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Dana-Farber, Foundation Partner on Expanding Clinical Trials

Chemotherapy (National Institutes of Health)

(National Institutes of Health)

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in New York are collaborating on opening new sites for clinical trials to test blood cancer therapies. LLS is investing $1,050,000 over three years in the project.

The Blood Cancer Research Partnership aims to make it easier for patients to take part in clinical trials by opening more test sites, particularly in communities distant from major research and medical centers. Some 11 new trial sites have been identified in New York, Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, California, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Washington State.

Dana-Farber will serve as the lead institute in the partnership, with each of the community sites required to follow clinical trial protocols established in a single agreement. Clinical trials conducted in this network will be either early or intermediate stage (phase 1 or 2), with patient enrollment taking place over an 18-month period.

The funds for the partnership will be provided by LLS, subject to certain milestones being met, such as the numbers of trials started under the program and numbers of patients recruited for each trial. The foundation will also be assigned two seats on the steering committee that decides on the trials conducted at these sites. Clinical trials under consideration include those for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, myeloma, and stem cell transplants.

Louis DeGennaro, LLS’s chief mission officer, notes “Most cancer patients are treated by oncologists in their local community,”  and adds, “Having to travel long distances from home to a major medical center is a major deterrent to patients’ participation in cancer clinical trials.”

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