November brings with it three wonderful reasons to celebrate at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The first reason? The National Cancer Institute officially renewed our cancer center support grant for five more years in September, 2010. Secondly, UPCI continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary with various employee and educational events, including this month's Stem Cells and Cancer Research Symposium on November 5th. Finally, on the last day of this month the UPCI gala will be held in recognition of the incredible patients, donors and community members who support our goal to someday celebrate a future without cancer.
The renewal of our cancer center support grant provides critical infrastructure to support our broad range of clinical, research and educational programs as well as our mission to lessen the burden of cancer for people throughout Western Pennsylvania and beyond. The renewal confirms our position as a leader in cancer research and cancer care, and it reflects our dedication to innovative cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment as well as the high-caliber of our scientific and clinical research and community-based outreach services. The support grant is a national benchmark, and one that confirms the exceptional cancer research taking place right here. The renewal is an honor reflecting on the dedication of faculty and staff throughout the UPCI.
In addition to the cancer center support grant renewal, UPCI continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Last month, we held a wonderful employee event complete with cake and a "champagne" toast to the future of UPCI led by our community leaders, Elsie Hillman and Sy Holzer; this month, we turn our attention to an educational symposium on stem cell research. As a cancer institute, we are looking to the future with great anticipation. We are using this landmark year of our 25th anniversary to rededicate ourselves to our mission: improving our understanding of how cancer develops, defining lifesaving approaches for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and educating future generations of scientists and clinicians.
In addition to these events, the 2010 Hillman Cancer Center gala will be held on Tuesday, November 30th. This year, in addition to celebrating our successes in advancing cancer research and care, we will look back over the previous quarter century of breakthroughs that paved the way for some of today's most innovative diagnostic and treatment methods. We will also look toward the future of cancer research and care, paying tribute to the outstanding scientists and clinicians currently housed in the Hillman Cancer Center who stand on the front lines battling this disease. For more information about the gala, please visit http://hillmangala.org.
In the midst of these celebrations we have not rested on our laurels. Early in November our radiation oncologists will present several research findings at the American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting in San Diego – check back here in December for an update on their presentations. UPCI physician-researchers are also gearing up for the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference and the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, both held in December. Cancer research continues to move forward, hopefully taking us ever closer to a future without this disease – in the meantime, I believe it's important to take the time to celebrate what we've already achieved.