Our History

In 1965 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) formed an intramural program of the Division of Cancer Treatment in collaboration with the Public Health Service Hospital. It was called the Baltimore Cancer Research Center (BCRC). As a federally funded agency, this center rapidly developed basic and clinical research on cancer treatment and became the training ground to medical and basic scientists.

In 1974 the clinical unit of the BCRC moved to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and in 1976 the BCRC laboratories moved into the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The center remained an intramural NCI program under contractual arrangement between NCI and the University of Maryland at Baltimore. In 1978 its name was changed to the Baltimore Cancer Research Program (BCRP). From its inception, the BCRP was very active in clinical research with protocols developed by BCRP staff and via national groups such as the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB). The BCRP was also very active in basic and applied laboratory research in pharmacology, enzymology, immunology, and microbiology.

In 1981 the National Cancer Institute divested the Baltimore Cancer Research Program from the federal government. Thus, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Medical Center established the University of Maryland Cancer Center. The governance of the Medical School component of the University of Maryland Cancer Center has its academic base in the Program in Oncology. Through the oncology program, many medical school departments interact with the cancer center, maximizing the interdisciplinary aspects of cancer research and treatment without interfering with traditional departmental structure. The cancer center was awarded a specialized Cancer Center Support Grant (P50) in October 1981 for four programs: Clinical Trials, Cell Component Therapy, Pharmacology, and Infectious Disease.

The cancer center has developed a national and international reputation as an institution with expertise in laboratory and clinical research providing innovative approaches to cancer treatment. In order to study many diseases and reach statistically valid results, the Cancer Center’s oncology clinical activities interact closely with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) in the areas of leukemia, breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, and lymphoma. The cancer center has maintained a high level of input into CALGB administrative committees, participation in scientific collaboration, and protocol design. Our faculty participate in all aspects of protocol development, design, and implementation, and many protocols are currently chaired or co-chaired by our faculty.

Building a Promising Future

In the summer of 1996, Baltimore-based real estate developer Stewart Greenebaum and his wife, Marlene, made a $10 million gift to the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This was the largest private contribution ever made to the School or Hospital.

Mr. Greenebaum was invited to join the Medical System Board of Directors in 1990, and served as chairman from 1994-1998. Marlene Greenebaum is a breast cancer survivor and volunteer in the cancer center. In recognition of the gift, the cancer center was named after the Greenebaums. At the employee dedication event of The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center on November 13, 1996, Mr. Greenebaum had the following words for the cancer center staff:

“Through your doors, walk thousands of people … some enthusiastic and eager to begin promising medical careers and some who are lonely, afraid and in pain. People come seeking cures and seeking help. They come to trade despair for hope. They come to find the healing power of technology… and your humanity … You are the men and women who dispense hope and compassion day in and day out under conditions of enormous stress. It is you who labor long and countless hours trying to find answers to this insidious disease.

“You are the people with the skill and the training and the temperament needed to soothe … comfort and encourage a broken hearted husband or wife … help an ill and aged person find the strength to battle on … It is you who make this cancer center and this Hospital a place of healing and sanctuary … And so today, as we dedicate this center, Marlene and I salute you for all the magnificent miracles big and small that you will perform here in the cancer center in the days and years to come. It is a great privilege to be in your company, the company of so many heroes in the conquest of cancer.”

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center 1-800-888-8823