Pioneers in Cancer Research

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is at the forefront of the fight against cancer. Our researchers have pioneered numerous scientific breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of cancer, including novel chemotherapeutics, immunotherapies, small molecule and nanoparticle therapies and organ culture. Our Comprehensive Cancer Center consists of nationally and internationally recognized clinical experts who specialize in drug development, prevention, early diagnosis, precision medicine and novel treatments.


Cutting-edge preclinical cancer research at Wake Forest Baptist focuses on small molecule and nanoparticle therapies in xenograft models, gene therapy and immunotherapy evaluation, brain metastasis models and cell culture screening, among other areas.

Partner with our team of experts to develop novel animal models. Or test your therapeutic interventions in models already developed by our researchers, such as the breast cancer brain metastasis rodent model. To support your preclinical cancer study, our researchers can access state-of-the-art clinical-grade diagnostic tools such as the Cyclotron, gamma knife and radiation capabilities, as well as a range of imaging modalities (CT, MRI, PET, etc).

Key Areas of Research

  • Radiation-induced neoplasia
  • Cellular metabolism and tumor growth
  • Redox modulation
  • Genomic integrity
  • Breast cancer and brain metastasis
  • Lymphodepletion and immunotherapy
  • CAR-T
  • Early detection and assay development
  • Drug development
  • Small molecule and nanoparticle therapies
  • Ex vivo organ culture
  • Post-chemotherapy interventions for secondary cancers


Wake Forest Baptist is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center—one of only three in North Carolina and only 47 in the nation. As such, it is highly active in clinical research and offers the most cancer-related clinical trials in western North Carolina with more than 1,000 patients enrolled every year. This center supports transdisciplinary research programs consisting of clinicians, surgeons and scientists.

Test your novel therapeutics in combination with conventional surgical, radiation or chemotherapeutic interventions with our experts in a wide variety of cancers from brain to leukemia. Our researchers specialize in advanced, difficult-to-treat and/or rare cancers in special populations, including pediatrics and the elderly.

Key Areas of Research

  • Brain
  • Breast
  • Cancer control and survivorship
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary
  • Gynecological oncology
  • Head and neck
  • Hematologic malignancies
  • Lung
  • Melanoma
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Phase I and precision medicine
  • Sarcoma

Key Resources

At Wake Forest Baptist, three centers of excellence bring together basic scientists and clinicians to facilitate the advancement of an intervention from the laboratory to the clinic.

  • The Brain Tumor Center of Excellence advances brain tumor research through drug discovery, radiation refinement and noninvasive imaging technique development
  • The Breast Cancer Center of Excellence encourages collaborative research into the biology of carcinogenesis, the identification of predictive markers, quality of life and survivorship and novel imaging and therapeutics unique to breast cancer
  • The Prostrate Cancer Center of Excellence fosters multidisciplinary research into chemoprevention of and novel therapies specific to prostate cancer

Have Cancer Research Questions?

Contact us to discover how the expertise and resources of an institution on the cutting-edge of cancer research can advance your research goals.
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