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About us

Cook County Health
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Research & Clinical Trials
Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program

CCH MU-NCORP Team with Dr. Lad 2017
SHCC MU-NCORP Team (2017)

SHCC Minority/Underserved National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (MU-NCORP) is a grant-funded non-profit institution located in the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County which is part of the Cook County Health system, the largest component of the safety net for health care in Chicago and suburban Cook County. The hospital is located in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago's Near West Side.

Our grant (E9984-7647-05) is managed by the Hektoen Institute.

NCI Community Oncology Research Program

The NCI Community Oncology Research Program is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations serving as stakeholders in the conduct of cancer research. NCORP conducts multi-site cancer clinical trials and studies in diverse populations in community healthcare settings across the United States.


Being able to join research studies in a person's own community allows the person to stay close to family, friends, support systems and their local physicians and health organizations, where high-quality clinical studies are investigating ways to improve care.

The overall goal of the program is to bring cancer clinical trials, as well as cancer care delivery research (CCDR), to individuals in their own communities, generating evidence that contributes to improved patient outcomes and a reduction in cancer disparities.

There are twelve Minority/Underserved Community Sites that accrue participants to trials conducted by NCORP Research Bases and to NCI NCTN treatment, imaging, and quality-of-life trials; and participate in CCDR. Minority/Underserved Community Sites have a patient population comprising at least 30% racial/ethnic minorities or rural residents. Also, they engage community partners and support CCDR studies.

Read more about NCORP at You may also want to read NCOPR Q&A.



Stroger Hospital of Cook County became a Minority-based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MBCCOP) in June 2002. In August of 2014 Minority-based Community Clinical Oncology Program was restructured to form a new Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program (MU NCORP).

The SHCC MU-NCORP has a strong record of recruiting minority participants to clinical trials with more than 1900 patients accrued to date. The clinical trial menu that is chosen for activation is designed with a view toward the minority population and type of cancers seen at our hospital.

Under the direction of the Principal Investigator, Thomas E. Lad, MD, the SHCC MU-NCORP is staffed by 10 NCI-funded employees. It also has institutional support of a part-time non-physician clinical team members and a variety of physician investigators. Cancer care is organized by disease site and is delivered by surgeons, chemotherapists, and radiation oncologists in a cooperative multimodal fashion.

Our mission is to address the shortage of accessible cancer health care resources for Chicago's poor and minority families.

The SHCC MU-NCORP plans for the 2020/2021 grant year were to develop, strengthen and improve coordinated care and clinical research for minority-underserved patients through growth and expansion with the following goals:

  • Continue to foster relationships with current cancer research bases to facilitate broad and improved participation in cancer control, prevention, and care delivery research for breast, lung, prostate, gastrointestinal, brain, hematologic, head and neck, and gynecologic cancers.
  • Facilitate transfer of state-of-the-are quality oncology care and new technology to minority-underserved populations in their own communities, through participation in NCI-approved clinical trials.
  • Focus on prevention, control and survivorship as methods for reducing cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality.
  • Encourage multidisciplinary cancer care and integrated research at the local level.
  • Participate in cancer care delivery research which accrue to trials relevant to process improvement and implementation activities by coordinating the existing infrastructural features of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System and CountyCare’s Managed Care Community Network.
  • Continue to be a source of annotated tissue and blood samples for translational research projects such as the Early Onset Malignancy Initiative and the Patient Derived Xenograft project.
  • Increase scientific activity at the research base level by chairing an ECOG group-wide cancer control study concerning reproductive issues of female cancer patients that was conceived, designed, and initiated by the SHCC MU NCORP.
  • Increase participation in symptom science research.

Resources: SHCC MU-NCORP information at