Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Lebanon, New Hampshire
Founded in 1972, Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) at Dartmouth College was designated as an NCI cancer center in 1978 and as a comprehensive cancer center in 1980. The Center integrates the cancer research at the College and Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and at 14 regional locations and partner hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont.
The mission of the Center is to understand the causes of cancer, to translate new knowledge into better prevention and treatment, and to provide effective and compassionate clinical care that improves the lives of cancer patients and families. NCCC is committed to providing access to research-based care, advanced technologies, and clinical trials for patients throughout northern New England.
The Center’s 130 member investigators advance cancer science in six program areas: cancer control, cancer mechanisms, epidemiology and chemoprevention, imaging and radiobiology, immunology and immunotherapy, and molecular therapeutics. Research collaborations draw on faculty at the College and its leading professional schools: DMS, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. In partnership with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), NCCC is developing important cancer registries in breast and colon cancer, and is shaping new work in health services, outcomes, and comparative effectiveness research.
Physicians and scientists collaborate to speed the translation of research advances into novel treatments for cancer patients through interdisciplinary clinical programs. More than 200 cancer specialists work in teams to treat patients with all types of cancer, using the latest technologies in diagnostics and imaging; medical, radiation and surgical oncology; bone marrow transplantation; and immunotherapy. Care at the Center is focused on the patient and family. Research into shared decision making, psycho-oncology, palliative care, and survivorship is integrated into patient care. Oncology nurses and other cancer care professionals coordinate patient services and support.
Community education and treatment are of great concern at NCCC. Research on behavioral risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and sun exposure, and on environmental risk factors such as arsenic is translated into community education and prevention programs targeted to the region’s underserved, rural populations. The Center has developed innovative approaches to delivering advanced cancer care and technologies to patients throughout its rural region. Web- and computer-based surveys enable patients to provide important medical and psychosocial input to their care team. Interdisciplinary clinics coordinate visits to several providers in a single day, allowing patients to meet with the specialists who together will design their personalized treatment plan. Once a plan is developed, patients may receive much of their care close to home through a regional center or affiliated hospital.
* This profile was provided by the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth.