Director's message: Our rich tradition of cancer research

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2018


Advances in clinical research and basic research translate to improvements in patient care.

Photograph of Robert B. Diasio, M.D., director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Happy June!

As I write this column, dozens of people across the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center are making preparations for a site visit from representatives of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as part of the process for the competitive renewal of our Cancer Center Support Grant from the NCI.

According to the NCI, the Cancer Center Support Grant awards funds to certain selected U.S. institutions for them to become cancer centers, based on scientific merit. The funds help these cancer centers improve the way they are run and develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. To receive the award, cancer centers must, among other things, demonstrate the ability to turn clinical research and basic research into better health care for patients.

I'm proud to say that the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has been an NCI-designated cancer center for 45 years. And while we're proud of this achievement, we're also proud to say that cancer research at Mayo predates the establishment of the NCI in 1937, going back to the clinic's earliest days.

At Mayo, we have a rich tradition of turning clinical and basic research into better care for our patients. To find examples, look no further than this issue of Forefront, which includes stories about our researchers identifying characteristics of colon polyps most likely to progress to cancer and pinpointing BRCA2 gene mutations that lead to breast and ovarian cancers.

Our work is never done!

I wish you a healthy and enjoyable summer.

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