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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Cancer Center has achieved the gold standard in cancer care from the National Cancer Institute.

The National Cancer Institute designated the KU facility as one of only 53 comprehensive cancer centers. It means patients no longer have to travel to places like M.D. Anderson in Houston to receive the best possible care in their fight against this disease.

Patients who receive treatment at any comprehensive NCI cancer center are 25% more likely to survive than if they receive care elsewhere.

It’s taken about 20 years for the University of Kansas Health System to build a cancer center that can match the best care patients receive anywhere else in the nation.

That’s going to bring more federal research dollars to Kansas City.

Already, the university announced that it’s getting a nearly $14 million grant to support its cancer research programs.

“What the result of that can be is we make Kansas a place where we not only recruit top talent in the world to come to us, but we are also keeping our students, our own family members, our students with their knowledge and their talent and their intellect — we are keeping them in Kansas,” said U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas.

KU’s cancer center has nearly 350 researchers and 150 disease-specific oncologists who conduct all phases of cancer research, from laboratory studies to clinical trials.

Research at the KU Cancer Center has already made an estimated $2.5 billion in economic impact for the region since 2007. It’s estimated that those numbers will increase with the anticipated expansion that goes along with this gold standard care designation.

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the University of Kansas Health System are all partners in helping create the KU Cancer Center.

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