graphic of Duke Cancer Institute 50th Anniversary "50 Years of Life-changing Care"

Introducing Fall 2023 Breakthroughs


a tilted image of the Fall 2023 Breakthroughs cove, showing a blood drop illustration

50 Years of Patient-Focused Innovations

THIS FALL, WE WRAP UP OUR CELEBRATION OF DUKE’S 50 YEARS of transforming cancer discovery and care as a comprehensive cancer center. This issue of Breakthroughs highlights how we have revolutionized the field of stem cell transplant and improved outcomes for people with blood cancers. This field has also set the stage for promising new cancer-fighting immunotherapies, and as we look to the future, we envision more patients benefiting from the ability to engineer cells to make them better cancer killers and to target them to each individual.

These are just a few of the innovations that you have made possible. You’ll also see featured in this issue a milestone approval of a new drug for advanced breast cancer, as well as one of our efforts to expand breast cancer care to our surrounding communities.

I want to thank you — our donors and friends — for your continued partnership. Your willingness to stand beside us in the fight against cancer motivates us to continue pushing boundaries to discover, develop, and deliver tomorrow’s cancer

Michael Kastan signature


Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD

Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute

Professor of Pediatrics

William and Jane Shingleton Professor, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

Blood droplet illustration

More Options for Patients with Blood Cancers

Bone Marrow transplantation and other cell therapies save more lives than ever, thanks to advances pioneered at Duke over the last few decades.

Kameron Kooshesh, MD, at a lectern in front of a Harvard Health Sciences sign
Former patient Kameron Kooshesh speaking at his 2022 Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology graduation.

Truly Cured

Kameron Kooshesh, MD, now conducts the exact type of research that saved his life at Duke when he was a child.

photo of Alexa Balthazar in front of Duke Cancer Center

A Whirlwind of Emotions

Alexa Balthazar is grateful for Duke Cancer Institute's Teen and Young Adult Oncology Program.

Coach Ovester Grays in the Hillside High gym

Life-Changing Treatment

Coach Ovester Grays says his entire care team reaasured him through nine months of treatment for mantle cell lymphoma.

Hannah Woriax, MD, wearing a white coat and speaking with a colleague
Hannah Woriax, MD, cares for patients in Lumberton and Laurinburg through the Duke Cancer Network.

Building Trust

Hannah Woriax, MD, returned home to North Carolina to improve care for breast cancer patients in rural communities.

Elizabeth Harden and Richard Hoefer standing in front of windows and rose bushes

Long-Term Partners

Duke alum Eizabeth Harden, MD, and her husband, Richard Hoefer, DO, FACS celebrated their 35th anniversary and Duke cancer's 50th anniversary by establishing a bequest to beneft future doctors and researchers.

Group photo of Donald McDonnell lab members standing on a balcony
Members of the Donald McDonnell lab in 2022

A New Option for Advanced Breast Cancer

A drug approved earlier this year has its roots in a Duke Cancer Institute research lab.

This page was reviewed on 10/16/2023