UPMC and the National Cancer Institute

WRITTEN BY: CancerCenter
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Nearly 70 health centers across the country are leading the conversation on cancer care.

They’re called National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers — a network of the top four percent of cancer programs nationwide that work together to pioneer cancer treatments and initiatives.

And when you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to know where you can find this world-class care in your own community. University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter, is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania.

UPCI leads the conversation on #cancercare as the only NCI Cancer Center in Western PA Click To Tweet

What is an NCI Cancer Center?

The NCI is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. The organization supports a national network of cancer centers, which develop treatments that make a real difference in patients’ lives.

NCI-designated Cancer Centers, including University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, partner with UPMC CancerCenter, are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science.

Among the 69 designated centers, there are three subgroups. The subgroups include:

  • Basic Laboratory Cancer Centers: Centers that conduct lab research only and do not provide patient treatment.
  • Cancer Centers: Centers that focus on laboratory research, clinical research, and population-based research.
  • Comprehensive Cancer Centers: Centers that meet the requirements of a Cancer Center designation with additional depth and breadth of cross-discipline research and community outreach and engagement. UPCI with UPMC CancerCenter falls into this top-tier category, and is one of only 47 in the nation.

You can find out even more about the NCI’s extraordinary work here.

How the NCI Cancer Centers Program Began

The NCI Cancer Centers Program launched in the 1960s at the recommendation of Congress. The mission? To better support cancer medical professionals and the patients they serve.

The program was designed to drive innovation in cancer diagnosis and treatment and create unity among the cancer medical community.

What are the NCI Cancer Center Criteria?

NCI-designated Cancer Centers are rated on factors such as:

  • Scientific leadership
  • Organization resources
  • Depth and breadth of research in basic, clinical, and/or population sciences

RELATED: War on Cancer: UPMC Joins ‘Moonshot’ Initiative

Why the NCI Matters

UPCI, partner with UPMC CancerCenter, ranks as a top-tier NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center, offering excellence in cancer detection, research, diagnosis, and cancer treatment options.

Achieving the status of an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center isn’t simple. In addition to working at the forefront of cancer research, these centers provide:

  • Comprehensive education to medical professionals and patients alike
  • Early-stage cancer research
  • Participation in leading-edge clinical trials

Ready to Learn More?

UPMC CancerCenter has locations across western Pennsylvania, including Hillman Cancer Center, served by more than 180 affiliated oncologists. It offers convenient access to critical cancer research initiatives, diagnosis, and treatment resources. And treats all types of cancers.

Learn more about UPMC CancerCenter and visit its website.

UPMC CancerCenter


At UPMC CancerCenter, we are your doctors, caregivers, teachers, and support system. You are not alone in your fight against cancer, and we are committed to providing you the knowledge, inspiration, and specialty cancer care you need so you can face your diagnosis with confidence. We’re here for you – as part of the community – and that’s something cancer can never take away. Read More