By Roy Jensen, MD, Vice Chancellor and Director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center
I am thrilled to announce that The University of Kansas Cancer Center has achieved the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) most prestigious designation: Comprehensive. This designation puts KU Cancer Center in the same league as our nation’s most elite cancer centers.
The KU Clinical Research Center, supported by JCERT funding, offers cutting-edge clinical trials which lead to new cancer therapies every day.
Kenneth Willard wasn’t even aware of a lump on his neck until his co-worker asked him about it. “I don’t know how he spotted the lump,” Willard recalled. “But I knew it needed to be checked out.” A visit with his primary doctor and an ear, nose and throat specialist followed. Biopsies revealed a diagnosis Willard never expected: At 55 years old, he had stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
CiCi Rojas, president of Tico Productions, and a cancer survivor and former clinical trial participant, is helping lead a multicultural campaign in partnership with the KU Cancer Center to encourage clinical trial participation in minorities across the region.
Minority populations suffer from cancer disproportionately, yet current clinical research data for minorities is scarce. According to 2020 Food and Drug Administration data, 73% of clinical trial participants were white, 14% Asian, 6% Hispanic and 5% Black.
Joaquina Baranda, M.D., leads the KU Cancer Center’s early-phase clinical trial program, which is the first step in taking new therapies from the research lab to the patient
Decades of basic (or bench) science has built the foundational knowledge needed to make advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, including cancer. That preclinical research has led to early-phase clinical trials and today’s leading-edge cancer treatments at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.