Headline News

OSUCCC – James Expands Gastrointestinal Oncology Program

Tanios Bekaii SaabThe Gastrointestinal Oncology section at the OSUCCC – James continues to expand with the appointment of Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD, as section chief.

Bekaii-Saab, an associate professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at Ohio State, formerly served as medical director for gastrointestinal cancers at the OSUCCC – James. In his new role, he oversees the clinical and research operations for gastrointestinal oncology and assumes responsibility for recruiting additional physicians who specialize in treating patients with liver, pancreatic, esophageal and colorectal cancers.

“Under Tony’s leadership, the section of Gastrointestinal Oncology will continue to grow, allowing the OSUCCC – James to provide more specialized care while also expanding opportunities for collaborative clinical and translational research,” says OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD.

Bekaii-Saab is a physician-researcher who specializes in treating patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. He has chaired the gastrointestinal cancer disease-specific research group at the OSUCCC – James since 2003.


Lung Cancer Authority Joins OSUCCC – James

David CarboneDavid Carbone, MD, an internationally renowned lung cancer expert, has recently joined the OSUCCC – James as a professor in Ohio State’s Division of Medical Oncology and will be developing and leading a new thoracic oncology center. The center will bring physicians and scientists together to develop new and targeted approaches to treating and curing lung cancer.

Dr. Carbone is an expert in the molecular genetics of lung tumors, which includes understanding the cells and genetic markers in each patient’s lung cancer and developing treatments and drugs that target specific tumor cells. He comes to the OSUCCC – James from Vanderbilt University, where he was a professor of medicine and cancer biology. Carbone directed the Experimental Therapeutics Program and then the Thoracic and Head & Neck Cancer Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. He also led Vanderbilt’s Thoracic Oncology Center.


OSUCCC – James Researchers Find Possible Therapy for Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancer

Bhuvana RamaswamyA study published in the journal Cancer Research by researchers at the OSUCCC – James has discovered how tamoxifen-resistant breast-cancer cells grow and proliferate. It also suggests that an experimental agent might offer a novel targeted therapy for tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer.

Doctors use the drug tamoxifen to treat estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors, and the drug has improved the disease-free survival of people with ER-positive breast cancer by 50 percent, notes first author Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, MD, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at the OSUCCC – James. “But 30 to 40 percent of patients taking tamoxifen become resistant to it after about five years,” she says. Currently, there are very limited options for these patients and most end up receiving chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy is associated with significant side effects. This study has identified targeted therapies that could be an alternative to chemotherapy for these resistant tumors.

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