Our NCI Designation Journey

When you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, the last thing you should have to worry about is how far you’ll need to travel for quality and affordable cancer care. 

Unfortunately, this has been a reality for Louisianans. Due to geographical and financial constraints, many have suffered disproportionately due to a lack of access to quality cancer care. As a result, our state has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation at 218.2 per 100,000 residents.

At LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, we recognize the need for excellent cancer care and innovations close to home. Louisianans deserve access to state-of-the-art approaches to developing new and better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. 

That’s why we’re on a journey to join the prestigious group of 72 NCI-Designated Cancer Centersin the United States supported by the National Cancer Institute. Through this designation, LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center can continue to provide excellent care in a convenient and familiar environment.

What is an NCI-Designated Cancer Center?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI)is the US government's leading agency for cancer research and training. As a part of the National Cancer Act of 1971, the NCI Cancer Centers program was created to identify cancer centers across the country that meet the highest standards for cancer research and care. This includes transdisciplinary, state-of-the-art lab and clinical cancer research that helps prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. 

An NCI-Designated cancer center is also committed to serving local communities with a more-than-medicine approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. By focusing on programs and services that meet the needs of their specific populations, they are able to provide evidence-based knowledge to their own communities and benefit similar populations across the country. 

In the past few decades, NCI-Designated cancer centers have helped advance cancer research at a rapid pace. As a result, the number of cancer survivors and the quality of patients’ lives have improved immeasurably. 

NCI-Designation at LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center

Today, the closest NCI-Designated cancer centers are hundreds of miles away.  Patients in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast should not have to forgo critical cancer care because they are unable to afford to travel. 

Togeher, world-renowned cancer research experts at the LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC)  and partners including Tulane University and Oschner Health, have paved the way in laboratory, clinical, and behavioral and population-based cancer research. Through clinical trials, cancer screenings, and cancer care, our researchers improve the outcomes of patients right here in Louisiana. Patients can receive personalized care that prioritizes prevention, detection, and treatment to help improve the lives of those living with cancer at one of LCMC Health's hospitals.  Attaining NCI Designation will provide patients who come to University Medical Center or Children's Hospital New Orleans the best care and will enhance the ability to attract more patients from across the state.

The application process

LSU will lead as applicant and will capture all cancer research across the academic system. NCI also approved Pennington Biomedical Center and the LSU Veterinarian School as part of the application metrics. 

NCI designation of the LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center will revolutionize cancer research and treatment in Louisiana. This designation will reinforce our commitment to developing new and better approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer.  

An NCI compliant Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) component that reaches all parishes throughout Louisiana has been established by building upon the excellent foundational activities that have been in place for years.

The Cancer Center has a defined catchment area that can be found here

Excellent cancer care should be a right, not a privilege. At LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, our journey to become NCI-designated demonstrates our commitment to serving our local communities and advancing cancer research across the nation.  



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