UK Markey Cancer Center: Our pursuit of an NCI designation
One of our goals over the next several years is to become a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, a distinction only 66 of the top cancer centers in the nation have accomplished.
Earning this designation is a lengthy process that requires strong efforts in research, recruiting and improving many of the programs at Markey.
What does an NCI designation mean?
NCI-designated cancer centers are a major source of discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These centers provide leadership for and participate in the NCI Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program. This program is designed to promote and support clinical trials of new cancer treatments, explore methods of cancer prevention and early detection, and study quality-of-life and rehabilitation issues.
To earn an NCI designation, cancer centers must apply and demonstrate continuous excellence in the following areas:
- Laboratory research
- Clinical research
- Behavioral and population-based research
All NCI-designated cancer centers receive substantial financial support from NCI grants, and they are re-evaluated every time their support grant comes up for renewal -- usually every three to five years.
How does the Markey Cancer Center benefit from earning an NCI designation?
By earning this prestigious designation, Markey will see:
- Up to $1.5 million annually in additional funding.
- Access to the latest in cancer research clinical trials.
- The ability to attract more of the best medical students and faculty on an international level.
- An increase in community engagement, including volunteers, patient advisory groups, and education and intervention programs.
- The ability to communicate and collaborate on new advances in cancer care with other NCI-designated cancer centers across the country.
How will I benefit from Markey earning an NCI designation?
Kentucky has one of the highest rates of cancer in the country, including the nation's highest rate of lung cancer and second-highest rate of colon cancer. Despite the overwhelming need for advanced cancer care, Kentucky is one of the 16 states that currently do not have an NCI-designated cancer center.
Earning the NCI designation will enable Markey to provide better care for people across the state, ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave state lines to get access to top-of-the-line cancer treatment. In addition, it will allow us to become more active in the community to help educate the public on cancer prevention and treatment.