National Cancer Institute Designation

Central to The University of Kansas Cancer Center's vision of eliminating the cancer burden in the Heartland was achieving designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in June 2012. NCI designation signifies that our academic cancer center has achieved the highest standards and that promising cancer research leading directly to improved care and treatment is taking place right here in our own community. Currently, there are 69 NCI-designated Cancer Centers and 45 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.

Watch highlights from the official NCI designation announcement on July 12.

The NCI Accreditation Process

NCI designation is the highest recognition for an academic cancer center, opening doors to expanded research funding and related economic benefits and jobs, and bringing the most advanced cancer care to patients.

With NCI designation, our region will achieve a new level of excellence as a bioscience research center, providing the opportunity to more fully leverage the research investments made by the University of Kansas and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

NCI designation drives growth across many related segments of the regional economy. Approximately 1,200 employees, including faculty, research support, clinical and administrative staff are specifically devoted to cancer clinical care and research activities. Cancer center leaders estimate that from 2006-2011, the NCI designation pursuit created 1,014 regional jobs and had a regional economic impact of $346 million. By 2016, they estimate the number of jobs created will reach 2,241 and the regional economic impact of NCI investments will total $1.93 billion.

No other regional initiative has as much potential to simultaneously drive economic development and public health as achieving NCI designation.

Most importantly, NCI designation at KU means Kansans do not have to travel out of state to find the most advanced care and clinical trials. They are available close to home.

We aren’t stopping with becoming the 67th NCI-designated center. This designation is merely a waypoint in our journey to ultimately eliminate cancer.

To learn more, download this PDF about The University of Kansas Cancer Center's National Cancer Institute designation.

Read the cancer center's NCI designation grant application.

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The power of hope

Jeanne Ackerson was diagnosed with stage IIIB lung cancer and given a 15 percent chance of survival. She enrolled in a clinical trial, and three years later says her decision saved her life.

To learn more about clinical trials, call 913-945-7552 or visit

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials can give you access to potentially effective new drugs, therapies and diagnostic tools in research.

Let us match you to an open trial. Contact our clinical trials nurse navigator, 913-945-7552.