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News Release

Exciting News for Cancer Patients

Mercy Cancer Center named Iowa's only National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program site for enhanced cancer research and care

April 22, 2010

Mercy Cancer Center is among 14 new sites – and the only cancer center in Iowa – chosen by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to join a national network of community cancer centers offering expanded research opportunities and state-of-the-art cancer care at hospitals serving largely rural, suburban, small-town, and underserved urban populations. It is the only Cancer Center in Iowa to be chosen for this special program.

Mercy Cancer Center is a comprehensive service of Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, offering a full spectrum of cancer care from diagnosis through treatment, recovery and survivorship in two convenient locations – downtown and in Clive. The Center is comprised of highly-skilled professionals who work as a team to provide the latest medical expertise and technology available to meet the individual needs of patients and their families.

The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) is using $40 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand its number of community hospital-based sites from 16 to 30.

NCCCP is designed to create new research opportunities across the cancer continuum from screening and treatment to follow-up care, with an emphasis on minority and underserved populations. Expanding the NCCCP network will provide access to more patients in community cancer centers to support these research efforts.

In addition, the program is studying ways for patients to have access to the latest, evidence-based care close to where they live. For a variety of reasons, many cancer patients cannot commute to major academic medical centers for treatment. In fact, 85 percent of patients are diagnosed, and receive at least their first course of treatment, at a community hospital.

NCCCP centers are addressing ways to reduce healthcare disparities, improve access to clinical trials, improve overall quality of care, promote an infrastructure to collect high-quality biospecimens such as blood and tissue samples for research, and link with national computer networks that support research. The centers also work to improve survivorship, palliative care services, and patient advocacy.

“Mercy Cancer Center has consistently demonstrated its excellence in providing high-quality cancer care to  patients and their families in central Iowa . We are honored to have been chosen to receive this  prestigious award.   It will allow us to enhance the services that we are currently providing  and expand our reach to traditionally underserved and disparate populations in Iowa ,” said Dr. Richard Deming, medical director of Mercy Cancer Center and principal investigator for the NCCCP project at Mercy. “This is a tremendous opportunity to improve cancer care for all Iowans and to strengthen the cancer care continuum throughout the state.”

The list of new sites recently added to the NCCCP includes:

  • Northside Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia (Northside Hospital Cancer Care Program)
  • The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (The Queen’s Cancer Center)
  • St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho (Mountain State Tumor Institute)
  • Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa (Mercy Cancer Center)
  • Norton Suburban Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky (Norton Cancer Institute)
  • Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine (Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute)
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan (St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Care Center)
  • Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids, Michigan (The Lacks Cancer Center)
  • Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, Oregon (Providence Cancer Center)
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania (John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center)
  • Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania (Geisinger Medical Center Cancer Institute)
  • Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Einstein Cancer Center and Einstein Center One)
  • Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin (Gundersen Lutheran Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders)
  • Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha, Wisconsin (Waukesha Care Regional Cancer Center)


For a list of all sites in the network, visit ncccp.cancer.gov.    For more information on Mercy Cancer Center services, call (515) 643-8206 or visit www.mercydesmoines.org/cancercenter.

Contact Gregg Lagan
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

515-247-3050
cell 515-490-6636


1111 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 (515) 247-3121
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