NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 26, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 17 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Special ReportSpecial Report

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Director: Dr. Ronald B. Herberman • 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-647-2811 • Web site: http://www.upci.upmc.edu

Featured Meetings and Events
A comprehensive calendar of cancer-related scientific meetings and events sponsored by NCI and other scientific organizations, is available at: http://calendar.cancer.gov/
Background
The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) was founded in 1984 through a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and its affiliated hospitals, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University. UPCI was originally known as the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, former chief of the NCI Biological Therapeutics Branch, left NCI to establish UPCI and remains as its founding director. UPCI was designated an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1990 and, over the next decade, expanded to include a collaborative network, the UPMC affiliated Cancer Centers, with 43 locations throughout western Pennsylvania and adjacent regions of Ohio and West Virginia. Today, the network serves that region's population of 6 million through a "hub and satellite" administrative structure, with UPCI's Hillman Cancer Center as the flagship facility and home to more than 500 faculty and staff who represent approximately 30 medical disciplines.

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Clinical Specialties
While UPCI offers treatment for a wide range of cancers, the institute has gained international recognition for its treatment of advanced melanoma, as well as brain, head and neck, prostate, lung, ovarian, and breast cancers. UPCI participates in several multi-institutional clinical research alliances, including the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the North American Brain Tumor Consortium, and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group.

Research Activities
In addition to sponsoring basic research on cancer, UPCI is currently running more than 350 clinical trials in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. UPCI also sponsors research programs that focus on cancer control in the context of populations and social interaction. The Behavioral Medicine and Oncology Program, for example, is studying how behavioral factors can influence the biology of cancer and the well-being of cancer patients, while the Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program is examining environmental and physiological factors that influence cancer susceptibility within populations by working in conjunction with a newly-established Center for Environmental Oncology.

Other Notable Programs
UPCI makes the latest and most promising radiation technologies available to its patients through the UPMC Cancer Centers, which serve 36,000 new patients each year, as well as through partnerships with private companies that license supporting technologies. This arrangement has brought intensity-modulated radiation therapy, for example - a relatively new technology that targets radiation therapy to tumors while sparing healthy tissue - to patients in their local communities. Using telemedicine, experts at the institute's main campus can monitor patients and train clinicians in hospitals throughout the region that UPCI serves.