National Cancer Institute-Designated
Comprehensive Cancer Center

About the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training. As such, it coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

The NCI’s Cancer Centers Program is one of the anchors of the nation’s cancer research effort. At any given time, hundreds of research studies are under way at the cancer centers, ranging from basic laboratory research to clinical assessments of new treatments. Many of these studies are collaborative and may involve several cancer centers, as well as other partners in industry and the community.


The Benefits of NCI-Designation for Cancer Centers

The NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science. Comprehensive Cancer Centers demonstrate an added depth and breadth of research, as well as substantial transdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas. There are currently 70 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, located in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

While the national network of Cancer Centers forms the backbone of NCI’s programs for studying and controlling cancer, NCI also conducts a wide range of other activities, including:

  • Provide research grants and cooperative agreements to coordinate and support research projects conducted by universities, hospitals, research foundations, and businesses throughout this country and abroad.
  • Conduct research in our their laboratories and clinics.
  • Support education and training in fundamental sciences and clinical disciplines for participation in basic and clinical research programs and treatment programs relating to cancer through career awards, training grants, and fellowships.
  • Support research projects in cancer control.
  • Collaborate with voluntary organizations and other national and foreign institutions engaged in cancer research and training activities.
  • Encourage and coordinate cancer research by industrial concerns where such concerns demonstrate a particular capability for programmatic research.
  • Collect and disseminate information on cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, control, palliative care, and survivorship.

Recognizes centers 

Recognizes centers around the country that meet rigorous criteria for world-class, state-of-the-art programs in multidisciplinary cancer research.

Supports centers

Supports centers that have dedicated significant resources into developing research programs, faculty, and facilities that will lead to better approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Provides grant funding

Grant funding that accompanies the designation supports shared resources for research, provides developmental funds to advance scientific goals, and fosters cancer programs that draw investigators from different disciplines together.