Researchers at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute have secured a 1-year, $630,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to help support the Institute’s clinical trials, which target underserved populations in Detroit and in the rural areas that Karmanos serves. The NCI P30 Cancer Center Support Grants to Create Access to Targeted Cancer Therapy for Underserved Populations (CATCH-UP) supplement Karmanos’ P30 grant, a cancer center core grant that supports the enhancement of multidisciplinary approaches and collaborative research efforts in treating cancer.
The CATCH-UP grant is associated with the NCI’s Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN). In line with ETCTN’s goal, the grant provides enhanced access to targeted cancer therapy for minority and underserved populations by opening NCI ETCTN-sponsored early-phase clinical trials with an emphasis on those populations.
CATCH-UP grant requirements include accruing a minimum of 24 patients to active NCI ETCTN trials annually, with approximately 50% of patients identifying as members of racial/ethnic and/or rural populations. Other requirements include designating an outreach coordinator to specifically identify eligible patients among minority and underserved patients for participation in the trials, as well as supporting education and outreach efforts.
In 2019, Karmanos’ interventional treatment clinical trials included a 25% accrual of minority patients, with more than 1,300 on these clinical trials. Of the more than 600 patients on treatment trials, almost 22% were minorities. As part of the larger McLaren Health Care Network, there were 641 patients involved in clinical trials in 2019, as compared with 94 in 2014, the year Karmanos joined the McLaren network and expanded its clinical care base. Many of those patients live in rural areas of the state.
Karmanos will use the CATCH-UP grant to support many ECTCN trials that are already open or in the process of opening.