Talent Magnet: Why The James Attracts the Best Cancer Specialists From Around the World

February 20, 2014 4:45 pm

During the last 10 years, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) has recruited about 300 nationally and internationally renowned cancer researchers and physicians from around the world.

“If you go back historically to when I first got here about 16 years ago, I was calling around to a lot of friends and colleagues to see if they’d be interested in looking at Ohio State,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the OSUCCC and CEO of The James. “In the last several years, I’m no longer calling; I’m getting the calls.  For example, over the last few years we’ve recruited 14 oncology experts from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, bringing their expertise – and the expertise of many, many others – to Ohio and the Midwest.

“We’ve become a talent magnet,” he adds. “Cancer experts from all over the country are flocking here to be part of a world-class cancer-fighting team. If you talk to the physicians who are here now, they’ll tell you that this is one of the best places in the country and in the world.

“It’s one of the jewels in the crown of cancer care and cancer research.”

Ohio State recruits physicians and researchers who are experts in just one type of cancer, and that specialization across all modes of treatment – surgery, radiation oncology and chemotherapy – leads to improving outcomes and more hope.

“We’ve recruited expert oncologists and cancer researchers in a single type of cancer – so if you see a lung cancer physician at The James, he or she treats patients, teaches and researches in lung cancer, and nothing else but lung cancer,” Caligiuri says. “We also have recruited researchers who specialize in a single mechanism of a disease, meaning they research and discover only genetic mutations that cause cancer, or they develop therapies that use the body’s own immune system to fight a particular cancer.

“There is no routine cancer,” he explains. “Each cancer is unique, and what makes one person’s cancer stop might not be the treatment that will stop your cancer.  We have to understand the biology and genetics of each person’s cancer, and that takes depth and breadth of knowledge and collaboration that a single physician or a group of physicians who aren’t so specialized would be challenged to attain.”

The OSUCCC – James has more than 200 cancer specialists and more than 300 cancer researchers, all focused on just one type of cancer – yours.

“When you hear those three words, ‘You have cancer,’ you know that at The James there’s an expert who spends 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, thinking, living and breathing about your particular cancer,” Caligiuri says.

That’s what’s different about the OSUCCC – James. Visit cancer.osu.edu to learn more about our team of specialized cancer-fighting experts.

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