Yale Cancer Center Receives Grant to Initiate Statewide Clinical Trial Network

The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Cancer Partnership have awarded Yale Cancer Center a $745,288 grant to launch a statewide clinical trials network to promote innovative cancer research.

The grant is for the development of a clinical trials network and to create the necessary supportive infrastructure to sustain the network on behalf of the state’s clinical researchers.

“Yale Cancer Center is extremely grateful to have the support of the state and the Connecticut Cancer Partnership to begin this important clinical trial initiative in Connecticut,” said Edward Chu, M.D., deputy director and chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center. “Cancer care in our state will be considerably strengthened by the partnerships created by the new network, and cancer patients throughout the state will have improved access to the cutting edge therapies offered by clinical trials.”

The statewide network will seek to remove existing barriers to clinical trials, promote public education and trial participation, and allow greater access to innovative cancer therapies. A major component of the proposal is to provide pilot funding for supporting investigator-initiated research and capacity building to do cancer clinical trials throughout the state. Approximately 44 percent of the clinical trial network award is committed to the pilot grants program.

The new collaborations will be developed through network partners including Connecticut hospitals and community cancer centers, educational institutions, private oncology practices, advocacy groups, and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry. The infrastructure to support the network will be developed through Yale Cancer Center, providing the coordination needed for the clinical trial and education collaborations to advance through community partnerships.

“The grants will promote clinical trials and will ultimately help to provide improved cancer care and education to patients across the state. This is a great step forward for cancer research and cancer care for the entire state,” said Kevin Kelly, DO, Director of Clinical Research Services at Yale Cancer Center and associate professor of medicine. “This also will allow us to reach a new level of partnership and collaboration. The application itself was a collaborative effort with support from hospitals, private practices, advocacy groups, and industry all committed to promoting cancer research for Connecticut.”

The network’s pilot program will also benefit from joint funding by Yale Cancer Center and the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI). The YCCI was recently established to specifically support and facilitate clinical and translational research. The YCCI serves as the operational home of the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which is aimed at reducing the growing barriers between clinical and basic research, along with the ever-increasing complexities involved in conducting clinical research.

Yale Cancer Center is one of a select network of 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute and the only one in southern New England. The Center harnesses the scientific resources of Yale School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Yale University. Led by Richard Edelson, M.D., a leader in cancer immunotherapy, Yale Cancer Center focuses on translational research, an approach through which laboratory discoveries are quickly and efficiently integrated with clinical patient care. For more information visit www.yalecancercenter.org

The work above was funded, fully or in part, by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.