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VA's Oncology Services and Tools

VA's National Oncology Program is comprised of state-of-the-art services and tools for diagnosing and treating Veterans with cancer.

Precision Oncology

VA's National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP) was launched in 2016 as part of the White House's Cancer Moonshot Initiative to eliminate cancer. Using precision oncology enables VA physicians to better select cancer treatment strategies for each individual Veteran. Oncologists at VA use molecular testing - which analyzes a patient's genomic profile - to more accurately determine a Veteran's cancer prognosis and the best course of treatment.

TeleOncology

Through a partnership with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, the National Oncology (NOP) service is expanding TeleOncology access to Veterans across the nation with the National TeleOncology service (NTO). NTO oncologists are affiliated with NCI Designated Cancer Centers and specialize in the type of oncology they treat. TeleOncology provides cancer care virtually through telecommunication technology, connecting patient and provider across great distances. NTO delivers cancer screenings, diagnostics, and treatment for Veterans via telemedicine.

VA uses a “hub-and-spoke” model for TeleOncology, with the main hub based in the Durham VA Medical Center. VA cancer specialists around the country work through NTO from their local VA Medical Center office, providing care virtually to a selected spoke site. Patients can connect with providers two different ways - they can either travel to a spoke site to connect with clinical video telehealth (CVT) or connect from their home using an internet-connected device with VA Video Connect (VVC).

Clinical Trials

Cancer clinical trials enable testing of novel treatments to establish the evidence for oncology care thereby speeding the delivery of new treatments to the clinic to help cancer patients. These research studies not only explore new ways to treat cancer but also have the potential to improve quality of life for patients. Many of today's successful cancer treatments are the result of past clinical trials. Through clinical trials, doctors determine which new treatments are safe, effective, and better than current treatment options.

When diagnosed with cancer, patients are presented with a variety of treatment options. Clinical trials are one important treatment option that patients should consider with their provider. During a clinical trial, you give approval to add information about your cancer, the treatment and cancer related genomic and molecular biology information to VA's Cancer Registry. The information gained through clinical trials expands our understanding of different cancers and improves the quality of care our Veterans receive.

Pharmacogenomics

VA offers pharmacogenomic (pronounced ”Far-ma-CO-gen-o-MIK”) or “PGx” testing. PGx testing is a simple, one-time blood test and the results can help your provider better understand how your body processes or responds to many common medicines. They use this information to treat you, as an individual. Along with other medical information, providers use PGx test results to determine if there is a better dose or type of medicine for you.

Veterans who receive VA health care at select VA medical centers may receive PGx testing through this program. New VA PGx testing locations are being added over time. For a list o facilities offering VA PGx testing, visit the “VA PGx Program Locations” link below.

NOTE: PHASER testing has expanded access to all VA patients not just those with a cancer diagnosis.

  • Ask your VA healthcare provider if PGx testing is right for you.

Learn more about VA's other cancer-related services and technologies: