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UF Poised to Challenge Moffitt

When Orlando Health announced Monday that it was switching its cancer-center affiliation from MD Anderson to University of Florida, there were two big questions: Who ditched whom? And Will UF try to muscle in on Moffitt Cancer Center's statewide network?

Today, some of that information is coming out.  The Orlando Business Journalreported that UF Health and Orlando Health together, branded as UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, does intend to go after the National Cancer Center designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Currently, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, which is affiliated with University of South Florida but has affiliations with hospitals statewide, is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida.

UF and Orlando Health have about as many cancer patients combined in a year as Moffitt does. That should give UF the ability to go after NCI designation and barter for a switch in affiliation from hospitals around the state, which pay cancer centers for the right to use the brand.

The answer to the other burning question is less clear. Orlando Health says it was the one that decided to break up with MD Anderson Cancer Center, while officials there say it was a mutual decision, according to the Business Journal.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.