CONTACT: ARIANNE NARDO
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
UI Cancer Center named National Cancer Institute-designated
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Cancer Center
officially has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as an
NCI-designated cancer center, a mark of distinction given to a select group
of cancer centers nationwide, officials said today.
With this designation, the UI Cancer Center joins
only 59 cancer centers in the United States that have achieved excellence
in cancer care, research and education.
"This is a very exciting development that opens a
lot of new doors for us and for our patients," said George Weiner, M.D., director
of the UI Cancer Center. "NCI-designated cancer centers collaborate to create
new and innovative approaches to cancer research and to effectively move this
research from the laboratory into clinical trials and into clinical practice."
As an NCI-designated cancer center, the UI Cancer
Center will have even greater ability to collaborate with researchers and
specialists from other NCI institutions to share findings and advancements
in the treatment and understanding of cancer. These relationships will enrich
the UI Cancer Center's multidisciplinary approach, and ultimately benefit
Iowa patients who have more access to the latest treatments through clinical
trials developed here and at other centers around the country.
"We are extremely proud and grateful for the honor
to be an NCI-designated cancer center," said Mary Hendrix, Ph.D., the UI Cancer
Center's deputy director and associate director for basic research. "This
new distinction will provide enriched opportunities for patient care, cancer
research and oncology training."
"I'm thrilled that the University of Iowa, an institution
which has achieved excellence in the area of cancer research, is receiving
recognition as a NCI-designated cancer center," said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.
"Increased funding for cancer research has always been a priority for me as
the former chairman and now ranking member of the Senate Labor, Health and
Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. I plan to continue to fight for
funding to increase resources to win the war against cancer. Gaining NCI designation
is a step closer towards achieving that goal."
State-of-the-art technology, novel therapies and techniques
will be even more effectively supported in the future through additional funding
the NCI provides its cancer centers. These funds, when combined with the aid
of private donations and other grants, will allow the UI Cancer Center to
better attract additional world-class physicians and medical professionals
In addition, as an NCI-designated cancer center, the
UI Cancer Center will provide students with richer training experiences that
will prepare them for their fields.
"All these benefits translate into even more excellence
in the care of our patients and in our cancer prevention efforts across the
state and around the region," Weiner said. "It means that we can offer even
more as a cancer care facility."
The announcement follows a year-long review process
conducted by the NCI. The concept of NCI-designated cancer centers originated
with the National Cancer Act of 1971, which supported the nation's commitment
to reduce cancer rates and improve patient survival.
The UI Cancer Center, a component of University of
Iowa Health Care, was established in 1980, and includes 100 clinical faculty
and 140 researchers from 29 departments and six colleges associated with University
of Iowa Health Care.
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.