Joan H. Schiller, M.D., holds several positions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, including Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Deputy Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Andrea L. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research.
Dr. Schiller’s research focuses on drug development and experimental treatment modalities for patients with small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. She is actively involved in Phase I, II and III clinical trials exploring adjuvant chemotherapy and doublet chemotherapy (chemotherapy consisting of two drugs). She also studies several antiangiogenic drugs that aren’t intended to kill tumors, but instead control their growth by choking off their blood supply.
Fast Fact: In 2011, Dr. Schiller was given the American Thoracic Society's William J Marting II Distinguished Achievement Award for her "innovative spirit, outstanding leadership skills, impressive history in public service and passion for patients."
Dr. Schiller received her medical degree from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1980 and went on to complete her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She then accepted a clinical fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC), serving the Department of Human Oncology.
After her fellowship, Dr. Schiller became the Melanie Heald Professor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Medical Oncology. Next, she actively treated patients as head of the UWCCC Lung Cancer Program, where she remained until 2006.
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Dr. Schiller has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles, abstracts, reviews, manuscripts and books. Along with Karen Parles, she co-authored the second edition of 100 Questions & Answers About Lung Cancer. Dr. Schiller is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and has served on several committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Lung Cancer Progress Review Group and the NCI Concept Evaluation Panel.
Dr. Schiller has been honored by several notable publications, including Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors for Cancer. In 2009, the Respiratory Health Association of Metro Chicago awarded her the Lynn Kotsiantos Lifetime Achievement Award. And in 2011, she was given the American Thoracic Society’s William J. Marting II Distinguished Achievement Award for her “innovative spirit, outstanding leadership skills, impressive history in public service and passion for patients.”
Currently, Dr. Schiller serves as president of the National Lung Cancer Partnership (formerly Women Against Lung Cancer), an organization she co-founded in 2001. The National Lung Cancer Partnership focuses on lung cancer in women, which has increased sixfold over the last few decades.
Along with her colleagues, Dr. Schiller studies the approximately fifteen percent of lung cancer victims – mostly young women – who have never smoked and don’t have strong exposure histories. Their research suggests that estrogen may serve as a tumor promoter in lung cancer, which has previously been observed in female breast cancer patients.
Schiller has published 102 scholarly articles, primarily discussing chemotherapeutic drugs for diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. She has also written abstracts for a number of clinical trials for journals such as Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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