Every five years, the UW Carbone Cancer Center receives a thorough check-up from the nation’s top cancer researchers. Leaders recently learned that it passed its review with flying colors and will retain its designation as Wisconsin’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center and $27 million in core funding.
“We strongly believe in the value of what we do and the value of what we bring to our patients, to our communities and to Wisconsin,” said Howard Bailey, MD, Carbone’s director. “It’s always helpful to have established leaders from other well-known cancer centers come in and review us and give their unbiased view of what we are accomplishing.”
In addition to the renewal, the other big achievement was the overall score.
“We were unanimously voted as outstanding,” Bailey said. “NCI does not provide rankings of cancer centers’ scores, but based on my years as a reviewer of other cancer centers, only a few centers receive that score or better.”
For the review, leading scientists evaluated UW Carbone on dozens of aspects, including the impact of its research, the number of patients taking part in clinical trials and how much external funding its scientists secure.
“Recognition by the NCI of UW Carbone Cancer Center as outstanding is a tribute to the inspired and visionary leadership of its director, Dr. Howard Bailey, and exceptional institutional support,’’ says James Willson, MD, chief scientific officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and former director of the Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The center has dramatically enhanced its ability to take basic discoveries into innovative cancer care and prevention strategies for the benefit of the people of Wisconsin and the nation.
There are 69 NCI-designated cancer centers across the country, and 49 are comprehensive cancer centers, which demonstrate an added depth and breadth of research. Carbone was one of the first six to earn the designation when it was first awarded in 1973.
“In nearly every metric that measures the value of a cancer center, we are getting stronger,” Bailey said. “And many of our research and care programs received the highest possible rating.”
The renewal provides UW Carbone with over $27 million in funding over five years to further enhance cancer care, education and research throughout Wisconsin and beyond.