The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota serves as the focal point for cancer research at the University. As a National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer center our 500 members apply their expertise to the broad problem of cancer with research in cancer causes, prevention, treatment, outcomes, and survivorship. The progress we’ve seen in cancer outcomes can be directly attributed to cancer research advances.
How has cancer research improved cancer outcomes? There are three reasons that account for our progress in reducing the burden of cancer.
First, collaboration between Masonic Cancer Center faculty brings together experts from different fields to tackle a problem. Since our designation as a comprehensive cancer center in 1997, the number of funded research projects has doubled to over 400 active projects and many of these projects represent collaboration between two or more faculty members. The Masonic Cancer Center is increasingly involving our community in the research process; community-based participatory research is necessary to address cancer-related problems specifically relevant to our surrounding community.
Second, translation of research findings to address cancer care results in our ability to offer state-of-the-art cancer treatments. Many of the therapies I used at the start of my career have been replaced by more effective and less toxic therapies. In every case, these advances have been based on research findings and their application to real patients in our clinics. Similar advances in cancer prevention can be traced back to the laboratory and population studies. An important goal for the Masonic Cancer Center is to facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical practice and to ensure new best practices are adopted by the community.
Third, partnerships have been critical to our success. Federal and state support of cancer research remains the backbone of our progress. Patients and non-patient research subjects who participate in research studies help change clinical practice. Consumer advocates have accelerated cancer research by increasing awareness and emphasizing the importance of cancer research. Finally, the Masonic Cancer Center has been generously supported by philanthropic contributions from our community. The historic $65 million gift from Minnesota Masonic Charities represents the type of long-term community commitment critical to our success. Our success depends on partnerships the Masonic Cancer Center has established.
Thank you for visiting our web page and for your interest in cancer research. I hope this site serves as an important resource for your questions about cancer research, prevention, treatment, and survivorship. For more information about the cancer center please feel free to contact us at our information line, 612-624-2620/toll free 1-888-CANCER MN(1-888-226-2376). We are here to help!
Douglas Yee, M.D.
Director, Masonic Cancer Center
John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research