Science, innovation, humanitarianism, public service honored at SGO conference

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Ellen J.Sullivan, MS, MSJ
Director of Corporate Communications and Advocacy

Science, innovation, humanitarianism, public service honored at SGO conference

LOS ANGELES (March 9, 2013)—The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) will recognize excellence in gynecologic cancer research and treatment with the presentation of several awards during the Opening Ceremony and Awards Presentation at the Society’s 44th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Jamie Lesnock, MD, of Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, will receive the Best Basic Science Award for her abstract, “Germline versus Somatic BRCA Mutations: Analysis of the Cancer Genome Atlas Project in patients with advanced stage serous epithelial ovarian cancer.” This award, which comes with a $500 prize, recognizes the best basic science abstract presented at the 2012 SGO annual meeting.

Stephanie Wethington, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, will receive the Best Clinical Poster Award from the 2012 annual meeting for the abstract “Clinical Outcome of Serous Tubal Intraepithelial Carcinomas (STIC).” This award also comes with a $500 prize.

The Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology will present several new honors: the Volunteerism & Humanitarian Award, the Innovation Award, and the Public Service Award.

The Volunteerism & Humanitarian Award acknowledges women’s cancer researchers for either their US or international outreach efforts to underserved populations and communities. This year’s recipient is Leo D. Lagasse, MD, for founding Medicine for Humanity. In 1995, Dr. Lagasse co-founded Medicine for Humanity (MFH), a non-profit organization with the mission to improve the health of women in underserved populations by providing much needed medical care. MFH also created sustainable programs for medical education, prevention and treatment. Since its inception, MFH has recruited volunteer medical teams trained in the United States to provide care for women and infants in Africa, Asia, and North and South America.

The Innovation Award was designed to honor exceptionally creative thinkers with “high-risk/high-reward” ideas that have the potential to significantly impact the medical profession’s understanding of and/or approaches to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of gynecologic cancers.
The late C. Thomas Griffiths, MD, will be honored for his seminal work in ovarian cancer surgical cytoreduction. In 1975, Dr. Griffiths, MD, published the groundbreaking paper, “Surgical resection of tumor bulk in the primary treatment of ovarian carcinoma,” in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, which suggested a survival benefit for ovarian cancer patients. Until that time primary surgery was usually the treatment of choice, as debulking ovarian cancer represented a rather unique strategy in oncology.

In conjunction with SGO’s government relations efforts, the Public Service Award recognizes legislators who have a substantial history of supporting and aiding the Society’s mission on Capitol Hill. This year four legislators will be recognized:

  • Rep. Michael C. Burgess, (R-TX)
  • Rep. Lois Capps, (D-CA)
  • Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA)
  • Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-AL)

The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Research Awards recognize efforts to improve outcomes in gynecologic oncology patients with grants from the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology’s Outcomes Research Institute, supported by the GOG. This year the Foundation and the GOG will recognize three researchers:

  • “The Medically Underserved in America: Cervical Cancer Screening Failures,” Kimberly Levinson, MD, MPH, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
  • “Assessment of Palliative Care Training in Gynecologic Oncology,” Ramez N. Eskander, MD, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA
  • “Geographic Disparities in Access to Gynecologic Cancer Care: Optimizing the Distribution of the Gynecologic Oncology Workforce to Improve Cancer Outcomes,” Stephanie Ricci, MD, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore

A final SGO award for the Best Oral Abstract / 2013 Hugh R. K. Barber Outstanding Abstract will be announced during this session.

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About SGO

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is a 501(c)6 national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied health care professionals who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. The Society’s membership, totaling more than 1,600, is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, social workers and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and supportive care. www.sgo.org

About the Foundation

The Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology is a 501(c)3 organization that ensures that SGO meets the needs and provides the resources for members and the women’s cancer care community. www.sgo.org/foundation