Marking Team Draft’s 70th cancer center visit on our national campaign to change the face of lung cancer is Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine was founded in 1902 and has grown into a large academic medical center with a 900 person faculty and over 100 buildings. The Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University (CCCWFU) became an NCI-designated cancer center in 1974 and a comprehensive center in 1990.
The mission of the Cancer Center is to improve the lives of cancer patients by focusing basic, clinical, and population sciences on the problems of cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and novel treatment. The membership of CCCWFU is comprised of more than a 100 person faculty from 39 departments at the University. The Center’s research is divided into four programs: Cell Growth and Survival, Cellular Damage and Defense, Clinical Research, and Cancer Prevention and Control. To facilitate the scientific and translational goals of the programs, the CCCWFU has established three Centers of Excellence in brain, breast, and prostate cancer.
The CCCWFU recognizes the importance of building cross-departmental and trans-disciplinary team approaches to advance the science and treatment of cancer. Teams have been developed in cancer genomics, the tumor microenvironment, nanotechnology, novel anticancer drugs, natural products, cancer survivorship, and cancer health disparities. Collaborations with other centers and schools within the institution are an essential element to the success of this research. The Cancer Center has strong connections with the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, the WFU Departments of Physics and Chemistry, and the WFU-Virginia Tech joint school of Biomedical Engineering.
The Center is the main tertiary referral center for patients in a large geographic region. The CCCWFU provides a multidisciplinary approach to treatment in a state-of-the-art facility and provides patients with access to nearly 250 clinical trials. CCCWFU was founded with a strong community orientation and continues this tradition by addressing cancer issues that are important to the region’s substantial numbers of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, rural poor, and pockets of urban poor. The Center is an active partner with the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at WFU, which was founded by the renowned poet to address health disparities across the region and the nation.
The focus of the Center’s community outreach is on providing culturally-relevant access to education for cancer patients, their families, and the general public regarding advances in prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship.