Awards

A Look Back at Winship Cancer Institute’s Extraordinary 2014

Since 1937, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has provided cancer patients throughout Georgia, the Southeast and beyond, with outstanding patient care and research, and 2014 was no exception. From several national recognitions to record-setting fundraising goals, Winship at Emory continues to be among the leaders in the state of Georgia and the nation in finding ways to defeat cancer. While we enter 2015 with excitement and expectancy, the administrators, physicians and researchers of Winship at Emory have taken time to celebrate the remarkable last year. Click on the “Year in Review” video below to see some of Winship’s highlights from 2014, including:

Key 2014 milestones:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked cancer care at Emory University Hospital through Winship among the 25 best in the country.
  • Nurses at Emory University Hospital and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital were honored with the prestigious Magnet award for excellence in patient care.
  • Winship was the only cancer center in Georgia named as one of 30 U.S. cancer centers for the new National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network.
  • Winship exceeded its fundraising goal for the Win the Fight 5K in September, bringing in more than $600,000 for cancer research.

Winship 2014

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Progress and Thanks for Five Years of Phase I Clinical Trials

Phase I AnniversaryPatients.

Clinical trials.

We cannot have one without the other.

The Phase I Clinical Trials Unit at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University opened in 2009, a time when a significant expansion of clinical trial efforts was underway to support the National Cancer Institute cancer center designation. Over this rapid five-year period, a truly collaborative culture has led to a cutting-edge, early drug development program at a nationally recognized, top 25 cancer center.

None of this has been possible without patients putting their trust in our physicians, nurses, scientists, and many others, to deliver optimal care while asking critical questions about novel drugs and approaches. When I think about the impact of our Phase I unit on patients and their families, I recall a recent conversation with a seasoned oncologist here at Emory. He said, “Donald, if I saw anyone in the chairs here at a store, I wouldn’t know they had cancer.” A simple statement, but one that conveys a number of key messages about how our phase I trials have evolved over five years. Drugs we now have at hand, as a whole, are much safer and better tolerated than conventional chemotherapy. We also have access to more agents with much better activity against cancer, leading to more treatment options.

With improved treatment comes a sense of satisfaction. However, we cannot over-emphasize the critical effect patients have on us as health care providers, researchers, and human beings. As a clinician-researcher, the greatest motivating factor I have is seeing patients do well on trials and coming to visits to talk about trips, family gatherings, important personal events, and the role that treatment on a trial had in helping them live their lives.

For this, we say thank you to our patients and their families for their trust and the courage they show on a daily basis. You keep up your fight, and we will keep up ours.

About Dr. Harvey

R. Donald Harvey, FCCP, BCOPR. Donald Harvey, PharmD, FCCP BCOP is director of the Winship Cancer Institute’s Phase I Clinical Trials section, and Associate Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and a board certified oncology pharmacist. Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Harvey’s research interests include the clinical application of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacogenomic data to patient care.

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Winship Named a Top Ranked Cancer Program in the U.S.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory UniversityWinship Cancer Institute of Emory University has been named as one of the top 25 best cancer center programs in the nation according to the latest U.S. News & World Report. The annual list ranks cancer care at Emory University Hospital, through Winship, the 24th best in the country, a 20-position jump from 2013.

When Winship Cancer Institute opened its doors in 1937, the mission was to create a facility that would bring researchers and physicians together under one roof so no Georgian would have a reason to leave the state to receive cancer care. Today, Winship sees over 14,000 patients a year who travel from all over the world seeking progressive cancer treatment and integrated, specialized patient-and family-centered care.

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Georgia, Winship joins an elite group of cancer centers offering access to multidisciplinary cancer care and a wide variety of clinical trials often not available elsewhere.

“We are so proud to be named one of the best cancer centers in the U.S.,” says Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of Winship. “The top ranking is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding physicians, nurses and other caregivers.”

Winship is the only cancer program in Georgia to be named in the top 50 in the country. Click here for more information about the rankings and make sure to check out where all our Emory hospitals landed on the rankings!

Winship Cancer Institute Recognized for “Exceptional Contributions” to Advancing Research and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

A team of researchers from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has been awarded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Accelerator Award. The award recognizes Sagar Lonial, MD, Jonathan Kaufman, MD, Ajay Nooka, MD, MPH, Lawrence Boise, PhD and Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, MD, for their “outstanding efforts and exceptional contributions to starting new clinical trials supported through the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and rapidly enrolling patients in those trials.”

Emory researchers receive MMRF award

From left to right: Beverly Harrison, Vice President of Clinical Development at the MMRC, Dr. Leon Bernal-Mizrachi and Dr. Jonathan Kaufman of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and Walter M. Capone, Chief Operating Officer of the MMRF.

The MMRC is a non-profit organization that brings together 16 leading academic institutions with a focus on accelerating drug development in multiple myeloma. Out of the 16 institutions, Winship earned best overall performance for 2013. In addition to these honors, Lonial was recognized for his exceptional leadership of the MMRC Steering Committee, PRC and the MMRF CoMMpass℠ Study Steering Committee.

Winship Cancer Institute Recognized Among Best Cancer Centers in the U.S. by Men’s Health Magazine!

Best Cancer Hospitals in the U.S.Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has been named among the best cancer centers in the United States according to Men’s Health magazine!

The publication recognized Winship for its multi-specialty patient care and advanced clinical research. As Georgia’s first and only NCI-designated cancer center, Winship is honored to be the only hospital in Atlanta ranked on the best cancer centers list, and also recognized as one of the nation’s top cancer facilities.

From discovering a new treatment method for prostate cancer, to providing cancer survivors with unique support and wellness programs, at Winship, we are constantly working to discover better ways to prevent, detect, and treat many types of cancer.

Thank you to our community for inspiring us to bridge innovative medical research and technology with compassionate patient and family-centered care, each and every day. We are honored by this recognition!

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Can Throat Cancer be Caused by HPV 16?

HPV Throat Cancer Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas recently brought HPV16-Related Throat Cancer into the forefront of many people’s minds this week when he commented that oral sex is a cause of throat cancer and the possible cause of his own throat cancer.

HPV, known to cause cervical cancer for many years, recently was also linked to a common head and neck cancer. HPV16 – related throat cancer typically affects otherwise healthy men between the ages of 50 and 60 who are non-smokers and non-drinkers.  The  symptoms are very unlike traditional oral cancers.  It first appears as a mass in the neck with no other symptoms.

Winship Cancer Institute Head and Neck Surgeon, Amy Chen, MD stated in an article in Prevention that “HPV16 has been found to be associated with one type of oral cancer at the base of the tongue and the tonsil, otherwise known as the pharynx.    Unfortunately at this time there are no screening tests for HPV of the throat.

The good news is the prognosis for cases of HPV16-caused throat cancer is good, so long as the patient is a non-smoker. Winship researchers and others are looking for ways to identify whether patients with HPV16-caused throat cancer need as much treatment as patients whose cancer is not caused by the virus.

More good news –  there is a vaccine available that can help young boys from developing the HPV16 -related throat cancer later in life.  It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that all boys ages 11 – 21 receive a vaccine.  The vaccine can also help boys prevent cancers of the penis and anus.

Education about the disease and the vaccine available is crucial to help prevent this disease.  Spread the word to all your families about the importance of getting the vaccine.

About Amy Chen, MD, MPH, FACS

Amy Chen, MD, MPH, FACS, is a member of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine. She has a joint appointment at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, and she served as Director of Health Services Research in the Department of Surveillance and Health Policy Research of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Chen has been instrumental in developing a team approach to patient care. She developed and continues to lead the multidisciplinary head and neck tumor conference as well as the thyroid tumor conference. Dr. Chen began practicing at Emory in 2001.

Dr. Chen specializes in otolaryngology (ENT) and has been Board-Certified since 1999. She also completed a head and neck surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her expertise is in upper aerodigestive tract cancers, parotid, and thyroid tumors. Dr. Chen also specializes in robotic surgery. Her other areas of clinical interest are head and neck cancer, laser surgery, melanoma, parathyroid surgery, skin cancer, thyroid surgery, and tongue malignancies.

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Winship Physician Named Nation’s Leading Young Cancer Researcher

Dr. Fadlo Khuri, Winship Cancer Institute

Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, surrounded by colleagues at Winship Cancer Institute, including institute executive director Dr. Walter J. Curran Jr., who stands to Khuri’s immediate right.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University deputy director, Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, one of the world’s leading experts in lung and other aerodigestive cancers, will be awarded the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. The Rosenthal Award is given each year to an investigator under the age of 50 whose contributions to cancer research have led to new understandings of cancer and show promise for even greater advances in the future.

The award recognizes Dr. Khuri’s outstanding contributions and accomplishments as an investigator in lung and aerodigestive medical oncology, especially in the area of prevention and treatment of lung and head and neck cancers. He will receive the award April 10 at the AACR’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of Winship Cancer Institute, nominated Khuri for this award and said that the honor is not a surprise to those who know his work.

“Fadlo’s leadership in lung and head and neck cancer research is legendary, and he has helped advance our understanding of the nation’s number one cancer killer by introducing novel therapeutic agents that have changed how people live with this disease,” said Curran.

Khuri was instrumental in obtaining the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation to Winship Cancer Institute in 2009. He holds the Roberto C. Goizueta Chair in translational research at Emory University School of Medicine and is also the Editor-in-chief of Cancer.

Dr. Khuri’s achievement illustrates one of many ways Winship Cancer Institute is helping patients win the fight against cancer. Congratulations, Dr. Khuri!

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