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Accomplishments and Milestones

A lifetime of work to stop cancer

For more than 75 years, Winship Cancer Institute has worked tirelessly to prevent, treat and cure cancer.

When it opened in 1937, Winship was the first center providing advanced care for cancer patients in the Southeast. Today, as Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center, Winship is among the nation's leaders in seeking out new ways to defeat cancer and in translating that knowledge into patient care. Winship envisions a future when science triumphs over cancer, and throughout our history, we have stopped at nothing in our efforts to achieve that goal as soon as possible.

Important accomplishments and milestones

2012 Highlights:

  • First in the U.S. to test new brain tumor drug
  • Winship researchers discover that a combination of two anti-cancer drugs (lapatinib and rapamycin) can stop growth in triple-negative breast cancer cell lines and begin testing its safety and effectiveness in a clinical trial for patients who have already been through a first round of chemotherapy.  Study senior author/designer is Ruth O'Regan, MD.
  • Winship researcher, Suresh Ramalingam, MD chairs prominent clinical trails committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)
  • August, 2012 Winship receives NCI designation renewal

2011 Highlights:

  • Emory University Hospital earns the Outstanding Achievement Award  by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons in recognition of its high quality care to cancer patients.
  • Winship and Emory Healthcare partner with Advance Particle Therapy, LLC,  to develop the Georgia Proton Therapy Center. Proton therapy involves the use of a controlled beam of protons to target cancerous and non-cancerous tumors with a precision that is unavailable in other radiation therapies. It is an aggressive approach to treating certain cancers and its accuracy potentially reduces side effects in patients.
  • Winship Cancer Institute has opened a clinical trial for treatment of a rare form of lymphoma called Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) and is the only cancer facility in the state of Georgia where this treatment is available.
  • Researchers from Winship Cancer Institute and Georgia Tech publish findings in the journal Cancer Research that show how tiny gold particles in patients with head and neck cancer can help doctors detect tumor cells circulating in the blood.
  • A team of surgeons at Emory University Hospital perform the hospital’s first successful robotic pancreatectomy surgeries using the da Vinci Surgical System. Proponents of robotic surgery feel this technology provides better outcomes and fewer side effects when the pancreas or part of it is removed due to cancer and other disease.
  • Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program receives recognition for 10th Anniversary of FACT (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy) accreditation.

2010 Highlights:

  • Changed official name to Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • Breast Center accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)
  • Winship Joins the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium to study the frequency of oncogenic mutations in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung. Learn more

2009 Highlights:

2008: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia recognizes Winship Cancer Institute as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers, focusing on complex inpatient and surgical care. Winship is the only facility in the metropolitan Atlanta area and one of only 85 in the United States to earn this designation.

2007: The National Cancer Institute awards a five-year, $12.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in head and neck cancer to Winship Cancer Institute. This is the first SPORE grant ever received in the state of Georgia.

2006: NCI selects the Emory and Georgia Tech joint research program as one of seven National Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE).

2005: Chemical Biology Discovery Center selected by SAIC-Frederick, Inc. (SAIC-F) to be part of an 11-member national consortium aimed at accelerating the discovery and development of new and innovative, targeted cancer therapies. The national Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC) will bridge the gap between basic scientific investigation and clinical research supported by the NCI and focus on unmet needs such as drugs that are of low interest to pharmaceutical industry, but could have significant benefit for patients.

2004: Winship, in collaboration with Georgia Tech, receives a $10 million NIH grant to study how nanotechnology -- the use of microscopic machines -- can help fight prostate cancer.

2003: Winship opens a new, 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. Its new home houses all original departments plus additional research and high-tech treatment facilities.

2002: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) approves Winship's grant to pursue cancer center designation as a comprehensive cancer care center.

1999: Dr. Jonathon W. Simons, a highly acclaimed physician-scientist who specializes in translational research, is named the Center's new director. The Center changes its name to Winship Cancer Institute.

1985: The Clinic is renamed the Winship Cancer Center and becomes more integrated into Emory University Hospital. It also begins coordinating cancer research and treatment for Emory, Crawford Long (now Emory University Hospital Midtown) and Grady hospitals and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

1966: Dr. Scarborough dies of pancreatic cancer. He is posthumously awarded the 1967 Shining Light Award for his service to the Atlanta community.

1966: The Winship Cancer Clinic relocates into the Emory Clinic.

1964: The number of patients treated has risen to nearly 15,000 per year.

1955: Dr. Scarborough is appointed to the board of directors of the American Cancer Society.

1954: Dr. Scarborough publicly declares he is convinced that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. This statement comes at one of his many public appearances, intended to educate the public about cancer prevention and treatment.

1951: Experts refer to Winship Cancer Clinic as "one of the best in the nation."

1949: Dr. Scarborough is named to the National Advisory Cancer Council, a group of experts who advise federal agencies on policy issues, now known as the National Advisory Cancer Board.

1939: In its first year, the clinic treats 168 patients.

1938: Dr. Elliott Scarborough begins his tenure as the clinic's first doctor and director. The clinic opens in a sun porch at the end of the east wing of Emory Hospital, adjacent to the emergency department. It has four people on staff.

1937: The Robert Winship Memorial Clinic is founded at Emory University with a gift from Robert Woodruff. Woodruff, the president of Coca-Cola, had lost his mother to cancer that year. The Clinic is named in honor of Mr. Woodruff's maternal grandfather, Robert Winship.