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NAVIGATE: NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment

The NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment (NAVIGATE) program is a partnership between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Department of Veterans Affair (VA) to facilitate enrollment of veterans with cancer into NCI-funded clinical trials.

Veterans can play an important role in their own care and the health of future generations by joining a cancer clinical trial. Through NAVIGATE, veterans will get easier access to promising new cancer treatments, including precision medicine and immunotherapies, through participating in NCI-supported cancer clinical trials.

This agreement between NCI and the VA will increase the number of VA Medical Centers participating in and conducting NCI-supported cancer clinical trials. The program is expected to enhance accrual to trials carried out through the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), resulting in more timely trial completion while advancing the health of veterans with cancer. 

Interagency Collaboration to Meet a National Need

The VA has long recognized its responsibility to participate in national efforts to lessen the burden of cancer for veterans and their families.

VA manages a robust clinical research program that includes clinical trials in cancer and other diseases at more than 100 sites nationwide. However, VA facilities often face challenges initiating and completing trials. 

The NAVIGATE program aims to address these challenges and to make it easier for veterans to access state-of-the-art treatments via clinical trials by bringing the NCI trials to them, so they do not have to seek treatment outside of the VA.

NAVIGATE is an opportunity for government agencies long committed to veterans’ health to partner at the national level to make clinical trials more accessible. The initial focus of this collaboration is on activities to facilitate participation of VA facilities in NCI trials, and the overall focus is to explore ways to sustain VA Medical Center participation in NCI clinical trials beyond this agreement.

Building Capacity of Participating VA Medical Centers

The 3-year NAVIGATE program is expected to build the capacity of participating VA Medical Centers to offer NCI clinical trials in the future.

The program aims to accelerate the VA Cooperative Studies Program's progress in adopting a centralized approach to address site-level challenges to more efficiently recruit patients to national trials.

NAVIGATE will increase participation of VA clinical investigators in clinical research and help identify studies that may be of particular importance to veterans with cancer while enhancing the VA’s overall leadership role in cancer care and clinical research.

Location Facility Name Principal Investigator(s)
Atlanta, GA Atlanta VA Health Care System Wayne Harris, M.D.
Bronx, NY James J. Peters VA Medical Center Susan Bates, M.D.
Charleston, SC Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Stephen Savage, M.D. and Oleksandra Lupak, M.D.
Denver, CO VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Daniel Bowles, M.D.
Durham, NC Durham VA Medical Center Daphne Friedman, M.D.
Hines, IL Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital Cheryl Czerlanis, M.D.
Long Beach, CA Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center Pankaj Gupta, M.D. and Homayoon Sanati, M.D.
Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis VA Health Care System Sharon Luikart, M.D. and Mark Klein, M.D.
Palo Alto, CA VA Palo Alto Health Care System Harlan Pinto, M.D.
Portland, OR Portland VA Medical Center Mark Garzotto, M.D.
San Antonio, TX Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital / South Texas Veterans Health Care System Michael Liss, M.D. and Paromita Datta, M.D.
West Haven, CT VA Connecticut Healthcare System Herta Chao, M.D., Ph.D.
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