The Duke Cancer Institute is an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. Established in 1971, it oversees all aspects of cancer care, cancer-related research, and cancer-related education across Duke University and the Duke University Health System. It also partners with centers and institutes across the nation and the world, including the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, North Carolina State University, and the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center.
The team at Duke Cancer Institute provides integrated patient care, assembling each patient’s entire clinical team and treatment resources in a single building to facilitate patient access and comfort. Non-linear exchanges of knowledge and innovation are the norm to speed advancements in cancer prevention and care. Investigators and physicians are encouraged to think outside of the box and collaborate to accelerate and expand their work.
Treatment is offered within the campus of Duke Regional Hospital, where patients can access an infusion suite, a linear accelerator for radiation therapy, imaging, and other resources.
Facts about the Duke Cancer Institute
Duke Cancer Institute was established in 1971 as a result of the National Cancer Act, and by 1973 was awarded NCI designation as a comprehensive cancer center.
The facility has six locations and sees more than 66,000 new cancer patients, from every state in the country, each year.
The Duke Cancer Institute is the research home of more than 400 scientists and physicians.
The Duke Cancer Institute has established clinical and research partnerships with facilities across the country and around the world, including in India, Tanzania, China, and Singapore.
Duke receives more than $115 million in cancer research funding from various sources every year.
Duke Health is the nation’s youngest leading medical enterprise. In 1924, philanthropist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment that transformed Trinity College into Duke University, and a year later an additional bequest established the Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Duke University Hospital, both of which opened in 1930. By 1935, the Association of American Medical Colleges had ranked Duke among the top 25 percent of medical schools in the country.
In 1971, the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center was established as a result of the National Cancer Act, and the cancer program was designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute two years later. Since that time the center has been the site of numerous medical breakthroughs, including the development of the nation’s first outpatient bone-marrow transplantation program and contributions to the discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes responsible for many inherited forms of breast and ovarian cancer. In 2012 the new Duke Cancer Center facility opened, consolidating all outpatient clinical cancer care services into a single state-of-the-art patient care center.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the Duke Cancer Institute
Duke Cancer Institute supports the care of patients with malignant mesothelioma through both the Duke Cancer Center’s mesothelioma specialists and its thoracic disease program and clinic. Duke Health’s oncologists and surgeons are experts in treating the rare, asbestos-related disease, and provide care for hundreds of patients each year.
The team at Duke Health takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating malignant mesothelioma. Testing for the disease is fast-tracked, and patients who are diagnosed at other hospitals are quickly welcomed in through collaboration with their primary care physician. Each patient’s condition is individually evaluated to determine the best combination of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy to meet their goals.
To ensure comprehensive treatment, mesothelioma testing at Duke begins with a patient navigator collecting all previously conducted test results for consultation with Duke physicians, who either run similar tests to confirm findings or order new tests to clarify results. Tests offered include CT scans and PET scans, Pulmonary Function Tests, Nuclear Medicine Ventilation Perfusion Scans that measure airflow and blood movement in the lungs to pinpoint the spread of mesothelioma, and stress echocardiograph to evaluate the strength of the heart.
Treatment options include pleurectomy decortication surgery and extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. Duke also offers patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma the option of a complex procedure known as cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
Duke Cancer Institute integrates all of its research with Duke Health, offering basic, clinical, translational, and population sciences discoveries that make a difference for patients. Among the many initiatives being pursued are investigations into the use of immunotherapy at the DCI Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, which coordinates its laboratory and clinical research across all disease groups and develops and tests novel approaches, including oncolytic viruses; and the Duke Center for Onco-Primary Care, whose mission is the delivery of evidence-based, patient-centered health care that enhances the interface between cancer specialists and primary care physicians so that cutting edge technology and research can be translated to the community setting.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
Duke Cancer Center’s mesothelioma and thoracic cancer disease group is recognized for its experience, as well as its innovative, aggressive, and personalized approach to treating this rare and deadly disease. Among the many renowned physicians and surgeons available to help are thoracic surgeon Dr. Betty Tong, who focuses on complex thoracic oncology and minimally invasive thoracic surgery; Dr. David Harpole, a thoracic surgeon who is a national leader in lung cancer and thoracic malignancy clinical trials; Dr. Jeffrey Clarke, a medical oncologist and researcher; and Dr. Dan G. Blazer, a surgical oncologist with a special interest in the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for the treatment of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
As part of the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke Cancer Center offers fast-tracked testing and treatment for patients with mesothelioma of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. They offer a collaborative approach and state-of-the-art treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.