The University of Colorado Cancer Center has again earned a prestigious grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support research and operations. Additionally, the CU Cancer Center is designated a “comprehensive cancer center”, recognizing the Center’s excellence across all aspects of cancer research and oncology care.
The Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) recognizes the CU Cancer Center as the state of Colorado’s only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, one of 47 such centers in the United States to earn the distinction.
“I know each person associated with our center works diligently every day to better understand and fight cancer,” says Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the CU Cancer Center. “This designation shows the sum of these efforts – it’s the recognition that each person is doing his or her part resulting in an excellent organization.”
The CCSG award is the result of a rigorous evaluation process culminating in a visit from a NCI Site Visit Team in June 2016 and the centers best-ever rating.
The NCI also recognized the Center’s unique structure as a “consortium” center. Rather than relying on a localized, one-campus system, the CU Cancer Center represents the collaboration of members at multiple institutions including University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus, and Colorado State University (with most CSU members coming from the Flint Animal Cancer Center). Also included in the consortium are CU Cancer Center’s clinical partners University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Denver VA Medical Center. Partner institutions including University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado are consistently in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report rankings.
“The strength of our consortium is in the wide variety of cancer research that takes place in Colorado,” says Theodorescu. “Our physician/scientists are leading the way in discovering how cancer works on the cellular level, the best ways to treat cancer, and the most effective ways to prevent cancer from recurring or even preventing it altogether.”
The CU Cancer Center is part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 27 leading cancer centers shaping the gold standard in cancer care. NCCN guidelines are followed by oncologists across the U.S. and the world. The Center also joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), a collaboration designed to accelerate and magnify the power of cancer clinical trials by sharing patient genetic information and outcome data.
“The CU Cancer Center is an invaluable resource in the state of Colorado and in many ways represents the state cancer center. We offer our patients the ability to receive cancer treatment that is second to none in the same place where our leading scientists are discovering tomorrow’s cancer therapies,” says Theodorescu. “Anyone can use the term cancer center, but the NCI designation as a ‘comprehensive cancer center’ sets us apart from every other cancer center in Colorado.”
The CU Cancer Center first received its NCI designation in 1987 as a clinical cancer center. In 1997, it received its “comprehensive” designation and in 2005, its “consortium” designation. This is the fifth time the CU Cancer Center has been designated a comprehensive cancer center by the NCI. The designation lasts five years and the support grant covers the same time period.