According to the National Cancer Institute, "Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in basal cells of the skin is called basal cell carcinoma."

When cancer strikes, your first chance is your best chance. And your best chance is at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center. Backed by state-of-the-art cancer research conducted right here in Detroit, the Center is the only hospital that focuses solely on cancer in Michigan. The Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) is a mid-sized, not-for-profit, free-standing NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in metropolitan Detroit. The designation was achieved in 1978. It is affiliated with Wayne State University (WSU), which operates the largest single-campus medical school in the country. In addition, KCI operates two full-service, suburban, ambulatory care centers; and a third, rural, ambulatory care center is under construction. Affiliations with six hospitals and four private oncology practices throughout the State of Michigan and including two in northern Ohio were established between 2003 and 2008.

In March of 2010, because of the long-term and continued success of the Cancer Center in research, patient care, outreach, and graduate education, the Board of Regents of Wayne State University established the Department of Oncology in the School of Medicine as the academic home of the basic, population, and clinical scientists that form the backbone of the Cancer Center.

The types of research conducted within the Department of Oncology include:

Basic Science Research

A cornerstone of the Institute's cancer investigations tracing to the establishment of the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research in 1943.

Clinical Research

Conducted through more than 300 clinical trials at the Institute, including one of the country's leading Phase I programs. 

Population Studies Research

Provides a quantitative portrait of cancer and its determinants in a defined population. Investigates whether racial and ethnic attitudes and biases, and real or perceived cultural differences among minority-group patients impede effective communication and decision-making in doctor-patient interactions. Core functions are measurement of cancer incidence, morbidity, survival, and mortality.

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