Governor Edwards announces statewide collaboration in pursuit of NCI-designation

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards returned to the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC) on Nov. 6 to announce a new statewide collaboration among LSU Health, LCMC Health, LCRC and Tulane to accelerate the attainment of the first National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Louisiana. This effort is resulting in the LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, which will work with partner institutions to promote education and conduct research in the diagnosis, detection and treatment of cancer, while pursuing a National Cancer Institute designation.

“In addition to the educational opportunities this affords our partners and their students, this collaboration is vitally important to Louisiana and the nation," said Gov. Edwards. "A National Cancer Institute designation would allow vulnerable populations in Louisiana who may not have the means to travel to get care much closer to home. The center will become a magnet attracting the best minds to tackle cancer issues specific to Louisiana, managed in cooperation with Louisianians. It will also benefit Louisiana by becoming an economic driver in the form of intellectual property, ideas that can become companies and bringing in new researchers and clinicians."

This highest level of alignment will leverage the collective strength of the partner institutions by focusing on programs and services that meet the needs of Louisiana’s diverse populations. The collaboration focuses efforts on the profound challenges cancer presents throughout the state through locally focused cancer research, patient care, education and community outreach and engagement.

“This moment marks an incredible acceleration of our mission to make a tangible impact in reducing the burden of cancer throughout Louisiana and towards bringing the first NCI-designation to the state,” Dr. Joe Ramos, director and CEO of Louisiana Cancer Research Center, said.  "This new agreement between LSU Health Sciences Center, LCMC, Tulane, and LCRC brings all the resources currently at our disposal and aligns and focuses them on the goals we all share to reduce the burden in every corner of the state for everyone here and to bring NCI-designation.  The agreement clarifies that when we are ready to apply, LSU will be our applicant on behalf of and with our partner institutions.  The agreement also ensures that these efforts are completely in line with the expectations of NCI in terms of how NCI-designated centers need to be organized."

Members of the board of the LCRC  attended the program, which began with Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne introducing the Governor and Dr. Ramos as well as New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Steve Nelson, MD, CM, FACP, FCCP, interim chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, John Heaton MD,  president and chief medical officer of LCMC Health, Patrice "Patrick" Delafontaine, MD, executive dean, Tulane University School of Medicine, and Andy Kopplin, president and CEO of The Greater New Orleans Foundation.

The Louisiana Cancer Research Center provides care grounded in the best science and research to drive advancements benefiting patients in Louisiana and throughout the world. For more information, visit


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