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Global Cancer Institute Brings on Two New Chief Medical Officers

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Two longtime GCI collaborators step up to take more active role in driving key programs for underserved cancer patients

BOSTON - eTradeWire -- Global Cancer Institute (GCI), which is focused on improving survival rates for underserved cancer patients worldwide, announced today that it has brought on Co-Chief Medical Offers to help accelerate its programs for breast and gynecologic cancers. Both are longtime GCI partners and volunteers who are stepping up to take more active roles: Dr. Don S. Dizon of Brown University, and Dr. Ben Park of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

GCI is known for its focus on developing countries, where cancer death rates are double those in the U.S. Its primary programs are:

-       Global Tumor Boards which help physicians and oncologists in developing countries connect directly to U.S. physicians by videoconference to discuss challenging cancer cases and ask advice.

-       Patient Navigation Programs intended to help ensure cancer patients have rapid access to treatment. Patient Navigators help patients find physicians, deal with insurance companies, book treatment appointments, and follow up to make sure patients get to appointments. This low-cost intervention is making a big impact: In a Mexico City pilot, the program reduced the median time from diagnosis to referral to a cancer center from two months to 11 days, boosting patient outcomes and survival rates.

-       Cancer Databases to track and understand socio-demographics, treatment choices and outcomes in patients in developing countries, to bring attention to long-standing cancer control problems (such as the breast cancer epidemic in Mexico).

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Both Dr. Dizon and Dr. Park have led the GCI's Tumor Boards in gynecologic and breast oncology, respectively, and are familiar with GCI's programs. They are excited to expand their roles beyond the Tumor Boards in their respective areas of expertise, including international outreach and outcomes research and education.

Dr. Dizon, a Professor of Medicine at Brown University, is a medical oncologist specializing in the care of breast and pelvic cancers. He trained in Internal Medicine at Yale New-Haven Hospital and completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. In addition to his role at GCI, Dr. Dizon serves as the Director of Women's Cancers and Director of Hematology-Oncology clinics at Lifespan Cancer Institute and Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital.

Dr. Park trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology at The University of Pennsylvania prior to completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Park then joined the faculty in the Breast Cancer Program at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins prior to joining Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2018. In addition to his role at GCI, he is currently the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Basic and Translational Research in the Division of Heme/Onc, Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program, Associate Director for Translational Research and Director of Precision Oncology at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

"We are very fortunate to have both Dr. Dizon and Dr. Park taking a more active role in driving GCI's international programs," said Dr. Paul Goss, Founder and Chairman of GCI. "The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap in access to cancer care in developing countries, making GCI's work more important than ever. As GCI's co-Chief Medical Officers, Drs. Dizon and Park will play key roles in ensuring access to quality care for the world's most disadvantaged."

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"I've been a longtime admirer of GCI's programs, and through the work I did with Dr. Goss when we were both at the MGH Cancer Center, I came to understand just how deep the efforts GCI is making to meet the urgent need for cancer care assistance in resource-limited countries," said Dr. Dizon. "It's an honor and a privilege to work alongside Dr. Goss and Dr. Park to help raise survival rates for these patients."

"Becoming involved in GCI really opened my eyes to the wide disparities in cancer care around the world," said Dr. Park. "Together, we can make a big difference in democratizing access to high standards of care. I'm thrilled to play a part in helping to bring U.S. knowledge and best practices to physicians and patients in developing countries – knowledge is power, and should be free for everyone with cancer."

About Global Cancer Institute
Global Cancer Institute (GCI) is focused on improving survival rates for underserved cancer patients worldwide. Today, cancer death rates in developing countries are double those in the U.S. – GCI is working to close that gap. GCI works directly with physicians in developing countries to propagate simple interventions and treatments that are common in the U.S today, and proven to accelerate diagnosis, access and treatment. Learn more about our programs at http://globalcancerinstitute.org/.

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Source: Global Cancer Institute
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