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The Prognosis is Good – Charles Moertel, M.D. Overview of the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center

In 1977 Charles Moertel, M.D. (I ‘58), director of what was then called the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center, gave a report on the current state of the center. In conclusion, he said:

“… I hope I have convinced you that the primary purpose of the Center is to bring the best possible cancer care to today’s cancer patient and to tomorrow’s cancer patient; that the Center is a mechanism for enriching the practice of a large proportion of our staff through integration of basic research, clinical research, and clinical practice; that the Center is a fiscally sound operation that provides no threat to us, today or tomorrow; and that a strong Comprehensive Cancer Center will help ensure the continued identity of Mayo Clinic as among the finest tertiary care centers anywhere.”

Thirty-nine years later, I doubt anyone still needs to be convinced that this statement is true.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has grown and matured in many ways since Dr. Moertel wrote his report. In 1977 Mayo Clinic saw 21,000 cancer patients. In 2013 we saw 122,000 cancer patients at Mayo Clinic. In 1977, 196 Mayo Clinic staff had a “major or total commitment to cancer.” Today more than 1,100 Mayo Clinic physicians, care providers and researchers play a role in caring for our cancer patients.

Read Dr. Moertel’s 1977 overview in full here.

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