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Oct. 5, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. The University of Kansas Cancer Center took on duties – along with reaping rewards – when it joined the ranks of the top cancer-fighting institutions in the country, the head of the National Cancer Institute said in an address to researchers Friday.
“As a member of this 67-member group,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, “you have a responsibility to help us think about how we are going to keep moving in a positive direction on the declining curve of cancer mortality over the next 20, 30, 40 years.”
He added, “And that means speaking actively with other cancer center directors, with the cancer research community as a whole about how best to understand cancer at its fundamental level, and how to take that knowledge and turn it into better ways to prevent cancer, to diagnose it more accurately and earlier and how to treat it more effectively.”
Varmus spoke to an audience of about 225 people at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The audience included researchers from the Stowers Insitute and the KU Cancer Center.
Varmus’ visit came three months after the cancer center earned the designation as the nation’s 67th NCI-designated cancer center. U.S. Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius announced the decision in July at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Officials said the designation holds the promise of significant economic development around the region and of increased federal funding for cancer-fighting efforts throughout the state. It also comes with a multiyear grant with first-year funding of about $1.4 million, KU officials said.
The announcement capped a decade-long push by KU to achieve the designation.
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