VA and NCI Join to Provide Leading-Edge Cancer Treatment

VA patients will have better access to the latest cancer treatments, thanks to a new “strategic partnership” between the VA and National Cancer Institute.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment, or NAVIGATE, is launching at 12 VA sites. At each site, it will build infrastructure that will allow more veterans to take part in cutting-edge clinical trials, such as those testing promising experimental treatments.

The VA has a robust clinical research program but VA facilities often face challenges initiating and completing externally funded trials because of the need for partners to navigate the system, says NCI. The joint program is intended to overcome those challenges with dedicated staffing and a sustainable infrastructure, and to address barriers to trial enrollment that veterans, including minority patients, often experience.

The NCI will provide infrastructure funding needed for the VA facilities to participate in the National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program. In turn, the VA will manage organizational and operational activities to establish a network to focus on NCI trial goals.


The program will be jointly managed for up to 3 years, during which time the VA sites will establish long-term capabilities to keep the program going. They will also establish best practices and share insights with other VA sites nationwide.

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