Serving a vast geographic region of great beauty, with rich multicultural and multiethnic diversity, tremendous scientific opportunity, and challenging health and socioeconomic disparities, the University of New Mexico Cancer Center and its consortium institutions, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, are uniquely poised to make significant advances in cancer research and to serve our communities and our nation. As the only NCI Cancer Center within a 500 mile radius, the special characteristics of the UNM Cancer Center include: the multiethnic and multicultural populations that it serves, primarily Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and non-Hispanic White, with their strikingly different patterns of cancer incidence, mortality, and disparity;the integration of regional scientific strengths in engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology, radioisotopes, drug discovery, imaging, and high performance computing into its Research Programs and Shared Resources;and the extensive statewide outreach networks it has built for the delivery of cancer care, for culturally appropriate community-based education and participatory research, and for the participation of community oncologists in UNM Cancer Center clinical trials. Since the previous NCI P30 CCSG review in 2005, the Center's annual peer-reviewed research funding has increased 40% to over $46.8 million dollars in total costs, while annual funding from NCI increased 30% to over $13.8 million dollars. Intra-programmatic and inter-programmatic collaborations among the 117 members of the Center have increased markedly and range from 20-48% in each of the 4 Research Programs: Cancer Population Sciences, Cancer Biology and Biotechnology, Hematologic Malignancies, and Women's Cancers. Cancer Center members lead one of 9 NIH-funded Roadmap Centers for High Throughput Target Screening and Molecular Discovery {U54MH084690), one of 10 NIH-funded National Centers for Systems Biology (P50GM085273), one of 4 NSF/NCI Centers for Integrative Nanoscience and Microsystems Training (DGE0504276), one of 20 LLS Specialized Centers of Leukemia Research (LLS SCOR 7388-06), and an Interdisciplinary HPV Prevention Center (NIH U19AI084081). To assure that all New Mexicans have access to outstanding cancer diagnosis and treatment, the UNM Cancer Center opened its new 206,432 sq. ft., $90 million, Cancer Treatment and Clinical Research Facility in August 2009 which serves as the hub of the UNM Statewide Cancer Care Network. In collaboration with Siemens, this new facility contains a radioisotope production laboratory and experimental radiopharmacy, which will accelerate the Center's research programs. From 7/1/08-7/1/09, while maintaining its mission to the underserved and uninsured, the UNM Cancer Center accrued 443 (17%) of the 2640 newly diagnosed patients treated at the Center to therapeutic clinical trials;51% of these patients were Hispanic or American Indian. Community affiliates accrued another 101 patients to UNM therapeutic trials. In addition, the Center had 845 accruals to non-intervention protocols in this time period. The overall goals of the UNM Cancer Center are to: 1) conduct outstanding transdisciplinary research in our laboratories, clinics and multiethnic and multicultural communities that builds upon our unique scientific and regional strengths;2) reduce the burden of cancer incidence and mortality by discovering the genetic, environmental, social, and behavioral factors that contribute to the distinct cancer patterns and cancer disparities in the peoples of the American Southwest;3) translate our scientific discoveries to novel diagnostic, screening, prevention, and therapeutic tools and clinical trials;and 4) provide access to outstanding cancer treatment and clinical trials for all New Mexicans.

Public Health Relevance

The University of New Mexico Cancer Center serves a vast geographic region in the American Southwest with striking ethnic and cultural diversity and significant cancer health disparities. Its transdisciplinary research programs focus on integrating advanced scientific capabilities in nanotechnology, drug discovery, radioisotopes and imaging, engineering, and computing with biomedical science to make novel discoveries and translate these discoveries to new and more effective cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. It is focused on the delivery of outstanding care to the peoples of the region and overcoming their cancer health disparities through community programs and partnerships.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Ptak, Krzysztof
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University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
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