What is NCI Designation?

The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute aspires to apply for National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designation. This prestigious designation is awarded through a highly competitive assessment process. To achieve designation, cancer centers must demonstrate outstanding depth and breadth of high-quality basic laboratory, patient/clinical and population-based cancer research.


NCI also expects designated centers to transform their research into measurable clinical outcomes that touch patients directly.

The Burden of Cancer in Arkansas

Arkansas Cancer

The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute reports about 150,000 patient visits each year. A majority of patients come from throughout Arkansas and the southern region of the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 44 Arkansans a day will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 6,910 will die of the disease.

The four types of cancer with significantly high annual diagnosis rates in Arkansas are:

  • Lung and bronchus:      2,720
  • Breast:                         2,160
  • Prostate:                      1,260
  • Colon and rectal:          1,370

From 2004-2008, the financial cost of cancer treatment in Arkansas topped $1.2 billion, of which Medicare paid 36.1 percent. Over the last 20 years, the cost of treating most common cancers has nearly doubled.

Why NCI Designation is Important to the People of Arkansas

There are 70 NCI Designated Cancer Centers in the United States, with the closest being in Memphis (only providing pediatric care), Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Nashville.

NCI Cancer Arkansas

NCI Designation will provide our patients and the citizens of Arkansas vital options:

  • Improved access to clinical trials and new therapies unavailable elsewhere in the state
  • Creation of new, high-paying health care jobs, both in patient care and research arenas
  • Expanded services through greater access to public and private research grants and other funding
  • Increased visibility and research collaboration opportunities with leading national and international cancer treatment teams
  • Expansion of Arkansas as a health care destination through national recognition as a top-tier cancer center