Suresh Ramalingam, MD, director of the division of medical oncology in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and a leader of Winship’s Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Program, has been named chair of the thoracic malignancies committee for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), one of the oldest and largest cooperative cancer groups in the country.
As chair of this important committee that selects new trials for such cancers as lung and other malignancies of the chest, Ramalingam, who has served as vice chair of the committee since 2008, will be in a leadership role to help design studies and to test new treatments for lung cancer.
“Dr. Ramalingam has distinguished himself as one of the leading national experts on lung cancer, and he is beginning to shift the treatment paradigm for this disease,” said Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, executive director of Winship Cancer Institute.
“Dr. Ramalingam is an exceptional translational researcher and a superb physician whose entire focus is on improving the care of patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma,” said Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, deputy director of Winship and chair of Emory’s Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, “His accomplishments would be remarkable in an individual twice his age. Dr. Ramalingam has the talent, skill, innovation, and dedication to make a major difference in the war on lung cancer.
Khuri noted that the National Cancer Institute recently awarded Ramalingam a Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award, an honor given to only a select few physician leaders annually. Robert L. Comis, MD, Group Chair of ECOG, cited Ramalingam’s expertise in clinical research in lung cancer as a reason for his selection.
ECOG was established in 1955 as one of the first cooperative groups launched to perform multi-center cancer clinical trials. ECOG is currently one of the largest clinical cancer research organizations in the U.S. with almost 6,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, statisticians, and clinical research associates from the U.S., Canada, and South Africa.
Ramalingam currently serves as chair of E5508, a national Phase III clinical trial that is studying whether giving bevacizumab and pemetrexed disodium alone or in combination after induction therapy is more effective in treating patients with advanced stage non-squamous cell, non-small cell lung cancer. The trial will involve about 1,300 patients.