The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is proud to be one of only two comprehensive cancer centers in Illinois, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
In 1971, the National Cancer Act called for the creation of Cancer centers of excellence throughout the United States. The Lurie Cancer Center was designated as a "comprehensive" cancer center in 1998.
To gain a "comprehensive" designation (the highest ranking given by the National Cancer Institute), a center must meet specific criteria:
- Strong basic laboratory and clinical cancer research and the translational research that forms the bridge between them
- Innovative cancer treatments involving clinical trials
- Cancer prevention and control programs
- Training and education of health care professionals
- Cancer information services
- Community outreach and education
In addition, the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the President of the United States to oversee the NCI's programs and policies, must recommend approval for a center to receive the comprehensive designation. The center must repeat an external review of the criteria above every five years.