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University of Arizona Cancer Center celebrates new grant

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The University of Arizona Cancer Center is celebrating a five-year, $17.6 million cancer center support grant.

The center is also retaining its National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“We get the comprehensive designation because we’re involved in all aspects of cancer related research,” said Dr. Peter Lance, Deputy Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center Phoenix. “All directed at improving the lot of the cancer patient.”

The ‘comprehensive’ part is very important, he added.

“Because that means that we’re a big enough, broad enough research-based organization that we really do cover the waterfront,” Lance explained.

It revolves around the way they deliver care.

“Groups of specialists around a particular cancer,” he said. “Whether it’s breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer … we have a specific team for each of those cancers.”

The NCI designation earns them the ability to work with the most cutting edge treatments, he said. The money will go to expand the center’s translational research capabilities.

The University of Arizona is the only Arizona-based cancer center to have earned the designation, and one of just 45 in the nation.

“A huge part of why we were so successful this time is because now we are firmly placed in Phoenix, thanks to our affiliation with Dignity St. Joseph’s,” Lance said.

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