Local oncologists and related clinical research specialists have partnered with Translational Research Management (TRM) to create a new, community-based physician coalition focused on cancer research: The Arizona Cancer Research Alliance (ACRA).

The ACRA announced the commencement of its first two collaborative studies in metro Phoenix and plans to launch 10 additional trials – set to enhance area access to investigational protocols and offer improved outcomes for patients.

Nationwide, community oncologists treat approximately 80 percent of cancer patients, and yet only a small portion of these physicians participate in clinical trials. In fact, of the 1.4 million cancer patients diagnosed each year, less than five percent ever participate in a research study.

ACRA is committed to opening a wide range of clinical trials designed to meet the needs of patients fighting the most common types of cancer. As the field of oncology moves toward personalized medicine, complex clinical trials will increasingly focus on select patient populations. The alliance provides an ideal setting to conduct these protocols, as they are unlikely to be feasible at any single site, regardless of size. ACRA currently includes 40 oncology professionals working at 17 certified research sites throughout the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Additionally, the alliance is contracted with 83 medical professionals (cardiologists, laboratory directors, interventional radiologists, radiologists and ophthalmologists) who are providing services at 53 locations.

“Bringing together the oncology community in this collaborative, multi-disciplinary fashion will mean additional care options for more patients diagnosed with cancer and discoveries leading to future innovation,” says Steven E. Finkelstein, M.D., Executive Director for ACRA, Board Certified Radiation Oncologist based in Scottsdale, and National Director of 21st Century Oncology’s research arm, the Translational Research Consortium (TRC).

Community partners also include the Arizona Molecular Imaging Center, Imaging Endpoints, Internist Oncologists, Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, Pinnacle Oncology Hematology, Southwest Hematology Oncology, Scottsdale Medical Imaging Laboratories and others.

“While it is true, we live in an era of revolutionary opportunities for advances in cancer care, historically clinical trials have been limited in scope and we now face an investigator shortfall,” explains Chris Beardmore, CEO of Translational Research Management. “After much hard work, ACRA creates an infrastructure to support physicians at the community practitioner level, allowing clinical trials to take place to provide benefit for physicians, patients, and improve our understanding of how to best treat cancer.”

For more information on ACRA, visit www.trmllc.com/partners-in-research/arizona-cancer-research-alliance.