The Masonic Cancer Center (MCC) is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to cancer
research, education, and patient care for the citizens of Minnesota and the surrounding region. Since the time
of the first award in 1997, there has been growth of the membership and research base. In our original
application, there were 89 members, this has increased to 229 members from 53 departments and 13 colleges
and schools of the University of Minnesota. Since our last renewal, there has been growth in NCI-funded
research from $35.5M to $41.1M, an increase of almost 16%. Total cancer related research funding has
increased by 6% to $94.0 in 2017 from $88.7M in 2013.
The MCC is organized into 6 Programs that focus on specific scientific themes: Screening, Prevention, Etiology
and Cancer Survivorship; Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention; Genetic Mechanisms; Cell Mechanisms:
Immunology; and Transplant Biology and Therapy. These Programs are supported by 10 Shared Resources.
The past funding period has seen increased emphasis on developing our translational pipeline. Several
resources and organizational structures have been put into place to support this effort and to better connect
the basic programmatic research with the clinic. These resources include a Cancer Research Translational
Initiative to increase the number of investigator-initiated translational trials at MCC and the formation of
Translational Working Groups that bring together researchers, clinicians, and others in the oncology
community to solve problems in organ-site-specific cancers. We have also established several mechanisms to
increase the involvement of the community, and particularly the underserved populations in our catchment
area, in clinical research.
The MCC is a successful matrix organization in a large public research university that engages its faculty to
focus on the problem of cancer. Our last period of support has been characterized by growth, stability in our
leadership, enhanced engagement of our community, and creation of several new cancer-focused initiatives.