Veterans stricken with cancer soon should gain greater access to treatment. The Department of Veterans Affairs and National Cancer Institute (NCI) have entered a partnership aimed at increasing veterans’ enrollment in clinical trials at 12 sites across the country: Atlanta; Bronx, N.Y.; Charleston, S.C.; Denver; Durham, N.C.; Hines, Ill.; Long Beach, Calif.; Minneapolis; Palo Alto, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio, Texas; and West Haven, Conn. VA stated that Boston also will serve as a coordinating center for the project.
Participants in the trials would be able to take advantage of NCI’s state-of-the-art innovations in cancer treatment. Patients would be treated with precise protocols that focus on their individual genetic makeup. Immunotherapy treatments would entail a cutting-edge regimen that enables patients to use their own immune systems to fight their disease. The NCI and VA systems also would share data and resources. Special consideration would be given to minority patients, who otherwise would have little or no access to the type of treatment VA and NCI could offer.