The National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers
4100 John R
Detroit, Michigan 48201
Based in midtown Detroit, Michigan, and ranked by the National Research Corporation as metro Detroit’s most preferred cancer center, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – one of only 39 in the United States. The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer, named in memory of the wife of Peter Karmanos (who donated $15 million to the cancer research, patient care and education partnership formed by Michigan Cancer Foundation, the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center of Metropolitan Detroit, The Detroit Medical Center, and Wayne State University in 1995), is the only major cancer center named after a woman. Barbara Ann Karmanos died from a non-aggressive form of cancer in 1989 — at the age of 46.
Led by President and Chief Executive Officer for Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute — Dr. John C. Ruckdeschel, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s goal is to prevent, detect, and eradicate cancer. It cares for more than 6,000 new patients each year, and conducts more than 400 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials through a staff of 1,200, including 300 faculty members, and hundreds of volunteers. Grants, awards, and thousands of financial donors fund the centers current budget of $200 million.
The institute has 15 multidisciplinary cancer treatment teams including specialists from each diagnostic, treatment and supportive care discipline. These disciplines include: surgery, hematology oncology; radiation oncology; pathology; radiology; oncology nursing; supportive care; and, when appropriate, genetics. The Institute’s multidisciplinary thoracic oncology team diagnoses and treats mesothelioma, as well as cancers of the lung, thymus gland, and esophagus.
In addition to dozens of departments, centers, teams, and divisions dedicated to the treatment of all types of cancer, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has established The National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers. Co-directed by Dr. John Ruckdeschel, and Dr. Michael Harbut, Chief Executive Officer for Karmanos Cancer Institute, the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers aims to examine the health consequences of chronic exposure to asbestos contaminated vermiculite; implement a program of early detection and treatment of human cancers resulting from chronic exposure to asbestos contaminated vermiculite including mesothelioma and lung cancer; increase the basic scientific understanding of asbestos-related cancers; provide a means to rapidly test large numbers of potentially affected individuals; define populations at increased risk of asbestos exposure prior to it becoming a major medical-legal issue; and intensify physician education of asbestos-related diseases.