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Who Will Join the 2015 Class of the Giants of Cancer Care?

William Oh, MD

Each year, the nominees for Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame are debated among sportswriters and fans with discussions about who is worthy, who’s a first-ballot, who’s in, and who’s not filling newspaper columns, sports blogs, and the airwaves of sports talk radio. But there’s another award that spurs debate among a select few — an award that focuses on lives saved.

Nominations for the 2015 class of Giants of Cancer Care are now open. The award honors the tireless efforts of physicians and researchers to advance the field of cancer care.

There is growing anticipation among the oncology community to see who will be nominated and, ultimately, who will be voted in.

“Calling the award the ‘Giants of Cancer Care’ sets the bar very high,” said William Oh, MD, chief of the division of hematology and medical oncology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “It makes nominating worthy recipients a challenge,” he told OncologyLive. “Past recipients — Larry Einhorn, MD, in genitourinary cancer and Patrick Walsh, MD, in prostate cancer — are truly giants in every sense of the word. Their work has withstood the test of time.”

“Among my contemporaries, I would consider Maha Hussain, MD, of the University of Michigan, or Oliver Sartor, MD, of Tulane University School of Medicine as potential nominees. Last year’s runner ups, Christopher J. Logothetis, MD, at [the University of Texas] MD Anderson [Cancer Center] and Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, of the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada in the genitourinary category are strong contenders for the award as well.”

Kenneth Anderson, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and last year’s Giant in myeloma, considers Brian Durie, MD, a worthy nomination in the myeloma category. Durie founded and chairs the International Myeloma Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board.

Along with Sydney Salmon, MD, (deceased, 1999) Durie co-created the Durie/Salmon Staging System, which is used worldwide for evaluating the extent of disease in patients with myeloma. The two were co-runners up in the myeloma category.

Community oncologists and hematologists are urged to nominate a colleague, mentor, or other researcher who has had a significant impact on their training and decision to treat patients with cancer.

“Nominate Greatness,” the campaign supporting the Giants of Cancer Care program, is open to a national audience, with nominees recognized for their dedication, passion, and vision in delivering cancer care. The categories for the 2015 class of Giants involve 12 awards — 8 core awards including breast, lung, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, gynecologic, and hematologic malignances and 4 specialty categories including immuno-oncology, scientific advances, community outreach, and supportive/palliative care.

A select advisory board made up of 29 oncologists and hematologists, themselves renowned leaders in the field, will be voting on the nominees.

One of the unique characteristics of the Giants of Cancer Care award is that candidates are nominated and voted on by a jury of their peers. In fact, the 2014 award winner in melanoma, Jedd Wolchok, MD, received his award from Jason Luke, MD, a former fellow from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center during the awards ceremony held at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago. Said Wolchok during the ceremony: “Dr. Jason Luke presented me with the award — I felt acknowledged in a 360 degree way. That was very meaningful to me.”

2014 Giants of Cancer Care

Giant

Category

Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD

Breast cancer

Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD

Drug Development

John R. Seffrin, PhD

Education

George D. Demetri, MD

Gastrointestinal Cancer

Janet Davison Rowley, MD (deceased 2013)

Genetics

Philip W. Kantoff, MD

Genitourinary Cancer

Kie Kian Ang, MD, PhD (deceased 2013)

Head & Neck Cancer

Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD

Leukemia

Paul A. Bunn Jr., MD

Lung Cancer

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD

Lymphoma

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD

Melanoma

Kenneth C. Anderson, MD

Myeloma

Edith A. Perez, MD

Outreach

Patrick C. Walsh, MD

Prostate Cancer

James P. Allison, PhD

Scientific Advances

Jimmie C. Holland, MD

Supportive Care

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