Jefferson University Hospitals

Mark Hurwitz Joins Jefferson as Vice Chair for Quality, Safety, and Performance Excellence in Radiation Oncology

01/18/13

Hurwitz

Mark Hurwitz, M.D., has been appointed Vice Chair for Quality, Safety, and Performance Excellence and Director of Thermal Oncology of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital.

Dr. Hurwitz is a widely recognized leader in the fields of thermal medicine and genitourinary oncology, and previously served as Director of Regional Program Development for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

Dr. Hurwitz is the first to hold these newly-established positions, as part of Jefferson’s goal to continue its strong focus on quality assurance and patient safety in radiation oncology and other disciplines and expand upon promising treatment techniques.

“I’m delighted to be joining an institution that already has a very prominent profile in quality assurance, excellence and innovation,” said Dr. Hurwitz. “I’m stepping into this new position to assist the Department of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson in reaching the  next level in terms of developing a formalized, comprehensive quality assurance program that encompasses all aspects of quality, including research, education, and patient care and safety.”

Dr. Hurwitz has been the recipient of National Health Institutes grant support for development of applications of hyperthermia and thermal ablation for treatment of prostate cancer, and recently served as the principal investigator of an international multi-center phase III trial to assess the use of magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound ablation for treatment of painful bone metastases. Results from that trial were recently presented at the 2012 American Society for Radiation Oncology in Boston.

In addition to his clinical leadership in thermal therapy, Dr. Hurwitz has interest in translational research on the immune effects of radiation and heat. Dr. Hurwitz and his colleagues in the laboratory were the first to define the effects of heat shock proteins on the immune system that occur with radiation therapy.

As Director of Thermal Oncology, Dr. Hurwitz will build and expand upon Jefferson’s clinical services and research in this field, particularly the incorporation of moderate temperature hypothermia and thermal ablation in combination with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, including targeted drug delivery, and immunotherapy.

Apart from thermal therapy, his clinical and research focus is on advancement of leading edge treatment strategies in genitourinary oncology. Dr. Hurwitz has served as principal investigator of a phase II Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) trial assessing combined external beam and brachytherapy with androgen deprivation for treatment of prostate cancer.

He also conceived and served as principal investigator for a phase II Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) trial assessing use of adjuvant chemotherapy following radiation for treatment of high-risk prostate cancer patients post-prostatectomy.  He has served in leadership roles for both cooperative groups including as a Vice-Chair of the CALGB Radiation Oncology Committee.

Upon completion of his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1997, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School, which he served as an associate professor. He is a Past-President of the Society for Thermal Medicine and currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Hyperthermia.  

Dr. Hurwitz has published numerous articles, reviews, and book chapters on both thermal therapy and genitourinary oncology.  He is a dedicated educator having pioneered the expansion of the Dana Farber CURE program for disadvantaged high school and college students into community practice.

“We’re pleased that Dr. Hurwitz has joined the Jefferson family,” said Adam Dicker, M.D, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “His superb reputation, skill set, and devotion to quality assurance and patient safety are the perfect addition to the Department, and we look forward to taking it to new heights—which will no doubt help make a difference for patients here in the Philadelphia region and beyond.”

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