(MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 11, 2014) St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center has been renewed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), earning the highest possible score of "exceptional." St. Jude remains the first and only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that is devoted solely to children. St. Jude has been designated as an NCI cancer center since 1977. The hospital was named a comprehensive cancer center in 2008.
A comprehensive cancer center must possess a deep and broad research-based portfolio that extends from the laboratory to the clinic and includes population-based science. Centers must also be actively engaged in professional and public cancer education and outreach.
"We are honored to once again receive this recognition, especially to receive a score of "exceptional"—the highest the NCI awards to cancer centers," said Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center director. "St. Jude has been an NCI-designated cancer center for almost 40 years. Throughout this time, we have served as a national resource for children with cancer, their families and physicians. From the first pipette that's picked up in the lab to the last child treated in the clinic at the end of the day, everything is focused on our patients. We are driven by a common goal to find cures for all children with cancer."
"The efforts of our more than 160 clinicians and scientists are incredible," Gilbertson said. "During the last five years, we have made more than 32,500 patient enrollments to clinical studies. In the year prior to our NCI renewal, we ran 166 cancer clinical trials, including 36 brand new studies. In addition to the children we treat at St. Jude, we provide thousands of free patient consultations each year for children around the world. These are frequently complex and involve extensive histopathology, imaging and clinical chart reviews. In keeping with the ethos of St. Jude, no payment is requested for any consultation."
At St. Jude, the Comprehensive Cancer Center is organized as five cross-disciplinary, multi-departmental programs aligned to specific diseases and research concepts—Developmental Biology and Solid Tumor Program; Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program; Hematological Malignancies Program; Cancer Prevention and Control Program; and the Cancer Genetics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology Program. The availability of 10 centralized shared resources with well-equipped facilities support the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and reporting of research.
"The Comprehensive Cancer Center at St. Jude is at the very heart of our institution, bringing people together to accelerate science and facilitate the translation of discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic to develop innovative new treatments," said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. "To be given an 'exceptional' rating after such a comprehensive and rigorous peer-review process is truly meaningful and extremely gratifying."
"Spurred on by this honor from the NCI, the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center is poised more than ever before to leverage our exciting discoveries and resources to bring new treatments and hope to all children with cancer," Gilbertson said.
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