Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota Receives ‘Outstanding’ Rating from the National Cancer Institute

July 31, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (07/31/18) — The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota has received an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’ from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as a renewal of its five-year Cancer Center Support Grant and reconfirmation of its comprehensive status.

“As the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Twin Cities, our renewal of this designation acknowledges that we have the right people and research direction,” said Douglas Yee, M.D., breast cancer researcher, medical oncologist with University of Minnesota Health and director of the Masonic Cancer Center. “By building research teams, we aim to deliver the most advanced cancer care, prevention strategies, and survivorship initiatives from a deep bench of research and a strong collaborative relationship with University of Minnesota Health, our clinical partner.”

Every five years, the Masonic Cancer Center must compete for its designation and funding, and in the newly released review, it not only succeeded, but improved its overall score from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Outstanding,’ earning its highest score to date. The score improvement will drive additional funding which will further groundbreaking research in the causes of cancer, cancer prevention, survivorship, tobacco control research, and innovative strategies to treat cancer including immuno- and cellular therapies. 

Since 1998, the Masonic Cancer Center has been recognized as an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, indicating its preeminent scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical and population sciences.

“As cancer physicians and researchers, our goal is to change cancer in the same way tuberculosis was changed a generation ago,” said Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D, vice president for Clinical Affairs and Masonic Cancer Center member. “We achieve this by combining innovation and care delivery in a way that improves the outcomes of the disease. The continued success of the Masonic Cancer Center shows the value of our work, as well as the skill and expertise we offer in cancer research, prevention and treatment.”

The Masonic Cancer Center will continue to lead the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network (MNCCTN), which provides even better access to cancer clinical trials for all Minnesotans, in collaboration with Essentia Health Community Oncology Research Program, Fairview Health Services, The Hormel Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium and Sanford Community Oncology Program of the North Central Plains. By bringing cancer clinical trials to those living in Greater Minnesota, MNCCTN will increase access to life-changing and potentially life saving therapies and treatments, strengthen healthcare systems, create more equitable access to care and potentially improve cancer outcomes throughout the state.

“We’re thankful for all university and hospital staff, donors, legislators and our community for the phenomenal outpouring of support toward for the Masonic Cancer Center,” said Dr. Yee.

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

As the Twin-Cities’ only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota is recognized for preeminent scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical and population sciences.  For more than 25 years, researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related disease. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.