I am excited to let you know that on May 24 we submitted the University of Florida’s first application for a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG).
Submission of the grant is a culmination of several years of reorganization and growth in the Cancer Center— the establishment of research programs, gaining a better understanding of the cancer burden of our region, the development of strong collaborative pilot grants, the recruitment of nearly 40 new members of the Cancer Center (mostly from other institutions), reorganization and expansion of our clinical research office, the establishment of a new biostatistics and quantitative sciences shared resource as well as further development of other shared resources.
We are proud that our members represent all of the health sciences colleges as well as the colleges of engineering, journalism and communications, liberal arts and sciences, and agriculture and life sciences. Cancer research funding at UF has more than doubled over the past five years and funding from the National Cancer Institute has nearly tripled. Engagement in clinical trial activities have increased, with overall accruals up 50 percent. We have a broad clinical research program involving new therapeutic strategies against tumors including UF-developed immunotherapies. In addition, the center offers innovative trials in smoking cessation, communications in cancer and palliative care. We’re using all the strengths of the University of Florida to attack the cancer problem, including cancer prevention, molecular etiology, treatment and survivorship.
I want to thank members of the Cancer Center and the entire UF community for their support in this enterprise, which aims to make a real difference in the health of Floridians. I want to also thank the administrative team at the UF Health Cancer Center for their exemplary work bringing this document together— spending days, nights and weekends collating all the important information to best represent the breadth of cancer research activities at UF.
The summer will remain a busy time for the Cancer Center as we prepare for the site visit which will occur on Sept. 24, 2019. At that time, we will present to a panel of experts from around the country including directors of currently funded NCI centers. There are currently 70 NCI designated centers in the country and only one in the state of Florida. Receiving a Cancer Center Support Grant and NCI designation offers support for shared resources, pilot projects and clinical research infrastructure to facilitate cancer research — as well as additional opportunities for special funding from the NCI. With all your support, we aim to be the 71st NCI-designated cancer center.
Jonathan D. Licht, M.D.
University of Florida Health Cancer Center