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.

Leaders at The University of Kansas Cancer Center are far from finished in their quest for enhancing scientific excellence.

Why is NCI designation important?

NCI-designated cancer centers are major players in developing new cancer treatments and more effective approaches to cancer prevention, early-detection and diagnosis. It opens doors to expanded research funding and related economic benefits and jobs, and brings the most advanced cancer care to patients.

With NCI designation, our region has achieved 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 care and research activities. Since 2007, the NCI designation pursuit has created more than 3,300 jobs and had a regional economic impact of $1.3 billion through 2015.

Most importantly, NCI designation at KU means Kansans do not have to travel out of state to find the most advanced cancer care and access to cutting-edge clinical trials. They will be available close to home.

Next steps

We aren’t stopping with NCI designation. Soon, The University of Kansas Cancer Center – with its NCI Consortium partners Children’s Mercy and Stowers Institute for Medical Research – will be applying for Comprehensive Cancer Center designation, the NCI’s highest designation. Of the 5,000 cancer treatment centers nationally, only 1.3 percent have achieved this level of distinction. These centers demonstrate an added depth and breadth of research, as well as substantial transdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas.

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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