Research at Karmanos Cancer Institute

As a leader in cancer research, Karmanos is able to offer patients access to innovative treatments and clinical trials that are not available anywhere else. More than $60 million is invested each year into cancer research with a level of commitment and expertise that cannot be duplicated at community hospitals. 

Maximally Effective Treatment

We believe that our total focus on cancer ensures we will always be the best in developing and applying maximally effective treatment options. Our energy and resources are never diverted to other pursuits.

Learn more about research at Karmanos

    Types of Research

    A cornerstone of the Institute's cancer investigations, tracing its roots back to the establishment of the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research in 1943. Achievements include establishing the first immortal hormone dependent breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, and establishment of premalignant cell line MCF-10; and synthesis of AZT, ddC and d4T, the first FDA-approved treatments for AIDS.

    Clinical research

    At any given time, Karmanos is conducting an average of 700 cancer-specific clinical trials and research projects. Studies are institutional (designed/led by our own investigators), cooperative (with such groups as the Southwest Oncology Group), and pharmaceutical/industry trials. Achievements include establishing the international, nonsurgical standard therapy for anal and esophageal cancers and the concept of the multidisciplinary team, organ preservation and adjuvant chemotherapy.

    Population Research

    • Epidemiological research - Provides a quantitative portrait of cancer and its determinants in a defined population. Core functions are measurement of cancer incidence, morbidity, survival, and mortality. This also includes assessing of genetic predisposition, environmental and behavioral risk factors, screening practices, and the quality of care: from prevention through rehabilitation or hospice.
    • Behavioral research - Investigates whether racial and ethnic attitudes and biases, and real or perceived cultural differences among minority group patients impede effective communication and decision-making in doctor-patient interactions. 

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