CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati has formed the UC Cancer Institute, which will organize all cancer patient care, research and education missions within the College of Medicine and throughout patient care settings in UC Health.
George Atweh, MD, Koch Chair and professor of internal medicine and director of hematology oncology, has been appointed director of the UC Cancer Institute. Atweh was recruited to the UC last year from Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, where he served in numerous leadership roles, including hematology/oncology division chief, interim director of the Tisch Cancer Institute and medical director of the cancer clinical trials office.
"We are poised for incredible growth in our cancer treatment and research activities. The formation of the UC Cancer Institute and the leadership provided by Dr. Atweh will help make that a reality,” said Andrew Filak Jr., acting interim dean and vice president for health affairs at the College of Medicine. "We have already seen significant progress in recent years. For example, we have added at least 30 cancer-focused clinicians and researchers, launched a new experimental drug trials program and opened a pre-clinical imaging facility.”
Filak added that UC has awards totaling $76 million in cancer-related grant funding. The state legislature is further funding a cancer research imaging facility and a centralized repository for blood and tissue samples used in cancer research.
There are more than 100 biologists, geneticists, epidemiologists and clinicians working collaboratively on cancer research at UC. Researchers are working to discover and test new therapies for cancer in the only academically based pharmaceutical quality drug discovery unit in Ohio. There are currently more than 140 clinical trials for all types of malignancies available at UC.
"To help cancer patients receive the most advanced care, the UC Cancer Institute brings together a wide-ranging team of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologists, pathologists and dermatologists in the region’s only academic health care setting. All have expertise in specific areas of cancer care and all work together as a cohesive team,” Atweh said.
The UC Cancer Institute will include the adult cancer care services provided at the UC Barrett Cancer Center at University Hospital, the UC Health Medical Arts Building in Clifton, the UC Health Medical Office Building in West Chester, Precision Radiotherapy in West Chester, and West Chester Hospital. Additionally, the UC Cancer Institute will include all cancer education and research efforts within the College of Medicine.
The UC Cancer Institute joins with the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to make up the Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC). The CCC is working toward obtaining National Cancer Institute designation for cancer services at UC and Cincinnati Children’s.
The fatality rate from cancer in Ohio is the 12th highest among all 50 states.
To support the UC Cancer Institute, a new website that brings together information about all of clinical, research and education efforts in cancer was launched this week. The site can be found at cancer.uc.edu.