Cancer researchers looking to the future


Gordon and Nancy Wright with the Sound of Hope bell

Community-facing navigation team with patient Vennice Roberts

Stacey Phipps and her daughter, Kerry

Joseph Moore, MD

Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD

Tomi Akinyemiju's research team

Spring 2022 Breakthroughs: Looking to the Future of Cancer Care

Michael Kastan, MD, PhD
Michael Kastan, MD, PhD

WHEN CONGRESS DECLARED THE “WAR ON CANCER” in 1971, there were no mammograms, colonoscopies, or prostate specific antigen tests. Chemotherapy was in its early days, there were no minimally invasive surgeries, and radiation therapy was imprecise.

In 2022, as Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) begins celebrating 50 years of research, breakthrough treatments, and exceptional cancer care and support services, please join us in marveling at how far cancer prevention and care have come.

Duke was one of the first eight National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, following the passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971, and it has maintained this NCI designation, uninterrupted, for 50 years.

This achievement is something that all of us at DCI are very proud of, and I hope that you — our donors and friends — share in this pride. Thank you for the role you play in helping us maintain this designation. We could not do it without you.

In fiscal year 2021, we took care of more cancer patients than at any other time in the history of Duke Health system — more than 66,000 patients. And we are now ranked as the No. 1 cancer program in the Carolinas and beyond by U.S. News & World Report.

Looking ahead to the next half century, we will continue to expand our transformative discoveries to lead in finding better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. And we are dedicated to making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to survive cancer by strengthening partnerships with the communities we serve and working to eliminate barriers to accessing care and meeting patient’s needs.

Michael Kastan signature

Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD
Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute
William and Jane Shingleton Professor,
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Professor of Pediatrics

Breakthroughs Magazine

Breakthroughs is produced twice per year by the DCI Office of Development. Learn how our researchers, physicians, nurses, patients, donors, and volunteers are working to change the rules on cancer. To support our breakthrough research and patient care, donate here.

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