For Researchers Overview

The Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network (MNCCTN) aims to improve cancer outcomes for all Minnesotans through greater access to cancer clinical trials in prevention and treatment. Funded by the State Legislature, the MNCCTN offers investigators an opportunity to enroll patients in Greater Minnesota onto clinical trials by opening cancer clinical trials from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, or Mayo Clinic Cancer Center at sites in Greater Minnesota.

Working with MNCCTN

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Benefits for Investigators

  • Increased access to potential research participants in rural communities across the state.

  • MNCCTN funding covers some of the costs of opening and enrolling to the trial at these sites.

    • Study staff time and shipping of biospecimen and other samples are examples.

  • The MNCCTN team provides project management and regulatory support. The team will work with your study team to oversee the trial at MNCCTN sites.

About MNCCTN Sites

  • There are currently 22 MNCCTN sites open to enrollment. These sites are affiliated with Essentia Health, Mayo Clinic Health System, Sanford Health, M Health Fairview, and MMCORC.

  • The research coordinators at MNCCTN sites are typically oncology nurses.

  • The sites are clinics where patients with cancer are treated. Many of them are located in, or adjacent to hospitals. Some have stronger connections to primary care or family practice groups than others. 

  • Some, but not all, of the sites do not have an oncologist on-site daily.

Studies Best Suited for MNCCTN

  • Trials can involve any point in the spectrum of cancer care including prevention, screening, and survivorship.
  • Therapeutic trials opened in the MNCCTN should be late phase 2 or phase 3 trials. 

  • Trials put forward through MNCCTN should be funded. A variety of funding sources are appropriate. When working with MNCCTN sites, costs related to on-site staffing are generally covered by the network. 

  • Trials, in general, should be interventional. At times, a pilot trial that has a planned subsequent interventional component may be acceptable.

  • The catchment area of the MNCCTN is the entire state of Minnesota. Therefore, trials addressing the cancer burden in MN are a priority. Trials that address the unique burden of underserved and diverse populations within Minnesota are also a priority.

    • The most commonly diagnosed cancers are breast (among women), prostate (among men), lung, colon, uterine/bladder, and skin (for both sexes combined).

  • Studies that fit well with standard of care are easy for these sites to incorporate into their daily operations. Studies that have many and/or frequent data points collected can be difficult.

  • Most MNCCTN sites should have the basic capability to open the trial. Sites that have the capability are not required to open the trial, but half of the sites should be capable of doing so.

Working with MNCCTN

  • We are happy to offer a letter of support for funding applications.

  • Because these are considered multi-site studies, a single IRB may be required. Please touch base with the MNCCTN staff about including costs for a sIRB in your proposed budget.

  • Potential studies are reviewed by MNCCTN leadership, and if they are a possible fit they are reviewed by the MNCCTN trial review subcommittee. 

  • A complete protocol is not required to be considered. The MNCCTN team is happy to discuss ideas and options with investigators.

Acknowledgment of MNCCTN Support Statement

If your study received funding and/or a letter of support from MNCCTN, we ask that any publications include the following acknowledgment of support statement:

This work was supported by funding from the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network (MNCCTN). MNCCTN is a cancer clinical trials network funded by the Minnesota legislature as part of the University of Minnesota's MnDRIVE Program.

Additional Resources

Investigator Welcome Packet  Letter of Support Welcome Packet Grant/Letter of Support Application

All inquiries, including questions and information related to letters of support, should be directed to Laurel Nightingale at