Professor, OBGYN-GYN Oncology
Director, UNC Center for Women’s Health Research
Associate Director, UNC Lineberger Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Gynecologic Oncology Program
Meet Wendy Brewster
Area of Interest
I am a co-investigator for several projects designed to identify populations at risk for disparate treatment and poor outcomes in endometrial, colon, ovarian and cervical cancers. For example, the standard of care for cervical cancer requires multiple visits for the evaluation of an abnormal pap test and the subsequent treatment. This precludes effective evaluation of the most susceptible women because of the high loss to follow-up rates. In a large randomized study, I demonstrated that severe cervical dysplasia can be treated in a single visit with resultant higher treatment rates, acceptability of the process and higher compliance with follow-up visits than women who treated with the standard of care. This study received editorial comment in JAMA and numerous citations in national newspapers and media outlets because it demonstrated that a radical and new paradigm for treatment of cervical cancer could be successfully applied to special populations. It clearly demonstrated that the obstacles to treatment of precancerous lesions of the cervix can be overcome if tailored to the groups at highest risk. The greatest impact of this study is that it clearly presents a successful strategy for reducing cervical cancer in poor countries and areas with limited resources.
The most rewarding aspect of academic attainment is the extent to which the scientific and lay communities benefit from these endeavors. I have functioned under a variety of conditions, not always optimal, and have been able to adjust to them in a manner that has produced reasonably successful results. This adaptability, my penchant for building bridges for cooperation among academicians and colleagues with professional sensitivities has been in large measure responsible for my success to date. This is underscored by my involvement in various institutional, professional and community activities where I have accepted leadership roles in several instances. This demonstrates my readiness to undertake responsibility for guiding the affairs and fortunes of situations under my charge.
I provide direct clinical care to patients at UNC in Chapel Hill and Greensboro. This care is comprehensive and includes open radical and state of the art robotic minimally invasive oncologic surgery, administration of chemotherapy and the clinical and supportive care of women with gynecologic cancers and other challenging gynecological conditions. These women are my inspiration for decreasing the incidence of cancer.
Awards and Honors
- President-elect, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, 2024-25 term
News and Stories
In Memoriam: Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD
Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD, a compassionate clinician-scientist, died of pancreatic cancer on July 24.
UNC Lineberger faculty, trainees present research, receive honors at Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual meeting
UNC Lineberger was well represented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Tampa, Florida.
UNC Lineberger underrepresented postdoc recruitment day focuses on expanding access and diversity
UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination program sponsored the inaugural Underrepresented Postdoctoral Fellow Recruitment Day on Oct. 12.
Governor’s proclamation puts the spotlight on gynecologic cancers
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed Sept. 18-25 as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Week in North Carolina.