Nemours has extraordinary institutional resources and commitment beyond reproach for children’s cancer research and practice that can serve as a national model.
Wilmington, Del. -- The Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD) under the leadership of E. Anders (Andy) Kolb, MD and Howard Katzenstein, MD, as Multiple Principal Investigators (PIs), earned a six-year $4.7 M renewal award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to continue the work of the Nemours NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Evaluators cited Nemours’ “extraordinary institutional resources and commitment beyond reproach for children’s cancer research and practice that can serve as a national model.”
NCORP is an elite network of cancer centers across the U.S. that brings cancer research to people in their own communities. The focus of the Nemours NCORP is to ensure that each child and adolescent within Nemours communities in the Delaware Valley and Florida has the opportunity to participate in national cancer control, prevention, and treatment trials as appropriate, with an emphasis on quality, safety, symptom management and care delivery, and in a way that addresses racial disparities and social determinants of health.
Starting with the first round of NCORP funding in 2014, former PI Eric Sandler, MD, together with associate PI Dr. Kolb, and NCORP Administrator Danielle Perry, MPH, put together a network that has consistently ranked among the top two centers in the nation for enrollment in Children’s Oncology Group (COG) research studies. The COG, an NCI-supported clinical trials group, is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. In 2018 alone, there were 189 enrollments in clinical trials at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, for 80 eligible patients. Cancer is rare in children; thus, new drugs for childhood cancers have been slow to develop. The 236% enrollment rate (some patients are eligible for more than one study) speaks to Nemours’ commitment to participate in research and ensure our patients receive leading edge care.
Perry stresses the dedicated Nemours team that “represents the epitome of network integration, un-siloed and cooperative, with mutual goals and standard practices that add efficiency.” Perry says that the team works seamlessly across five geographically distinct pediatric cancer programs to boost volume and support clinical trial accrual, innovative cancer care delivery research and symptom science research. She is particularly proud that “Work done at Nemours has changed the standards of care for pediatric cancer treatment everywhere.”
The aims of NCORP phase 2 are to 1) Ensure robust accrual to NCI-funded clinical trials; 2) Expand and maintain an infrastructure that supports efficient participation in NCI-funded cancer care prevention and care delivery research; and 3) Foster community engagement through discussion and adoption of results from clinical trials, and through physician, family, and community education.
The Nemours NCORP is among only three pediatric NCORPs and likely the largest in the country, serving as a national model for other pediatric healthcare systems. Some of the key accomplishments of the Nemours NCORP include:
“We are committed to making the highest-quality cancer care accessible to our patients in their own communities throughout Delaware and the surrounding area, and in Northern, Central and Southeast Florida,” said Kolb. “This funding allows us to further collaborate with colleagues within the Nemours enterprise and across the country. We are more powerful together as we continue to improve the ways we deliver care to children and youth in the communities we serve, and impact pediatric cancer care everywhere.”
Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders holds Accreditation with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer. For more information about Nemours’ nationally recognized cancer services and physicians, visit here or call 1-800-416-4441.