The Augusta University Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MCG MB CCOP) is designed to increase the availability of state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research to minority individuals in their own communities. Establishment of an operational base in this part of Georgia for extending cancer clinical trials and cancer prevention aims to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in minority populations.

The program was created by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1983 and awarded to MCG in August of 2004 under the direction of Andre Kallab, MD; Daron Ferris, MD; and Roger Vega, MD.

The Grant describes the organizational and operational plans intended to provide structure for the effective implementation of multidisciplinary research. African-Americans comprise 42% of newly diagnosed cancer patients at Augusta University.

Adult and pediatric cancer clinical trial programs at Augusta University have been successfully enrolling minorities to clinical trials (40% of patients entered are African-Americans). Ultimately, success of the Augusta University MB CCOP depends upon the joint efforts of three departments at the Augusta University:

  • Adult Hematology/Oncology, under the direction of Dr. Jillella, focuses on the treatment of adult cancer patients.
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, under the direction of Dr. Vega, focuses on the treatment of pediatric cancer patients.
  • Family Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Ferris, focuses on cancer prevention and control among all age groups.

African-Americans, in general, are disproportionately affected by disparities in the health care system. They are often unaware of available health services, distrust the system and harbor fears regarding screening and prevention studies. Our affiliation with the National Black Leadership Initiative against Cancer (NBLIC) is intended to break down existing barriers and potentially lead to improving accrual to cancer treatment and prevention trials.