National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
August 10, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 16

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Cancer Center Profile

The Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University

Director: Dr. Frank M. Torti • Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 57157
Phone: 336-716-7971 • Web site:


Outpatient facility at Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center The outpatient facility at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University

The Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University (CCCWFU) has been an NCI-designated cancer center since 1974 and has been continuously funded by NCI since this designation became available.

The Center was founded with a strong community orientation. It was conceived and developed around a community-wide effort in clinical trials and cancer control research. This region includes substantial numbers of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, rural poor, and pockets of urban poverty. Institutional awareness of local history and the importance of the cancer problems in these populations have helped the CCCWFU staff focus on addressing cancer issues that are important to communities in the region.


The CCCWFU has built a team of nationally and internationally recognized experts who are committed to advancing knowledge and improving cancer treatment. At the core of the Center are its faculty and staff, covering nearly every discipline within the Wake Forest University (WFU) Baptist Medical Center, as well as faculty and staff from other campuses, such as those at the WFU graduate schools and affiliate institutions. CCCWFU recognizes the importance of building cross-departmental and interdisciplinary collaborative team approaches to advance the science and treatment of cancer. Such collaborative efforts include research on natural products, cancer genomics, nanotechnology, the tumor microenvironment, novel anticancer drugs, cancer survivorship, and cancer health disparities.

The Center is divided into four programs: Cell Growth and Survival, Cellular Damage and Defense, Clinical Research, and Cancer Prevention and Control. There also exist three Centers of Excellence in brain, breast, and prostate cancers. The Centers of Excellence foster translational research by bridging basic and population sciences with clinical research.  

Patient Care

The CCCWFU is the primary tertiary referral center for a large geographic region that contains approximately 9 million people. The Center provides the region’s underserved populations with cancer prevention and early detection services, as well as access to over 200 clinical trials. The Center emphasizes research that will serve the diverse populations in its region.

The CCCWFU has a state-of-the-art 250,000 square foot outpatient clinic (opened in 2003). In 2011, the Center will break ground on an inpatient cancer facility that will add six floors over the outpatient clinic to create a 520,000-square-foot cancer complex. The anticipated completion date of this project is in 2013.

Other Notable Programs

The CCCWFU also provides patients with an extensive hereditary risk assessment and counseling program. In addition, it is an active partner with Wake Forest’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, founded by the renowned poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, to address health disparities across the surrounding region and the nation. Furthermore, the Center fosters close interactions between its NanoCenter, the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and a joint program with Virginia Tech in biomedical engineering.

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