National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute first received National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation in 1997.  Today, we are the only NCI-designated Cancer Center between Seattle and Sacramento – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers.

We employ hundreds of researchers, of which about 170 have formal membership within the cancer institute. In 2014, the institute supported more than 400 clinical research studies that were open for enrollment.

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the headquarters for the NCI's  SWOG collaborative, a cancer research cooperative group that designs and conducts multidisciplinary clinical trials to improve the practice of medicine in preventing, detecting and treating cancer and enhancing quality of life for cancer survivors.

What is National Cancer Institute designation?

The National Cancer Act of 1971, enacted as part of the nation’s war on cancer, established the Cancer Centers Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This branch was charged with developing a network of distinguished cancer-research organizations characterized by scientific excellence and the ability to bring a diversity of research approaches to bear on the problem of cancer.

According to the NCI, its designated centers "are the major sources of new knowledge relating to the nature of cancer and of new and more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and therapy."

What does NCI designation mean to patients?

Here is what the NCI has to say:

  • "Research in cancer centers... offers patients options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment that may not be available elsewhere."
  • "Patients benefit in better access to the latest therapies and better opportunities to take part in early trials of promising treatments."
  •  "(NCI-designated) centers play an important role in their communities and regions and serve to influence standards of cancer prevention and treatment."

Where are the NCI-designated centers?

Visit the NCI Cancer Centers program website for a  complete list.