You are here

TSET Partnership with Stephenson Cancer Center helps land national designation

National Cancer Institute designation will bring additional research dollars, improved cancer care to Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – (Wednesday, May 2) – Stephenson Cancer Center, which has to date received more than $31 million from TSET, announced that it has achieved the prestigious National Cancer Institute designation.

With this award, the Stephenson Cancer Center joins an elite group of 70 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide. NCI-Designated Cancer Centers represent only the top two percent of cancer centers in the United States. The Stephenson Cancer Center is the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in Oklahoma.

“Thanks to the wise choice of Oklahoma voters who created the TSET endowment in 2000 – TSET has been able to use endowment earnings to support cancer research and the state’s quest for a world-class cancer center,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “This designation is an important milestone and achievement for our state, and puts us one step closer to reducing cancer diagnosis and deaths in Oklahoma.”

This distinction allows cancer patients at Stephenson Cancer Center to have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers. Cancer patients treated at the NCI-Designated Centers have a 25 percent higher survival rate. The Stephenson Cancer Center will also be able to apply for federal research grants available only to NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, potentially bringing millions of dollars in additional funding to Oklahoma.

TSET, created by voters in 2000, has worked to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity – two of the leading risk factors for cancer. In addition to a funding research, TSET also funds programs like the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) which offers 24/7 access to free services and coaching to help people quit tobacco use and proven public health education campaigns that help Oklahomans make healthier choices.

TSET also funds programs that help recruit doctors to rural and underserved areas, as well as community-based grants that work with city governments, schools, businesses and community organizations to put policies and practices in place that help Oklahomans eat better, move more and be tobacco free in effort to reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“The TSET Board of Directors is committed to improving the health of Oklahomans through prevention, research and helping Oklahomans make healthier choices,” said Don Millican, TSET Board chairman. “We are proud to be a part of the state’s effort to improve health outcomes and bring world-class cancer care and research in our state. Oklahomans who helped create the TSET endowment will benefit for generations to come from this investment.”

TSET has funded treatment and research into new and innovative cancer therapies that provide patients with more options to treat cancer, including the TSET Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program. This clinical trials program is the only early-phase clinical trials program in the state, with more than 1,100 patients participating since 2012. TSET also supports a partnership between Stephenson Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Foundations and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to increase research into pediatric cancer.

For more information contact:
Julie Bisbee
Director of Public Information and Outreach
[email protected]
(405) 521-4992


The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.