New Mexico is a beautiful and vast geographic region of the southwestern United States with rich multiethnic diversity, tremendous scientific opportunity, and challenging health and socioeconomic disparities. Since first achieving National Cancer Institute Designation in 2005, the University of New Mexico Cancer Center (UNMCC) and its Consortium Institutions - Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories – have built a single transdisciplinary cancer-focused research enterprise and statewide networks for cancer care delivery and community participatory research. As the only NCI Designated Cancer Center within a 500 mile radius, the special characteristics of the UNMCC include: the multiethnic and geographically dispersed populations that it serves - primarily Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and non-Hispanic White - with strikingly different patterns of cancer incidence, mortality, and disparity; the integration of regional scientific strengths into its Research Programs and Shared Resources; statewide registries and community partnerships that facilitate screening, prevention, and intervention research; and a statewide cancer clinical trials network, supported in part by the NCI NCTN NCORP program, that includes all New Mexico community based oncologists collaborating with those at the UNMCC. The UNMCC mission is to focus its scientific and clinical expertise and interdisciplinary training programs on those cancers that have high incidence, mortality, or disparity in the multiethnic and underserved populations of New Mexico, and, to translate discoveries to interventions that reduce the cancer burden in New Mexico and the nation. With extensive program planning, evaluation, and recruitment, the UNMCC has significantly built is programs, creating 15 Endowed Positions. The Center’s 125 Members are clustered in 4 interdisciplinary, highly translational Research Programs: Cancer Control; Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics, & Genomics; Translational Cancer Biology & Signaling; and Cancer Therapeutics: Technology, Discovery, & Targeted Delivery that are highly interactive (with overall collaborative publications ranging from 30-52%), producing high quality science (with >15% of publications in high impact journals). Since 2010, total peer-reviewed and total annual research funding increased 33%. Since 2010, UNMCC members were issued 33 U.S. patents (117 pending) and started 11 new cancer-focused startup companies. Transdisciplinary research also increased markedly with the awarding of 15 new large interdisciplinary, multi-investigator, programmatic grants. UNMCC science was translated to 10 investigator-initiated clinical trials, 3 funded by NCI and DOD, and several new trials are in development. On average, 16.6% of the Center’s annual newly diagnosed and/or treated patients were accrued to therapeutic trials; 43% of the Center’s therapeutic and 70% of non-interventional accruals are racial and ethnic minorities.
* This profile was provided by the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.