The Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute signed an
interagency agreement today to form a partnership in clinical trials for cancer
research. This agreement allows DoD medical beneficiaries to participate in
various NCI sponsored clinical trials of new treatments, either through the
medical treatment facilities that have been approved to conduct NCI trials or
through care reimbursed through TRICARE/CHAMPUS, the DoD's health program.
NCI sponsors and actively coordinates an extensive clinical trials program for
the evaluation of therapy for various types of cancer. This program has been
the means by which the oncology community has developed most of the formal
clinical evidence for the efficacy of the various treatment approaches in
clinical cancer. DoD formerly provided patients an opportunity to participate
in clinical trials for cancer in the direct care system and in limited
circumstances through civilian care reimbursed by DoD. DoD shares public and
scientific concern about disappointing cure rates under standard cancer
The interagency agreement enables DoD beneficiaries to receive
state-of-the-art care through NCI sponsored clinical activities throughout the
country by participating in emerging new approaches that have significant
promise for the successful treatment of cancers. DoD participation in NCI
sponsored clinical trials for cancer will further research efforts by assisting
in meeting research goals of arriving at conclusions regarding the safety and
effectiveness of different treatment methods for various cancers.
The DoD participation in the Interagency agreement is limited to Phase II and
Phase III NCI sponsored clinical trials for cancer. Phase II trials evaluate
the efficacy of a new drug or
other treatment after phase I trials have studied its safety and feasibility.
Phase III trials compare a new treatment -- one that has shown effectiveness in
phase II -- to a standard therapy.
All medical care required as a result of participation in approved NCI
sponsored clinical trials will be provided by MTFs or by civilian providers who
will be reimbursed through TRICARE/CHAMPUS. The DoD will not reimburse for
costs associated with any non-treatment research activities associated with
participation in clinical trials, and patients will not be required to pay for
these research costs.
NCI will provide a user-friendly, active information system through an
expansion of the Physician Data Query. This will give physicians quick access
to open available protocols at the nearest or most appropriate institution or
physician participating in the suitable protocols. Through this system, DoD
will have access to clinical research and patients can receive care through NCI
sponsored clinical research activities. Providers seeking specific program
information or seeking authorization for treatment in an NCI sponsored trial
should call Palmetto GBA at 1-800-779-3060.
The joint effort will be in effect for three years from the date of the