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Oncology/Cancer Care

Great progress in a short period

In 2011, The University of Kansas Cancer Center merged with Kansas City Cancer Center to give more patients access to the very best cancer care. By becoming one team of physicians and staff, The University of Kansas Cancer Center was able to provide the latest treatment options, clinical trials and exceptional care to patients across the region, close to home. One year later, the cancer center earned the gold standard credential – NCI designation. NCI-designated cancer centers are recognized for their scientific excellence and are awarded federal funding through a rigorous peer review process. These centers are a major source of discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. NCI-designated cancer centers also educate healthcare professionals and deliver medical advances to patients and their families.

Nurse practitioners have advanced education and training. They work with physicians and see patients independently to help with problems that arise during and after treatment.


In 2022, the cancer center earned the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) highest honor - the Comprehensive status.

Considered the gold standard for cancer centers, the Comprehensive status is a tribute to the physicians, nurses, and support staff who provide exceptional care every day to the center’s patients.

Previously, the cancer center held the NCI designation, which indicates the highest federal rating a cancer center can attain. 

The NCI designation asserts the following:

  • Our cancer center takes part in clinical trials and uses treatments that are at the forefront of cancer research.
  • We are recognized for our scientific leadership in laboratory and clinical research.
  • Our patients have greater access to the newest drugs and therapies closer to home.
  • Other hospitals send their cancer patients to us.

Because our oncology unit and clinics are part of the region’s only NCI-designated “comprehensive” cancer center, our nurses provide compassionate care for the most-complex cancer diagnoses.

The thing I most love about my job is the culture. Every day, I’m excited to come to work because of the team we’ve built within my unit, and within the health system. Specifically, within our Bone Marrow Transplant team, we have interdisciplinary huddles each day – this allows our nursing team to interact with our nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacists, social workers and case managers. During these huddles, each team has a voice they can use to express concerns and share joys regarding patient progression. Our nursing team works together to make up a strong, cohesive force that our patients can rely on. You’ll never hear ‘that’s not my patient’ – we’re all willing to lend a helping hand. You’ll also never find a more grateful patient population to serve than the oncology patient population – they recognize that each day is a blessing and are appreciative of the care we provide. Our patients make it easy to have the strong teamwork and culture that we have. I am beyond honored to work here." Karley Stark, MSN, RN, BMTCN Nurse Educator

Specific Information about Oncology/Cancer Care

Inpatient care

Hematology/Oncology ICU: This new, 16-bed ICU serves patients with complex medical conditions, focusing on advancing care for hematological and oncological disease processes. The unit participates in rapid response and code blue services throughout Cambridge Tower A.

Hematological Malignancies Unit: This 16-bed protective environment unit cares for patients with diseases such as lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myelomas. These patients require complex chemotherapy regimens, enhanced monitoring for trial treatment side effects, and supportive care therapies such as intravenous medications, electrolyte replacements and blood transfusions. Patients are admitted for several days of each chemotherapy cycle or for complications, which allows staff to develop strong relationships over the course of their treatment. The unit shares the floor with the cancer ICU. The primary service is an attending-led teaching service with consistent attending providers who create a collaborative space. The nursing team is a small, close team that strongly values teamwork and providing exceptional care.

Med Acute Leukemia and Hematology Oncology Unit: This 34-bed protective environment unit cares for patients with a diagnosis of leukemia and overflow of hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. Patients come from across the country for complex chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments, management of treatment side effects (including oncologic emergencies), and support through palliative care. All 34 beds are telemetry-capable, and two patient rooms are for palliative care. Specialized nursing care is required for this unique patient population.

Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Cellular Therapy Unit: This 34-bed protective environment unit cares for patients in our nationally accredited blood and marrow transplant and cellular therapy programs. Unit nurses build strong relationships with the patients because the patients often experience longer hospital stays due to complex chemotherapy regimens, prolonged neutropenia and supportive care therapies such as intravenous medications, electrolyte replacements and blood transfusions. Specialized nursing care is required to ensure optimal outcomes.

Medical Oncology: This 32-bed unit treats oncology patients who require chemotherapy and symptom management. Newly diagnosed cancer patients receive the latest treatment options available. Patients receive multi-agent chemotherapy, blood products, antifungals, antibiotics and antivirals. This unit has one palliative care room.

Outpatient clinics

Cancer Center

Our many clinics throughout the area are convenient not only for our patients – they're also convenient for our nurses. One outpatient location is the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion in Westwood, Kansas, which offers diagnostic and outpatient procedures (all other locations have diagnostic and outpatient procedures as well).

There are several other cancer care locations around the metro area, including outpatient clinics, The Women’s Cancer Center and the Sarcoma Center at our Indian Creek Campus in Overland Park, and our Clinical Research Center in Fairway, Kansas.

Clinic Locations

  • Kansas City, Missouri (North)
  • Lee's Summit, Missouri
  • North Kansas City, Missouri
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Westwood, Kansas

The Women’s Cancer Center

  • Indian Creek Campus in Overland Park, Kansas Sarcoma Center
  • Indian Creek Campus in Overland Park, Kansas

Infusion/Treatment: This team cares for patients who are receiving chemotherapy and biotherapy infusions, injections, blood products and supportive care across a variety of oncology disease specialties.

Radiation Oncology: This team cares for patients who receive radiation therapy as their primary or concurrent treatment. Nurses work closely with physicians and Advanced Practice Positions (APPs) to provide care coordination, patient education and nursing care in the clinic setting.

Clinic/Exam: The people in these positions care for patients seen in the clinic or exam setting. Nurses work closely with physicians and Advanced Practice Positions (APPs) to provide all elements of care coordination and patient education to outpatients in the clinic setting.

BMT (Blood and Marrow Transplant): Nurses provide complex care for patients who have aggressive blood cancers and disorders that require advanced expertise. Patients typically have longer stays and may experience prolonged neutropenia. As an academic medical center and an NCI-designated cancer center, we offer the latest techniques and treatments to fight cancer and reduce side effects, such as immunotherapy and CAR T-cell therapy; and we take part in the latest clinical trials. The ambulatory BMT program works to keep patient care close to home and readily available. Our nurses work closely with physicians and other professionals to determine the best treatment plans.

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