Program Report: Duke Cancer Center – Dr. Victor Dzau and Dr. Michael Kastan

KastonwebWe need look no farther than our own Reginald Hodges to see how well Duke fights cancer.

After a compelling presentation by Michael Kastan, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute, Reginald shared that Duke saved his life back in 1999. Of course, he received his treatments in the basement of Duke Hospitals, not in the magnificent $200 million new Duke Cancer Center.

Reginald noted that the advancements made at Duke specifically and in cancer research more broadly marked “a world of difference” from what he experienced, but the outcome still was what patients, doctors and families have always hoped for, then as now, when confronted with the scourge of cancer.

And scourge is about the only word for this insidious disease, which will affect 50 percent of men and one-third of women in our country, as we learned in Dr. Kastan’s presentation. Worse, it’s notoriously hard to treat, as every cancer cell has to be eradicated – 99.99 percent won’t do – without harming too many healthy cells.

Considering that, it’s amazing what Duke has been able to do so far, and what’s on the horizon as advancements continue to be made.

Kastan emphasized the ways that Duke tries to treat the whole patient. As researchers continue to work on new treatments, the new center also tries to offer some tranquility for patients via a rooftop garden, meditation room and other amenities.

The new cancer center is the latest crown jewel of Duke Hospitals, a world-class medical facility that is committed to serving the Durham community.

Victor Dzau, head of Duke Hospitals, made that clear in his opening remarks, specifically thanking our club for the support its shown Duke Hospitals over the years.

Duke boosts our city in a variety of ways, such as backing the Durham Public Schools’ City of Medicine Academy magnet school, Dr. Dzau noted.

It’s also set on treating patients no matter their financial situation, a policy that really will be put to the test when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect.

“But we are up to the task,” Dr. Dzau said.

It’s hard to overstate the value of having such a remarkable medical facility in our city. Just ask our man Reginald, and the thousands of lives he has improved at the Durham Literacy Center.

Submitted by Matt DeesDzau

Speak Your Mind