The National Cancer Institute has provided a five-year, $1.7 million grant to a Wichita-based partnership of cancer treatment and research specialists serving most of Kansas.
Wichita oncologist Shaker Dakhil, who heads the Cancer Center of Kansas, will remain the principal investigator for the community-based clinical trials and care delivery research. He says the NCI grant project will include fewer patients than the program it replaces, but it will furnish more funding per patient and deliver better results.
“They want the NCI to take care of the phase three trials, which are the more mature, which are practice-changing. Let the drug companies do phase one and phase two,” Dakhil says. “Industry is picking up the tab for the rest. Why should the taxpayers’ money be spent on that?”
The program hopes to enroll 340 cancer patients in clinical trials over the next year. The Via Christi Cancer Institute, in Wichita, will administer the grant.
It’s one of 53 such grants under the newly created NCI Community Oncology Research Program that replaces two community-based clinical research programs, one of which Via Christi has participated in for 30 years.
Other providers in the Cancer Research of Kansas Consortium include the Lawrence Cancer Center, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Oncology Center, Wesley Medical Center, West Wichita Family Practice, Wichita Surgical Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health and Hutchinson Clinic.
NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, which is one of 11 agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.