Peter Scardino, MD, a urologic surgeon and internationally recognized authority on prostate cancer, has been named the new Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Scardino, whose appointment became effective July 1, replaces the esteemed surgeon Murray Brennan, MD, who recently stepped down from the post after more than 20 years.
Dr. Scardino, who served as the inaugural Chairman of MSKCC’s Department of Urology since 1999, is a world renowned expert in the prognosis, early detection, and surgical treatment of prostate cancer. He has developed techniques to decrease the effects of surgery on urinary and sexual function and to improve the chances of long-term control of cancer by the total removal of the prostate.
“Dr. Scardino’s leadership of the Department of Urology has been marked by outstanding clinical care and research productivity, innovative program development, successful recruitment of outstanding new staff, and a vigorous and highly coveted training program,” said MSKCC’s Physician-in-Chief Robert Wittes, MD. “I am confident that Dr. Scardino’s leadership qualities will serve the Department of Surgery and the Center exceedingly well in the coming years.”
Dr. Scardino and his colleagues at MSKCC have pioneered the use of statistical models to predict both the natural progression of prostate cancer and how it will respond to treatment. These predictive tools known as nomograms help doctors to tailor treatment for individual men according to the specific characteristics of their cancer. He also has particular experience in the treatment of prostate cancers that recur after surgery or radiation therapy and is currently studying the benefits of focal, image-guided therapy for early-stage disease.
As a member of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program in the Sloan Kettering Institute, Dr. Scardino has focused on the identification of tissue and genetic markers that signal the behavior of prostate cancer. In 2001, he received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a new Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer at MSKCC. The ambitious program focuses on translating information gained in the laboratory into clinical investigation and patient care.
Dr. Scardino serves as Head of MSKCC’s Prostate Cancer Program and holds the Florence and Theodore Baumritter/Enid Ancell Chair of Urologic Oncology at the Center. He is a Professor in the Department of Urology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and holds the same position at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.
Board certified in Urology, Dr. Scardino is an active member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the American Surgical Association, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, among others.
Dr. Scardino has written numerous articles and book chapters and edited the Comprehensive Textbook of Genitourinary Oncology (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins), now in its third edition. In 2005, with Judith Kelman, he wrote Dr. Peter Scardino’s Prostate Book (Penguin Group), a guide to prostate cancer, prostatitis, and benign prostate hyperplasia for the general public.
A graduate of Yale University and Duke University School of Medicine, he completed residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a laboratory and clinical fellowship in surgery and urologic oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He then completed his urological residency at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, and served for nearly 10 years as Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Dr. Brennan, who is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of soft-tissue sarcomas, endocrine tumors, and pancreatic and stomach cancers, will continue to treat patients and conduct research at MSKCC, where he has made numerous contributions to the field of surgical oncology during the course of his distinguished career.
As a widely respected educator, Dr. Brennan has trained more than 150 surgical oncology fellows who now practice in hospitals around the world and continue to emulate his insistence on excellence in cancer research and patient care. He has also published more than 800 research papers, recognizing the importance of the prospective randomized clinical trial as a means of addressing critical questions of multidisciplinary care of the cancer patient.
Over the years, Dr. Brennan has served as Director of the American Board of Surgery, Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, President of the Society of Surgical Oncology, Vice President of the American College of Surgeons, and President of the American Surgical Association, the oldest and most prestigious surgical association in the United States.
Dr. Brennan has lectured throughout the world and authored a book on soft-tissue sarcoma. He has also received honorary fellowships in multiple international surgical organizations. In 1995, MSKCC honored him with the Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery. In addition, he was awarded membership in the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine that year. In 2000 he received the American College of Surgeons’ highest accolade, The Distinguished Service Award.