To the editor:
As director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center, I would like to express my dismay at the errors in Dolph Simons, Jr.’s column on July 17 — particularly those relating to the cancer center’s application for National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation on Sept. 25.
We will make our application on time, as our external advisory committee gave us the green light to do weeks ago. If I or anyone else in a leadership position with the cancer center had been consulted for this column, we would have made that fact abundantly clear.
We have had and continue to have remarkable stability in the leadership of the cancer center, which will be a major point in our favor in the NCI process. Hundreds of university employees are working tirelessly on this initiative, which includes the recruitment of additional top-flight cancer researchers. Tens of thousands of people in the region are supporting this effort because they know the benefits it will bring for patients.
The success of our application depends on a favorable review by our national peers. Inaccurate reporting harms that effort. The state of Kansas and its citizens have invested a great deal of money and time in this cause, with one goal in mind: eliminating the burden of cancer for people in our area.
We are scientists who are judged on facts. We hope the publications that cover us are bound by the same standard.