‘Florida 2nd highest in cancer burden’: Health official speaks about UF’s Cancer Center NCI designation

UF cancer specialist Dr. Thomas J. George spoke about the updates, future plans for the center, and what the designation means.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:56 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -UF officials held the Eye-Opener Discovery Breakfast to talk about UF’s cancer center NCI designation. In June, the cancer center received this accomplishment, making it the 72nd in the country and the 4th in the state to receive the designation.

UF cancer specialist Dr. Thomas J. George, who is involved in new drug development and new technologies for patients, spoke about the updates, future plans for the center, and what the designation means.

RELATED: UF Health cancer center is officially NCI-designated

“It comes with significant resources, additional opportunities to further impact the communities that we serve and the patients who trust us with their care for cancer,” said George. “And it really advances the field of cancer research discovery and innovation.”

George said the designation is a seal of approval from the National Cancer Institute. It informs people around the country that the center is up to the standards of other major cancer centers.

“Florida has the second highest burden of cancer in the country per patient population in Florida,” said George. “It brings together a group of physicians, scientists, community members, and patients who all work together towards reducing the cancer burden in our communities so, we’re moving in the right direction in being able to meet their needs but also being seen as a leader as a state and really advancing the scientific agenda.”

George said while they treat all types of cancers, the center will prioritize breast, brain, lung, leukemia, colorectal, and HPV-related cancers. Officials will be able to renew the center’s designation in 2027 to continue to reduce and prevent cancer. They hope to reach the highest achievement of comprehensive status in 2032.

The next breakfast is on October 11th about Driving Rehabilitation-Past, Present, and Future featuring guest speaker Dr. Sherrilene Classen. These events usually happen on the second Wednesday of each month, except when noted between September and May. To register, visit their website.

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