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NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, Michigan

In 1943, cancer research began at the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan. The Center formed a strategic partnership in 1994 with the Wayne State Cancer Institute, the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and the clinical cancer programs of the Detroit Medical Center. The Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center received the NCI designation in 1978. The Center has been operated as the Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) at Wayne State University since 1994.

The mission of KCI is the ultimate prevention and cure of cancer. The Center’s programs are directed to the prevention, early detection, or treatment of neoplasia and are based on the KCI’s laboratory, clinical, and population research. This research is conducted in five programs, organized to integrate basic, translational, and clinical research with population research-based cancer control activities.

The Breast Cancer Biology Program is dedicated to the study of breast cancer progression, mechanisms of tumor growth and its control, the genetic aberrations of the disease, possible dietary prevention, and the improvement of therapy. The Developmental Therapeutics Program focuses on a better understanding of drug pathways and finding ways to improve the prediction of response, including a strong medical imaging initiative. The Molecular Biology and Genetics Program concentrates on mechanisms of genomic instability, encompassing studies of chromatin structure, cell cycle checkpoint control, transcriptional regulation of signal transduction and post-translational control mechanisms. The Proteases and Cancer Program works on determining the functions of proteolytic enzymes in malignant cancer progression.

KCI’s Population Studies and Prevention Research Program seeks to advance the understanding of the determinants of cancer in metropolitan Detroit’s diverse population in an effort to decrease racial and ethnic disparities. The Center’s Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System was a founding participant in the NCI’s national Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. This system facilitates investigations into race-related disparities in cancer incidence and survival. Studies are underway to identify environmental, genetic, and social/cultural determinants of health disparities.

A primary objective of KCI is to integrate its scientific research and clinical programs with community outreach activities to local populations in Detroit. Research is conducted through more than 300 clinical trials at the Center, including a Phase I trial program. 

* This profile was provided by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D.
President & CEO

4100 John R
Detroit, Michigan 48201
Appointments: 1-800-527-6266 (1-800-KARMANOS)

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