OncLive Salutes 21 Visionaries With Giants of Cancer Care Award

Oncology Live®Vol. 19/No. 11
Volume 19
Issue 11

Twenty-one changemakers have been selected to receive a 2018 OncLive Giants of Cancer Care® award.

Twenty-one changemakers have been selected to receive a 2018 OncLive Giants of Cancer Care® award. The august group represents the largest class of inductees since the awards program was established in 2013. Recipients must be catalysts for change, demonstrating great accomplishment, imagination, inspiration, courage, and—perhaps most important—a true sense of urgency. The 2018 winners were recognized on Thursday, May 31, during an exclusive celebration at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.

This year, a record number of individuals were nominated to receive the Giants award. These exceptional physicians and researchers have challenged the reigning paradigms in oncology with their innovative and groundbreaking contributions to patient care, clinical practice, and translational research. This year also marks the program’s largest international contingent, with almost 2 dozen nominees from outside the United States.

A 7-member advisory board chaired by Patrick I. Borgen, MD, reviewed the career achievements of the nominees, narrowing the field to 171 trailblazers, who were then voted on by an elite selection committee of distinguished oncologists and hematologists. “There were a lot of great candidates across all the diseases,” said Borgen, who serves as chairman of the Department of Surgery and director of the Maimonides Breast Program at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The winners represent 21 categories of practice and investigation: breast cancer; cancer diagnosis; CNS malignancies; community outreach, education, and cancer policy; drug development; gastrointestinal cancer; genitourinary cancer; gynecologic cancer; head and neck cancers; immunooncology, including cell-based therapies; leukemia; lung cancer; lymphoma; melanoma and skin cancers; multiple myeloma; pediatric oncology; prevention and genetics; radiation oncology; supportive care, palliative, and geriatric; surgical oncology; and translational scientific advancements. “We proudly honor and recognize the members of this incredible group of Giants of Cancer Care®,” Borgen said. “Their sacrifices, struggles, victories, and defeats must never be forgotten by future generations of men, women, and children, who may never have to watch a loved one suffer or die from cancer because of this group’s achievements.”


George W. Sledge Jr, MD

George W. Sledge Jr, MD, specializes in breast cancer treatment and has worked extensively to employ bioinformatics to improve the understanding and prediction of disease.

  • Dr Sledge directed the first large nationwide study (ECOG 2100) on the use of paclitaxel to treat advanced breast cancer.
  • He has served as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), as a member of the National Cancer Institute
  • As chair of the ECOG Breast Cancer Committee he oversaw the development of several important phase III trials, including the TAILORx trial being presented at this year’s ASCO plenary session.
  • His research led to the development of CLEVER, a biomedical informatics tool that can identify distant metastatic relapse and locoregional relapse with high accuracy. Investigators will use this expanded bioinformatics approach to characterize the patterns and predictors of disease-free and overall survival among women with metastatic breast cancer. Dr Sledge has published over 350 scientific articles spanning both laboratory and clinical topics.

Professor, Medicine and Oncology, and Chief of the Division of Oncology, Stanford University Medical Center


Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA

Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, is a professor of surgery and radiology at UCSF, where she is also director of the multidisciplinary Breast Care Center.

  • Dr Esserman led efforts to address harms of screening including overdiagnosis, and proposed tools including the development of molecular diagnostics to help reclassify tumors as indolent lesions of epithelial origin or ultralow risk.
  • She leads the I-SPY Trials, a groundbreaking national public-private collaboration designed to reduce the time and cost for drug development, to find the right drug for the right patient earlier in the disease course when cure is possible.
  • She led the creation of the University of California-wide, and now national, Athena Breast Health Network, which integrates clinical care and research, and follows 150,000 women from screening through treatment and outcomes. This spawned the WISDOM study to determine weather personalized screening has higher healthcare value than the standard of annual screening.
  • Dr Esserman was included as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016 and was the recipient of the 2016 Stanford Business School Ernest C. Arbuckle Award and the 2016 Personalized Medicine World Conference Luminary Award.

Professor, Surgery and Radiology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


W. K. Alfred Yung, MD

W. K. Alfred Yung, MD, an expert in neuro-oncology, has helped develop new therapeutic strategies targeting the EGFR and PTEN/PI3K pathways and the mechanisms that promote glioma progression.

  • Dr Yung was instrumental in expanding The University of Texas MD Anderson’s Brain Tumor Center. He has been co-chair of the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancy Steering Committee since 2011, is special adviser to the chief executive officer of the National Brain Tumor Society, and in 2016 was named to the blue-ribbon panel advising the Cancer Moonshot initiative, led by former Vice President Joe Biden. He also serves on the executive committee of GBM AGILE, a global collaboration to test and develop new brain cancer treatments.
  • As a fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr Yung explored the therapeutic potential of the newly discovered information that EGFR is a key oncogene mutated in cancers and likely a major culprit in the development of malignant gliomas. He and Peter Steck, PhD, later discovered that deletion of the PTEN tumor-suppressor gene was involved in progression of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer.
  • His work on the EGFR and PTEN/PI3K pathways and glioma progression ultimately resulted in the 1997 FDA approval of temozolomide for recurrent malignant glioma and glioblastoma multiforme. In 2009, based on a study coauthored by Dr Yung, the FDA granted accelerated approval of bevacizumab (Avastin) for recurrent glioblastoma.
  • Dr Yung is the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care at MD Anderson, where he led the Department of Neuro-Oncology from1999 to 2015. He was the second editor in chief for Neuro-Oncology, the official journal of the Society for Neuro-Oncology.

Professor, Neuro-Oncology, and the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Richard L. Schilsky, MD

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, a specialist in new drug development and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, has extensive experience and accomplishments in clinical medicine and research.

  • Dr Schilsky is a former president of ASCO, from 2008 to 2009, and currently serves as senior vice president and chief medical officer, a newly created position he assumed in February 2013.
  • He was chair of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B from 1995 to 2010. The national clinical research group, now incorporated into the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, is focused on applying multimodality treatments to multiple cancer types.
  • Dr Schilsky has served as an associate dean for clinical research in the Biological Sciences Division and director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. He joined the university as a faculty member in 1984.
  • He has worked extensively with the NCI and the FDA, serving as a member and chair of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, a member of the NCI Clinical and Translational Research Committee, and a member and chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA.

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology


Joseph R. Bertino, MD

Joseph R. Bertino, MD, focuses on mechanisms of action and resistance mechanisms of anticancer drugs, and new drug development.

  • Dr Bertino and colleagues reported the observation of amplification of DHFR, opening a new era in drug-resistance research. Later, his studies of methotrexate helped explain why some cancer drugs work and others fail.
  • He and his colleagues published one of the first examples of a cure for diffuse large cell lymphoma with combination chemotherapy (ACOMLA). His pioneering work led to the use of leucovorin rescue after high-dose methotrexate to treat lymphomas and solid tumors.
  • He is currently researching potential new drug targets for tumor stem cells in prostate cancer and exploring new treatments for T-cell lymphoma.
  • His research has resulted in new analogues and new treatments being introduced in the clinic, and Dr Bertino earned international recognition for his role in finding treatments for leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Dr Bertino, a University Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is a translational researcher who seeks to build bridges between the laboratory and the clinic.
  • The founding editor in chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, he is an inspirational teacher and collaborator who has guided many of the current leaders in the field of cancer research.

Senior Adviser to the Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey


Josep Tabernero, MD, PhD

Josep Tabernero, MD, PhD, is involved in translational research and the effects of molecularly targeted therapies on the body.

  • Dr Tabernero is active in phase I and II studies with pharmacodynamic endpoints with novel agents directed to cancer and immune cells' targets.
  • His laboratory is developing molecular therapies that target specific oncoproteins, with particular emphasis on EGFR-family, ERK- and PI3K-pathway inhibitors and IGFR/PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors, for patients displaying genetic lesions or pathway dysregulation.
  • The objectives of his laboratory include identifying new predictive markers of response to diverse treatments and studying circulating biomarkers (detection and genotyping of circulating free DNA). His group develops new xenograft models with explant tumors from patients (“xenopatients”) in mice to study tumor development.
  • Dr Tabernero heads the Department of Medical Oncology at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital. He is a member of several editorial boards, including those of Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Colorectal Cancer, and Annals of Oncology. He is also serving as ESMO president for the 2018-2019 term.

Director, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology


Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD

Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, is a medical oncologist who has been heavily involved in advancing genitourinary (GU) oncology through clinical trials in the cooperative group setting.

  • Dr Vogelzang has been instrumental in the progress of GU oncology over the past 4 decades, providing extraordinary leadership in the development of clinical trials and therapeutics. He helped organize GU oncologists early on and worked to ensure that the field would have the necessary multidisciplinary emphasis.
  • He has been the principal or co-principal investigator in trials that led to the regulatory approval of new therapeutics. These include atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in bladder cancer, pemetrexed (Alimta) in mesothelioma, abiraterone (Zytiga), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), radium 223 dichloride (Xofigo), sipuleucel-T (Provenge) in prostate cancer, and etoposide in testis cancer.
  • He was the inaugural Fred C. Buffett Professor of GU Oncology at the University of Chicago, 1999 to 2003, and served as director of the university’s Cancer Research Center, 1999 to 2003, and director of the Nevada Cancer Institute, 2004 to 2009.
  • He is medical director of the CCCN in Las Vegas and a former chair of the US Oncology Research GU program..

Medical Director, US Oncology Research/Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN)


Maurie Markman, MD

Maurie Markman, MD, has conducted practice-changing research into ovarian cancer and is bringing precision medicine to the forefront of patient care throughout a national hospital network.

  • Dr Markman was a leading investigator on the phase III Southwest Oncology Group and Gynecologic Oncology Group trial that, in 2003, established 12 cycles of single-agent paclitaxel as a new standard-of-care maintenance therapy for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
  • His research helped demonstrate the utility of weekly paclitaxel and treatmentfree intervals in patients with ovarian cancer, expanding treatment options.
  • He worked to identify characteristics of patients with ovarian cancer who would be candidates for intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. In 2006, the NCI recognized the clinical utility of the IP approach for patients with small-volume, residual advanced disease.
  • As president of medicine and science at CTCA, Dr Markman shapes the clinical and research mission of the 5-hospital network. His focus has been on integrating precision medicine into patient care through the creation of innovative partnerships with leading industry organizations such as Foundation Medicine.

President, Medicine & Science, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)


Waun Ki Hong, MD, DMSc (Hon)

Waun Ki Hong, MD, DMSc (Hon) developed larynx-sparing, less invasive treatments for head and neck cancer. He has also championed the development of chemoprevention and personalized therapy.

  • At The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is the semiretired head of the Division of Cancer Medicine, Dr Hong made translational research a top priority, pioneering the development of therapeutic and preventive strategies for aerodigestive tract cancers.
  • His highly celebrated achievements include completion of the historic BATTLE trial, which demonstrated the feasibility of a personalized, biopsy-/biomarkerdriven approach for patients with advanced lung cancer.
  • During his tenure at the Boston VA Medical Center, Dr Hong conducted seminal clinical trials showing that cisplatin-based chemotherapy and radiotherapy offered an effective alternative to total laryngectomy for the treatment of cancer of the larynx. Partnering with Gregory Wolf, MD, Dr Hong began the VA Cooperative Group for Laryngeal Cancer Study, which in 1991 published results in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that this combination was effective while sparing the larynx.
  • The results of his work changed the paradigm in head and neck cancers and influenced treatment in bladder, breast, anal, and other cancers, serving as a model for organ preservation.

Semi-Retired Head, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Lieping Chen, MD, PhD

Lieping Chen, MD, PhD, has been integral to the discovery of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway and its immune-suppressive functions.

  • Dr Chen has established himself as an expert in the field of lymphocyte co-stimulation and coinhibition and the use of this knowledge to battle cancer.
  • He and his laboratory are credited with the codiscovery of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. More importantly, his laboratory performed foundational work that led to the invention of new immuno-oncology therapies. These works include understanding of PD-L1 expression in the tumor microenvironment as an escape mechanism from immune attack and proof-of-principle experiments of anti— PD-1/PD-L1 antibody therapy.
  • He also pioneered the first in-human trial of an antibody blockade of the PD-1/ PD-L1 pathway, which involved nivolumab (Opdivo), and he invented the PD-L1 staining to predict the outcome of treatment. Anti—PD-1/PD-L1 therapy has since been employed against a broad spectrum of at least 25 types of cancer.
  • Many other important pathways have been identified in Dr Chen’s laboratory, including 4-1BB, ICOS/B7-H2, B7-H3, B7-H4, B7-H5/CD28H, PD-1H, LIGHT/ HVEM, TROY, B7-H2/CD28/CTLA-4 (human), and SALM5/HVEM.

Co-Director, Cancer Immunology Program, Yale Cancer Center


Michael J. Keating, MB, BS

Michael J. Keating, MB, BS, has devoted much of his career to finding the means of controlling and curing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

  • Dr Keating was instrumental in founding the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Global Research Foundation.
  • His research led to the development of fludarabine, and the chemotherapy regimens fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (FC) and FC plus rituximab in CLL. Fludarabine is one of the most important therapies in CLL and a major component of treatment of patients with low-grade lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • Early in his career, he focused on developing cytogenetics to predict the probability of response to treatment and survival in acute leukemia.
  • In 1988, Dr Keating won the Service to Mankind Award from the Leukemia Society of America. In 2002, he received the Charles A. LeMaistre Outstanding Achievement Award in Cancer and the Binet-Rai Medal for outstanding contributions to CLL. He is a clinical professor of medicine and an internist in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Professor, Medicine, Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Bruce E. Johnson, MD

Bruce E. Johnson, MD, is a noted lung cancer physician-—scientist who serves as chief clinical research officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Dr Johnson’s laboratory collected tumor cell lines from women with adenocarcinoma who either did or did not smoke cigarettes and characterized their response to gefitinib (Iressa). He and his colleagues discovered that most patients who have a clinical response to the treatment have either point mutations or deletion of amino acids from the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain.
  • The investigators showed that lung cancer cell lines with epidermal growth factor cell lines with these point mutations or deletions are 100-fold more sensitive to treatment with gefitinib than cell lines with EGFR wild-type disease.
  • Awarded the 2009 Scientific Award from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, Johnson was one of the recipients of the American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award given to the Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Thoracic Oncology Research Team in 2010.
  • Dr Johnson is the institute physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He leads the Lung Cancer Program of the DF/HCC and is outgoing president of ASCO.

Chief Clinical Research Officer and Professor, Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School


James O. Armitage, MD

James O. Armitage, MD, is a leading expert in the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin disease, and CLL and has played a critical role in advancing bone marrow transplantation.

  • Dr Armitage developed and directed the bone marrow transplant programs at the University of Iowa and, later, UNMC, where he serves as the Joe Shapiro Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology and Hematology. The program at UNMC was among the first to focus on autologous transplantation for lymphoma.
  • At UNMC, he has served as vice chair of the Department of Medicine (1982-1990), chief of the Division of Oncology/Hematology (1986-1989), chair of the Department of Internal Medicine (1990-1999), and dean of the College of Medicine (2000-2003).
  • He has authored or coauthored more than 600 articles and 100 book chapters and edited or coedited 27 books.
  • He has served as president of ASCO (1996-1997) and president of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (2000-2001), served on the National Cancer Advisory Board, and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and ASCO.

Joe Shapiro Professor, Medicine, Division of Oncology and Hematology, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)


Caroline Robert, MD, PhD

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, has solidly established the role of immune therapies in advanced melanoma thanks to her groundbreaking work on the clinical trials evaluating anti—CTLA-4 as well as anti–PD-1 antibodies.

  • Dr Robert's seminal research has demonstrated long-term overall survival benefit in advanced melanoma.
  • Through her collaborative research, the role of immune therapies in metastatic melanoma has been validated, and patient survival now extends significantly beyond the prior survival rates of less than 1 year.
  • Her main interests are in the clinical and translational research of melanoma with regard to immunotherapy as well as new targeted therapies. More specifically, she has focused her research on the involvement of the control of protein translation in resistance to cancer treatment. She has authored over 250 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, including publications on new treatments for metastatic melanoma, and has been at the forefront of numerous international clinical trials.
  • Dr Robert is head of the Dermatology Unit at Gustave Roussy in Paris, France, professor of dermatology at Paris-Sud University, and co-director with Stephan Vagner of the Melanoma team at INSERM (Gustave Roussy, France).

Head, Dermatology Unit, Institut Gustave Roussy


Bart Barlogie, MD

Bart Barlogie, MD, has been at the forefront of many research efforts in the advancement of knowledge about multiple myeloma.

  • Dr Barlogie’s achievements include the introduction of autologous transplantation in multiple myeloma, discovery of how thalidomide works in treating myeloma, introduction of genomic profiling to risk-stratify myeloma subgroups, development of reproducible prognostic models for myeloma, and identification of myeloma therapy as a cause of myelodysplasia.
  • Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr Barlogie headed the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he served as principal investigator in developing Total Therapy I, II, and III, which involves the use of proven myeloma agents up front to reduce tumor burden. The strategy involves hitting the cancer hard at the beginning of treatment, before it develops resistance to therapies. It has improved overall survival and progression-free survival, and cures have been documented in about 50% of patients with long-term follow-up.
  • His initial laboratory research was dedicated to studying tumor cell cycle kinetics and its implications for the design of combination chemotherapy. He was among the first to demonstrate that DNA aneuploidy is a convenient marker for malignancies in most human tumor specimens.
  • He has published extensively, including more than 580 peer-reviewed journal articles including 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine and 75 book chapters.

Professor, Medicine, Department of Hematology and Oncology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Michael P. Link, MD

Michael P. Link, MD, has pioneered new strategies for the management of common childhood cancers.

  • Dr Link’s research in childhood cancers yielded important advances in Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and bone and soft-tissue sarcomas.
  • He was president of ASCO from 2011 to 2012, becoming the first pediatric oncologist elected to serve in that position. He spearheaded the formation of ASCO’s Cancer Survivorship Committee.
  • He has served in positions that influenced cancer care as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, and as associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  • He is researching the efficacy of combination therapy with or without radiation in patients with the most favorable presentations of Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • He is identifying factors that affect cure rates in childhood cancers in lowresource countries compared with those in high-resource countries.

Lydia J. Lee Professor, Pediatric Cancer, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine


Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, is a dedicated researcher who has worked to identify individuals with genetic factors that place them at high risk of cancer. Her goal is to develop strategies to reduce that risk.

  • Dr Garber helped originate one of the first cancer risk and prevention clinics, which recruits patients and families with hereditary and familial breast cancer, evaluates them for mutations in cancer predisposition genes, and then enrolls patients in ongoing follow-up and risk-reduction studies.
  • Her group is studying the prevalence of germline TP53 mutations, mutations in Li Fraumeni syndrome, and mutations in the Fanconi anemia genes in a cohort of very young women with a diagnosis of breast cancer.
  • Her research includes the study of basal-like breast cancer, common in women with BRCA1 mutations. Her first neoadjuvant trial of cisplatin in patients was based on the gene’s role in DNA repair and demonstrated a significant complete response rate. She continues to lead trials of PARP inhibitors and other novel agents of these cohorts.
  • Dr Garber is director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Susan F. Smith Chair, institute physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Eli J. Glatstein, MD

Eli J. Glatstein, MD, has developed many advancements in the use of radiation oncology to reduce surgery and improve outcomes in medical oncology.

  • In the early 1970s, Dr Glatstein was among the first to combine radiation oncology with medical oncology, an early nod to the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in the field.
  • His seminal research involved patients with high-grade soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremities who were randomized to receive limb amputation or limb-sparing resection plus adjuvant radiation therapy. Dr Glatstein and his colleagues demonstrated that limb-sparing surgery, radiation therapy, and adjuvant chemotherapy appear capable of successfully treating the great majority of adult patients with soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremities.
  • One of his early research studies involved treating patients with bladder cancer with megavoltages of radiation therapy. This demonstrated 5-year survival rates that ranged from 35% to 42% for stage A and B1 tumors and 35%, 22%, and 7%, respectively, for stages B2, C, and D carcinomas.
  • He is The Morton M. Kligerman Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Glatstein was also involved in a phase I study of Foscan-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) and surgery in patients with mesothelioma, which demonstrated that Foscanmediated PDT could be safely combined with surgery at the established maximum tolerated dose.

Morton M. Kligerman Professor, Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine


Armando Giuliano, MD

Armando Giuliano, MD, is a clinician—researcher focused on the treatment of early breast cancer and improvements in the quality of life of patients with breast cancer.

  • Dr Giuliano introduced sentinel lymph node biopsy for breast cancer and designed and led the Z0010 and Z0011 studies for the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group. These studies resulted in the elimination of axillary lymph node dissection and its morbidities for most women with early breast cancer.
  • He co-chaired the American Joint Committee on Cancer Breast Cancer Staging Committee with Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD (a 2015 Giants of Cancer Care winner in the breast cancer category), and introduced the use of biomarkers in contemporary breast cancer staging.
  • His laboratory has made significant contributions to the understanding of triplenegative breast cancer and BRCA-mutated breast cancers.
  • Dr Giuliano has trained nearly 100 surgical oncologists in his career and participates in translational research, merging what is learned in the clinic with knowledge gained in the laboratory.

Linda and Jim Lippman Chair, Surgical Oncology, and Co-Director, Saul and Joyce Brandyman Breast Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Patricia A. Ganz, MD

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, specializes in cancer survivorship and the late effects of cancer treatment.

  • Dr Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in patients with cancer, concentrating much of her clinical and research efforts in the area of breast cancer and its prevention. At the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she leads a scientific program focused on patients and survivors, and focuses on quality of life and quality of care outcomes. She currently co-chairs the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Committee of the NRG Oncology cooperative group funded by the NCI.
  • She is a founding member of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and served on 2 Institute of Medicine (IOM) consensus studies that examined the needs of cancer survivors—the 2005 report From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition and the 2007 report Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Needs.
  • In 2013, Dr Ganz chaired the IOM consensus study report titled Delivering High- Quality Cancer Care: Charting a Course for a System in Crisis, which has had a major impact on healthcare policy related to cancer care delivery.
  • At UCLA, she is a professor of health policy and management at the Fielding School of Public Health, with an extensive bibliography of more than 400 peerreviewed publications, and 4 edited books on evidence-based cancer care, cancer survivorship and quality of care, and breast cancer outcomes.

Professor, Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Director, Center for Cancer Prevention & Control Research, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center


V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc

V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, is recognized for the discovery of the breast cancer prevention properties of tamoxifen, the original selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).

  • Dr Jordan’s research led to the discovery that raloxifene prevents both osteoporosis and breast cancer. This and tamoxifen are among 5 SERMs approved by the FDA for a variety of indications, and all 5 drugs (including toremifene, bazedoxifene, and ospemiphene) are connected to basic research in his laboratory.
  • He devised the translational research strategy of targeting ER-positive breast cancer for long-term adjuvant tamoxifen therapy and is credited with the discovery of the scientific principles for adjuvant therapy with antihormones. His work related to SERMs has branched out into the prevention of multiple diseases in women.
  • He discovered the tissue-specific pharmacology of tamoxifen that blocks estrogenstimulated breast cancer growth but simultaneously promotes endometrial cancer growth. Correspondence in the Lancet warned the international clinical community that there was a link between tamoxifen treatment and endometrial cancer.
  • HDr Jordan is the Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Professor of Cancer Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Professor, Breast Medical Oncology, and Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The Giants of Cancer Care® program honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement in the understanding of cancer and the treatment of patients. Recipients must embody a set of sterling qualities: selflessness, compassion for patients, and a desire to understand and develop life-changing anticancer treatments.

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