Dec. 15, 2015

A banner year for Winship

Winship Cancer Institute celebrates 2015 as a banner year during which the cancer center gained national recognition for patient care and for its basic and clinical research initiatives.

"It's been an extraordinary year," says Winship Executive Director Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD. "Our patient services have grown on all of our campuses, and Winship has an all-time high in the number of grants our investigators hold and the number of grant applications they have submitted. We also saw some of our most important research discoveries published in the most prominent medical journals."

Winship investigators looked at new uses of nanotechnology, new targets in lung cancer, a better way of classifying brain tumors using molecular analysis, and new ways to engage the immune system.

Winship's clinical trials program enrolled more patients on trials than in any other year and contributed to the approval of four new therapies for multiple myeloma. According to Sagar Lonial, MD, Winship chief medical officer, the Winship myeloma team took the lead on trials that resulted in the approval of the first immunotherapy drugs for myeloma.

For the second year in a row, Winship was ranked as a top 25 cancer program nationwide, moving up from 24th to 22nd nationally, and as best in Georgia by U.S. News & World Report. Winship also got a boost in national exposure when two well-known Georgians came here for treatment: Kansas City Chiefs football player Eric Berry, and former president Jimmy Carter. Berry started treatment at Winship for Hodgkin lymphoma at the beginning of the year and was back in the game by the end of the summer. At about the time that Berry was returning to training camp, Jimmy Carter was telling the world about his cancer diagnosis and treatment by Winship doctors.

In its commitment to bring exemplary cancer care to all Georgians, Winship expanded staff and services this year at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Emory John's Creek Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Winship successfully raised more than $778,000 to support cancer research through the Winship Win the Fight 5K walk/run, despite the main event being rained out. Looking ahead to 2016, Curran says Winship will implement a new 3-year strategic plan, apply for renewal of its National Cancer Institute designation and at the same time apply for comprehensive cancer center status.

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