Local Researcher, Surgical Oncologist Receives National Award

in Health & Medicine, News Releases, School of Medicine
May 15th, 2012

Contact: Gina DiGravio, 617-638-8480, gina.digravio@bmc.org

(Boston) – Boston resident Maureen T. Kavanah, MD, an Associate Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and a surgical oncologist at Boston Medical Center (BMC), has received the prestigious 2012 National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Distinguished Investigator Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary contributions and meritorious service to the NSABP in support of clinical research in breast and colorectal cancers.

During her nearly three decades of service at Boston University Medical Campus, Dr. Kavanah has exemplified the spirit of the award through her dedication to the promotion, publication and presentation of clinical research. “This award reflects not only Dr. Kavanah’s commitment to excellence in research and patient care, but to advancing treatment for breast cancer nationally and internationally,” said Gerard Doherty, MD, the James Utley Professor and chair of surgery at BUSM and chief of surgery at BMC.

Dr. Kavanah became a research investigator with the NSABP in 1981, and has held several leadership positions within the organization. As the Principal Investigator of the NSABP Clinical Research at BMC, she has led numerous NSABP-sponsored clinical studies in breast and bowel cancers.  She has served on NSABP’s Board of Directors since 1988, and also serves as the Protocol Chair for The Breast Cancer Prevention Trial P-1. She also serves as the Chairman of the Ethics Committee.

In addition to her renowned scientific achievements, Dr. Kavanah has dedicated her time to the scientific community by serving as a faculty supervisor for many young investigators. In 1990, she established BMC as a full-member institution of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and served as its Principal Investigator until 1994. Dr. Kavanah belongs to numerous professional organizations and has been a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons, the President of the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Surgeons, President of the New England Cancer Society and has chaired the National Cancer Institute Central IRB (Institutional Review Board). She has lectured extensively and has been listed as a Top Doctor by Boston Magazine annually since 2008.

Dr. Kavanah received the 2012 award during a ceremony held in Scottsdale, on April 29 at the NSABP clinical trials annual meeting.

The NSABP Foundation, Inc., has a 50-year history of designing and conducting clinical trials that have changed the standard of treatment in breast and colorectal cancer. As a not-for-profit clinical trials cooperative, it’s supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute and in part from the Tobacco Settlement Act and other sources. It pioneered breast cancer studies that led to the establishment of lumpectomy plus radiation over mastectomy as the standard surgical treatment for breast cancer. It also was the first to demonstrate that adjuvant therapy (treatment in addition to surgery) could alter the natural history of breast cancer, increasing survival rates, and demonstrating on a large scale the preventive effects of the drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene in reducing rates of invasive breast cancer.

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