There are 71 health centers across the country that are leading the conversation on cancer care.
They’re called National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers — a network of the top 4% of cancer programs nationwide that work together to pioneer cancer treatments and initiatives.
When you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to know where you can find this world-class care in your own community. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania.
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 develops treatments that make a real difference in patients’ lives.
NCI-designated Cancer Centers, including UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science.
Among the 71 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-disciplinary research and community outreach and engagement. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center falls into this top-tier category and is one of only 53 in the nation.
You can find out 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.
Why the NCI Matters
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center 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 Hillman Cancer Center has more than 70 locations across Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and New York. It offers convenient access to critical cancer research initiatives, diagnosis, and treatment resources, and treats all types of cancers.
Editor's Note: This gallery was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .