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The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center was established in 1986 as a Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan Health System and received its comprehensive designation by the National Cancer Institute in 1988. It is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a consortium of more than 25 of the nation’s premier centers, which develops national guidelines for the delivery effective, quality care.

Bringing together members from 53 departments across 9 top-ranked University of Michigan schools, the Center can harness the power of one of the largest, most robust and highly esteemed research universities in the world to create new knowledge about cancer. The nearly 400 members of the Center are leaders in advancing knowledge of the origins and behaviors of cancer, and translating that knowledge to prevent cancer, improve outcomes for those diagnosed, and improve quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. The center also focuses on working with teams and with colleagues in local communities throughout Michigan and at other leading centers in the country.

The Center is committed to improving health and well-being of patients who have–or are at risk of getting—cancer. It also seeks to reduce cancer burden and improve cancer outcomes through research, innovation and transdisciplinary collaboration. Physicians use an array of advanced methods to detect cancer early and treat it aggressively.

The opening of the nine-story Center building in May 1997 placed patient care and research side-by-side in the same building, facilitating communication between specialists and the quick transfer of research findings into the clinic. Multidisciplinary clinics bring together in one setting all of the experts needed to develop comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plans.

Patients meet in one of 17 multidisciplinary cancer clinics and 10 specialty clinics that offer one-stop access to multidisciplinary teams. These teams include specialists such as pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, who collaborate to develop personalized treatment plans for each patient as part of the ideal patient care experience.

The Center takes the same approach when supporting patients during treatment. It offers a comprehensive range of supportive services, including a Parent Education Resource Center, Complementary Therapies, Nutrition Counseling, Child and Family Life Services, Art Therapy, Social Work Services, and more.  

The Center’s research priority is to advance the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of cancer/microenvironment phenotypes: define the genetic and environmental determinants and interacts in cancer risk and outcomes. They plan to advance and deliver innovative treatments and predictive biomarkers to patients.

Recent headlines about the innovative research efforts under way in the Cancer Center’s 20 basic, clinical, and prevention research programs include:

  • First identification of stem cells in breast, pancreatic and head and neck tumors, a discovery that could lead to the development of new, more effective cancer treatments.
  • First identification of a recurring pattern of scrambled chromosomes and abnormal gene activity unique to prostate cancer.
  • Development of a simple urine test based on a panel of biomarkers that could provide a more accurate screening for prostate cancer than the current PSA test
  • Identification of a small molecule that blocks the protein p53 and could be an ideal candidate for new drug development.
  • Continuing researcher into the quality-of-life and satisfaction among women treated for breast cancer.
  • Development of Bexxar®, FDA-approved, highly effective as first line treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Studies to assess emotional support and quality of life for cancer caregivers.

Visit the Cancer Center web site at www.mcancer.org for more information.