The Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCCC) provides advanced forms of cancer education, treatment, and research services at its primary location within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, New Hampshire, as well as through regional centers in Manchester, NH and St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The NCCCC also provides cancer services to patients through partnerships with community hospitals located throughout the region. Through all of its clinic and hospital affiliations, the NCCCC provides care to over 5,000 new cancer patients who contribute to approximately 75,000 outpatient visits each year.
The NCCCC is closely affiliated with the Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth College, the two institutions providing over 200 faculty physicians, nurses, and other associated health professionals who join over 125 cancer researchers in a collective effort to treat and study the disease. Additionally, over 90 oncology nurses provide a variety of patient coordination and treatment services while offering post graduate educational services at the DHMC facility. The NCCCC treats all forms of adult and pediatric cancers while sponsoring over 250 separate cancer research projects funded by approximately $68 million worth of grants from a variety of sources.
A National Network of Cancer Education, Treatment, and Research Centers
As a result of lobbying efforts by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), back in the early 1960s, the United States now benefits from a national network of 63 Cancer Centers at college campus locations in all regions of the country. The NCI initiative resulted in the National Cancer Act (NCA), which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon in 1971.
The NCA gave the NCI the authority to establish and promote stringent guidelines that must be met for an NCI Cancer Center accreditation. Of the 63 Cancer Centers in the country, only 41 have been granted the NCI designation of ‘Comprehensive Cancer Center’ (CCC), a ranking that is subject to ongoing NCI review and period recertification. The NCCC first opened its doors as an NCI affiliated Cancer Center in 1978, and in August of 1990, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock institution earned its CCC accreditation that it has maintained ever since.
Cancer Research at the Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center
The NCCC is a nationally recognized center for advanced cancer research into the cause, management, and one day, cure of the disease. Adult and pediatric forms of cancer are studied at the numerous research facilities within the NCCCC orbit, and as a result, a significant number of clinical trials are available to a select group of patients who are seen at various NCCCC New England locations. Each Cancer Center within the NCI network will engage in specific types of scientific investigation, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock research programs fall under six distinct areas of study that are listed and outlined below:
- Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention: This is an interdisciplinary research effort that combines the work of epidemiologists, statisticians, and bench and clinical scientists who work to understand the etiology of cancer. This work on the origins of cancer is used in the experimental development of chemotherapies that can prevent the disease through the manipulation and/or modification of myriad biological, cellular, and genetic mechanisms.
- Cancer Control: This research attempts to reduce cancer deaths while increasing quality of life for those who suffer from the disease. This is also a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer research that utilizes the findings of numerous other studies to achieve its goals.
- Molecular Therapeutics: This area of study concentrates on translating cancer research findings into clinically applied therapeutics programs, with a research focus on cellular and molecular biology implications.
- Cancer Mechanisms: This area of interdisciplinary scientific investigation seeks to accelerate translational research therapies of a molecular and genotype nature that run parallel to the ongoing discovery of new genes.
- Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy: This branch of research seeks to increase knowledge of the body’s own natural cancer fighting abilities in order to develop new therapies.
- Cancer Imaging and Radiobiology: Researchers in this field study new and innovative ways to take advantage of the ongoing advances in medical imaging (MI) and radiobiology in a translational effort to apply these technologies to bench (laboratory) and clinical (patient involved) research programs.
Patient Care at the Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center
The NCCCC provides adult and pediatric cancer patients with advanced treatments for all forms of the disease. Faculty oncologists, medical support staff, and researchers work in close collaborations with each patient to deliver the latest cancer treatments available. At the NCCCC, treatments are provided in a number of facilities including: the Barbara E. Rubin Building at DHMC (1995); the Rubin Building expansion which approximately doubled the size of the NCCCC (2003); a 28 bed inpatient unit at DHMC that specializes in bone marrow transplant support services; the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester and Nashua, NH; the NCCCC North medical care facility in Johnsbury, VT, and the Veterans Affairs Regional Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.
In addition to traditional cancer treatments, a select group of patients at the NCCCC are also offered the opportunity to participate in one of the numerous clinical trials that are ongoing in many Norris Cotton Cancer Center locations throughout the region. The NCCCC also offers patients a wide variety of ancillary support services such as: numerous education programs; cancer counseling of all types for adults and children; hospice affiliations and information; financial and insurance information assistance; help with lodging, dining, as well as information on other cancer related resources in the neighboring communities. The NCCCC also provides critical cancer services to individuals outside the immediate orbit of the DHMC through a variety of community outreach programs.
Contact the Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center
The main operator phone number is (603) 653-9000, and for a more complete phone listing directory or to learn more about the Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center, please visit their website at www.cancer.dartmouth.edu/
Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center
One Medical Center Drive
Lebanon, NH 03756
Google map for Norris Cotton Comprehensive Cancer Center