Two reasons to choose Karmanos and McLaren: Why the NCI designation is important when fighting cancer

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, headquartered in Southeast Michigan, is one of the nation’s leading cancer centers. One of 53 across the country, Karmanos is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in metro Detroit.

As part of McLaren Health Care, Karmanos’ headquarters anchors 15 locations throughout the Karmanos Cancer Network, with most located near McLaren hospitals. Recognized as one of Michigan’s most preferred cancer care treatment providers, Karmanos has the largest cancer network in the state, stretching north to Petoskey, west to Lansing, east to Port Huron and even crossing state lines into Maumee, Ohio.  Specialists at Karmanos diagnose and treat more than 12,000 new cancer cases yearly.

Having the prestigious honor of an NCI designation means the 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.

So why should you choose Karmanos and McLaren? Here are two reasons:

1. 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 Joseph Uberti, M.D., Ph.D., interim 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 not available at cancer centers and hospitals without the NCI designation. Karmanos also offers innovative treatments that the FDA has just approved.

“Almost 70% of all new drugs and immunotherapies used for cancer are tested at Karmanos before 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. Uberti.

“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.”

2. 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. As a patient at one of our centers across the 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 Network,” said Lauren Lawrence, VP of Karmanos 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

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, or if you need a second opinion, schedule a consultation with the experts at Karmanos. It is important to be evaluated by cancer experts before beginning treatment.