Today, 4,550 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Tomorrow we will begin to restore their hope.

Head & Neck Cancers

Today:

Three of the six fastest rising cancers — thyroid, melanoma and oropharyngeal cancer caused by human papillomavirus — are head and neck cancers. The number of young people with these cancers is climbing rapidly each year. We lead the nation in clinical trials featuring robotic surgery. Studies are conducted on depression that commonly accompanies these cancers to improve the healing process and quality of life for cancer survivors.

Tomorrow:

Our patients will benefit from new research on stress and depression, as well as from 24-hour access to nurse specialists throughout the therapy process — two areas critical to enhancing patient outcomes. We will expand our multidisciplinary teams of surgical specialists, medical oncologists and reconstructive specialists. This coordinated team focus will distinguish our regional leadership in dental rehabilitation, survivorship and behavioral programs.

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Each year, more than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancers.

Leukemia & Lymphoma

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One person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer approximately every four minutes.

Today:

As the population ages, the number of people with these cancers is increasing. We have an international reputation in the treatment of lymphoma — caring for people from 47 countries and all 50 states. The first work examining lymphoma and genetics was based on patient information collected here. One of our researchers led the development of the world-renowned peripheral stem cell transplantation technique.

Tomorrow:

Our most ground-breaking research is privately funded. The work we have accomplished with this funding must continue moving forward. Genetic precision testing will be used to design individualized, targeted treatments for a growing number of people diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma.

Lung Cancer

Today:

Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next six most fatal cancers combined. A lack of symptoms often allows lung cancer to go undetected until it enters advanced stages. We have a history of active participation in all major national lung cancer trials. We are working to reduce the impact of lung cancer and are dedicated to improving the quality of life.

Tomorrow:

New, genetically-engineered animal models that naturally develop lung cancer will increase the number of drugs available to people with cancer. Early detection will enable more successful treatments. Collaboration with community resources throughout the region will promote lung cancer screening and advance clinical trials. A bioinformatics-supported tissue bank will offer data modeling that speeds research advances.

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Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Pancreatic & Gastrointestinal Cancers

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Cases of pancreatic cancer have been increasing in the U.S. over the last 10 years, while other gastrointestinal cancers such as stomach cancer are leading killers globally.

Today:

Because they are difficult to diagnose early, these cancers are among the most lethal. We have discovered useful diagnostic tools, including a blood test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Our pancreatic cancer tissue bank is one of the largest in the world. It is used to study the genetic progression of this disease and determine how therapies can be improved.

Tomorrow:

We will develop treatments that don’t attack the entire body but actually target the root cause of these cancers. We will find ways to further improve early diagnosis of these cancers. We will work toward independently replicating drugs that are vital to our research. Capturing more tissue samples and analyzing them at the molecular level will enable our research to continue breaking new ground.

Prostate Cancer

Today:

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men. It grows rapidly and does not respond well to conventional treatments. Our reputation for care draws patients from throughout a five-state region. Our researchers are exploring ways to block the pathways this cancer takes when it spreads.

Tomorrow:

We will work to write the protocols regarding who should be treated and how. We will recruit the top urologic cancer specialists to join our efforts.The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will enable us to quickly take samples from the patient to the laboratory —
and bring customized treatments from the laboratory to the patient.

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One in seven men in America will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Women’s Cancers

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Every year, more than 25,000 American women die from cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers, with disproportionately high rates of death among African-American women.

Today:

Two of the leading gynecologic oncologists in Nebraska practice here and deliver care throughout the state. With their fellow research scientists, they are collaborating on the first vaccine trials for ovarian cancer. Targeted therapies they have developed aim to reduce the toxicity of standard chemotherapy and improve outcomes.

Tomorrow:

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will enable us to bring trials from the laboratory to the clinic much faster. We will find essential funding for clinical trial drugs that pharmaceutical companies will not provide and patients cannot afford. We will work to overcome the regulatory barriers obstructing vital clinical trials. Integrating our research with that of the breast cancer program will create a synergy that benefits both programs.