The International Cardio-Oncology Society (ICOS) has designated Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University a gold-level Cardio-Oncology "Center of Excellence," one of fewer than 35 gold-level centers worldwide. The gold-level designation is the highest status awarded by ICOS and follows a rigorous application process and review by an international certification committee.
Anant Mandawat, MD, director of Winship's Cardio-Oncology Program, says ICOS's Center of Excellence designation is significant for Winship and its patients. "It highlights Winship’s focus on comprehensive and integrative care," he says, "in particular, our strong track record of collaborative and personalized cardiac care for patients with cancer."
ICOS defines a Cardio-Oncology Center of Excellence as a program with a high concentration of expertise that is providing care in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion. ICOS notes that cardiovascular side effects are common among people treated for cancer. Some cardiac diseases predate the cancer diagnosis, while other conditions — such as chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy, immune checkpoint inhibitor myocarditis and radiation-related heart disease — are directly related to the cardiotoxic side effects of some cancer therapies. Importantly, cardiovascular toxicity can interrupt or limit cancer treatment, resulting in worse outcomes.
The Center of Excellence designation demonstrates how Winship is leading the way in helping these patients. Winship’s Cardio-Oncology Program has experts in the early detection, prevention and treatment of cardiac diseases in patients with cancer. It specializes in cutting-edge techniques to detect cardiac disease early and prevent complications that may result before, during or after cancer treatment. It also has an active research program to improve understanding of the mechanism and treatment of cardiovascular toxicity from cancer therapy.
"Winship's Cardio-Oncology Program is a valuable asset in allowing our patients to receive cancer therapy safely while protecting their heart function," says Kevin Kalinsky, MD, MS, director of breast medical oncology and the Glenn Family Breast Center and the Louisa and Rand Glenn Family Chair in Breast Cancer Research at Winship.
Says Suresh Ramalingam, MD, executive director of Winship Cancer Institute, "The Center of Excellence designation is a testament to Winship's commitment to achieve the best cancer outcomes and to provide services that span the entire spectrum of cancer care."