Moffitt receives biggest donation in its history

The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer center announced plans Tuesday to open the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center, funded by its largest single donation ever.

Adam, a Tampa area banker and melanoma survivor, will donate $20.4 million to the center, which, according to a press release, sees more than 1,500 melanoma patients annually.

“With this gift, I am confident that Moffitt will become the premier melanoma research and treatment center in the United States,” Adam said.

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 60,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed, and around 8,110 people will die of the disease in 2007 alone.

According to Moffitt President and CEO William Dalton, Florida ranks second in the nation of instances of the skin cancer.

“This center will help us respond even more aggressively to Florida’s growing melanoma rate and reduce the state’s burden,” Dalton said.

Moffitt is in its 21st year of operation and is one of the top three cancer centers in the United States by volume.