Brown University approved for Cancer center

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- The Brown Corporation of Brown University has approved the establishment of the Cancer Center at the University.

The center sets out to tackle a broad-spectrum of research that ranges from developing new personalized ways to treat cancer that address the patients needs based on risk and survivorship, to studying how cancer grows and metastasizes.

The Cancer Center is a product of the Joint Program in Cancer Biology established between Lifespan and Brown in 2018.

“Establishing the Cancer Center at Brown will support the programmatic integration of innovative cancer-relevant research,” says Associate Dean for Oncologic Sciences Wafik S. El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP, who was recruited to Brown as the Cancer Center’s inaugural director.

El-Deiry said, “By bringing programs from across campus and the affiliated hospitals together, we can highlight existing strengths, forge new collaborations, and eventually tap into significant extramural resources, while addressing the cancer burden in Rhode Island and throughout the world.”

The Cancer Center has a $40 million dollar backing as well as 150 investigators who will be conducting basic, clinical, and population research. These investigators will be split up into three different programs based on the type of research they’ll be conducting, Cancer Biology, Cancer Therapeutics, or Population Science.

El-Deiry says,“There is a rich environment of transdisciplinary collaboration at our academic center, and we see this as a great place where cancer investigators can advance their careers while having national impact.”

The Cancer Center plans to focus on cancer in Rhode Island. El-Deiry spoke on this, “We have special interests in cancers with higher rates in Rhode Island, such as bladder cancer, lung cancer, breast, thyroid and skin cancer, as well as issues of access to care and affordability of care within our population.”

The center has gained access to a sizable network of collaborators across the state by joining the Association of American Cancer Institutes. It also works with, the Lifespan Health System and Cancer Institute, Care New England, and Advance CTR which connects Brown and the University of Rhode Island.

Brown is working towards eventually achieving a National Cancer Institute-Cancer Center Support Grant. Wafik S. El-Deiry iterated, “We are working methodically, in a focused way, toward that.”

Jack A. Elias, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences says, “The Cancer Center at Brown is an important step in this process.”

He added, “We are striving to achieve depth and breadth in collaborative interdisciplinary research along with measurable impact in the field and on our region. We have tremendous strengths already, and we’re excited to work on building that out in the coming years.”

©WLNE-TV/ ABC6 2020

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