Penrose receives million-dollar cancer grant

The Penrose-St. Francis Cancer Center received $1.5 million from the National Cancer Institute to continue its community cancer centers program.

The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program is a nationwide pilot program in state-of-the-art cancer care.

Penrose was one of the five hospitals originally selected in 2007. The program has now expanded to 30 cancer centers in 22 states. The total program provided $9.9 million in 2010, money that largely came from the federal stimulus package.

The NCI program is a network of community hospital cancer centers that work to provide research-based cancer care spanning the full continuum – from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship through end of life care.

The program is studying ways to give patients access to the latest, evidence-based care close to where they live. About 85 percent of patients are diagnosed with cancer and treated at a community hospital.