Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints
By Annette M. Boyle
BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced plans to substantially expand its partnerships with the National Cancer Institute and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to bring more resources to cancer research and treatment.
The announcement came in December as part of the celebration of the second anniversary of the center, which was formed in 2011 through the integration of research arms of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center, Malcolm Grow Medical Clinic and the U.S. Military Cancer Institute.
“The Murtha Cancer Center represents the compilation of the tremendous capabilities of Army and Navy Medicine,” Army Col. Craig Shriver, MD, director of the Murtha Cancer Center said last month. “Now, with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute and all services, we will move forward as three federal organizations in one unity of effort to fight cancer.”
Shriver sees Murtha, the only DoD-designated cancer center of excellence, as a natural and necessary component of the MHS.
“Cancer is a readiness issue. If any person is out, it impairs the unit,” he noted. Further, cancer affects potential recruits, servicemembers and veterans, as “some cancers are being diagnosed at younger ages nationally, and certain cancers disproportionately affect warriors and veterans, including prostate cancer, melanoma and breast cancer.”
Joining forces with USUHS and NCI takes Murtha’s battle against cancer to a new level, Shriver said, explaining, “By leveraging the assets of these three federal health organizations, we are increasing the research and clinical capabilities for military and civilian patients, while decreasing costs to the government.”