Scientific Focus: Clinical Research Program

The Clinical Research Program of the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center has 3 Specific Aims:

  • Aim 1. Translate advances in the understanding of cancer from the WFBCCC’s basic sciences and population science Programs into novel therapeutic strategies with correlative biomarkers of response. 
  • Aim 2. Promote the development and conduct of innovative clinical trials for rare or difficult to treat cancers and sites of metastasis. 
  • Aim 3. Enhance understanding in cancer-related symptom science, including leveraging the Wake Forest National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Program Research Base (WF NCORP RB). 

Aim 1. Translate advances in the understanding of cancer from the WFBCCC’s basic sciences and population science Programs into novel therapeutic strategies with correlative biomarkers of response. 

The CRP continues to expand its translational therapeutic developments, reflecting the collective expertise within the CRP and collaborations between the basic science Programs (Cancer Biology and Biochemistry; Tumor Progression and Recurrence) and the population science Program (Cancer Prevention and Control). Examples include basic and clinical science studies of a novel agent targeting cancer-specific changes in mitochondrial metabolism within hematologic malignancies and solid tumors; erlotinib and smoking in patients with lung, head and neck, and esophageal cancers; an innate defense regulator for the treatment of oral mucositis; amplitude-modulated radiofrequency electromagnetic fields for patients with liver cancer; and high-frequency irreversible electroporation as a local modality in the management of patients with pancreatic cancer. 

Aim 2. Promote the development and conduct of innovative clinical trials for rare or difficult to treat cancers and sites of metastasis.

The CRP takes advantage of the unique capabilities of WFBCCC investigators and resources to promote the efforts and conduct of innovative clinical trials for advanced and rare or difficult-to-treat cancers. Research supporting this aim includes scientific advances in treating cancer in the elderly; peritoneal cancers (cytoreductive surgery plus hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy); gliomas (PCV chemotherapy, electric field therapy); brain metastases (microarray signatures and presence of driver mutations); and cancer that has metastasized or is not responding to treatment (precision medicine).  

Aim 3. Enhance understanding in cancer-related symptom science, including leveraging the Wake Forest National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Program Research Base (WF NCORP RB).

The CRP has benefited from integration with the WF NCORP RB, whichprovides an avenue of translation for CRP investigators to pursue research questions in well-designed phase II and III community-based trials. Examples include studies of donepezil in treating cognitive dysfunction in breast and brain cancer survivors; studies of genomic changes and cutaneous toxicity after radiation therapy for breast cancer; and interventions guided by MR imaging to reduce the late effects of cancer therapy in breast cancer patients.  

Last Updated: 01-29-2016
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