What is a Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research
Watch George Wilding, MD, former director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, discuss how the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research will speed research findings from the laboratory to the bedside.
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Regional Cancer Center Network

What is a Comprehensive Cancer Center

What Makes a High-Quality Second Opinion?

The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center is proud to be the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin, as designated by the National Cancer Institute.

In 1971, the National Cancer Act called for the creation of cancer centers of excellence throughout the United States. The Carbone Cancer Center was established as one of the first six university-based comprehensive cancer centers in 1973.

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.