UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center was established at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 1975, when it also received NCI designation as a cancer center. The comprehensiveness designation was granted by NCI in 1990. The mission of UNC Lineberger is to reduce cancer occurrence and death through research, treatment, training, and outreach.
UNC Lineberger’s 315 members are drawn from more than 40 departments at UNC, including the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, the School of Nursing, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Center is part of the University’s School of Medicine and the North Carolina Cancer Hospital is the focus of Lineberger’s clinical activities.
The Center conducts interdisciplinary research through nine programs: cancer cell biology, immunology, molecular therapeutics, virology, cancer genetics, clinical research, breast cancer, cancer prevention and control, and cancer epidemiology.
Lineberger’s emphasis on breast cancer research includes current projects that are conceptually linked by studies of breast cancer molecular phenotypes, particularly those with the worst prognosis. The breast cancer studies are linked to the Center’s work on population studies, particularly with the African American community. Genetic studies are underway in gastrointestinal cancer and colorectal cancer.
UNC’s chemists, physicists, oncologists, and drug discovery scientists came together to create the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). Scientists at CCNE are pursuing preclinical models to compare four different nanoparticle formulations.
UNC Lineberger is also the repository for the Collaborative Cross, an international effort investigating the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to cancer susceptibility. UNC currently has more than 300 of the 600 inbred mouse strains that represent the genetic diversity of the human population and is importing the remaining models in order to enable creation of population-level mouse models to inform cancer biology.
There is a partnership between Lineberger and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Comprehensive Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery. Projects include potential treatments for renal cell carcinoma, basal-like breast cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and gliomas.
UNC Lineberger is one of the centers for the work of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Work on TCGA has included redefining breast cancer into multiple subtypes of the disease and separating glioblastoma multiforme into four distinct subtypes.
The Center extends its research programs by disseminating effective practices to the community. Cancer treatment is provided at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, where there is access to cancer clinical trials for patients. Screening and prevention programs are also offered.
* This profile was provided by the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.