National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
September 4, 2012 • Volume 9 / Number 17

Cancer.gov Update

New Website Highlights NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

NCI-Designated Cancer Centers websiteNCI recently launched a website that provides an in-depth focus on the NCI-designated cancer centers. The site highlights the recent accomplishments of the nationwide research and patient care network in four areas: targeted cancer therapies, advanced medical technologies, cancer survivorship programs, and initiatives to reduce disparities in research and treatment of cancer in medically underserved populations and communities.

Sixty-seven U.S. cancer centers have earned recognition as NCI-designated cancer centers, indicating that they have met rigorous criteria for world-class programs in multidisciplinary cancer research. These centers develop research programs, faculty, and facilities that are focused on developing better approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

One section of the updated site focuses on the development of one of the first targeted cancer therapies, imatinib (Gleevec), and describes how researchers at several NCI-designated cancer centers were involved in the initial research and, later, clinical trials for the drug. After the first clinical study was reported in 1999, imatinib moved quickly toward Food and Drug Administration approval for chronic myelogenous leukemia. By 2011, it had been tested and approved to treat several other cancers.

Another feature of the new website is an interactive map of NCI-designated cancer centers across the United States, with links to detailed profiles for each center. There is also a list of top scientific and medical awards for cancer center scientists, including 45 Nobel Prize winners, and a section describing what it takes for an institution to become an NCI-designated cancer center.

2011/2012 Cancer Trends Progress Report Available

NCI released its 2011/2012 Cancer Trends Progress Report last week. The report summarizes the nation’s progress against cancer in relation to the Healthy People 2020 targets developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The revised report, published every other year, is intended for policy makers, researchers, clinicians, and public health service providers. It offers updated national trends data in a user-friendly format that is fully accessible to people with disabilities.

The report features

  • A quick tutorial to ease navigating and downloading materials within the report;
  • Updated “Trends-at-a-Glance” snapshot;
  • Links to NCI’s State Cancer Profiles’ state- and county-level data;
  • Data, graphs, and slides that are easy to download;
  • Links to Healthy People 2020 materials;
  • Links to colorectal cancer mortality projections; and
  • Custom print reports.

The Cancer Trends Progress Report: 2011/2012 Update can be viewed online. General questions about the report may be directed to progressreporthelp@mail.nih.gov.

Website for NCI’s Geographic Information Systems & Science Updated

The recently updated website for NCI’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Science for cancer prevention and control boasts a streamlined design to help users more easily navigate the site.

NCI GIS websiteGeographic and spatial contexts are important factors in health. They can influence the risk of getting a disease, the ability to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and the ease of access to medical services for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

GIS systems capture, manage, analyze, and visualize geographic information, including cancer data, making it easier for researchers to observe and interpret relationships, patterns, and trends in complicated data sets.

The redesigned website features a “Why Spatial Context Matters” screen with rotating images that depict geographic and environmental factors that affect cancer risk, as well as four entry routes to the main elements of the GIS site.

Please visit the GIS website to

  • Learn about GIS initiatives and research at NCI;
  • Explore the tools and data used in GIS research; and
  • Find out about NCI and NIH funding and training opportunities.