Duncan Center Now a NCI Designated Cancer Center

The Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine has been elevated to the status of "Designated Cancer Center" by the National Cancer Institute. Baylor officials say it's a major milestone, as Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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The Duncan Center is now one of only two NCI Designated Cancer Centers in Houston, and one of only 63 such centers in the country. Director Dr. Kent Osborne says the Duncan Center is actually a consortium of five local institutions with large cancer research and treatment programs, and it's that common mission that got the NCI's attention.

"Cancer centers with NCI designation are required to reach out into the public, and educate the public, and to help with care of the underserved, and provide programs for them as well."

The institutions that make up the Duncan Cancer Center are Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, the VA Hospital, St. Luke's and Ben Taub. Osborne says they share a common goal of bringing medical care to people who need it.

"One of our missions is to provide programs to reach out to the underserved, underinsured people of Houston. And we have a good program there that's sort of headquartered I guess at Ben Taub Hospital, which is one of our major hospitals that takes care of these patients."

The NCI Designation also means the Duncan Center will get up to three million dollars for cancer research over the next three years. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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