Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud of its status as a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers were established to be national leaders in cancer treatment, research and education. To gain a "comprehensive" designation, the highest ranking given by the NCI, a center must meet specific criteria:

  • A strong core of basic laboratory research in several fields, such as biology, chemistry, immunology and molecular genetics
  • A mechanism for transferring research findings into clinical practice
  • A record of innovative clinical research studies in the community served by the center
  • A program of high-priority clinical trials for therapies with unusual promise
  • A program of cancer prevention and control research
  • A program of research training and continuing education for health care professionals
  • A wide range of cancer information services for patients, health professionals and the surrounding community
  • A commitment to community services and outreach activities related to cancer prevention and control

Finally, the NCI 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 steps above every three to five years. Lombardi's designation was renewed in 2003.

There are now 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, and Lombardi is the only one in the Washington area. You can also visit the Cancer Centers Program Home Page to find more information: http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/