Central to The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s vision of eliminating the cancer burden in the heartland was achieving designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in June 2012. NCI designation signifies that our academic cancer center has achieved the highest standards and that promising cancer research leading directly to improved care and treatment is taking place right here in our own community. Currently, there are 27 NCI-designated Cancer Centers and 40 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.
NCI designation is the highest recognition for an academic cancer center, opening doors to expanded research funding and related economic benefits and jobs, and bringing the most advanced cancer care to patients.
With NCI designation, our region will achieve a new level of excellence as a bioscience research center, providing the opportunity to more fully leverage the research investments made by the University of Kansas and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
NCI designation drives growth across many related segments of the regional economy. Approximately 1,800 employees, including faculty, research support, clinical and administrative staff, are specifically devoted to cancer care and research activities. We estimate that since 2006, the NCI designation pursuit has created 1,123 jobs and had a regional economic impact of $453 million.
No other regional initiative has as much potential to simultaneously drive economic development and public health as achieving NCI designation.
Most importantly, NCI designation at KU means Kansans do not have to travel out of state to find the most advanced care and clinical trials. They are available close to home.
We aren’t stopping with becoming the 67th NCI-designated center. This designation is merely a waypoint in our journey to ultimately eliminate cancer.