Common Epithelial Cancer Research Centre

The Common Epithelial Research Centre (CERC), based at Wits University, focuses on breast, colorectal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer, which are among the most deadly and common cancers in South Africa.

Selected programmes are run at Wits University’s Faculty of Health Sciences Teaching Hospitals: the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospitals.

Key focus areas

  • Predict the demographics, genetic markers, treatment options, risk and treatment responses of patients;
  • Identify personal, social and health system barriers to guide health policies and enable earlier diagnosis and treatment;
  • Encourage surgeons, oncologists and other cancer specialists at Wits teaching hospitals to work together;
  • Enhance the working relationships between national and international cancer management and research specialists;
  • Grow the National and Regional Cancer Registries (cancer statistic sources);
  • Increase the use of the National Cancer Registry and other Wits hospital-based cancer registries to improve patient care; and
  • Improve research biobanks (how biological data is stored at Wits, the National Health Laboratory Service and other laboratory facilities).
Unit Director: Professor Paul Ruff
E-mail: paul.ruff@wits.ac.za