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Making an IMPACT on hematology care in Georgia: The Georgia Blood Cancer Trials Network (BCTN)

Dr. Cohen

Jonathon Cohen


Emory University

Project Term: October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2028

Winship Cancer Institute is the only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Georgia, the largest state by land area east of the Mississippi River, and 8th largest state by population. The Winship IMPACT program will leverage existing relationships throughout the state to bring hematology trials to patients in their communities. The goals are to strengthen our relationship with community sites and to increase opportunities for patients to access cutting edge trials throughout our state.

Lay Abstract

Winship Cancer Institute is Georgia’s only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and serves the entire state of Georgia, the 8th largest state in the USA by population and the largest by land area east of the Mississippi River. Winship physicians provide oncology care at 5 sites in metropolitan Atlanta as well as Grady Memorial Hospital, a safety net hospital in downtown Atlanta. Despite the continued growth of Atlanta, 75% of Georgia’s 159 counties are classified as rural, and these counties have a high rate of poverty and are commonly located at a distance from Atlanta that makes travel for clinical trial participation very difficult. As a result, Winship’s IMPACT program will allow patients with hematologic malignancies to participate in important clinical trials in their communities. Winship’s program will be comprehensive in its approach to hematology care throughout the state. We will connect with patients through accrual to our existing real world outcomes projects, such as the Lymphoma Epidemiology of Outcomes project, and will leverage this resource to identify candidates for our available studies. We have identified collaborating sites throughout Georgia utilizing the Winship Cancer Network and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (CORE), and we will also utilize existing infrastructure to increase accrual to studies at Grady Memorial Hospital. Participating sites will not only have access to hematology trials but will also be included in regularly scheduled conferences which will provide educational opportunities and multi-disciplinary discussions of complicated cases. We will also provide opportunities for patients to confer with a Winship expert via telemedicine, to learn more about study options and to ask additional questions that may inform their understanding of their disease and treatment options. Through these efforts we will establish an ongoing mechanism throughout Georgia to enroll patients of all socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds with hematologic malignancies regardless of their location to innovative studies, providing access to the cutting edge care that is currently only available at Winship’s primary sites.

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