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Cancer Institute Chief to visit VUMC

BY: CYNTHIA MANLEY

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4/18/1997 - Dr. Richard Klauser

Dr. Richard D. Klausner, director of the National Cancer Institute, will discuss "The War on Cancer: 25 Years Later" during a visit to the Vanderbilt Cancer Center on Thursday, April 24.

Klausner's visit coincides with the dedication of the Vanderbilt Cancer Center's newly renovated chemotherapy infusion center, which opened earlier this month. He will be among the speakers at the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony of the chemoinfusion area, located next to the Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic and Clinical Research Center near Medical Research Building II.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to visit with Dr. Klausner and to learn more about his vision for the National Cancer Institute as well as about his own scientific work," said Dr. Harold L. Moses, Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology, chair of Cell Biology, and director of the Vanderbilt Cancer Center.

"We are also very proud to have the opportunity to share with him some of the important achievements being made by the scientific and patient care teams here at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center."

During his visit, Klausner also will meet with regional health care and government leaders and will make a scientific presentation at noon in 208 Light Hall about his own research in the area of tumor suppressor genes.

Klausner, whose medical training is in internal medicine, has been director of the NCI, a part of the National Institutes of Health, since 1995.

It was also in 1995 that the Vanderbilt Cancer Center (VCC) earned designation from the NCI as a clinical cancer center. The VCC is Tennessee's only center focused on all aspects of cancer care and research to hold the NCI distinction, which recognizes excellence in patient care, basic and clinical research and education. The Vanderbilt Cancer Center is one of a only handful of NCI-designated cancer centers in the southeast.

As director, Klausner is focused on improving NCI's existing programs and preparing NCI to respond to the cancer research issues of the future. He has established working groups to determine where the greatest opportunities exist, including cancer genetics, developmental diagnostics and AIDS malignancies.

Since becoming director, Klausner has begun a restructuring to streamline operations and has instituted a new "accelerated executive review" of grants intended to expedite funding for worthy projects. He also has been instrumental in forging new alliances between providers of health care and insurance companies and other payors in an effort to improve recruitment to clinical trials of new cancer therapies.

VCC's new chemotherapy infusion center is designed to accommodate an ever-growing number of patients who come to Vanderbilt for their cancer care. The Vanderbilt Cancer Center, which will see about 25,000 patients this year, cares for more cancer patients and their families than any other hospital in Middle Tennessee.

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