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University of Iowa News Release

March 14, 2005

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Approved By Commission On Cancer

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has been granted approval by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

The Commission on Cancer maintains an approvals program designed to ensure quality cancer care for patients at participating facilities. Last November, the Cancer Center underwent its three-year review for accreditation as an approved program. The review included an in-depth analysis of cancer care at the UI and included evaluation in the areas of: cancer committee activities; cancer registry data management; a multidisciplinary approach to patient care; participation in cancer research; involvement in community outreach and preventive services; ongoing programs for cancer education; and quality improvement.

The Cancer Center met the requirements for all 37 guidelines and received four commendations for efforts that exceeded the Commission on Cancer's approvals program expectations.

"This approval included several commendations demonstrating the excellent job we have done with achieving the important goals set by the American College of Surgeons for cancer centers," said James Howe, M.D., UI associate professor of surgery and director of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "Special recognition should be given to the hard work of Deborah Schulte of the Cancer Registry, Paula Rushton, and Tina Devery of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center administration."

"Approval from the Commission on Cancer signifies that our center is dedicated to meeting the highest standards in order to provide the best cancer diagnoses and treatments for our patients," said George Weiner, M.D., the C.E. Block Chair of Cancer Research and director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Iowans can feel proud that they have access to world-class cancer care close to home. This designation by the Commission is a reflection of our commitment to our patients and their families."

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1932, the Commission on Cancer's approvals program sets standards for cancer programs, promoting consultation among surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. There are more than 1,400 Commission on Cancer-approved cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing close to 25 percent of all hospitals. These hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, according to the commission.

The cancer program at the UI first participated in the Commission on Cancer approvals program in 1936 and since then has continuously received approval.

For more information on the Commission on Cancer, visit its Web site at Information about the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is available online at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, (319) 335-8032,