Sarcoma Oncology Center Physicians

Dr. Chawla is the Director of the Sarcoma Oncology Center, a clinical research center in Southern California that treats cancer patients from around the world for whom standard treatments have proven ineffective. The Center has conducted innovative translational and clinical research in solid and soft tissue sarcomas, including targeted gene therapy for sarcomas; intra-arterial chemotherapy, the role of oncogenes, the role of monoclonal antibodies in diagnosis and treatment and antiemetics.

Also on staff at the Center are Dr. K. Kumar Sankhala, clinical faculty at University of Texas Health Science Center and Clinical Investigator at Institute for Drug Development (IDD) in San Antonio; and Dr. Doris Quon, who received her M.D./PhD from UCLA, where she also completed her residency, and is board certified in oncology, hematology and internal medicine.

The physicians and staff at the Sarcoma Oncology Center have commitment, experience and passion for innovating life-saving cancer treatments. The doctors are all frequent presenters at international conferences, including ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology). To date, Sarcoma Oncology Center physicians have published or contributed to more than 100 research publications on cancer treatment in leading national and international peer-reviewed journals.

World Renowned Physicians at Sarcoma Oncology Center

Sant P. Chawla M.D., FRACP

chemotherapy treatment doctors los angelesSant P. Chawla, M.D. holds medical licensures in both Texas and California, and he is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He is a pioneering physician whose work in sarcoma oncology has brought him several accolades and recognition as one of the world’s leading authorities in medical treatment and clinical research for bone and soft-tissue sarcomas and sarcoma therapy. Dr. Chawla heads the Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, CA where he leads clinical cancer research efforts and conducted groundbreaking clinical research in pancreatic carcinoma, gynecologic tumors, breast cancer, glioblastoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, lung cancer and gastrointestinal tumors.

Dr. Chawla serves on the clinical faculty of numerous prestigious cancer centers, including UCLA, USC, John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John’s Hospital; he is an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University and the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; and he is a medical oncologist at Cedars Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center. Over his 30 years of medical and clinical research experience, Dr. Chawla’s research has been a foundation for further breakthroughs in cancer treatment.

Dr. Chawla’s pioneering work in cancer research began in the 1980s when he contributed to breakthroughs in the treatment of young patients with osteosarcoma. He innovated limb-saving treatment for these young patients where amputation was previously the only option. Since that time, he has conducted over 60 clinical trials for cancer drugs, a number of which have been approved by the FDA and EMA. Most recently, the Center completed a breakthrough Phase II trial for Aldoxorubicin (second line for soft tissue sarcomas). The groundbreaking research reported that patients treated with Aldoxorubicin had significantly increased progression-free and overall survival rates without any observed cardiotoxicity.

A native of the country of India, Dr. Chawla received his medical degree and completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. From there, he went on to the Auckland Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand to begin his specialty training in medical oncology. He also completed his fellowship in medical oncology in New Zealand, at the Fellow Royal Australasian College of Physicians (F.R.A.C.P.). Recognized for his outstanding academic accomplishments, he was invited to continue his fellowship in oncology at the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas. In the last 60 years, M.D. Anderson has built an international reputation of excellence in cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention. M.D. Anderson is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the United States, making numerous and extraordinary research-based contributions that have benefited people everywhere. In this way, M.D. Anderson has established itself as the leader in innovative cancer therapy, and it is here that Dr. Chawla learned and enhanced his own understanding of the disease, preparing him for a pioneering career in the treatment of sarcomas.

Click here for Dr. Chawla’s CV.

K. Kumar Sankhala, M.D.(“Dr. Kumar”)

soft tissue cancer los angelesKamalesh Kumar Sankhala, M.D. is Associate of Sarcoma Medical Oncology and Medical Director Clinical Research at the California Cancer Center and Sarcoma Oncology Center.

Previously, he was clinical faculty at University of Texas Health Science Center and Clinical Investigator at Institute for Drug Development (IDD) in San Antonio. He was also a team leader for the Sarcoma program at University of Texas Health Science Center. Prior to joining as faculty in division of oncology and hematology, Dr. Sankhala finished his residency and fellowship from University of Texas Health Science Center and spent two years of additional fellowship in Oncology Drug Development research where he mastered the various facets of development of novel therapeutics at the prestigious Institute for Drug Development (IDD) in San Antonio. Founded by Dr. Daniel Van Hoff, IDD is widely recognized for being the largest Oncology drug development research program in the United States.

And has set unprecedented standards for the development of novel anti-cancer agents, playing a pivotal role in the preclinical and clinical development of about 22 new cancer drugs that were subsequently approved by the FDA. Having trained in such an esteemed institute for the development of novel drugs, Dr. Sankhala’s evolution as a physician has led him to translational research of novel anti-cancer agents, studying and evaluating the pre-clinical and clinical implications of these agents in patients with advanced cancers.

His clinical expertise includes management of patients with advanced malignancies with novel anticancer drugs as well the optimizing of existing chemotherapeutic agents by reducing toxicities and increasing efficacy, ultimately yielding better responses to chemotherapy. He has an extensive clinical research background, having served as the principal investigator as well as sub-investigator in about 80 Phase-1 clinical trials in addition to sarcoma studies. Dr. Sankhala’s clinical practice and research primarily focuses on the adroit management of patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, lung cancers in addition to other solid tumors and hematological malignancies. He is the recipient of American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Merit Award and AACR-NCI scholarship for Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology.

Doris V. Quon,MD,PhD

bone sarcoma specialists santa monicaDoris V. Quon, MD, PhD is board-certified in Hematology, Oncology and Internal Medicine. Dr. Quon is the Associate Medical Director at the Sarcoma Oncology Center. She has an active roll in coordinating the federally funded (Region IX) Hemophilia activities of the center and is the current Medical Director of the Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California. Dr. Quon first began her training at the Hemophilia Treatment Center at Orthopaedic Hospital in 2000 where within a few years, she was appointed Associate Director followed by the position of Co-Director of the Hemophilia Treatment Center until 2009. She obtained her M.D., Ph.D. at the UCLA School of Medicine and did her Residency in Internal Medicine as well as Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at Medical Center at UCLA. Dr. Quon has received numerous awards and honors including ASCO Young Investigator Award, AOA Medical Student Research Award and Alumni Association Graduate Student Distinguish Scholar Award.

Click here for Dr. Quon’s CV.

Erlinda Maria Gordon, M.D.

pediatric sarcoma specialists los angelesErlinda Maria Gordon, M.D., is an experienced Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist, cancer drug developer, biopharmaceutical founder and executive with a proven track record in translational biomedical research, patient care and cancer drug development.

A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Dr. Gordon was a Tenured Associate Professor for 24 years and is a Professor Emeritus at the USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. She is co-inventor of more than 150 patents in biomedical research, and patented the first targeted gene delivery system for cancer in the USA, Europe and the Philippines. She has authored more than 100 original peer-reviewed articles and served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Director of the Red Cell Defects Program and the NIH-funded Comprehensive Hemophilia Center at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and the NIH-funded Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Gordon was co-founder of two biotechnology companies and is a pioneer in the development of targeted gene therapy products. In her position as FDA liaison for these companies, Dr. Gordon gained FDA orphan drug approval and fast track designation for pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcoma and osteosarcoma and accelerated approval for Rexin-G, the world’s first targeted genetic medicine for cancer. At USC, Dr. Gordon licensed the First Academic Vector Production Unit at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, served as its first Medical Director for eight years, and was the Gene Therapy Sponsor for clinical protocols using Targeted Genetic Medicines for Cancer. Dr. Gordon was recipient of the Los Angeles Award for Excellence in Biotechnology Research, the National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award and NIH/FDA funded grant awards.

Currently, Dr. Gordon serves as the Director of Biological and Immunological Therapies and the Chairman of the NIH-approved Institutional Biosafety Committee at the Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, California.

A native of the Philippines and an alumna of the University of Santo Tomas Medical College of Medicine and Surgery, where she received her medical degree, Dr. Gordon is nominee for the prestigious Thomas Award for Excellence in Research to be awarded in 2016.

Contact the Sarcoma Oncology Specialists Today

Sarcoma Oncology Center specialists are dedicated to the physical and emotional well-being of each patient. Please contact us at 310-552-9999 to schedule a consultation for a private conversation about your situation and answers to questions that you might have about sarcoma treatment.

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