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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2011
Association of Community Cancer Centers to Honor Idaho Cancer Researcher and Community Oncologist
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Thomas M. Beck, MD, will be honored with the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ David King Community Clinical Scientist Award for his outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to the oncology community. Dr. Beck is medical director at the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) in Boise, Idaho.
The award will be presented at ACCC’s 37th Annual National Meeting on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Beck was chief/principal investigator for original studies of Ondansetron, a drug that helped patients nationwide deal with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. He was instrumental in the original trials of Rituxan and Herceptin. Dr. Beck served as co-principal investigator for the Prostate, Lung, Colon, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). He also served as co-principal investigator for the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Because of his efforts, more than 3,000 individuals were enrolled in these screening trials in the Boise region.
Dr. Beck was instrumental in developing the St. Luke’s MSTI Institutional Review Board. Under his leadership the research department at MSTI received the 2006 American Society Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Community Research Award, one of 12 in the nation. In 2010 ASCO recognized MSTI for its quality patient care. Also in 2010 the Southwest Oncology Group recognized MSTI for its extraordinary accrual to trials.
In the 1980s Dr. Beck was instrumental in creating the Mountain States Tumor and Medical Research Institute, which continues to be the only medical research institute in the state. He orchestrated relationships with the Institute and the local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital and four local universities to expand the research into bench science. Currently he is working on a joint basic science research center on the VA campus that will include the only tissue bank in the state.
ACCC's prestigious award is named after David K. King, MD, FACP, who passed away after a brief battle with cancer. Dr. King had a long and colorful history with the Association of Community Cancer Centers, serving in many capacities—president, chair of ACCC’s Annual Presidents' Retreat, and co-chair of ACCC’s reimbursement committee, just to name a few. Dr. King spent his entire life caring for individuals with cancer and advocating for access to quality care, while also championing the Community Clinical Oncology Program and the value of clinical research in the community setting. Award winners become lifetime members of the ACCC National Academy of Community Oncology Scientists, which will serve as a valuable resource to ACCC, NCI, pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations involved in community cancer research.