Norris Cotton Cancer Center

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Norris Cotton Cancer Center is a comprehensive cancer center as designated by the National Cancer Institute, with administrative offices located within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester and Keene, New Hampshire, and St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and 11 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

Mission[edit]

The mission of the Center is to understand the causes of cancer, to translate new knowledge into better treatment, to provide effective and compassionate clinical care that improves the lives of cancer patients and families, and to educate communities about effective choices to prevent cancer.

The Center provides access to research-based care, advanced technologies, and clinical trials for patients throughout northern New England.

Cancer care[edit]

More than 200 cancer specialists at Norris Cotton Cancer Center work in teams to treat more than 20,000 patients per year with all types of cancer, using state of the art technologies in diagnostics and imaging; medical, radiation and surgical oncology; bone marrow transplantation; and immunotherapy.

In all, the Center has 25 separate programs for treating different cancers. These include:

  • Blood & Marrow Transplantation Program
  • Breast Cancer Program
  • Endocrine Tumors Program
  • Esophageal Cancer Program
  • Familial Cancer Program
  • Gastrointestinal & Pancreatic Cancer Program
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program
  • Head & Neck Cancer Program
  • Hematology / Oncology Program
  • Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center
  • Leukemia Program
  • Liver Tumor Clinic
  • Lung / Esophageal / Thoracic Cancer Program
  • Lymphoma Program
  • Melanoma / Skin Cancer Program
  • Neuro-Oncology Program
  • Pancreatic Cancer Program
  • Pediatric Cancer Program
  • Prostate & Genitourinary Cancer Programs
  • Radiation Oncology Program
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Skin Cancer Program
  • Surgical Oncology Program
  • Thoracic Cancer Program
  • Thrombosis Program

In addition, the Center has several in-treatment and patient follow-up programs, including:

  • Palliative Care
  • Patient & Family Support Services
  • Shared Decision Making
  • Survivorship

Research[edit]

The Center’s 130 member investigators advance cancer science in six program areas:

  • Cancer Control
  • Cancer Mechanisms
  • Epidemiology and Chemoprevention
  • Imaging and Radiobiology
  • Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Molecular Therapeutics

More than 250 research projects, with funding of more than $68 million per year, are ongoing at the Center.

Research collaborations draw on faculty at Dartmouth College and its professional schools: The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. The Center’s researchers also collaborate with partner-researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Vermont. In partnership with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, the Center is developing cancer registries in breast and colon cancer, and is shaping new work in health services, outcomes, and comparative effectiveness research.

In addition, physicians and scientists at the Center collaborate to speed the translation of research advances into novel treatments for cancer patients through interdisciplinary clinical programs.

Community outreach[edit]

Research on behavioral risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and sun exposure, and on environmental risk factors such as arsenic, is translated at the Center into community education and prevention programs targeted to the region’s underserved, rural populations. The Center’s “Kick Cancer” and "SunSafe" programs have brought cancer-prevention education to youth populations as well as adults throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Center has developed several approaches to delivering advanced cancer care and technologies to patients throughout its rural region, including: web and computer-based surveys to enable patients to provide important medical and psychosocial input to their care team; and interdisciplinary clinics to coordinate visits to several providers in a single day, allowing patients to meet with the specialists who together will design their personalized treatment plan.

The Center’s website and Facebook page also serve to inform community members, patients and patient families about the Center’s programs and research.

Support[edit]

The Center is supported, in part, by the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a Section 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation. The Friends sponsor and partner with several fundraising events annually, culminating in the annual Prouty and Prouty Ultimate in July, a series of events in which runners, walkers, cyclists and rowers contribute to the Friends through distance sponsorships. In 2010 the Prouty events raised more than $2.3 million combined for the Center and involved more than 4,500 participants and 1,000 volunteers; a record number of participant sponsors, more than 23,000, contributed financial support. The Prouty is the largest charity fundraising event in northern New England. Since the Prouty’s founding in 1982, the events have raised more than $12 million.

Total annual philanthropic support for the Center exceeds $10 million.

History[edit]

Founded in 1972, Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth was designated as a Clinical Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute in 1978 and as a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1980. It is one of just 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.

The Center is named for Norris Cotton, who served New Hampshire in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1954 and in the U.S. Senate from 1954 to 1975. As a senator, Norris Cotton secured $3 million in federal funding for the Cancer Center’s establishment.

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