William Cance named interim director of University of Arizona Cancer Center as Andrew Kraft steps down

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William Cance, deputy director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix, was appointed interim director of the UA Cancer Center, effective July 1.

Cance’s appointment was announced April 16 in an email from Michael D. Dake, senior vice president, UA Health Sciences. On March 28, Andrew S. Kraft, the cancer center director, said he would be stepping down from that position.

The text of Drake’s email follows:

Dr. Cance is a renowned oncology surgeon and physician-scientist who joined the UA in October 2016. He holds the position of professor, Departments of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Surgery for the UA Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy–Phoenix. Dr. Cance received his medical degree from Duke University. He completed his residency in general surgery at Barnes Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine and a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Cance is the principal investigator on a 25-year R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) focusing on focal adhesion kinase (FAK). He has been awarded numerous other grants from the NCI and National Institutes of Health, as well as the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense. He has served on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and is currently a member of NCI Subcommittee F that focuses on institutional training and education. His cancer focus and expertise includes thyroid cancer, parathyroid disease, advanced GI malignancies and he is board-certified in general surgery.

Since his arrival, he has made enormous strides in Phoenix and across the state to establish a culture of collaboration to advance cancer care and treatment. He will oversee all clinical operations and research for the UA Cancer Center and will have a primary leadership role in the UA Cancer Center’s 2020 submission for renewal of our Cancer Center Support Grant.

I am confident that his keen focus on collaboration will enhance programs, advance basic science, reduce disparities and elevate the UA Cancer Center’s reputation for excellence in service to our state.

The text of Kraft’s email follows:

Dear Colleagues,

I want to let you know that I will be stepping down as Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center effective June 30th. I would like to thank you for your efforts in building cancer research at the UACC and impacting on our patients. Since I arrived, together we have accomplished much in the last 4 ½ years including obtaining National Cancer Institute designation, developing a new External Advisory Board and Community Advisory Committee, solidifying program leadership, building shared resources, and developing a strong clinical component to our Cancer Center. Together, we have started a new Human Immune Monitoring Facility, a CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing Service, a Bioinformatics Shared Resource, and a Drug Discovery Core at UACC-Phoenix. Having recruited national leaders in Outreach and Engagement, Immunobiology, and Head and Neck Cancer, we have strengthened the foundation of the UA Cancer Center. I know that the future is bright, and I look forward to working with each of you as a faculty member at UA.

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