Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Partnership of the Stanford Cancer Center and CPIC

CPIC Fremont Office

CPIC Fremont office

Since its inception in 1974 by the deans of the schools of medicine at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, and the director of the California division of the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (formerly the Northern California Cancer Center) has collaborated closely with Stanford University to advance cancer research.

In 2003, Dr. Saul Rosenberg, Cancer Prevention Institute of California’s first director and a prominent Stanford oncologist, and Dr. Dee West, then Executive Director of CPIC, began discussing the possibility of a more formal relationship between CPIC and Stanford University with the creation of a comprehensive cancer research and community outreach enterprise and the submission of an application to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the comprehensive cancer center designation.

Dean Philip Pizzo of Stanford’s School of Medicine has identified cancer research and service as a high priority and obtaining the NCI designation as an important goal for the university. Only 39 cancer centers throughout the nation have been designated as comprehensive cancer centers by the NCI. The Stanford Cancer Center, with CPIC as a partner, was named an NCI-designated Cancer Center in 2007.

In 2005, under the leadership of CPIC CEO Dr. Donald Nielsen and Dean Pizzo, the organizations created an Affiliation Agreement to formalize their collaboration. Included in the agreement is the appointment of CPIC’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Dee West, to Associate Director of Population Sciences in Stanford’s Cancer Center. To further augment this collaboration, Dr. Beverly Mitchell, Director of the Stanford Cancer Center, sits on CPIC’s Board of Trustees.

CPIC scientists have faculty appointments at Stanford University via the cancer center, which enhances opportunities to work together in developing new research strategies for assisting with cancer detection, screening, treatment, and survivorship. The affiliation maintains the independence of both institutions, but encourages joint fundraising, recruitments and appointments, and provides an infrastructure to foster partnership and collaboration among staff at both institutions.

In addition to CPIC’s scientific expertise in cancer epidemiology, the organization brings skilled management of its Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, a participant in the NCI's SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) cancer registry program, a broad patient base throughout Northern California, community education programs, and strong ties to the community. These elements are critical to the success of the collaboration and the NCI application. Along with research, the organizations have a mutual commitment to becoming the leading source for cancer outreach and education throughout the Bay Area.

CPIC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing cancer where possible and to reducing the burden of cancer where it cannot yet be prevented. CPIC is located in Fremont, California, approximately 15 miles east of the Stanford University campus.

The Cancer Prevention Institute of California brings to the affiliation with Stanford a strong tradition of research in the population sciences, especially cancer surveillance, epidemiology, and control. CPIC operates the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, where surveillance researchers have monitored cancer trends for 33 years and more recently have published on patterns in cancer survivorship (Scarlett Gomez, Christina Clarke, Theresa Keegan). The CPIC has also created a Family Registry for Breast Cancer (Esther John and Dee West, with Alice Whittemore from Stanford) with CPIC enrolling over 900 minority families. Epidemiology research has focused on the genetic and environmental interactions in the etiology of cancers, such as breast (Esther M. John, Pamela Horn-Ross, Dee West), prostate (Esther M. John), lymphomas (Sally Glaser, Christina Clarke, Theresa Keegan, Ellen Chang), and thyroid (Pamela Horn-Ross). Outcomes research has included interventions in cancer screening in minority populations (Bang Nguyen) and high-risk populations (Ingrid Oakley-Girvan), and participation in large collaborative studies such as the NCI-funded CanCORS study of the patterns and quality of cancer care for lung and colorectal cancer patients (Dee West).

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