A $5.65 million grant renewal from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will allow Essentia Health to continue its cutting-edge cancer research and first-rate patient care.

The six-year grant renewal comes from the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and serves as Essentia’s primary source of cancer-research support. The NCI has awarded 53 grants to support clinical trials and cancer-care studies nationwide.

One major benefit is that patients affected by cancer are able to receive the best possible care close to home. Through the NCORP program, they have access to innovative treatments without having to travel long distances.

“We are extremely pleased to receive funding through NCI as an NCORP program once again,” said Dr. Bret Friday, medical director of oncology research at Essentia Health. “It was a competitive renewal and our funding has increased by 30 percent over the prior year.”

Essentia has a robust history as a cancer-research participant, which stretches back nearly four decades. Significant funding has come from the NCORP program or its predecessor, the Community Clinical Oncology Program, since 1983.

“The award reflects the amazing work of our research team, the Essentia Institute of Rural Health and the cancer centers across Essentia’s three markets, and this work is only possible with the participation of the patients in the communities we serve,” Dr. Friday said. “Our involvement in research demonstrates our continued desire to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. Only through research can we improve our care.”

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