“NCI designation is awarded to academic institutions for their innovativeness and impact of their research in understanding the cause and progression of cancer, ways to diagnose and treat patients with cancer, and prevent and control the arise of cancer in the region, nation and world,” says Interim Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and UC College of Medicine Dean Dr. Andrew Filak Jr. “It is recognition of the collective cancer research excellence of the UC faculty at our three institutions and is something we desire for the benefit of everyone in Cincinnati and the Tristate region. Working together with patients, families and the broader regional health care community, we believe this streamlined UC Cancer Center organization and the coordinated leadership of Drs. Barrett and Ahmad will move us in the right direction and place us in the best position to seek NCI designation when we have met all requirements.”
Barrett has led the Department of Radiation Oncology since its founding in 2008. He has been the director of the UC Cancer Institute since 2014. Ahmad is an active clinician and translational researcher focusing on novel treatment approaches for pancreatic cancer.
Filak noted that the cancer research portfolio is healthy and growing, and UC scientists continue to conduct groundbreaking research. Clinical research also has grown significantly, especially with investigator-initiated clinical trials growing by nearly 50 percent in the last three years.
NCI designation would be a recognition of cancer research excellence of UC faculty from the university, UC Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, says President and Chief Executive Officer of UC Health Dr. Richard Lofgren.
“Many of our clinical programs are now recognized on a national level, with patients traveling to Cincinnati from around the country to seek our expertise. This collective excellence has allowed us to recently recruit many talented researchers and clinicians, and we expect this trend to continue,” Lofgren says.
Leaders also emphasized that Cincinnati Children’s remains a very strong and close partner in these efforts.
“Cincinnati Children’s will remain a vital partner in the cancer effort,” says President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Michael Fisher. “Pediatric cancer clinicians and researchers at Cincinnati Children’s hold primary and joint academic appointments in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. A hallmark of our cancer programs is the high degree of collaboration between researchers and clinicians who focus on pediatric cancer with colleagues whose focus is adult cancer. United through the new UC Cancer Center organization, these University of Cincinnati faculty will focus on solving the problems related to both pediatric and adult cancer, as well as the issues facing survivors after a cancer experience.
“Cancer clinicians and researchers at Cincinnati Children’s—as UC faculty—will be important members and thought leaders within the UC Cancer Center, working closely with Dr. Ahmad and the administrative team of the UC Cancer Center on matters and initiatives of importance to NCI designation efforts.”
Pediatric oncology, hematology and bone marrow transplant patient care and research remains under the auspices of the internationally pre-eminent Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute and its leadership and institutional reporting structures.