This pillar of the CBCP is the foundation upon which all the success of the project rests. Without patients enrolled in our biospecimen repository protocols, there would be no translational research center of excellence. These patients come from the clinical care environment. Since its inception in 2000, the CBCP has had as a priority, the development and staffing of the core clinical centers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center in Windber, PA and at our newest site, the Pat and Lesly Sajack Breast Center at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. Under the direction of Lorraine Tafra, MD more than 250 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer are seen at AAMC each year.
At each center the staff is dually trained as clinical/research providers, to seamlessly integrate the need for a strong research focus in the clinical center with the requirement to provide state-of-the-art clinical care to the patients.
The reputation of the CBCP is that of an exceptional translational research project with very possibly the world’s most pristine collection of breast tissue. This has resulted in a number of well-respected medical centers expressing interest in joining us as research partners. The care of our patients is provided by Physicians, Advance Practice Nurses (Nurse Practitioners) and certified Nurse Navigators with all personnel having as their prime job description, the research aspects of the CBCP.
The state of the art Comprehensive Breast Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD is co-located with the Breast Imaging Center by design and for the convenience of the patient. Patients are able to be seen by a breast surgeon and easily walk down the hall for all of their imaging needs if needed. The Breast Center has a procedure room and recovery room enabling surgery within the center. The Breast Imaging Center has a designated Aurora Breast MRI machine, 3D Mammography, 2D Mammography machines and a Stereotactic biopsy room on site.
Multidisciplinary clinic (MDC)
For the convenience of our patients, the Breast Center holds a multidisciplinary clinic every Thursday for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their significant other(s). The patients are assigned an examination room where they meet the various providers that comprise the interdisciplinary breast care team. Providers include a breast surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a psychologist, nurse navigators/case managers, a physical therapist, and a plastic surgeon. Each specialty has the opportunity to meet privately and evaluate each patient. The benefit of this approach is that instead of having individual appointments spread over several days or weeks, the patient need only schedule one day to see all the various providers. This allows us to educate, facilitate and coordinate a comprehensive breast treatment plan for the patient that maximizes treatment options and streamlines patient care in a patient-focused environment. It also allows us to discuss the various research protocols with patients and, if they agree, obtain informed written consent and complete, with the assistance of a research nurse, an extensive clinical questionnaire that captures clinical data.