The National Cancer Institute has awarded the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center a $36 million grant to fund cutting edge research programs and clinical trials over five years.
The highly competitive funding, awarded in recognition of UCSF's excellence in laboratory, clinical and population-based research, will fund administrative management and infrastructure to support efforts across the spectrum of cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer and pediatric cancer.
The grant is the latest funding to the center, which is one of the country's leading cancer and clinical care programs, and is the only comprehensive cancer center in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The first year's award amounts to $7.2 million. The balance of the award was recommended by the National Institutes of Health subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory progress toward the goals of the center.
"We are pleased that the National Cancer Institute has recognized the work of our cancer center and has continued to make financing cancer research a high priority," said Frank McCormick, PhD, who has served as director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1997.
"Cancer is a devastating disease that takes the life of an American every minute of every day," said McCormick, who is president of the American Association for Cancer Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the Royal Society as well as a scientist actively engaged in cancer research. "Federal support for cancer research is imperative as we move forward with research to save lives in our generation and for future generations."
The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center received the fifth largest amount of funding for its cancer support grant last year among the 67 NCI-designated cancer centers in the United States, according to NCI statistics.
UCSF received the comprehensive cancer center designation in 1999. The NCI awards the comprehensive designation after a rigorous evaluation process demonstrating breadth of research in laboratory, clinical, and population-based research, as well as substantial interdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas.
"The NCI-designated cancer centers program recognizes centers around the country that meet rigorous criteria for world-class, state-of-the-art programs in multidisciplinary cancer research," said Linda K. Weiss, PhD, director of the Office of Cancer Centers of the National Cancer Institute. "These centers - including the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center - have dedicated significant resources into developing research programs, faculty and facilities that will lead to better approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The NCI designation not only recognizes excellence but opens doors to greater federal funding, information sharing, and resources."
In the NCI's award notification that touted the center's "complete spectrum of cancer research," the overall quality of research programs was described as "outstanding to excellent."