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Candace S. Johnson, PhD, is now President and Chief Executive Officer of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She had been serving as Interim President and CEO since last October, when Donald Trump, MD, FACP, retired. Johnson, who has been a member of Roswell Park's faculty for 13 years, officially assumed the new post in February.

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"I am committed to creating an organization and institute culture that allows our region to take pride in having a leading cancer center in its midst-one that continues to generate discoveries that diminish the burden that cancer places on our loved ones and friends throughout the world," she said in a news release.

CANDACE S. JOHNSON, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowCANDACE S. JOHNSON, PHD. CANDACE S. JOHNSON, PHD

Prior to this position, Johnson had been Deputy Director and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the Wallace Family Chair for Translational Research and Professor of Oncology. Since November, she has also served as Cancer Center Director for the Institute. Johnson has also been Deputy Director of Basic Research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, as well as Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


In other Roswell Park news, the Lung Cancer Screening Program has been named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, in recognition of the comprehensive cancer center's ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening within an experienced and multidisciplinary clinical setting.


The LCA awards this designation to centers that provide clear, evidence-based, up-to-date guidance on who is a candidate for lung cancer screening. Centers must also comply with comprehensive standards for screening quality, radiation dose, and diagnostic procedures developed by professional bodies such as the American College of Radiology, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and International Early Lung Cancer Action Program.


"What sets our program apart is not only the expertise and training of our team members but also our comprehensive program for detecting cancers and lung lesions, treating them with innovative approaches and making sure our patients are supported with a full complement of ancillary services, from smoking-cessation coaching to psychosocial support and nutritional counseling," Samjot Singh Dhillon, MD, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine and Co-Chief of Endoscopy and Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Roswell Park, said in a news release. "These services aren't available in one location anywhere else in the region."


Thomas J. Rutherford, MD, PhD, has been named Network Physician Director of Cancer Services at Western Connecticut Health Network. He will lead cancer care at Praxair Cancer Center at Danbury Hospital, Diebold Family Cancer Center at New Milford Hospital, and the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, including the expansion of services and the creation of a new delivery model of "Accountable Care."


"I am looking forward to integrating the many excellent cancer programs, services, and the outstanding expertise of our cancer care team at WCHN to continue to grow our efforts to provide the highest quality and standard of cancer care to our patients," Rutherford said in a news release.


He was most recently Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also practiced at Yale Gynecologic Oncology. His own research has focused on prevention, early detection, and treatment of ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies.


The following members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology staff have been promoted to new positions: Emily Wilson, has been named Executive Vice President; Dave Adler, has been named Vice President of Advocacy; and Anne Hubbard, has been named Director of Health Policy.


As Executive Vice President, Wilson will work with the ASTRO Board of Directors, CEO, and staff to meet the goals of the organization's strategic plan; she will continue to oversee ASTRO's Clinical Affairs division, which leads safety, quality, and policy initiatives of ASTRO, including the soon-to-launch APEx-Accreditation Program for Excellence, the PQRSwizard, the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise-Radiation Oncology initiative, and ASTRO's guidelines, best practices, and white papers.

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Adler will oversee ASTRO's Government Relations and Health Policy departments, and will also continue to lead ASTRO's efforts to collaborate with medical specialty societies, patient advocacy organizations, and other health coalitions.


Hubbard will lead ASTRO's efforts regarding the economics of managing a radiation oncology practice, including the analysis of Medicare and non-Medicare payer reimbursement policy decisions, as well as the development of the society's payment reform initiative.


Douglas Lowy, MD, now Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute, received the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, which was established last year by the Harrington Discovery Institute and the American Society for Clinical Investigation to recognize a physician-scientist who has successfully navigated the path to advance discovery into clinical application.


Lowy was recognized for his key discoveries that led to development of the human papillomavirus vaccine to prevent cancer. The vaccine (developed in collaboration with Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, and approved the FDA in 2006) was the first licensed vaccine to prevent cancer by guarding against the sexually transmitted infection that causes the disease.

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"I can't think of anyone more deserving than Doug Lowy to receive The Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine," Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health, said in a news release. "Through his leadership in the development of the HPV vaccine, Doug has made profound contributions to the prevention of cervical cancer. He continues to seek ways to reduce the burden of this disease in developing countries."


Lowy received a $20,000 honorarium and is scheduled to deliver the Harrington Prize Lecture at the 2015 ASCI and Association of American Physicians Joint Meeting later this month.


UT Southwestern has received a $1 million planning grant from the NCI to develop research proposals for its new National Center for Heavy Ion Radiation Therapy to provide clinical care and research using heavy particles for innovative new cancer treatments. Hak Choy, MD, the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Distinguished Chair in Therapeutic Oncology Research and Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern, is principal investigator for the Texas award.


"Heavy Ion Radiation Therapy represents the next quantum leap forward in cancer care. It is not available in the U.S., and our location would be the first of its kind in the country," Choy said in a news release. "The efficacy of Heavy Ion Radiation Therapy for certain cancers has already been established by foreign institutions, which have conducted clinical trials and found profound increases in overall disease-free survival. However, this therapy needs a more thorough and rigorous scientific approach to uncover its full potential."

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The Texas-based consortium consists of researchers from UT Southwestern, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine, the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the UT Medical Branch at Galveston, and NASA, in addition to national and international collaborators. The new center is scheduled to be completed in 2021.


The American Society of Clinical Oncology has launched a new publication, the Journal of Global Oncology, with the first issue scheduled for later this year. The journal "will fulfill a growing need in clinical oncology literature by providing a peer-review platform for authors to publish research on the array of challenges that low- and middle-income countries face in conducting research and caring for patients with cancer," ASCO President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FASCO, said in a news release.


David Kerr, MD, DSc, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, will serve as the founding Editor-in-Chief. Kerr is also an Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologists at Oxford University Hospitals Trust and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a past president of the European Society of Medical Oncology and has served on numerous medical society international committees and working groups. He also co-founded the Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation.


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