KU Cancer Center earns most prestigious designation from national institute

Senator Jerry Moran announced that the KU Cancer Center received a comprehensive designation...
Senator Jerry Moran announced that the KU Cancer Center received a comprehensive designation from the National Cancer Institute.(Taylor Johnson, KCTV5)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 2:19 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - KU Cancer Center has earned one of the most prestigious national designations, which means patients are being cared for by some of the world’s leading experts.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says on Thursday, July 7, the University of Kansas Cancer Center received the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Designation Status - the highest recognition award by the NCI and gold star standard for cancer centers.

“My priority is to make Kansas a destination for industry, defense, education, science, technology, engineering, and research. But my main priority is to make Kansas a place where we are not only recruiting the top talent in the world to our state, but also keeping our students, their knowledge, and intellect in Kansas. That Kansans have the opportunity to change the world right here at home,” Sen. Moran said.

Moran noted that KU Cancer Center joins 52 other institutions that have earned the designation.

“This is only the beginning, and really good things continue and begin to happen here at the KU Cancer Center. God willing, one day we will provide something more than hope. We will provide that cure,” said the Senator.

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said a national designation has always been one of the Center’s priorities.

“Nearly 20 years ago, this entire community joined together and decided that national designation, and ultimately Comprehensive designation, of our cancer center, was our top priority as a region. It was our moonshot,” Girod said. “Well, today we’ve landed on the moon, so to speak. What was once a dream is now a reality. And that reality means better patient care, better health outcomes, and better research. And it means we are one step closer to our ultimate goal – which is to rid our society of cancer so that we all have the opportunity to live happier, healthier lives.”

KU Cancer Center Director Roy Jensen said the designation means patients will be cared for by the world’s leading cancer experts.

“Comprehensive designation is a crucial milestone in our journey to conquer all cancers,” Jansen said. “You might ask, ‘What does Comprehensive designation mean for people with cancer?’ As one of just 53 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, it means patients will be cared for by the world’s leading cancer experts who have access to a robust portfolio of clinical trials. It also means we now have increased access to more federal funding and research dollars, which helps us grow and retain our team of internationally renowned researchers and physician-scientists.”

Moran indicated that in 2012, the Center was recognized as a designated cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. In 2017, he said that designation was renewed. In 2021, as its 5-year renewal would soon come up for review, he said the Center submitted its second application for comprehensive status and in June it was accepted.

“Two decades ago, when KU Medical Center leadership decided to focus on cancer research, there were some who worried that other areas might be left behind,” said Robert D. Simari, M.D., executive vice-chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center. “However, it has never been more true that rising tides raise all ships. With the success of the cancer center, centers of excellence in Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, diabetes, aging and many others have flourished.”

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee with jurisdiction over the National Institute of Health and NCI, Moran said he also helped secure $16 million in federal funds for KU Cancer Center in the 2023 budget.

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