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Fox Chase Cancer Center Passes Rigorous Review To Retain Comprehensive Cancer Center Status from the National Cancer Institute

PHILADELPHIA (September 19, 2005) -- Fox Chase Cancer Center has been awarded a five-year grant with the renewal of its Cancer Center Support (core) Grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). With this grant, the NCI reaffirms the prestigious designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center, a distinction that Fox Chase has held continuously since 1974, the first year the NCI's Cancer Centers Program awarded such designation.

The five-year recommended budget for Fox Chase's Cancer Center Support Grant is $42.4 million. The first year of this five-year budget was recently awarded for $8.2 million.

The NCI designation means that the Center's programs and services have passed extensive peer review, met rigorous national standards and made fundamental contributions to reducing the cancer burden.

"NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers like Fox Chase differ from organizations dedicated only to care and service," says Robert C. Young, president of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "This is because the translational research continuum between basic science findings and clinical application is critical to making advances in cancer research."

Fox Chase was one of the original models for the NCI's Cancer Centers Program. The research institutes in the program are characterized by scientific excellence and the capability to integrate a diversity of research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer. The program was established as a result of the National Cancer Act of 1971. The Act gave a broad mandate to centers to include all aspects of basic science, clinical and cancer control and prevention research.

"As with other Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a campus-like research center is critical to creating and maintaining strong interactive research," explains Young. "At Fox Chase, we are committed to reducing the human burden of cancer for our neighbors, our region and nationally while making significant contributions to the world's understanding of the complexity and underlying causes of cancer."

Criteria examined by the core grant peer reviewers include (1) appropriate depth and breadth of research activities in each of three major areas: basic science, clinical, and prevention, control, behavioral and population-based research; and (2) a strong body of interactive research that bridges these scientific areas.

Institutions must submit a detailed grant renewal application and pass an extensive NCI review process. The grant was submitted in late 2004, kicking off the review process. The process culminated in February with a day-long on-site visit by the 28-member NCI review team. The reviewers scrutinized every aspect of the Cancer Center's operations, from its research and clinical activities to administration. The National Cancer Advisory Board gave final approval in May.

Core grants are critical to the operations of the NCI cancer centers. The many functions of a cancer center in the areas of research, patient care, education and outreach rely on a diverse base of support including federal, state and local government; private industry and foundations; third-party payers; and private philanthropy. Within this very broad range of activities, the core grant has a comparatively narrow but critical focus. The core grant is intended to provide support for activities related to the peer-reviewed research base of the cancer center. Although the core grant usually accounts for a relatively small proportion of a center's operating budget, it supports an important part of the research infrastructure, stimulates innovation and encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative research.

Fox Chase serves thousands of people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware by exporting its clinical research knowledge by way of Fox Chase Network. Fox Chase Network is a select group of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey linked with Fox Chase Cancer Center. This affiliation enables community cancer centers to develop or enhance community-based oncology programs.

As part of the affiliation, medical staffs at Network hospitals have access to up-to-date information on a wide range of treatment options for their patients. Fox Chase and its affiliates have also joined forces in research, treatment, prevention and education efforts and work together to increase enrollment in clinical trials, which are studies using new anticancer drugs or innovative approaches to therapy.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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