The Karmanos Cancer Institute is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Detroit. Its mission is centered on patient care, research, and education. Its goal is to integrate basic research, translational research, clinical research, and population research with the goal of preventing cancer, detecting it early, treating it effectively, and eventually eliminating it entirely. The institute focuses much of its energy on community outreach activities to ensure that local populations have access to state-of-the-art cancer care from its 1,000-member staff.
The center treats approximately 12,000 new patients every year at its sixteen locations throughout Michigan and Ohio and administers one of the largest clinical trial programs in the nation. It is part of McLaren Health Care and is a partner of Wayne State University School of Medicine. Karmanos doctors believe in a comprehensive approach that leverages multidisciplinary teams to ensure that patients with complex diagnoses and conditions get the holistic care that they need and deserve.
Facts about the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Karmanos Cancer Institute is the largest cancer research and provider network in the state of Michigan. It was awarded comprehensive cancer center status by the National Cancer Institute in 1978.
Karmanos boasts one of the nation’s largest and most highly respected Bone Marrow Transplant programs.
Based on data collected from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Karmanos Cancer Center is ranked among the top recommended hospitals in the state and country by patients.
Karmanos is one of only 18 sites in the world that participated in the development of CAR T-cell therapy.
Karmanos is the only hospital in Michigan focused exclusively on fighting cancer.
McLaren Health Care was included on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2023 list of “100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs” based on the work and outcomes of the Karmanos Cancer Network.
Karmanos Cancer Institute was originally established as the Detroit Institute for Cancer in 1943, though the facility’s research of cancer and care for cancer patients dates back to its opening as Harper Hospital in 1863. At that time its main priority was treating wounded Civil War soldiers, but by 1868, five physicians affiliated with the hospital founded the Detroit Medical College – now Wayne State University School of Medicine. By 1901, Harper University Hospital obtained its first X-ray equipment and began using it to kill cancer cells, and by 1925, research into the origins and treatment of tumors had begun. A cancer training center was established at Wayne State University in 1938, using funds from the National Cancer Institute Act, and by 1943 the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research was founded, supported by the work of 12 independent research scientists, and by 1945 the facility had opened an independently operated tumor registry and cancer detection center.
In 1966, the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research merged with other cancer clinics, cancer registries, and foundations to form a single corporation with coordinated program objectives, eventually creating the Michigan Cancer Foundation cancer registry with the cooperation of 70 area hospitals and 8,000 doctors. Today that registry is one of the largest in the country and contains data on over 400,000 patients.
In 1972, plans were put in place to study the feasibility of Wayne State University establishing a comprehensive cancer center, and a year later the Michigan Cancer Foundation’s cancer registry was invited to become one of only 11 national sites to be part of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. In 1978 the center was awarded comprehensive status, and in 1985 its name changed in honor of Meyer L. Prentis, a Detroit philanthropist who was treasurer of General Motors for 32 years. Additional philanthropic acts resulted in the creation of the Wertz Clinical Cancer Center, which provides outpatient chemotherapy and houses multidisciplinary clinics and patient education programs, and in 1995 the center was renamed again after Peter Karmanos Jr., co-founder of Compuware, donated $15 million in honor of his wife Barbara Ann, who died of breast cancer at the age of 46 in 1989.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Patients seeking care for both malignant pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer receive highly specialized care from the cardiothoracic surgeons, surgical and medical oncologists, radiologists and radiation oncologists, and the rest of the multidisciplinary team in Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Thoracic Oncology program. These highly skilled specialists focus on treating malignancies of the chest using traditional treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, and also working towards the development of novel drugs and other interventions.
Innovative treatment options for thoracic cancers at Kanmanos Cancer Institute include intensive modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and among the many advantages offered to mesothelioma and lung cancer patients at Karmanos is the Monarch Robotic Assisted Bronchoscopy Platform which provides physicians greater reach, enhanced vision, and better control when performing lung biopsies.
Research is at the heart of Karmanos Cancer Institute’s patient care. The thoracic oncology team devotes significant time to research investigations into screening, early detection, and treatment of both lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Clinical trials are offered to patients with hopes of identifying the safest and most effective combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The center is currently recruiting for a Phase ½ Study of PRO1184 in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic solid tumors, including cytologically confirmed metastatic or unresectable non-small cell lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
The Thoracic Oncology Program at Karmanos Cancer Institute is staffed by recognized experts in the treatment of thoracic cancers. These thoracic oncologists are led by Dr. Hirva Mamdani and include cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David Sternberg, medical oncologists Tarik Hadid and Dipesh Uprety, and surgical oncologists Dr. Frank Baciewicz, Jr.
The expert team of physicians and caregivers at Karmanos Cancer Institute is focused on delivering a carefully constructed treatment plan to patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma to achieve the best possible outcome.