Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Chicago Cancer Research Center receives "comprehensive" designation from National Cancer Institute

April 28, 1998

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center (UCCRC) as a "Comprehensive Cancer Center," in recognition of the center's excellence in basic, clinical, and prevention and control research.

Although the University of Chicago has long been a leading center for basic and clinical research in cancer, this designation provides "major recognition of our expanding programs in cancer prevention and control and our community outreach and education efforts," said Richard L. Schilsky, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the UCCRC.

The University of Chicago has been an NCI-designated "Clinical Cancer Center" since 1973, when the federal government set up the cancer centers program following the National Cancer Act in 1971. The program was designed to provide recognition for the leading clinical and research centers in the country and to help patients find the facilities that offered the most advanced research and treatment. The University has long played a leading role in understanding the basic biology of cancer and developing new treatments.

The comprehensive designation honors the more recent expansion of the UCCRC's programs involving cancer prevention and control research, including: enhanced efforts to bring the latest information on prevention and treatment to community physicians; to educate patients at elevated risk for cancer about prevention and early detection; and to provide a series of programs for residents of underserved communities. Other efforts include groundbreaking research on quality-of-life issues for cancer survivors, a new cancer-information center, and semi-annual state-wide "breast cancer summit meetings."

The University of Chicago Cancer Research Center is one of the few programs in the country with NCI sponsored programs for Phase-I, Phase-II and Phase-III clinical trials of anti-cancer drugs and is also the headquarters of Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a national cancer cooperative group. More than 130 faculty, clinicians and scientists from 15 University departments are engaged in cancer research.

Each year more than 1,000 patients enroll in one or more of the nearly 200 different clinical trials of novel cancer therapies underway at the University of Chicago. It is the only Illinois cancer program that was ranked in the top ten nationwide by U.S.News & World Report.

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