The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training, has identified the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center as one of the nation's 41 comprehensive cancer centers. This designation places USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center among a select group of institutions providing leadership in cancer treatment, research, prevention and education.
To be recognized as an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, an institution must hold an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant and meet specific criteria concerning breadth and depth of basic research, clinical research, and population-based research. In particular, in the area of clinical research, a comprehensive cancer center is expected to initiate and conduct investigator-initiated, early phase, innovative clinical trials and provide leadership for, and participate in NCI cooperative groups. The NCI also evaluates the public information, education, service and outreach activities of the institution. After a thorough peer review process, the NCI Executive Committee makes the final decision in granting comprehensive status.
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center received its comprehensive cancer center designation in 1973, two years after it was founded. It was one of the first eight institutions in the country to be designated by the NCI as a comprehensive cancer center. Since 1973, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has been continuously supported by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant.