Aurora awarded $3.8 million for cancer research

In being named an NCORP Community Site, Aurora Health Care will receive $3.8 million in federal funding to expand cancer clinical trial research in Wisconsin.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a component of the National Institutes of Health, recently selected 34 health care organizations it felt best equipped to partner in the NCI Community Oncology Research Program, or NCORP. As one of these NCORP Community Sites, Aurora will implement this nationwide effort on a local level.

This prestigious designation acknowledges Aurora as a national leader in cancer care and encourages patients throughout the state to seek out our oncology experts for access to national clinical trials that hold the potential to redefine cancer treatment as we know it.

Aurora Cancer Care and Aurora Research Institute teamed up to apply for theNCORP award, which allows Aurora to build on its existing cancer research infrastructure and increase the number and scope of available clinical trials.

“Aurora’s research and cancer teams are dedicated to advancing health care every day,” said Nick Turkal, MD, president and CEO of Aurora Health Care. “The NCORP award, coupled with our talented care team, promise to make a difference for cancer patients across the nation.”


The NCORP network aims to:

  1. Increase patient accrual to NCI-sponsored clinical trials,
  2. Link individuals to cancer trials taking place in their own communities, and
  3. Broaden the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care delivery research.

The ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes by sharing and analyzing all research findings, then applying that new knowledge to individual treatment.

Principal investigators Thomas Saphner, MD, FACP, and Michael Thompson, MD, PhD, are spearheading the NCORP initiative at Aurora, focusing on cancer care delivery, prevention and patient recruitment.

“Currently, there is a gap between when treatments or techniques are known to be successful and when they are incorporated as standard of care,” Dr. Saphner said. “A primary goal of our work on this project will be to narrow this gap.”

National accrual to adult cancer trials is less than five percent. Although patient access to trials is a major hurdle, Aurora’s wide-reaching NCORP network will increase access for approximately 60 percent of Wisconsin’s population.

“We want the right therapy delivered to the right patient at the right location – close to home,” Dr. Thompson said.