October 05, 2020
Members of The University of Kansas Cancer Center are busy preparing their application for National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation renewal, a prestigious distinction held by only 70 other cancer centers in the U.S. With this application, the team aspires to receive “Comprehensive” designation - the NCI’s premier ranking awarded to the very best cancer centers.
To retain designation, the cancer center undergoes a rigorous evaluation process conducted by nationally recognized peer reviewers every five years. The groundwork for application includes constant monitoring and documentation of the cancer center’s accomplishments, including research programs efforts, community outreach and engagement endeavors, as well as clinical trial growth and accrual. The application submitted in 2017 exceeded 1,200 pages.
What is NCI Comprehensive designation? It is the gold standard, awarded to cancer centers that are recognized for their trailblazing research and leadership in developing leading-edge treatments. To attain this elite distinction, the cancer center must demonstrate significant depth and breadth in basic, clinical and translational research, with a clear focus on the cancers most affecting our communities. This requires a deep understanding of the cancer issues faced by those we serve and responding with tailored solutions. To move from NCI Designation to NCI Comprehensive, we must:
- Demonstrate solid basic research discoveries that build on our collective knowledge of cancer’s biology and apply these findings to advance new therapies.
- Identify cancer risk factors and develop actionable cancer prevention strategies.
- Create more clinical trial opportunities for patients, including underserved populations.
- Establish a strong, robust program for training a diverse oncology workforce ready to meet the needs of our catchment area and the nation.