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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. Genetic testing does not impact service-connected benefits.


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.


In 2019, the Imagenetics program at Sanford Health and VA teamed up to offer pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing to current VA patients at no cost. PGx testing analyzes genes to learn how you may respond to commonly prescribed medications used to treat pain, mental health, selected cancers and infections, cardiovascular, neurologic, and inflammatory disorders. This information helps your doctors and pharmacists decide the best treatment options for you.

Any Veteran patient (with few exceptions) is eligible to receive PGx testing through this program which is available at select VA medical centers.

PGx testing helps reduce the trial-and-error process of trying different drugs in varying doses. Side-effects can be reduced when PGx testing is used because VA providers are alerted of a potential “drug-gene” interaction when ordering medications.

Clinical Cancer Research Service

In 2023, VA established the Clinical Cancer Research Service (CCRS) to increase access to cancer clinical trials for Veterans. Cancer clinical trials advance knowledge and provide high-quality medical care.

CCRS uses a two-pronged approach to bring the option of cancer clinical trials to Veterans. First, the Cancer Clinical Trials Navigation (CTN) program assists VA providers in identifying clinical trials and gives Veterans education and information about clinical trials. Second, the Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCT) program offers clinical trials that don’t require Veterans to travel to the specific VA facility offering the trial. This model allows for therapies to be delivered at a VA facility closest to the Veteran, making it easier for the Veteran to participate and improving study enrollment.

CCRS has key partnerships with other VA research consortia, National Cancer Institute, and non-profit organizations and is committed to ensuring that VA oncologists and Veterans have access to the best possible cancer care through these initiatives.

Play button for "Cancer Code | Cancer Surveillance Informed by Genetic Testing" video

Clinical Cancer Genetics Service

VA’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Service (CCGS) offers Veterans and their providers a comprehensive understanding of their genetic predispositions to cancer, empowering them to make informed treatment decisions. Through genetic counseling and testing, CCGS identifies potential inherited cancer risks and offers preventive and surveillance options tailored for everyone, with the goal of early detection and intervention. Moreover, CCGS assists patients in navigating the emotional and logistical implications of their genetic information.

The educational programs offered through CCGS not only benefit the Veterans they serve but also contribute to a broader understanding of cancer genetics. The knowledge gained through CCGS may potentially advance care not just within VA but across the entire medical community. For example, VA has partnered with City of Hope in a new, cutting edge, centrally funded and managed cancer genetics training program for oncology providers.

The services provided by CCGS embody VA’s dedication to providing exceptional care and support to Veterans predisposed to cancer. By delivering personalized, high-quality care, VA equips Veterans with the tools needed and empowers them to take charge of their health.

Genetic testing does not impact current or future consideration of service-connected benefits.

Close to Me Cancer Care

VA’s Close to Me cancer care service is a visionary initiative designed to bring high quality cancer care closer to where Veterans are. Under this program, VA care teams travel to provide Veterans with the full continuum of cancer care at local outpatient clinics, like community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) or other VA facilities, often in rural locations. Close to Me ensures more Veterans have the option to choose VA for their cancer care journey. By reducing travel demands to major, and often urban, medical centers, Veterans and their caregivers are afforded more time to go about their daily lives and focus on healing.

As of the beginning of 2024, Close to Me cancer care has reported zero medical emergencies during treatment, high levels of patient satisfaction among Veterans, and a 99% treatment adherence rate. Since the inception of the service in 2021, nearly 500 Veterans have received cancer treatments closer to home in over 20 community-based outpatient clinic locations, reducing travel for Veterans and their caregivers by more than 200,000 miles.

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