Karmanos Cancer Institute

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) is a unique, urban-based center of research, patient care and education, dedicated to the prevention, early detection, treatment and eventual eradication of cancer.

KCI was formed in 1994 through a strategic partnership of the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center of Metropolitan Detroit, the Wayne State University Cancer Institute, the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and the clinical cancer programs of the Detroit Medical Center. The original designation as a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center was successfully obtained by the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center of Metropolitan Detroit in 1978 and has been operated by the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University since 1995.

KCI annually receives more than $58 million of extramural peer-reviewed funding of which more than $36 million is from the National Cancer Institute. KCI gains additional support from the Department of Defense, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, private trusts and foundations, and generous donors. Seminal past achievements of KCI faculty include novel anti-retroviral agents such as AZT and the establishment of permanent in vitro cell lines for hormone-responsive breast cancer (MCF-7) and for premalignant breast lesions (MCF-10). KCI operates one of the largest phase I clinical trials groups in the country with significant contributions to the success of numerous anti-cancer drugs including paclitaxel, erlotinib, and lapatinib.

A primary objective of KCI is to ensure the integration of its research efforts, clinical programs, and community outreach activities and to ensure that each element is structured to recognize and enhance opportunities for productive and meaningful collaboration. The entire mission of this Comprehensive Cancer Center is the ultimate prevention and cure of cancer. Fundamental basic laboratory, clinical, and population research are the foundation for all of KCI’s Programs, which are ultimately directed toward the prevention, early detection, or treatment of neoplasia.

Reflecting the long-term continued successes of the Cancer Center in research, patient care, outreach, and graduate education, the Board of Regents of Wayne State University established in March of 2010 the Department of Oncology in the School of Medicine as the academic home of the basic, population, and clinical scientists that form the backbone of the Cancer Center. The Department of Oncology is now the academic home for the Cancer Biology Graduate Program and faculty involved in graduate education all hold appointments in the Department of Oncology and KCI.

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