October has gotten off to an extremely busy start here at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center! We began the month by announcing the renewal of our National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a "comprehensive" cancer center - a status that we have maintained for 40 years.
Our NCI designation is what sets us apart in our state and region. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in Alabama, and the only one in the Deep South area that stretches from South Carolina to Louisiana and Arkansas. To maintain this designation, we must undergo a rigorous and extensive review process every five years in which members of our peer institutions across the country travel to our center to examine every aspect of our research enterprise.
During our most recent review, we received an excellent rating, with special emphasis placed on our community outreach and population-based studies and our translational research (moving scientific findings from the laboratory setting to the patient bedside). Our renewed grant is $27.5-million for the next five years, which allows us to maintain and grow our infrastructure that allows our scientists to conduct the cutting-edge research that we are known for.
On Monday, to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Birmingham News "turned pink" for the second year in an effort to increase cancer awareness. This year, the paper extended its coverage to all cancers, and not just breast cancer. I was especially pleased to see that our Cancer Center was featured prominently in several stories.
Of course, with this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are lots of events happening in our community to support this cause. Our friends and partners at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama have a tremendous number of events happening in October, from motorcycle rides to shopping nights to a restaurant week to pink ribbon bagels. I encourage you to visit their website or the Cancer Center's for a listing of all the great community events that you can become a part of!
We must remember that awareness for ALL cancers is a year-round activity, and the support of our community is critical in helping us achieve our mission of eliminating cancer as a public health problem. On behalf of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, I thank you for your support.
-Ed Partridge, M.D.