Sanford Receives NIH Grant for Cancer Research

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Award Totals More Than $7.1 Million Over Five Years

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Advances in cancer care make this the appropriate time to expand the outreach of clinical trials to community-based facilities, which is where most people access care.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has named Sanford Health an NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) community site and awarded it a five-year grant totaling more than $7.1 million to recruit participants for cancer clinical trials, quality of life studies and cancer-care delivery research.

The grant was one of 53 awarded under NCORP, a national network of investigators, cancer-care providers, academic institutions and other organizations that provide care to diverse populations in community-based health care practices across the country.

Sanford is among 34 community sites that will recruit participants and partner with the seven NCORP research base hubs to design and conduct multi-center cancer prevention, control and screening/post-treatment surveillance clinical trials and studies.

Sanford, which is the only NCORP site in the Dakotas and Nebraska, will also participate in studies that explore quality of life and cancer-care delivery involving patients, practitioners and health care organizations.

“Advances in cancer care make this the appropriate time to expand the outreach of clinical trials to community-based facilities, which is where most people access care,” said David Pearce, Ph.D., vice president and chief operating officer for Sanford Research. “Sanford emerged as an ideal selection for NCORP because of our history of success in recruiting patients for clinical trials, infrastructure and physician volumes already in place to support an advanced cancer program and a research team capable and ready to contribute to research bases for the implementation of these trials.”

Besides the 34 community sites, including Sanford’s, NCORP contains seven research bases and 12 minority/underserved community sites. The program funding totals $93 million over five years.

NCORP replaces two previous NCI community-based clinical research programs, the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) and the NCI Community Cancer Center Program (NCCCP). Sanford was formerly a member of both the CCOP and NCCCP.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North Dakota and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly a $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives, including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, visit


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Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Health
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