as prevention, early diagnosis through screenings, clinical trial education, among others to improve patient health outcomes.

IMPACT principal investigator Darcy Spicer said: “We are hopeful that this study provides more people with access to burgeoning clinical innovations while informing the scientific community about the most effective means to treat cancer.”

In a pilot programme carried out at Massachusetts General Hospital for three years, IMPACT improved patient enrollment by 29% and doubled minority participation.

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