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Hwu Appointed New Chair of Melanoma Department

Hwu Appointed New Chair of Melanoma Department
M. D. Anderson News Release, 01/12/04

Patrick Hwu, M.D., has been named chair of the Melanoma Medical Oncology department at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Hwu, a professor of medicine, joined M. D. Anderson’s faculty from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., where he served as a senior investigator from 1993 to 2003, and as a clinical associate of Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy from 1989 to 1993. In 2002, Hwu received both the NCI Center for Cancer Research Federal Technology Transfer Award and the Performance Award from the NCI Surgery Branch.

With a background in medical oncology and immunotherapy, Hwu has dedicated much of his life to pioneering work in the area of adoptive immunotherapy. With plans to develop a tumor immunotherapy program, Hwu will focus his laboratory studies on discovering new and more efficient approaches to stimulating the body’s immune system against cancer through the development of therapeutic vaccines.

“Our goal is to utilize the body’s immune system to treat cancer by stimulating the cells to induce regression or shrinkage of tumors,” said Hwu. “We will isolate the immune cells from the tumor, grow them in the lab and transfer them back to the patient to serve as a cancer-fighting mechanism.”

Hwu and his research team are using melanoma tumors to study cancer vaccines because the number of antigens already identified for this type of cancer makes it a good model.

“By learning the principles and properties associated with melanoma, we hope to be able to apply this knowledge to other cancers, and eventually use our vaccines in combination with chemotherapy drugs and targeted therapies,” said Hwu. “I look forward to developing new therapies and techniques to move discovery forward in our quest to eliminate cancer.”

Hwu earned his bachelor’s degree in premedical science from Lehigh University and his medical degree from The Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude and magna cum laude, respectively. From 1989 to 1991, he completed a clinical fellowship in medical oncology at the NCI, in the medical and naval oncology branches. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Medical Oncology.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center