Director's message: A Few of My Favorite Things

Volume 7, Issue 4, 2018


A telethon, top rankings, a new liver cancer SPORE and the NCI grant renewal are among our 2018 highlights.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

The December issue of Forefront is one of my favorites because it affords me the opportunity to share a few highlights from the year at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

In January, the 64th annual Eagles Cancer Telethon took place in Rochester, Minnesota, raising more than $900,000 for cancer research at Mayo Clinic. The annual telethon, which began in 1967, has raised more than $15 million through the years. The telethon enables Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers to pursue research projects that lead to better opportunities for patients around the world.

In August, Mayo Clinic was ranked the No. 1 hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals 2018-19. Among cancer centers nationwide, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester was again ranked No. 3 in the nation, while our Cancer Center locations in Arizona and Florida were ranked No. 11 and No. 30, respectively.

Also, in August, Mayo Clinic opened the Dorothy J. and Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Building on our Jacksonville campus. This building provides integrated services to treat patients with complex cancers.

In September, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded Mayo Clinic a five-year, $11.5 million grant to fund a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in hepatobiliary cancer. The Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary SPORE, led by principal investigators Mark A. McNiven, Ph.D., and Lewis R. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., advances discoveries and translates them into the clinic for the benefit of patients diagnosed with or at risk of liver cancer and bile duct cancer.

Also in September, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center hosted a site visit as part of our 2018 NCI Cancer Center Support Grant renewal, capping off more than a year of hard work by Cancer Center members, faculty and staff. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has been an NCI-designated Cancer Center since 1973 and has been the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with three geographic locations since 2003. We have received funding through an NCI support grant for more than 44 years and must submit a competitive grant renewal application every five years to maintain this funding.

I look forward to sharing more achievements with you in 2019. Thank you for subscribing to Forefront. Happy holidays from all of us at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center! May you enjoy a happy and healthy 2019.

  • Robert B. Diasio, M.D.
  • Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor