The University Record, September 4, 2001

Cancer Center earns $26 million grant

By Kara Gavin
Health System Public Relations

The Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a $26 million, five-year grant and an ‘outstanding’ rating from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), paving the way for increased research, care, prevention and education in the fight against cancer.

The grant, awarded this week to support existing and new research programs and infrastructure comes in addition to another $21 million in individual NCI research funding grants won by U-M Health System cancer investigators.

“We’re proud that our efforts to build a wide array of programs, with strengths in many areas of cancer, are being supported so enthusiastically by NCI, and we look forward to building upon our base with this renewed support,” says Max Wicha, Center director and Distinguished Professor of Oncology.

“This tremendous increase in our support comes at a time when humankind’s knowledge about cancer is exploding,” Wicha continues. “With this grant, our outstanding collection of faculty, staff, resources and facilities will be more able than ever to wage war on cancer for individual patients here and around the world.”

The Center has 297 faculty members; 14 basic, clinical and prevention research programs; and 13 shared facilities, all supported by the NCI grant. The new funding will enable the U-M to establish new operations, including facilities for DNA-based molecular oncology and immune monitoring, and new research programs in connective tissue oncology, and head and neck cancer.

The Center is one of only 41 centers nationwide that have comprehensive NCI status, awarded only to those centers with extensive and interactive clinical and laboratory research; participation in NCI high-priority clinical studies of new cancer therapies; significant cancer prevention and control activities; patient education programs; community service and outreach activities; and educational and training programs for health professionals.

Wicha says the grant will help not only the U-M’s patients, but people worldwide. “The goal is to optimize the use of the treatments we have now, and ultimately to make today’s treatments obsolete.”