Top Honors for Dr. Armando E. Giuliano of Cedars-Sinai From One of the World's Leading Breast Cancer Groups

Renowned surgeon-scientist receives highest award from Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for career in battling breast cancer, providing compassionate care

 Los Angeles - Sept. 28, 2011 – One of the world’s leading breast cancer organizations has bestowed its highest honors on Armando E. Giuliano, MD, a renowned breast cancer surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center whose 30-year research career has resulted in major advances in the compassionate care for and quality of life of women with breast cancer.

Giuliano, executive vice chair of surgery for surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai, was awarded the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s® Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction. This is the group’s highest honor for basic science and clinical research and was given to Giuliano for his lifetime work, especially his pioneering findings on lymph node removal in women with breast cancer. His studies have led to less invasive breast surgery, a reduction in the procedure’s short- and long-term side effects, and improvement in the quality of life for countless women with breast cancer.

The award will be presented in December at an international gathering of breast cancer researchers and patient advocacy organizations. It is accompanied by a $25,000 award to further his breast cancer research.

Giuliano’s early research included analysis of fine-needle aspiration as a diagnostic tool, comparison of mastectomy to lumpectomy and other studies that have reduced the need for radical breast cancer procedures for many patients. His research more recently has underscored the benefits of sentinel lymph node biopsy rather than complete removal of axillary lymph nodes and other breast-conserving techniques.

He made international headlines early this year with his first-of-its-kind study showing that some conventional wisdom in treating breast cancer was ineffective. That research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that removal of lymph nodes in women with early-stage breast cancer has no bearing on survival outcomes.  As a result, many leading medical centers have begun to change how they treat certain breast cancer patients.

At Cedars-Sinai, Giuliano also serves as associate director of surgical oncology at the medical center’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and is co-director of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center—A Project of the Women’s Guild.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is the largest private funder of breast cancer research, investing $685 million in research since 1982.  At the December conference, the organization also will honor Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University with a Brinker Award.