Wits University has been chosen by the South African Medical Research Council as one of three tertiary institutions in the country to launch a new Clinical Cancer Research Centre.This initiative, spearheaded by the SAMRC, will see an investment of more than R37 million over five years for cancer research at Wits, the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
Coming shortly after commemorating World Cancer Day on 4 February, the centres are the SAMRC’s response to tackling one of the country’s and the world’s leading causes of illness and death.
Professor Paul Ruff, Head of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, will head the MRC/Wits Common Epithelial Cancer Research Centre.
The project is set to be an exciting collaboration between the Medical Oncology and Surgery Departments at Wits, as well as at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre as well as the National Cancer Registry.
The cancer research centre at UCT will concentrate on gynaecological cancer research under Professor Lynn Denny, while UKZN will focus on gastrointestinal cancer research under Professor Thandinkosi Madiba.