There are 66 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers across the United States. Through their designation, these centers and their teams are charged with conducting and leading cancer research and putting that work into life-saving clinical practice every day. The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is Georgia’s only NCI-designated cancer center. But in a state where more than 15,000 lives are lost annually to cancer-related deaths, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is taking steps to help lower these numbers.
It is Deal’s goal to bring a second NCI cancer center to Georgia to help attract additional researchers and cancer research dollars to the state and at the same time, improve access to high quality cancer treatments for the Georgia community. According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Deal wants the General Assembly to commit $5 million toward the goal this year, but it will take tens of millions more — and years of work” to achieve bringing a second NCI designated cancer center to the state.
After years of effort and support from groups like the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Winship Cancer Institute earned NCI designation in 2009. As a result of the growth leading up to the designation and the designation itself, grant funding for Winship from the NCI grew from $9.5 million in 2001 to $29.5 million in 2011. Throughout the multi-year process, Winship brought elite researchers and faculty on board and built the infrastructure necessary to become one of the most sophisticated cancer research and treatment centers in the country.
This sophistication in cancer treatment available right here in the state of Georgia has allowed Winship to provide the Georgia community with local treatment options for even the most complex cancer cases. Furthermore, it has given doctors across the state a trusted team to collaborate with when a patient referral is needed get Georgia patients access to the most advanced cancer treatment options available.
Now that the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is considered a place Georgians can call home when they are fighting cancer, it’s time to advance that access. We look forward to seeing a strong push behind the need for a second NCI-designated cancer center in Georgia, and look forward to seeing the possibilities for cancer treatment in Georgia advanced as a result.
For more information on Governor Deal’s push for a second NCI-designated center in the state of Georgia, check out this article in the AJC.