Article Content

Roman Skoracki, MD, Now Director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center

Roman Skoracki, MD, has been named Medical Director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center (SSCBC) at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James). He succeeds William Farrar, MD, current Chief Executive Officer of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, who has served as Medical Director of the SSCBC since its inception in 2011.


Skoracki, who joined Ohio State in 2014, also leads the Division of Oncologic Plastic Surgery at the OSUCCC - James and serves as a professor in the Ohio State College of Medicine.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.
Roman Skoracki, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowRoman Skoracki, MD. Roman Skoracki, MD

Prior to joining Ohio State, he spent 11 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he pioneered surgical procedures to relieve the side effects of lymphedema that he and his colleagues now teach across the world.


Under Skoracki's leadership, the OSUCCC - James earned designation as a Comprehensive Center of Excellence in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lymphatic Diseases by the Lymphatic Education and Research Network in 2020. This network extends its designation to hospitals that meet stringent quality standards for medical care of lymphedema and lymphatic diseases in patient communities, including oncology.


"Dr. Skoracki is an incredibly caring and talented surgeon. He is passionate about quality of life for his patients, and it shows in his care approach. The techniques he helped develop benefit patients in our community and beyond. I look forward to working with him as he assumes leadership for the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center," said Farrar.


Skoracki has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life for patients impacted by cancer, with a special focus on breast reconstruction and the surgical treatment of lymphedema. A recognized leader in the field of microsurgery he has presented at international conferences and taught at other institutions across the U.S. and the world. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and currently serves as section editor for several journals and is the co-editor of several textbooks.


"I am so honored to assume this role and help support this incredible team of breast cancer caregivers as we work together to bring the very best comprehensive breast cancer care to patients impacted by this disease-both during treatment and throughout survivorship," Skoracki noted.


Investigators Win Award for Astropath Cancer Mapping Technology

Johns Hopkins astrophysicist, Alexander Szalay, PhD, and Kimmel Cancer Center pathologist Janis Taube, MD, MSc, received a Life Sciences 2021 award for AstroPath at this year's Falling Walls Science Summit, an international event honoring research breakthroughs from across the globe.


The Johns Hopkins submission titled "Breaking the Wall to Mapping Cancer Using Multispectral Microscopy" was selected from hundreds of entries for the AstroPath platform design. AstroPath is a new, comprehensive platform for imaging and mapping microscopic sections of tumors to identify and validate predictive biomarkers to guide precision immunotherapies for cancer.

Alexander Szalay, Ph... - Click to enlarge in new windowAlexander Szalay, PhD. Alexander Szalay, PhD
Janis Taube, MD, MSc... - Click to enlarge in new windowJanis Taube, MD, MSc. Janis Taube, MD, MSc

"It's a convergence of scientific technology, big data and astronomy-aimed at curing cancer," said Szalay, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Computer Science, as well as Director of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science at The Johns Hopkins University.


"Biomarkers are essential to understanding individual cancer signatures. Using this spatial mapping approach, we can better determine which patients will or will not respond to a cancer therapy. Our long-term goal is to match individual patients with personalized therapies," said Taube, Professor of Dermatology and Director of the Division of Dermatopathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


The foundation of the AstroPath platform is the database for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a 3D digital map of the universe architected by Szalay. "In astronomy we often ask, What is the probability that galaxies are near each other? We apply the same approach to cancer-looking at spatial relations in the tumor microenvironment. It is the same problem on a vastly different scale," he said.


Just as the Sloan Survey maps the cosmos on an astronomical scale, AstroPath maps tumor cells on a microscopic scale. "Who would have thought techniques from astronomy would end up saving lives?" Szalay concluded.


Joelle Fathi, DNP, Joins GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

Joelle Fathi, DNP now serves as Chief Healthcare Delivery Officer with the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. In this position, she will lead the foundation's Excellence in Screening and Care department, which includes the GO2 Foundation Centers of Excellence, a network consisting of more than 850 primarily community-based medical facilities providing excellence in lung cancer early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.


Fathi has a long-standing relationship with GO2 Foundation. She has presented at the organization's annual Centers of Excellence Summit for several years and serves on GO2 Foundation's Scientific Leadership Board (SLB) as part of the Early Detection Committee. The SLB provides recommendations for leadership and staff to guide program and project development in support of the organization's mission.

Joelle Fathi, DNP. J... - Click to enlarge in new windowJoelle Fathi, DNP. Joelle Fathi, DNP

Fathi is an adult acute care nurse practitioner with more than 30 years of experience. She spent the last decade caring for patients across the lung cancer continuum and has a proven track record of leading multidisciplinary teams to produce measurable and sustainable results on behalf of patients and communities. She is also a nurse educator and a staunch advocate for systems change, funding, and regulation to achieve better access to care and optimal outcomes for marginalized and underserved populations.


"That I am proud to join this team is an understatement of the sentiment I have always carried for GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer," said Fathi. "I'm in awe of the depths of GO2 Foundation's drive, as well as the organization's commitment to all those living with and at risk for lung cancer which has ignited the world and accomplished so much of what GO2 Foundation has set out to do. I am sincerely honored that I've been invited to join GO2 Foundation on this quest, and I look forward to our next steps and to getting to work."


Fathi most recently served concurrent roles as an adult nurse practitioner at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and as Program Director for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the University of Washington. She is a 2021 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and served as 2020/2021 Track Chair on the Program Planning Committee for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, World Conference. Throughout her career, she has held positions as a nurse practitioner at the Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Associate Professor for the School of Nursing at the University of Washington, and as Director of Nursing Practice and Health Policy for the Washington State Nurses Association.


Scott Lippman to Launch NCI's PreCancer Genome Atlas

Scott Lippman, MD, will launch and lead the PreCancer Genome Atlas, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored effort to map in time and space all of the molecular, cellular, and structural characteristics of premalignant lesions and how they evolve into invasive cancers. He will retain his appointment as Associate Vice Chancellor for cancer research and care at University of California San Diego and transition from his current role as Director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health.


Lippman, who became Director of Moores Cancer Center in 2012, oversaw a period of notable growth, collaboration, and discovery. He will remain as Director during a national search for his successor.

Scott Lippman, MD. S... - Click to enlarge in new windowScott Lippman, MD. Scott Lippman, MD

"Dr. Lippman has not only achieved everything we had hoped during his tenure as director, he has exceeded all expectations. Oncology at UC San Diego Health is now one of the leading academic cancer centers in the world, much of that due to Dr. Lippman's leadership," said David Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at UC San Diego. "Dr. Lippman is also directing the cancer initiative for the entire UC system."


"It has been an extraordinary 10 years and I am very grateful to all of my outstanding colleagues at UC San Diego and in the San Diego community for making my vision a reality," said Lippman, who is also a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and holder of the Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer. "It is very exciting to step into a new leadership role at UC San Diego Health and continue patient care and research to make a difference in patients' lives. I look forward to welcoming a new director to take the lead for the next generation of Moores Cancer Center and am eager to watch its bright future unfold."


Lippman's tenure has been highlighted by significant clinical growth to 400 physicians, nurses and staff serving more than 100,000 patients annually, and facilities expansion to five clinical locations in the region and three affiliations.


City of Hope to Acquire Cancer Treatment Centers of America

City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer research and treatment organization, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), a network of oncology hospitals and outpatient care centers across the U.S. City of Hope's strategic acquisition of CTCA will advance the missions of both organizations, building a national, integrated cancer research and treatment system to transform the future of cancer care.


With CTCA, City of Hope builds on and accelerates its vision to forge partnerships and find new avenues for its expertise to positively impact as many lives as possible. In addition to the ongoing, significant expansion of its clinical network in Southern California, City of Hope previously acquired Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), which provides breakthrough genomics research. TGen's capabilities are fully leveraged to provide highly specialized care and precision medicine treatment to City of Hope patients across its clinical care network. And in 2019, City of Hope launched AccessHopeTM to extend the reach of its clinical and research expertise directly to partner employers, including 17 of the Fortune 500 companies, so they can provide their employees with cancer information and expert clinical decision support.


Combined, City of Hope and CTCA will include approximately 11,000 team members, comprising the collaborative expertise of 575 physicians across a network of locations in California, including a new campus in Irvine opening in summer 2022, as well as Arizona, Illinois, and Georgia. Basu will remain CEO of CTCA and report to Robert Stone.


"Cancer treatment is changing rapidly. Today, through advances such as immunotherapy, precision medicine and other treatments available through clinical trials, there are better survival rates and fewer side effects than ever before. A critical part of cancer care is closing the gap to access that exists for too many patients, particularly in underserved communities," noted Robert Stone, CEO for City of Hope. "By joining forces with CTCA, we're taking a major step forward in our mission to democratize cancer care and bring today's treatments and tomorrow's discoveries to even more people who need them now."


The transaction is expected to close in early 2022, subject to regulatory approvals. After close, City of Hope intends to convert CTCA to a nonprofit organization.