$26 Million for Cancer Center

The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center (UPCC) has received a $26 million Core Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Cancer centers funded by the NCI Core Grant are the centerpiece of the nation's effort to reduce the morbidity and mortality from cancer. This five-year grant is the largest ever received by Penn from the National Institutes of Health, and is a 62 percent annual increase over the prior award.

Penn's Cancer Center has been continuously funded by the NCI Core Support Grant mechanism since it was created by the National Cancer Act in the early 1970s. Penn's grant received "outstanding" merit, which is the highest possible status, and full approval and funding of its 13 research programs and 16 core facilities, which provide specialized services to support innovative cancer research. "Our grant was reviewed by a cadre of nationally recognized scientists and clinical investigators from cancer centers around the country," says Dr. John H. Glick, director of the Cancer Center. "We are extremely proud to receive this recognition from our peers and from the National Cancer Institute."

The UPCC also has been re-approved as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute for the maximum five-year period. This prestigious designation reflects the Cancer Center's excellence in basic, clinical and cancer control research, and its commitment to translate its research findings to benefit cancer patients and the community at large. UPCC is one of only two Comprehensive Cancer Centers located in the Delaware Valley.

Along with this milestone, U. S. News & World Report recently ranked the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center as the leading cancer center in the tri-state area. "We are pleased to be recognized as the area's top cancer center," says Dr. Glick. "This acknowledgement certainly reflects the dedication of the faculty and staff who make the cancer center the success that it is."

News of this honor comes at an exciting time in the history of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, as the institution is experiencing unprecedented growth. UPCC has more than $100 million in cancer research funding--$37 million is from the National Cancer Institute; $43 million from other institutes at the NIH; another $12 million from foundational support such as the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia Society; and $8 to $10 million from pharmaceutical companies.

UPCC recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and the establishment of The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute--where top researchers from around the country have been recruited to Penn and are working to solve the many mysteries of what causes cancer and to develop innovative, new diagnostic and treatment approaches. The Abramson Institute was established in late 1997 with a gift of $100 million from Leonard and Madlyn Abramson.

In addition, the Cancer Center is expanding with the opening of the Rena Rowan Breast Center this fall (Almanac October 10); it will encompass an entire floor of Penn Tower that is specifically designed and designated to treat women with breast cancer. "Everyone here at the Cancer Center is enthusiastic about the initiatives currently set in motion, says Dr. Glick. "We're making tremendous scientific progress and these discoveries will increase our effort to help each individual patient control or conquer his or her disease. We are proud to be one of the major institutions in the country leading this initiative."

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 9, October 24, 2000