Scott Antonia To Lead Moffitt Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Program

July 19, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. —Scott J. Antonia, M.D., Ph.D., has been named program leader of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. Antonia has been with Moffitt since 1994. His research interests include the immunobiology of malignancy and gene-modified tumor cell vaccine trials.

“I’m honored to take the helm of the thoracic program,” said Antonia, who is co-program leader of Immunology and medical director of the Cellular Therapies Core. “I look forward to taking it to the next level through the expertise of our growing clinical staff, as well as our groundbreaking research in personalized medicine.”

The Thoracic Oncology Program has recently added two surgeons. Eric M. Toloza, M.D., Ph.D., comes to Moffitt from Duke University Medical Center, where he was in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. Toloza performs minimally invasive surgery and open surgery for lung cancer; thoracic sarcomas; mesothelioma; and metastases to the lungs, pleural and pericardial effusions. His research focuses on using demographic, clinical and gene microarray data to determine clinical outcomes of lung cancers.

Thoracic cancer surgeon Jacque Fontaine, M.D., will join Moffitt in October. He was trained at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and comes to Moffitt from Brown University Medical School. He is highly experienced in the surgical treatment of thoracic cancers, with a particular interest and expertise in esophageal disease. 

Under Antonia’s direction, Moffitt’s lung program is pursuing a number of initiatives:

  • The Specialized Program in Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer grant, worth more than $10 million, is funding translational research projects by several lung investigators. Projects include E2Fs impact on therapeutic efficacy, the antitumor mechanism of src inhibitors and chemoprevention with enzasataurin.
  • A P53-based vaccine for small cell lung cancer is being developed. The tumor antigen P53 is expressed in 40 percent of cancers. This immunotherapy study is training the patient’s immune system to recognize P53 as a tumor and kill it.
  • Lung cancer researchers are striving for personalized medicine based on the Total Cancer Care protocol. This comprehensive approach to cancer care enables researchers and the treatment team to work to identify and meet all the needs of a patient and her or his family during the patient’s lifetime and for future generations. Researchers are specifically developing a molecular targeted therapy for metastatic lung cancer.
  • Moffitt offers the latest diagnostic techniques available, such aspositron emission tomography, high resolution CT scanning, ultrasound and Endobronchial Ultrasound.Treatment includes advanced and minimally invasive surgery techniques, stereotactic radiotherapy, proton beam radiation therapy and access to the latest drugs targeting cancer cells. The integration of these therapies allows Moffitt to achieve the best possible outcome for patients with thoracic cancers.
  • Moffitt’s Lung And Thoracic Tumor Education Program provides support and encourages patients and family members to be involved in all decision-making processes. LATTE serves as the collective voice of advocates who share their personal and professional expertise to contribute to the prevention and cure of lung cancer. LATTE is also committed to serving the growing Hispanic population with Spanish newsletters and materials. The upcoming semiannual LATTE Forum on Nov. 9 at Moffitt will offer the addition of Spanish-only programming.
  • A number of lung clinical trials are available in the pursuit of new standard treatments.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.