Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers are recognized for demonstrating
their superior capabilities in providing a range of services for complex and rare
cancer patients and are the first in a line of Blue Distinction CentersSM
focused on cancer treatment.
This initial phase evaluates facilities on patient assessment, treatment planning,
complex inpatient care and major surgical treatments for adults all delivered by
teams with distinguished expertise and subspecialty training for complex and rare
cancers. The program focuses on the following 13 cancers:
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bone cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Brain cancer – primary
- Soft tissue sarcomas
- Esophageal cancer
- Thyroid cancer – medullary or anaplastic
- Gastric cancer
- Acute leukemia (inpatient/non-surgical)
- Head and neck cancers
- Liver cancer
- Ocular melanoma
Medical centers designated Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers
- University Hospital of Arkansas in Little Rock
The process and criteria for selection
The designation is based on criteria established by expert physician panels and
national medical organizations and include:
- Treats a large number of patients with rare cancers.
- Uses of various health-care professionals to plan for treatment, including sub-specialty
trained teams. (A sub-specialty is a field of study within a specialty, such as
- Participates in ongoing quality management and improvement programs for cancer care.
- Commitment to using clinical data registries (a comprehensive source of accurate
information) and participation in important research studies.