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Health Innovations

Connecting to Conquer Cancer

Jul. 19, 2022

The development of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center brings the brightest minds together to give our community the best chance against cancer.


When the formation of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center was developed in January 2020, the world was unknowingly hurtling into a global pandemic, with around-the-world lockdowns and close to a million COVID-19-related deaths in the United States. However, it was perhaps the most critical time to assemble and organize cancer research.

“I’m very excited about our future. If you look at what we’ve done in the last years in terms of developing the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, it’s remarkable,” said Dr. Syed Ahmad, co-director of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center.

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is a collaboration between the University of Cincinnati, UC Health and Cincinnati Children’s—each bringing their own rich legacy of top-tier care. The Cancer Center’s common goal is to minimize the suffering and mortality associated with cancer in the Greater Cincinnati region and beyond. While providing the best possible care for our patients, the Cancer Center trains the next generation of cancer experts—all while being at the forefront of new advances and cutting-edge discoveries.

“This collaboration allows us to bring together top-notch researchers and clinicians from each entity to deliver top-level care for our community,” Dr. Ahmad added.

A Patient-First Approach

Subspecialists from across all disciplines meet weekly to discuss each patient’s specific needs, bringing a multidisciplinary approach to each case, with all the focus on our patients.

“If somebody has a newly diagnosed cancer, it can be a highly frightening time. There are many questions of what’s to come and what their treatment will be like,” Dr. William Barrett, co-director of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, said. “Our emphasis is that every single patient gets treated like a friend and relative. That’s the atmosphere we have here. Combine that with our tremendous expertise and teamwork. We think that we have a fantastic place where people can come with any kind of newly diagnosed cancer.”

The Cancer Center combines years of experience, groundbreaking research and access to the most innovative clinical trials in the region to deliver specialized, intentional care. Throughout their cancer journeys, all patients have customized, highly skilled care teams, built specifically for them, including surgeons, oncologists, imaging specialists, pathologists, nurses and nurse navigators, genetic counselors, pharmacists, a wide variety of therapists and social workers, and post-treatment survivorship care team members.

Cincinnati’s No. 1 Preferred Cancer Care Provider

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is proud to be the No. 1 preferred provider for cancer care in the region, and they’re honored to take care of our patients. A cancer diagnosis is never easy, but they have the support in place to maintain and improve our patients’ overall quality of life. These personalized services include acupuncture, the only oncology-specific primary care in the tri-state, sexual and reproductive health services, nutrition counseling, music therapy and many more. 

“We have so many great people here between the physicians, the scientists and the nurses—it really is the ultimate team,” Dr. Barrett added.

In 2022, an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States—that’s a lot of unexpected, life-changing moments. When receiving a cancer diagnosis, it’s overwhelming to figure out where to start. The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center understands this, which is why the level of expertise in research, combined with subspecialized, holistic patient care, is something that isn’t found anywhere else in the tri-state. At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, they know that in science, cancer is destroyed.

The Academic Difference

An important differentiator of academic medicine, like the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, is access to the latest clinical trials. A clinical trial, or a research study, is a carefully planned test that combines the latest science and clinical care to help patients live longer. Research isn’t just a differentiator—at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, research is a core part of their mission.

“It’s very common for our clinicians to meet on a monthly basis with our researchers to talk to one another to see what’s current and what discoveries in the lab can be taken to the patient,” Dr. Ahmad noted. “And based on this interaction, we have a lot of ongoing studies that are leveraging the strengths of our scientists and delivering it to our patient at the bedside.”

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center offers over 100 clinical trials at a time, providing patients with access to the newest and most innovative treatments. Patients who participate in clinical trials aren’t just receiving exclusive access to novel and unique treatments—these patients are playing an active role in their road to remission and are contributing to the greater good through medical research.

Forward Movement for Cancer

During the past two years, UC Health and Cincinnati Children’s have remained focused on delivering the best patient care, despite lockdowns or surges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while the University of Cincinnati has continued to provide world-class education in an ever-changing virtual environment. The formation of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center provided the structure to support sustained and targeted movement forward for cancer care, research and innovations.

We know that in science lives hope, and at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, they recognize that in science, cancer is destroyed. Hope and science go hand in hand—it’s ingrained in our everyday work.

“What we really want to do is leave a mark that will not only help our city and community, but will leave a mark on a national level,” Dr. Ahmad said.

Want to see how the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center uses science to create hope and destroy cancer? If you would like to make an appointment or would like a second opinion, please call 513-585-UCCC.