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DoD, Cancer Institute Become Research Partners

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 1996 – DoD medical beneficiaries will now have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new cancer treatments sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

DoD and the institute signed an agreement March 5 that gives DoD access to clinical research, and DoD patients can receive care through institutesponsored research activities, defense officials said.

The agreement allows DoD beneficiaries to participate either through medical treatment facilities approved to conduct the trials or through civilian providers reimbursed through TRICARE or CHAMPUS, officials said.

The agreement authorizes DoD patient participation in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. Phase II trials evaluate the effectiveness of a new drug or other treatment after Phase I trials have studied its safety and feasibility. Phase III trials compare a standard therapy to a new treatment shown effective in Phase II.

Officials said DoD shares public and scientific concern about disappointing cure rates under standard cancer therapies.

In the past, only DoD breast cancer patients could participate in approved trials through the direct care system and in limited circumstances through DoDreimbursed civilian care. Beneficiaries can now receive stateoftheart care through cancer institute activities throughout the country, officials said.

DoD will pay for all medical care connected with the trial, including inpatient and outpatient care, diagnostic and lab services and chemotherapy agents, except those agents being tested as part of the clinical trial. DoD will not pay for any nontreatment research activities associated with participation, officials said, and patients will not have to pay for these research costs.

The institute will provide a userfriendly, active information system through an expansion of the Physician Data Query. This gives physicians quick access to open available trials at the nearest or most appropriate institution or physician participating.

The National Cancer Insitute sponsors extensive clinical trials to evaluate therapy. Its programs have led to development of most of the various treatments in clinical cancer, officials said.

Care providers seeking program information or authorization for treatment in an institutesponsored trial should call (800) 7793060.

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