Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center Indianapolis, Indiana
Established in 1992 as the Indiana University (IU) Cancer Center, the IU Center became an NCI-designated cancer center in 1999. The name was changed to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in 2006. The Center’s mission is to advance the understanding, prevention, and treatment of cancer with patient-centered care, acceleration of promising science, and collaborative educational programs.
The Center is a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health. The more than 200 research members of the Center include basic, clinical, and population science investigators. A new research facility, that opened in 2009, brings together many of the IU Simon Cancer Center investigators in one location. Meanwhile, the Center works collaboratively with the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and the Harper Cancer Research Institute, a partnership between the IU School of Medicine and the University of Notre Dame.
The four research programs at the Center focus on breast cancer; cancer prevention and control; experimental and developmental therapeutics; and hematopoiesis, microenvironment, and immunology. A developing program focuses on tumor microenvironment and metastases. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center collects breast tissue samples from women with and without breast cancer, enabling researchers to determine the differences between these populations. The samples are shared with researchers around the world.
A new patient care building opened in 2008 and enables the Center to bring together a multidisciplinary team for patients that combines treatment, research, and supportive care in a manner that is individualized for each patient. The IU Health Proton Therapy Center is also affiliated with the IU Simon Cancer Center, enabling the Center’s physicians to offer proton radiotherapy as a treatment option for certain cancers.
Reaching out to communities across the state, the Hoosier Oncology Group (HOG) is a network of community and academic partners working together to conduct clinical cancer research at the local level. Founded by faculty at the Center, HOG has grown into a network of more than 400 physicians and enrolled thousands of people in clinical trials. Working closely with Indiana Black Expo and the Indiana State Department of Health, the IU Simon Cancer Center has involved minority populations in studies, while Cancer Care Engineering, a network of investigators across Indiana, focuses on translating research into clinical practice. Additionally, the IUSCC works with the IU School of Medicine-Kenya Partnership Program to deliver prevention, treatment and palliative care for cancer patients at the Moi Teaching Referral Hospital in western Kenya.
The Summer Research Program and an extensive seminar series are just two examples of the various educational programs offered which provide additional training for cancer specialists. Other programs offer training for careers in behavioral oncology.
* This profile was provided by the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.