"The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) unites and supports the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to ensure that cancer control continues to be a priority in the world health and development agenda."
The George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) takes a comprehensive approach to a complex disease. In connection with the GWU Hospital and the GW Medical Faculty Associates, the Institute provides for collaboration in the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Our mission is to provide a confluence of groundbreaking biomedical and clinical research, high quality educational programs, outstanding patient care to the entire Metropolitan Washington area, and effective outreach for our community.
The GWCI integrates and coordinates the broad spectrum of cancer-related activities across the GW medical campus and among its affiliated partners. Our principle activities are developing and offering cutting edge clinical care, compassionate community outreach, creative cancer education, crucial cancer research and critical public policy. The GW Cancer Institute is host to one of only seven cancer-specific Ph.D programs in the country. Founded in 1993, it has trained more than 25 Ph.Ds, and MD/Ph.Ds.
Our basic science and applied research activities are structured around the following themes:
- Molecular and Cellular oncology (intracellular signaling pathways)
- Onco-genomics and Onco-proteomlcs (networks of genes and proteins)
- Onco-genetics (transgenic models for cancer)
- Experimental Therapeutics (controlling growth and spread)
- Tumor Cell Biology (angiogenesis and metastasis)
- Genomic Integrity (damage and repair of DNA)
- Technology and Imaging (engineering approaches to detection and treatment)
- Cancer Prevention and Control (reducing risk and mortality)
- Cancer Policy (access to and quality of healthcare)
GW's principal clinical research activities include medical, surgical, radiological and imaging trials as well as several ongoing studies on the psychosocial aspects of oncology.
The institution's principal cancer control research activities:
The GWCI has an Office of Cancer Prevention and Control, directed by Dr. Donald Henson. The Office is engaged in numerous Prevention and Control efforts, creating public-private-government collaborations for reducing the risk, incidence and deaths from cancer and improving the quality of life for cancer survivors in the District of Columbia.
Examples of these activities are:
- Conducting multiple studies on cancer disparities (for example see Henson et aI., Cancer 98: 908-917, (2003) "Histologic grade, stage and survival in breast carcinoma:
Comparison of African American and Caucasian Women."). Additional studies are ongoing in colon cancer, access to mammography, nutrition.
- Sponsoring a national conference series on Cancer Disparities. The first one, "Breast
Cancer Aggressiveness and Racial Disparity" was keynoted by Dr. Harold Freeman. A conference summary was published in Breast Cancer Treatment and Research. The second conference (September 20-21, 2004), "Prostate Cancer Disparities: Science, Health Care and Public Policy" was keynoted by the Director of the NCI, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.
- The Director of the GW Office of Cancer Prevention and Control is also the Co-Chair of
the DC Cancer Consortium, recently formed the DC Cancer Coalition where he sat as Chair, a group of key Washington area cancer stakeholders, which together with the DC Department of Health, have written the first ever Cancer Prevention and Control Plan for DC.
- The GWCI is engaged in a plethora of activities related to cancer prevention and community outreach. Examples include:
- The GW Mammovan: the Mammovan is the only mobile mammography unit in the Washington area. It is focused on bringing mammography and breast cancer education to medically underserved areas of Washington.
- Supporting and staffing the Ecumenical Health Forum; this community group goes into inner city churches to offer Health Fairs that include cancer education.
- Developing a Men's Oncology Education and Outreach Campaign through a network of community partners including television and radio broadcast media, community-based health advocacy groups, and a network of clinics which offer screening.
The GW clinical oncology programs offer 14 different patient support groups.
In September of 2008, GWCI became associate UICC member.