NCI Designation

The University of Arizona Cancer Center is one of 72 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and one of 56 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. It is the only Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in and serving the entire state of Arizona.

In 1978, the cancer center received its first NCI Support Grant for $1 million, designating it as an official cancer research and treatment center. This core grant has been competitively renewed in each renewal period through to the present, with the University of Arizona Cancer Center receiving one of the first comprehensive cancer center designations from the NCI in 1990.

Read more about the history of the NCI Cancer Centers Program.

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.
  • Supports centers that have dedicated significant resources into developing research programs, faculty, and facilities that will lead to better approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
  • Provides grant funding that accompanies the designation supports shared resources for research, provides developmental funds to advance scientific goals, and fosters cancer programs that draw investigators from different disciplines together.

The benefits of NCI-designation for centers include:

  • Recognition of excellence in cancer research.
  • Membership in the community of NCI-designated cancer centers, and a "seat at the table" where the strategic plans and initiatives of NCI are formed.
  • Opportunity to represent the needs of its local community in national dialogue on cancer research issues.
  • Opportunities for extensive information sharing and broader scientific collaborations with other NCI centers.

A Comprehensive Cancer Center:

  • Demonstrates reasonable depth and breadth of research in each of three major areas:
    • Laboratory research
    • Clinical research
    • Prevention, control and population-based research
  • Demonstrates aptitude in trans-disciplinary research that bridges the scientific areas.
  • Serves its catchment area, as well as the broader population, through its cancer research.
  • Integrates training and education of biomedical researchers and health care professionals into programmatic efforts to enhance its scientific mission and potential.