Oncological Sciences Center

Cancer Care Engineering


The War on Cancer was launched in 1971 when President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act. In the ensuing years, remarkable advances have been made in the molecular understanding of cancer and the wide-spread implementation of screening protocols for early detection. However, major scientific advances have not translated into expected large declines in mortality resulting from cancer. The current challenge is to focus the rapid and extraordinary advances using large scale human OMIC analyses (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc.) to significantly improve survival rates in community-based oncology clinics and develop community-wide prevention efforts.


The Cancer Care Engineering (CCE) vision addresses this challenge by applying systems engineering principles and unique data visualization and statistical model building to the broad spectrum of cancer prevention, treatment, and care delivery. The core of the CCE project is based on visualizing cancer, from the development of the disease to the delivery of care, as a system that can be mathematically described and modeled using principles of systems engineering and novel statistical analyses. The power of this systems engineering approach is that the behavior of a system that can be mathematically described and modeled, can be predicted. The ability to predict responses within the cancer system has staggering implications, from the capability to classify patients based on their predicted response to potential treatments, to the design of more efficient and effective delivery of cancer care.

The CCE project is a collaborative effort between Purdue University (led by the OSC), Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and the Regenstrief Institute/ Indiana University Center for Health Services & Outcomes Research. The CCE project is funded by the Regenstrief Foundation and the Department of Defense. More information on this mega-project can be found at www.ccehub.org.

In February 2009, the CCE project lost our leader, Dr. Stephen D. Williams, to his own battle with cancer. We continue the CCE project in his memory. Dr. Williams was a gifted physician, leader and a dear friend.

About Oncological Sciences

The mission of the Oncological Sciences Center is to seek new opportunites, forge new partnerships, and nurture new relationships to advance cancer research beyond the laboratory.

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Oncological Sciences Center
Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship
1201 W. State Street, Room 120
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907