The nation's academic cancer centers are a national treasure that will increase in value as remarkable changes continue in biomedical research, cancer care, and health policy. Academic cancer centers play an increasingly important role in our ability to reduce pain and suffering from cancer because of the synergy we have created in our activities focused on research, clinical care, education and economic growth.
Research advances stemming from academic cancer centers have had an immense impact on the care of patients with cancer. Cancers that we previously considered "common" can now be classified based on their molecular makeup and are viewed and treated as complex, distinct entities. Thus, essentially all cancers are proving to be rare cancers. New treatment paradigms are being developed at an unprecedented rate because of the ability of academic cancer centers to integrate their major missions of research, clinical care and education.
With this rapid evolution and enhanced understanding of the complexity of cancer, it is difficult for even the most outstanding general oncologist to stay abreast of the most recent advances in patient treatment and care. Academic cancer centers are home to multidisciplinary teams with expertise in specific cancer types and are well positioned to collaborate with general oncologists to bridge the gap between state-of-the-art therapy based on this new knowledge and the actual care provided to patients.
Academic cancer centers are an incredible success story. They leverage their three mutually supportive missions of research, clinical care and education to create knowledge, provide complex cancer care, serve as a resource for community oncologists and educate the next generation of investigators and clinicians, all while having a positive effect on the economy. Academic cancer centers must continue to be supported based on their unique ability to play a leading role in leveraging the remarkable scientific opportunity to reduce the pain and suffering caused by cancer. The AACI "Academic Difference" initiative is designed to help document the immense value created by the academic cancer centers.
The goal of the initiative is to provide evidence of the immense value of academic cancer centers that will be useful at the local and national level as we advocate for support for academic cancer centers along with information that can be tailored to provide evidence of the value of individual cancer centers. For information or to get involved with this initiative please contact Jaime Anderson.