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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Again Earns Elite Comprehensive Cancer Center Status from National Cancer Institute

PITTSBURGH, July 7, 2011 – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has renewed the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s (UPCI) status as a “Comprehensive Cancer Center,” the highest distinction it grants. With this designation comes national and international recognition that UPCI is a center of excellence in basic and clinical research, prevention and control programs, and population sciences, as well as a vital part of the region for cancer education and outreach.

“This renewal differentiates UPCI as a national leader in cancer research and care,” said Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director of UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers. “As one of only 40 centers in the country with this elite designation, our patients can be confident they receive the very best care possible, including superior patient education, access to the most up-to-date screening technologies and cutting-edge treatment options.”

In October, UPCI celebrated the successful renewal of its Cancer Center Support Grant from the NCI. The grant supports UPCI’s broad range of clinical, research and educational programs and its mission to lessen the burden of cancer for people throughout Western Pennsylvania and beyond. The grant renewal, a review of the quality of UPCI’s research and clinical care, was the first step in UPCI’s designation renewal. The second step evaluated UPCI’s programs in patient education, community service and community outreach.

“The renewal of our core grant was vital because it confirms the exceptional work happening inside the Cancer Institute,” said Dr. Davidson. “The renewal of our comprehensive status, however, is equally important because it recognizes our role in the community. An NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center should be an integral part of the fabric of the community, and our commitment to the community is as strong as our dedication to finding cures for this disease."

Established in 1985, UPCI received its designation as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1989 and has retained this distinction since then.

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