Founded in 1973, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) received its designation as an NCI-Designated Cancer Center that same year and was designated as an NCI comprehensive cancer center in 2008.
The UCCCC’s mission is to better understand cancer’s causes, to develop treatments for cancer, and to prevent cancer through research, clinical care, education, and community engagement. This is accomplished through innovative clinical and research programs that emphasize collaboration among a diverse and dedicated team of outstanding basic, translational, clinical, and population researchers and trainees.
The center serves more than 8.5 million residents in a diverse five-county area in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. More than 7,500 patients a year are diagnosed with or treated for cancer at the South Side Chicago-based academic health system, which includes its main medical campus in Hyde Park, an ambulatory facility in Orland Park, Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, and affiliate Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.
Research at the UCCCC
The UCCCC has long been recognized for its strength in basic and clinical research, particularly its major contributions to drug development and early-phase clinical trials. Its strength in clinical research is underscored by its enrollment of approximately 1,000 patients to clinical trials each year. Other areas of expertise include the genetic classification of hematological malignancies and pioneering of risk-adapted therapies, the development of new treatment paradigms in head and neck cancer, the advancement of cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics, cancer genetics, molecular epidemiology, and population-based cohort studies. The UCCCC also actively develops and supports the training and career development of the next generation of cancer researchers, especially those from underrepresented populations.
Select Scientific Initiatives at the UCCCC
The UCCCC’s interdisciplinary research programs include Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer, Immunology and Cancer, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, and Cancer Prevention and Control.
In addition, several large research initiatives focus on:
- developing technologies and chemistry methods to detect different epigenetic markers to understand how they affect gene and cellular function
- pioneering new imaging techniques that are helping specialists diagnose cancer earlier
- maximizing the impact of immunotherapy by identifying the determinants of antitumor immunity, host factors that contribute to response, and potent combination therapies to improve efficacy and durability of treatment
- leading national efforts in cancer bioinformatics and cloud computing to get an in-depth view of cancer genomics, epigenetics, proteomics and gene expression
- unraveling the molecular and genetic basis of cancer metastasis in order to develop successful treatments that will prevent cancer from spreading
- understanding the underlying causes of cancer health disparities and designing evidence-based interventions to promote cancer health equity
* This profile was provided by the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.