Roy A. Jensen, MD
Director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center
When we say The University of Kansas Cancer Center seeks to accelerate cancer prevention, discovery and care to save and improve lives, we feel a tremendous sense of urgency and accountability.
Cancer cases are predicted to increase by as much as 45 percent during the next 15 years. This means more than 20,000 people in the state of Kansas – our friends, family, even ourselves – may be diagnosed with cancer and in need of better treatment options in order to live.
With the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary cancer research currently taking place at KU Cancer Center, we are deeply committed to understanding why cancer affects everyone differently. Personalized medicine depends on our ability to interpret genetic blueprints while promising knowledge that will change our current understanding of medicine and science.
In this issue of At the Bench, you will read about new highlights in each of our four cancer program areas:
Funding for these studies would not have been possible without receiving National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, which has led to more than 120 NCI-funded studies and $79 million in outside funding in the last two years.
In the coming year, our focus on increasing clinical trials participation will continue to be a priority. We’ve featured two of KU Cancer Center’s unique trials, including the remarkable results of the repurposed drug Nanotax, which showed fewer side effects and longer survival rates for advanced stage ovarian cancer patients. Since obtaining NCI designation, we have opened 82 new clinical trials and increased participation by more than 26 percent, including enrolling 500 people in our population health trials.
I am proud to share these stories with you and am excited about all we plan to do to significantly expand the depth and breadth of laboratory, clinical and population-based research for our community, our state and our region.