Markey earns renewal of prestigious NCI designation
The National Cancer Institute has renewed the UK Markey Cancer Center’s national cancer center designation for the next five years. Markey remains one of 70 NCI-designated centers in the country and the only one in Kentucky.
“Five years ago, we stood together and declared cancer in Kentucky had a new foe,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “That is a promise we intend to keep, and we are proud to announce further investment in that promise with the renewal of the Markey Cancer Center’s NCI designation. The renewal of this transformative designation will enable us to further deliver on our promise to those we serve and heal.”
NCI designation renewal
Markey’s renewal of its NCI designation includes a five-year grant projected at $10.8 million to support research, recruitment of faculty, education and clinical trials.
“Earning NCI designation five years ago was both a recognition of our efforts up to that point and a catalyst to do even more research, outreach and clinical care for Kentucky and beyond,” said Markey Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers. “With Kentucky still home to the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the nation, having access to the research-driven, high-acuity care an NCI-designated center offers is vital to our citizens.”
Total research funding to Markey has increased 48 percent in the past five years, while NCI research funding has increased 24 percent. More than $2 million of NCI funding comes from grants that are only available to NCI-designated cancer centers.
Impact on Kentucky
Since earning its initial NCI designation, Markey has significantly impacted the Commonwealth. Outpatient visits per year have increased more than 35 percent since 2012 and more than 55 percent since 2009.
“Five years ago, we stood together and declared cancer in Kentucky had a new foe. The renewal of this transformative designation will enable us to further deliver on our promise to those we serve and heal.” - UK President Eli Capilouto
Other accomplishments include expanding the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network from eight members to 20, launching the Molecular Tumor Board to help oncologists choose cancer therapies tailored to each patient, introducing the Markey Cancer Center Research Network as a way for regional hospitals to collaborate on clinical trials, and opening the Precision Medicine Clinic to provide patients access to clinical trials.
In the past five years, $215 million in institutional, state and philanthropic funds has supported recruiting cancer researchers and clinician scientists and building and renovating clinical and research space for oncology research and clinical programs.
NCI designation grants are awarded for five-year periods. Markey will have the opportunity to renew its status and apply for Comprehensive Cancer Center designation, the highest level of NCI.
Remaining at the top
The UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital is once again the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky, according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Rankings.
Cancer care was also included in the Top 50 national rankings for the second year in a row. This year’s significant move from 50th to 38th is indicative of the UK Markey Cancer Center’s continued emphasis on providing exemplary care as Kentucky’s only National Cancer Institute-designated center.
“With this ranking and our NCI-designation, this puts us on par with the top major cancer centers in the country, and our patients should feel comfortable that they don’t need to go anywhere else to receive the highest quality care,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center .
Additionally at UK HealthCare, Diabetes & Endocrinology moved from 37th to 33rd and Ear, Nose & Throat and Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine both ranked 45th.