This is why an NCI designation matters when choosing where to receive cancer care

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute anchors one of the nation’s largest cancer networks, the Karmanos Cancer Network (Network). As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in metro Detroit, Karmanos has a total of 16 locations, diagnosing and treating more than 14,000 new cancer cases annually.

Karmanos offers services from oncologists at the top of their fields in communities stretching north to Petoskey, west to Lansing, east to Port Huron, southeast to Detroit, and even crossing state lines into Maumee, Ohio. Most of the Network locations are near a McLaren Health Care hospital.

The NCI Designation

Having the prestigious honor of an NCI designation means the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit must qualify and maintain specific requirements. Karmanos must conduct and initiate the following to keep its designation:

  • Discover more ways to treat cancer through laboratory and clinical research.
  • Offer early-phase clinical trials and promising treatments to patients.
  • Provide outreach and education for the community and health care professionals.
  • Provide access to clinical trials throughout the Karmanos Cancer Network.

Why should you choose Karmanos and McLaren?                                     

More cancer treatment and therapy options = treatments often not available elsewhere.

The NCI designation means Karmanos provides the best care possible and treatments that will be tomorrow's standard of care today. When walking into a Karmanos Cancer Institute location, you can choose multiple treatment options that best support you and your loved ones’ wishes. Your choices include access to therapies that are unavailable at non-designated centers.

“Patients who come to Karmanos for cancer care may be eligible for treatments that are not available at other centers in the state or country,” said Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, president and CEO, and principal investigator of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Grant for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Many patients find favorable outcomes through the Clinical Trials Program at Karmanos, which provides drug therapies often unavailable at cancer centers and hospitals without the NCI designation. Karmanos has one of the largest clinical trials programs in the nation. Innovative treatments that the FDA has just approved are also available to patients.

“Almost 70% of all new drugs and immunotherapies used for cancer are tested at Karmanos before being approved by the FDA. We are often able to give our patients access to these new therapies earlier in their disease course before they are commercially available,” continued Dr. Pasche.

“We are proud to have held our NCI designation since 1978 and be at the forefront of developing promising cancer therapies that other hospitals and health organizations can use in the future for their patients.”

You have access to these treatment options at your nearest Karmanos location.

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's NCI designation is granted to the center in Detroit, but as a patient at one of the Karmanos Cancer Institute locations across the cancer network, you will receive the same high standard of care through the commitment of Karmanos and McLaren.

“Karmanos stands out in the field of cancer research and treatment, as well as cancer screening and prevention programs, and we’re able to provide these opportunities to patients outside of Southeast Michigan through the Karmanos Cancer Network,” said Brian Gamble, president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Cancer Network. “McLaren widens the door for more patients to experience the Karmanos advantage and receive the best care no matter where they live.”

Patients within the Network also have access to genetic counseling and multidisciplinary teams of cancer specialists available through the headquarters in Detroit. Should a patient’s cancer diagnosis require more complex treatment, their physician will collaborate with specialists at the main campus to coordinate the care needed.

For more information about the benefits of Karmanos’ NCI comprehensive cancer center designation, visit