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The Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network to Open First Treatment Trial Across Minnesota

The Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network (MNCCTN) opened its first treatment trial across the network in Greater Minnesota. The network, funded by the Minnesota legislature, has opened several studies in the past year, including trials involving preventing cancer and improving the quality of life of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. 

The network’s newest trial, a study examining Exemestane as a therapy for postmenopausal women with non-small cell lung cancer, marks the first treatment trial for MNCCTN. This is a significant milestone for the network, its progress, and its impact on Minnesotans. 

A treatment clinical trial studies a drug or other therapy for a disease, such as cancer. Before any cancer treatments can be used in the United States, the treatment must go through clinical trials and be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All new cancer treatments go through three or more different trials, or phases.

A treatment trial tests a new treatment’s safety and effectiveness. The trial also determines if the new treatment works better, the same, or worse than current treatments for the disease. All current treatments and significant progress in the effectiveness of cancer drugs are the direct result of treatment clinical trials.

Over half of all Minnesotans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. MNCCTN brings cutting-edge cancer research from the state’s two NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, to Greater Minnesota. Studies coming through MNCCTN aim to keep people from getting cancer, improve therapies for people with cancer, and improve life for cancer survivors. 

MNCCTN’s partner healthcare organizations include Essentia Health, Sanford Health, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium, and M Health Fairview. With the help of these partners, the network has established 18 locations throughout Minnesota, with several more sites expected to open in subsequent years. MNCCTN reduces the patient’s burden of traveling and extra costs by bringing cancer clinical trials out of the Twin Cities’ metro and Rochester directly to communities.

To find available trials in your area, call the Nurse Navigator line at 612-624-2620. To learn more about MNCCTN, visit