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NCI Designated Cancer Center

South Florida's Only NCI-Designated Cancer Center

Cancer care is only about one thing: curing a patient’s cancer.

It’s the goal of every physician, researcher, nurse, technician, therapist, radiologist, patient advocate and other employee at the cancer center. Sylvester is recognized as one of the top cancer centers in the country. So, what does this mean for you?

Advanced research will lead to more discoveries and new treatments.

NCI Designated Cancer Center of ExcellenceThe National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the federal government’s lead agency for cancer research and training. It opens up new treatment possibilities for patients and will help accelerate the pace at which promising laboratory discoveries are translated into therapies right here in South Florida.

NCI designation means a cancer center meets the highest criteria for its research and demonstrates that its research affects patients in its neighborhoods. It comes with a multi-million grant over five years that allows Sylvester doctors and researchers to expand their research and to work more closely with colleagues at other top-tier NCI cancer centers such as New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Bringing more cancer experts to Miami equals more expertise to care for you

The designation cements Sylvester’s national reputation, putting it in a stronger position to attract more research dollars from federal and private funders and to recruit more leading physicians and scientists to Sylvester.

Access to even more clinical trials – even for rare cancers

Therapies and access to patient-focused research are enhanced because of Sylvester’s NCI-designation. Being part of the NCI network means patients have access to even more clinical trials without having to leave the area for advanced treatment.

Sylvester runs the only Phase 1 clinical trials program in South Florida, which makes qualified patients able to receive new therapies that are being evaluated for wider use.

Such clinical trials offer hope for Sylvester patients with rarer cancers as well as future patients who may also benefit from the research. Eligible patients are able to participate in trials organized by the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. That means Sylvester patients can participate in much larger trials being carried out at multiple centers or benefit from the work of researchers working independently on the same track, at other NCI-designated centers.

Such multi-center trials allow investigations with diverse populations and can help move promising research work from the laboratory to patients more quickly.

Why did the NCI select Sylvester to become the nation’s 71st NCI-designated cancer center and only the second center in Florida?

To earn the designation, the team at Sylvester demonstrated a commitment to patient care, research, and training and education, as well as outreach to medically underserved communities in South Florida and beyond.

Some of the public health programs that helped propel Sylvester to NCI designation include its Firefighter Cancer Initiative, a long-term study of exposures to carcinogens and ways to reduce and prevent cancer risks for Florida firefighters. Another is Sylvester’s Game Changer vehicles, which help address health disparities in medically underserved communities experiencing higher-than-expected cancer incidence and mortality rates.

South Florida has long been recognized as the Gateway to the Americas. As the NCI-designated cancer center closest to many locations in Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s expected that Sylvester will be able to help even more people with its enhanced research capabilities. Already, Sylparvester draws patients from 84 countries.

The process to achieve and maintain NCI designation is not easy. Since he arrived in 2012, Dr. Stephen D. Nimer, the director of Sylvester, leads this effort with the faculty and staff.  Their work continues in pursuit of your cure.