Amelia Langston Named Medical Director of Winship Cancer Network, Jordan Scott Orange Receives Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award, and more

Amelia (Amy) Langston, MD
Amelia (Amy) Langston, MD

Amelia Langston Named Medical Director of Winship Cancer Network

Amelia (Amy) Langston, MD, joined the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University as medical director of the Winship Cancer Network. Previously, Dr. Langston was professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and medical director of the Bone Marrow Transplant and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Emory University.

She will work with Vanessa Bramble, the director of network development, to foster collaboration with community health-care organizations in the region. The goal of the Winship Cancer Network, which launched in January 2016, is to partner and collaborate with nearby organizations to provide patients access to innovative cancer research and treatment.

“The Winship Cancer Network will benefit greatly from Dr. Langston’s depth of clinical oncology experience and knowledge of innovative research discoveries at Winship Cancer Institute, Georgia’s National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center,” said Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, executive director of Winship.

Dr. Langston specializes in hematopoietic cell transplantation and treats patients with hematologic malignancies.

Source: Winship Cancer Institute press release, December 1, 2017.

Jordan Scott Orange, MD, PhD
Jordan Scott Orange, MD, PhD

Jordan Scott Orange Receives Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award

Jordan Scott Orange, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and chief of the Section of Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, was awarded the 2018 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. He was recognized for his work in defining natural killer cell deficiencies, which has helped improve diagnosis and treatment of immunodeficiencies.

“Learning more about how natural killer cells work could have an important role in the therapy of some of the most vexing medical conditions that we face,” said Mark W. Kline, MD, J.S. Abercrombie Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics  at Baylor College of Medicine and Ralph D. Feigin Chair and physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “The potential of his work is just now beginning to manifest.”

Dr. Orange is also the director of the Center for Human Immunobiology at Texas Children’s Hospital. In June, he will begin a new position as chair of pediatrics in the College of Physicians & Surgeons and pediatrician-in-chief of New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Source: The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas news release, December 2017.

UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute Receives Funding for Pediatric Cancer Research

The California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine awarded the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative of the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genomics Institute a $500,000 research grant. This award will supplement the institute’s work with the California Kids Cancer Comparison (CKCC), a collaboration between Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to collect and analyze genomic data from children with cancer.

With this funding, CKCC and UCSC Treehouse will conduct a 24-month registry study and evaluate the effectiveness of comparative RNA-sequence analysis in the clinic, including its impact on clinical decision-making, patient and family understanding of and engagement with genomic analysis, and tracking patient outcomes.

“We will have the ability to formally assess the clinical utility of genomic analysis within the clinical environment,” said Isabel Bjork, director of pediatric programs at the Genomics Institute. In addition, all analyses will be made publicly available.

Source: University of California Santa Cruz Genomics Institute press release, January 8, 2018.

The Sarah Cannon Fund Provides $5 Million in Funding for MCL Research Projects

The Sarah Cannon Fund at The HCA Foundation committed $5 million to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for research programs for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). The funding will support two multidisciplinary research teams developing MCL treatment strategies at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California, and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

Selina Chen-Kiang, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and her team are investigating the efficacy of the breast cancer drug palbociclib for the treatment of MCL. Another team, led by Larry Kwak, MD, PhD, vice president and cancer center associate director for Translational Research & Developmental Therapeutics, director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, and Dr. Michael Friedman Professor in Translational Medicine at the City of Hope, are studying novel immunotherapies to control MCL, including new antibody-based therapeutics and chimeric receptor antigen T-cell immunotherapies.

Source: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society news release, January 8, 2018.