March 31, 2020
The University of Kansas Cancer Center will receive an additional $5 million from the state budget for the KU Cancer Center Research Fund, approved by the Kansas legislature and signed by Governor Laura Kelly.
“These funds will be crucial to the KU Cancer Center’s competitive application for National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive cancer center designation,” said Roy Jensen, MD, director of the cancer center. “We commend Kansas state leaders and Governor Kelly for recognizing that, even during these most difficult of times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue our fight against cancer, the number one cause of death in the state of Kansas.”
In two years, the cancer center will apply for NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation. That designation will bring with it many millions of dollars in new NCI funding that would enhance cancer care and research at the KU Cancer Center, Jensen explained.
“Achieving comprehensive designation would be a boon to our regional economic development as well an important step forward in advancing public health in our state. We anticipate comprehensive cancer center designation would lead to the creation of 89 new KU Cancer Center jobs and 106 new regional jobs, for a total of 195 jobs created,” Jensen said.
In 2007, the State of Kansas established a line item in the state budget in the amount of $5 million per year in support of The University of Kansas Cancer Center for obtaining National Cancer Institute designation. This funding served as a critical resource for the cancer center and was essential in winning NCI designation in 2012 and its renewal in 2017.
Jensen pointed out that it was Fred Logan, chair of the Masonic Cancer Alliance (MCA) Board, who spearheaded the effort to increase funding from the state. The MCA is the outreach arm of the cancer center.
“All of the credit goes to Fred Logan,” Jensen said.
“Winning a comprehensive cancer center designation would be a landmark achievement for our state,” Logan said. “This appropriation will have a lasting beneficial impact on all Kansans.”