MaineHealth cancer program receives $5.1 million grant

Sep 06, 2019

Portland — The National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program has awarded a six-year, $5.1 million grant to the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network. It will establish the MHCCN Lifespan Program, designed to bring the latest research in cancer prevention, cancer treatment and cancer care delivery to under-served populations. It is the largest grant ever extended by the National Cancer Institute for clinical cancer research and cancer clinical trials in the state of Maine, according to a press release from MaineHealth.

The Community Oncology Research Program was developed in recognition that both patients and research benefit when cancer clinical trials are offered to people where they live, not just at major research institutions in large urban areas. While numerous studies suggest cancer patients in rural settings have higher mortality rates than those in urban areas, a 2018 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that cancer patients in rural and urban settings had similar outcomes when they had uniform access to a clinical trial.

The MHCCN Lifespan Program will be the only oncology program in northern New England to enroll patients in NCI clinical trials at every stage of the cancer continuum, from prevention to survivorship, and from pediatric to adult. Some of the studies will focus on cancer control and prevention, with a goal of reducing the incidence, risk and mortality rates for cancer and improving quality of life for survivors. Others will aim to improve the way cancer care is delivered.

For more information on clinical trials, visit



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