Comprehensive Cancer Center Becomes Full Member of National Brain Tumor Group

July 22, 2004

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has been awarded the status of fully-funded member of the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy (NABTT) CNS (Central Nervous System) Consortium.

As a fully-funded member, the Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive approximately $650,000 for research and clinical trials over the next five years.

The National Cancer Institute-sponsored consortium is comprised of 10 medical institutions with experienced, multidisciplinary brain tumor programs. Their goal is to improve the treatment and care of adult patients with malignant brain tumors through implementing clinical trials to evaluate novel therapies. The institutions also collaborate on the collection and use of brain tumor specimens and other clinical material related to tumor development and response to therapy.

“This is a very important recognition for us because we have made a commitment to be one of the leading brain tumor centers in the country,” said Glenn Lesser, M.D., NABTT Program Director at Wake Forest Baptist. “Since becoming involved with NABTT in 1998, we have been committed to developing and participating in clinical trials of novel therapeutics for patients in our region, so they have local access to state-of-the-art treatment.”

An estimated 18,000 Americans develop malignant brain tumors each year and, despite modern aggressive therapy, the prognosis for patients with these malignancies remains poor. “If we can improve the survival rates and quality of life for these patients we will have achieved one of our major goals,” said Lesser.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center has been a provisional member of NABTT since 1998 and has been the recipient seven times of both the NABTT Accrual and Data Management Awards. It has been the third highest NABTT member at enrolling patients in clinical trials over the past five years.

Wake Forest Baptist investigators have served as principal investigators for multiple NABTT clinical trials evaluating chemotherapy, radiation therapy and neurosurgical-based approaches to treating malignant brain tumors.

The other centers in the consortium are Emory University, Johns Hopkins, Henry Ford Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, The NCI Intramural Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Pennsylvania and Cleveland Clinic.


Media Contacts: Jonnie Rohrer,; Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds. The Comprehensive Cancer Center is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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