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University of Iowa News Release


July 6, 2011

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center's status renewed by National Cancer Institute

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has earned a renewal of its formal designation as a comprehensive cancer center from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The renewal includes a five-year, $11.5 million Cancer Center Support Grant.

To earn the "comprehensive" designation from the NCI, a cancer center must demonstrate substantial depth and breadth in its scientific research, as well as community service and outreach. Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center and one of only 40 such top-tier centers in the nation.

"In renewing our status as a comprehensive cancer center, the NCI has recognized and rewarded us for the important role we play in discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as our success in delivering medical advances to patients and their families, educating health care professionals and the public, and reaching out to underserved populations," said George Weiner, M.D., director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and the C.E. Block Professor of Cancer Research.

"It is extremely gratifying to be viewed so positively by our peers and we look forward to continuing our work to decrease the burden of cancer for the people of Iowa and beyond," he added.

The process of maintaining the comprehensive cancer center designation required an extensive, in-depth review of Holden Cancer Center by the NCI, including a site visit by a team of national cancer experts. The review team noted the center's significant progress in supporting high quality, cancer-focused research with areas of strong translational effort and commended center leaders for taking advantage of unique research opportunities in the areas of rural health, environmental exposure and free radical biology. In summary, the review team concluded that Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is an outstanding center that has a great impact on health care in the state of Iowa.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center coordinates all cancer-related research, education and patient care conducted throughout the University of Iowa by nearly 200 faculty from 36 departments and six colleges, as well as UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children's Hospital.

Collaboration and integration of expertise is key to every part of the center's mission. Multidisciplinary teams of cancer specialists provide patients with cutting-edge treatment and exceptional outcomes. Similarly, research on new ways to detect, prevent and treat cancer is a multidisciplinary activity and all levels of research from bench to bedside -- basic science, translational studies and clinical trials -- are integrated within the center.

Weiner noted that the review committee was particularly impressed with the level of collaboration among the center's members.

"The reviewers highlighted the depth and breadth of the highly collaborative science taking place at Holden, noted that there are clear examples of basic and population based research findings making their way through clinical implementation and public policy decisions," he said.

The NCI funding supports the coordination and infrastructure for all cancer research taking place at the UI. This includes support for shared research core functions that provide state-of-the-art technology and expertise to Holden cancer researchers working across campus in research laboratories, the clinic and the community.

For more information about the cancer center, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-356-7124,