Medical Oncology

The Division of Medical Oncology is made up of a diverse group of clinical and basic science faculty, clinical and research trainees, laboratory technicians, students, administrators, and administrative assistants. This group, in addition to nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, social workers, and physicians from other disciplines such as surgery, pathology, radiation oncology, psychiatry, and supportive oncology work together in a multidisciplinary team approach to provide patients with individual treatment plans specific to their type of cancer.

The goal of this division is to provide the best cancer care possible for patients while also leading the field in cutting-edge cancer research through outstanding collaborative efforts.

The division's disease based working groups include:

Aerodigestive

The aerodigestive working group consists of a highly collaborative multidisciplinary team of personnel including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, interventional pulmonologists, pathologists and radiologists. The working group meets on a weekly basis to review all ongoing clinical trials and to evaluate new research concepts. The group is ably supported by two regulatory specialists and five research coordinators that are involved in various aspects of initiation and implementation of clinical trials. The working group is supported by registered nurses, mid-level providers and a patient navigator.

The aerodigestive working group evaluates new research concepts and works on innovative ideas that will subsequently be developed into clinical trials. One of the major goals of the working group is to move novel discoveries from the research laboratories at the Winship Cancer Institute to clinical trials intended to improve the outcome for patients with aero-digestive malignancies. The working group supports clinical trials that are part of the prestigious SPORE Award in Head and Neck Cancer and the program project (PO1) on lung cancer. The working group also participates in phase II/III clinical trials conducted by the National Cancer Cooperative Groups that are designed to develop new standards of care for patients with aero-digestive malignancies. In addition, the working group also conducts research studies to individualize treatment options for patients based on the molecular profile of their tumors. As part of this, we conduct mutation testing studies for certain sub-types of lung cancer and also are working on a project to sequence the whole genome of the cancer.

For patients seeking care for an aerodigestive malignancy, please visit the Winship Cancer Institute website. See links below.

Lung cancer care at Winship

Head and neck cancer care at Winship

Thyroid cancer care at Winship

Breast Cancer

The breast cancer working group in a multi-disciplinary team of investigators involved in breast cancer clinical research. The group meets every week and discusses all trials at Emory that accrue patients with breast cancer. Individual plans for patients receiving study-related treatment are discussed. Trial conduct including adverse events is discussed in detail.  All new protocols are discussed in detail so all investigators are familiar with eligibility and other trial considerations.

Any new updates from national and international clinical trials are discussed and practice patterns are changed when appropriate. This allows all members of the breast team to be aware of and have the ability to treat patients with the most innovative and effective therapies. Team members are made aware of potential funding mechanisms.

A key part of the breast cancer program is the collection of patient specimens. We have several protocols that allow us to take tissue from patients specifically for research. These protocols and discussed and updated. Any investigator wishing to use tissue from the breast cancer bank makes an application in writing and final approval is given by members of the breast cancer tumor bank.

For patients seeking breast cancer care, please visit breast cancer care web page at Winship Cancer Institute

Gastrointestinal

The focus of the gastrointestinal (GI) working group is to deliver comprehensive state of the art care as a multidisciplinary team for patients with GI cancers.  The members of this team meet at twice a week. During these meetings, the group members discuss patients' medical cases, ensuring that the appropriate management plans are in place. These meetings facilitate interaction between physicians with different specialties enabling the patients to benefit from the wide spectrum of treatments available for the management of GI cancers.

Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract include a wide spectrum of complex disorders. Diagnosis of these diseases usually requires endoscopic procedures to obtain tissue biopsy and experienced pathologists to evaluate the biopsies. Treatments for these diseases may include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and liver-directed interventions. The working group includes physicians who are proficient at delivering a wide array of liver-directed therapies ranging from liver transplant, surgical resection, ablation (destruction) of tumors using heat or microwave, focal radiation, or injection of chemotherapy or radioactive particles directly into the blood supply of the liver. The GI working group has extensive experience with the management of rare tumors such as neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoids) and appendiceal tumors (intraperitoneal chemotherapy).

The GI working group is heavily invested in developing novel treatments for cancer through the design and conduct of innovative clinical trials. The research portfolio of the GI working group includes trials that focus on personalized medicine, new drug development as well as trials that focus on the incorporation of drug therapy with radiation, surgery or liver directed therapies. The research being conducted by the GI working group at the Winship Cancer Institute includes trials developed and conducted exclusively at Emory as well as national trials. Therefore, patients being evaluated by the GI working group will have the option of receiving the standard of care treatment or participating in the innovative treatment programs.

For patients seeking care for a gastrointestinal malignancy, please visit the Winship Cancer Institute website. See links below.

Colorectal cancer care at Winship

Esophageal cancer care at Winship

Gastric cancer care at Winship

Pancreatic cancer care at Winship

Liver cancer care at Winship

Genitourinary

The multidisciplinary genitourinary (GU) group include urologists, radiation oncologist, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, biostatisticians, clinical trials research assistants, and regulatory specailists. The group meets monthly to discuss new study ideas and new projects and clinical trials and monitor the status of active clinical trials and projects. The purpose of the group is to condcut clinical and translational projects in patients with cancers of prostate, bladder, kidney or testis. Monthly meetings facilitate discussions and collaboration, new study opportunities, review of accrual, compliance and adverse effects.

Members of the GU working group provide outstanding care to patients with urologic cancers. Patients have the opportunity to have a multidisciplinary input in treatment planning when they first present to us. In addition, patients benefit from the availablity of phase I, II and III clinical trials inititated by our investigators, or cooperative groups such as ECOG and RTOG. Clinical trials with biomarker endpoints take advantage of expertise and resources available at basic science laboratories at Emory.

For patients seeking care for a genitourinary malignancy, please visit the Winship Cancer Institute website. See links below.

Bladder cancer care at Winship

Prostate cancer care at Winship

Renal cancer care at Winship

Testicular cancer care at Winship

Grady

The Grady Clinical Research Committee Working Group is a multi-disciplinary team of investigators, administrators from Grady, Emory, and Morehouse, pharmacologists, and medical staff involved in the care of cancer patients at Grady Health System. As well as representation from the Clinical Trials Office of Winship Cancer Institute. The group meets monthly and discusses all potential trials to be opened at Grady as well as monitoring those approved trials that accrue patients for the following areas; breast, head/neck, lung, GI, GU, sarcoma, brain, melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and others. All new protocols are reviewed and discussed in detail including funding mechanisms.

This working group promotes and encourages clinical trials from all departments of Emory and Morehouse Medical Schools as they strive to build the cancer program in the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence and the AVON Comprehensive Breast Center at Grady.

Melanoma

The melanoma working group is composed of basic scientists, pathologists, dermatologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, advanced practitioners, nurses, research coordinators and regulatory specialists all working together to improve the treatment and outcomes for patients with melanoma.

The basic science component of our working group is focused on projects in drug development, improved understanding of immune responses to melanoma, better understanding of the mechanisms of malignant cell growth, and understanding of tumor promotion of new blood vessel formation.

The dermatology section is primarily dedicated to prevention and early detection of melanoma, as well as interest in measuring outcomes of interventions to accomplish these goals. The pathology section is primarily interested in diagnosis and further characterization of melanoma, including by molecular techniques. The surgical and medical oncology sections are primarily involved in improved treatments for patients with high risk and advanced melanoma. Clinical trials are a key component of these efforts.

For patients seeking melanoma care, please visit melanoma care web page at Winship Cancer Institute

Neuro-Oncology

The neuro-oncology working group functions as a multidisciplinary brain/spinal cord tumor integrated team of professionals from the fields of neuropathology, neuroradiology, nuerosurgery, and medical neuro-oncology, and laboratory scientists of the Brain Tumor Program at Winship for rapid translational research. The neuro-oncology working group at Winship offers patients faster and more effective treatment.

The working group holds weekly brain tumor conferences to discuss the management of cases in a multidisciplinary team including neurosurgery, medical neuro-oncology, neuro-radiology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, and neurosurgery. The program is also a member of the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium (ABTC). The goal of the program is to improve the therapeutic outcome for adults with primary brain tumors. This is a nationwide consortium, funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct mainly phase I and phase II clinical evaluations of promising new treatment strategies, routes of administrations, and clinical trial design in the treatment of primary malignancies of the central nervous system. The primary goals of the ABTC are to develop scientific advances and improve clinical outcomes for patients with primary brain tumors.

For patients seeking care for a brain or spinal malignancy, please visit the brain and spine tumors care web page at Winship Cancer Institute

Sarcoma

The sarcoma working group is a multidisciplinary team of individuals committed to quality clinical research for patients with soft tissue sarcomas, bone sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Sarcomas are rare tumors for which not many standard therapies exist therefore; development of novel agents is of utmost importance.

During team meetings new ideas for studies are discussed. Existing protocols are also reviewed, so that all members of the group are able to effectively screen for eligible patients. All adverse events for patients on current trials and regulatory details related to trial conduct are also reviewed.

The sarcoma tissue bank is managed by members of the sarcoma working group and interest in utilizing the tissue bank for research endeavors should be directly communicated to the group for approval.

For patients seeking care for sarcoma, please visit the sarcoma care web page at Winship Cancer Institute