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OU hosts dedication for cancer center building

BY DARLA SLIPKE Published: July 1, 2011

Mukherjee teaches medicine at Columbia University and works as a physician at the university's medical center. His book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” won the Pulitzer Prize this year.

High schools helped

The cancer center's vision extends beyond the new building to include a network of partnerships, treatment and research at other facilities. A branch of the center is located on the OU campus in Tulsa.

The state gave about $90 million for the project and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust provided $25 million. The university launched a fundraising campaign that has generated more than $50 million.

Those gifts include $12 million from the Stephensons, who are natives of Antlers. When they made their gift in 2010, it was the largest one-time donation to the OU Health Sciences Center.

Donors also included students from several local high schools. Their schools raised more than $10,000 each, which allowed them to name waiting rooms after their communities, Boren said.

The building will open to the first patients July 18, although some staff won't move into the building until later. Officials plan to add more staff during the next few years as patient loads build. They also plan to apply for designation as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which signifies the highest level of cancer research and care.

Patients can participate in Phase 1 clinical trials, which test new drugs. They will have access to a variety of support staff, including financial and spiritual counselors.

Next spring, the center will start offering proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation treatment.

The public is invited to visit the center between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday for a tour.