News Release: Research , Winship Cancer Institute

Oct. 3,  2008

Oncologist Omer Kucuk Joins Emory Winship Cancer Institute

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Omer Kucuk, MD, who conducted the first clinical trials to show the benefits of soy and lycopene supplements in prostate cancer treatment, has joined Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute as professor of hematology and medical oncology.

Kucuk comes to Emory Winship from the Karmanos Cancer Center at Wayne State University in Detroit where he was a professor and co-leader of the population sciences and prevention program, and member of genitourinary and head and neck cancer multidisciplinary groups.

"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Kucuk to the Emory Winship Cancer Institute," says Fadlo Khuri, MD, chair of the department of hematology and medical oncology and deputy director of Emory Winship. "Dr. Kucuk is a devoted physician, and he will add an internationally recognized level of expertise to our prostate cancer program. In addition, he brings with him an impressive track record of groundbreaking research in cancer prevention through nutritional components." Kucuk has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, review articles and book chapters to his credit, and he is on the editorial boards of numerous publications, including the Cancer Detection and Prevention and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

"Dr. Kucuk's appointment is a wonderful addition to our already strong hematology and medical oncology faculty," says Brian Leyland-Jones, MD, PhD, director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. "He is widely regarded as an innovator and a physician who puts patients and their families first. Dr. Kucuk's prominent involvement in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group as well as the Southwestern Oncology Group also ensures our patients access to the most promising clinical trials available today."

Kucuk says, "Nutrition and cancer therapy is my primary research focus." He has published extensively on various nutrients in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Kucuk has been conducting clinical trials with lycopene and soy isoflavones in combination with standard therapy for prostate cancer since 1996.

"Carotenoids, isoflavones, zinc, selenium and folic acid are among the cancer preventing compounds found in vegetables and fruits," he says. "Our current investigations focus on the effects of micronutrients and phytochemicals on biomarkers of cell growth, differentiation, inflammation and oxidative stress in a variety of cancers."

Kucuk earned his medical degree at Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey. He conducted a residency and fellowship at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill., and a hematology and oncology fellowship at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Before joining the medical staff at Wayne State University, Dr. Kucuk served as professor and researcher at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu.

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