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Release: Dec. 6, 2000

Holden Cancer Center at UI receives highest designation from NCI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Just a few months after being named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Cancer Center, the Holden Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has achieved further recognition: NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. Based on this additional honor, the Center will now be known as the "Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa."

"Becoming an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center is the highest honor a cancer center can receive from the National Cancer Institute," said George Weiner, M.D., director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This designation places us in the top tier of cancer centers across the nation."

The NCI has two major conditions that must be met before an NCI-designated cancer center can become an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. First, a comprehensive cancer center must have broad expertise in basic, clinical and population-based cancer research and integrate these research programs to draw strength from each other. Second, comprehensive cancer centers must provide outstanding clinical care while also offering cancer-related outreach, educational and informational activities for cancer patients throughout their region.

"There are currently 60 NCI-designated cancer centers in the nation and of those, only 37 are comprehensive cancer centers. Many large states do not have one," Weiner said. "The comprehensive designation is a guarantee to patients across the state that they can receive state-of-the-art compassionate cancer care here in Iowa."

This means that the 31,000 annual outpatient visitors and 2,500 annual inpatient visitors to the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center will continue to receive the world-class care they deserve and expect.

The NCI provides $1.2 million annually in research support to the Holden Cancer Center. The latest NCI-designation does not mean more research funding; instead it will provide enhanced opportunities to influence the standards of cancer prevention and treatment on a regional, national and international level.

"This has been a remarkable year for our center," Weiner said. "In addition to receiving NCI-designation earlier this year and now being awarded comprehensive status, we also received a landmark gift from the Holden family that will allow us to strengthen even further the research, education and clinical cancer activities recognized by the NCI through these awards."

Weiner also noted that the comprehensive designation makes the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center the foremost authority on cancer research, education, prevention and treatment in Iowa.


University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.