Banner day for KU Cancer Center bodes well for new Fairway facility

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius greets The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director Roy Jensen, MD, at a ceremony in honor of the organization’s new National Cancer Institute designation July 12.

The official announcement Thursday that The University of Kansas Cancer Center has received National Cancer Institute designation means Fairway’s recently opened KU Clinical Research Center will be at the heart of one of the top cancer research organizations in the country.

With NCI designation, the cancer center now has access to federal funding for clinical trials, many of which will be carried out at the 82,400 square foot facility that opened to patients in January. Located just north of KCTV5’s studios on Shawnee Mission Parkway, the Clinical Research Center has an entire floor dedicated to early phase clinical trials for cancer treatments. The university has in recent years gained a reputation for developing promising cancer drugs; the Fairway research center provides the state-of-the-art facility to test many of them.

The opening of the KU Clinical Research Center was made possible in large part by funds produced by the one-eighth-cent sales tax approved by county voters in 2008 to develop a Johnson County Research Triangle. The tax provides around $15 million annually, proceeds from which are split between the Clinical Research Center, the Business, Education, Science and Technology (BEST) Building on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and the Kansas State University International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute in Olathe.