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Cleveland’s Collective Effort to Fight Cancer Garners High Marks and Big Money

Dr. Stan Gerson (right) confers with a research colleague. (photo: ideastream)
Dr. Stan Gerson (right) confers with a research colleague. (photo: ideastream)

Northeast Ohio’s coordinated effort to develop new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer got a big boost from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with the announcement that the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive $31.9 million in federal funding to support cancer research and education.

2018 marks the 20 th anniversary that the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has been recognized as one of the nation’s most elite centers by the NCI – a designation known as a  “comprehensive” cancer center. Currently, there are just 49 such centers around the country. According to a press release detailing the announcement, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center received an “exceptional” rating in its recent NCI review to continue its comprehensive status -- which is the highest possible rating and held by only a handful of centers.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is comprised of three anchor institutions – Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. The consortium includes 56 different academic departments, as well as 370 physicians and scientists, according to Stan Gerson, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Gerson says the wide range of expertise stretching across the three institutions fosters collaboration. The Cancer Center is also unique because it includes the region’s two largest hospital systems.

The press release says that combined the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals treat nearly 16,000 patients each year. Because those patients come under the umbrella of the Cancer Center, they have greater opportunities to participate in clinical trials and reap the benefits of the concentration of expertise that comes from the three anchor institutions.

The NCI reviews comprehensive cancer centers every five years to renew their designation. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive $27.9 million for the renewal grant. Simultaneously, the NCI awarded the Cancer Center $4 million as part of a training grant to support clinical investigators.



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