In July 2013, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center announced that it is the 68th medical center in the country to receive a prestigious National Cancer Institute designation, and is the only NCI-designated cancer center in the state of Kentucky.
Under the guidance of Cancer Center director Dr. Mark Evers, who arrived at UK in spring 2009, Markey faculty and staff worked tirelessly to make the NCI designation a reality. Earning the designation was a lengthy process that required strong efforts in research, recruiting and improving many of the programs at Markey.
As a result of the designation, patients will have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers. The UK Markey Cancer Center will be able to apply for federal research grants available only to NCI-designated cancer centers, with the potential to bring millions in additional funding to the area.
Additionally, the NCI designation allows Markey researchers to communicate and collaborate on new advances in cancer care with other NCI-designated cancer centers across the country. Locally, Markey will be able to increase community engagement, including volunteers, patient advisory groups, and education and intervention programs.
UK also joins an elite group of medical centers across the country who have earned the "trifecta" of national federal funding. UK is one of only 22 medical centers in the United States that have earned an NCI designation, have a federally funded Alzheimer's disease center (UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging), and have earned the been awarded a Clinical and Translational Science Awards grants.
Previously, Kentucky was one of 16 states that did not have an NCI-designated cancer center, and Kentucky patients had to travel hours out of state to access the benefits of an NCI center. As the major referral center for Central and Eastern Kentucky, Markey's NCI designation strengthens UK HealthCare's overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state lines to get access totop-of-the-line health care.