Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Puerto Rico Inaugurates
Basic Research Facilities
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, and the President of the University of Puerto Rico, Antonio García Padilla, inaugurated on June 20, 2009, the scientific research laboratories of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, which marks the beginning of the operations of the broad project which will translate into more and better services for patients who suffer from cancer, the second cause of death on the Island.
Constructed at a cost of $25 million, the new facilities are located in the former Biomedical Building I, next to the Oncological Hospital in the Medical Center in Río Piedras. The research laboratories will be occupied by local physicians and scientists conducting trans "This center is crucial for training and retaining specialists and other health care professionals in Puerto Rico, strengthening biomedical education, attracting tourism in the medical area, and attracting new projects with private investment that will greatly benefit our citizens in the area of health," assured Fortuño.
The laboratories of the CCC have the entire infrastructure needed to carry out scientific research related to cancer, such as developing and machinery rooms, autoclaves, cubicles for chemical procedures, and large coolers with stand-alone cooling systems, among other facilities. This will allow for the scientific research that needs to be carried out in all comprehensive cancer centers to take place: basic, clinical, and epidemiological.
The facilities were designed with the advice of consultants from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. One of the first studies that will transfer its operations to this new building is the research component of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program in which Dr. Marcia Cruz, a gastroenterologist and colorectal cancer researcher, is participating.
"We will offer the latest in patient care, clinical studies offering access to the most innovative therapies in the field, and scientific research that will continue to develop medications and treatments for reducing mortality rates, as well as improving the quality of life of those who suffer from this disease," added García Padilla. The goal is to offer services not only to Puerto Rican patients, but also to those who reside in other Caribbean islands.
Representatives from the country's medical, scientific, and academic community were present at the inaugural ceremony for the laboratory building.