|Renowned lung cancer expert to lead CoEE
Cancer Center (HCC) has recruited renowned lung cancer expert George R.
Simon, M.D., to lead its Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) in
Tobacco Related Malignancy Research.
Dr. George Simon
Simon, who served previously as director of the thoracic oncology
program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadephia, will hold The
Burtschy Family Distinguished Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research
within the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology.
Simon also will serve as assistant director for clinical investigations
Simon is an expert in thoracic malignancies, with an emphasis on lung
cancer and mesothelioma. His research interests include developing
personalized treatment platforms for non-small cell lung cancer, novel
targeted agents for the treatment of lung cancer and mesothelioma, and
glucose metabolism in tumors.
Simon and his team were the first to describe the prognostic
significance of nuclear excision repair in patients with early stage
lung cancer. He also led the first trial in the country that prescribed
individualized treatments to patients with advanced stage lung cancer
based on the expression of certain genes found in the patient’s tumor.
These national studies have helped better define these markers and are
being tested in multicenter, international trials, said Andrew S.
Kraft, M.D., HCC director.
“Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths—and the
second most common cancer—in both men and women in the United States
and South Carolina. It is urgent that we continue to improve detection
and diagnosis while researching and creating more effective treatment
strategies,” Kraft said.
“Dr. Simon’s work holds the potential to change the outlook for lung
cancer in our state.”
Harry Drabkin, M.D., chairman of MUSC’s Division of Hematology/Oncology
added, “The collaboration that will take place between Dr. Simon and
our team will elevate the level of lung cancer research at MUSC,
something that stands to benefit South Carolina’s residents as well as
our economy. Having him here will allow MUSC to be highly competitive
when applying for critical funding for lung cancer research.”
The CoEE in Tobacco-Related Malignancy Research is devoted to
discovering biomarkers of tobacco-related malignancies. The initial
focus is on lung cancer, but CoEE-related scientists also hope to make
advances in other tobacco-related malignancies including head and neck,
bladder, and esophageal cancers.
Simon said he wants to make a positive impact in the lives of patients.
“Joining MUSC was a very easy decision for me. I hope to bring ideas,
expertise and technologies to this state. I also hope to make
personalized therapy of lung cancer a reality at MUSC and working with
my colleagues to make the thoracic oncology program a premier thoracic
program in the country.”
Friday, Sept. 10, 2010