Atlantic Health awarded N.J.’s first and only NCORP site designation

Atlantic Health System announced Wednesday it was designated by the National Cancer Institute as New Jersey’s first and only National Community Oncology Research Program site of the Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium.

The AHCC NCORP will combine NCI’s oncology care delivery with health care systems across the Garden State.

The consortium of New Jersey-based AHCC NCORP health centers include:

Atlantic Health said it will serve as the primary source for all NCORP activities and provide scientific leadership and support personnel to meet the institute’s goals, which include increasing participation in cancer trials, collecting tissue samples for the advancement of genomic- and molecular-targeted therapies, and enhancing community involvement in cancer care.

“As the first National Cancer Institute NCORP site based in New Jersey, we will expand the NCORP network coverage by 6.5 million people,” Dr. Missak Haigentz, medical director of hematology and oncology for Atlantic Health System and principal investigator for AHCC NCORP, said.  “We are proud to partner with these leading healthcare organizations, each of which has its own unique strengths and patient populations. This will be an exceptional and unprecedented cancer care consortium for New Jersey, which has a diverse population and higher rates of adult and childhood cancer than the nation as a whole.”

The grant will also enhance access to trials for cancer patients in New Jersey and enable all AHCC NCORP sites to participate in NCI research.

“Ultimately, the AHCC NCORP presents a substantial opportunity to advance scientific understanding in cancer prevention, screening, control, treatment and care delivery research within a large and diverse population,” Haigentz said.  “We will also be part of a nationwide integrated network of community-based cancer programs that will collaborate, analyze and share data through the NCORP Research Bases.”

NCI said it provided grants to 32 Community Sites and 14 Minority/Underserved Community Sites.