Dr. Sant P. Chawla
Dr. Sant P. Chawla is a pioneering physician whose work in sarcoma oncology has brought him several accolades and recognition as one of the world’s foremost experts of sarcomas and sarcoma therapy. Dr. Chawla holds medical licensures in both Texas and California, and he is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He is also the current Director of Medical Oncology at the UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital, the current Director of Medical Oncology at Orthopaedic Hospital, and the current Director of Medical Oncology at Century City Hospital. Dr. Chawla also heads the Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, CA where he leads clinical cancer research efforts and several ground-breaking cancer treatment approvals.
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.
As the leading authority in sarcoma oncology, Dr. Chawla has been extensively involved with sarcoma drugs of the past and present, and his expertise will likely serve as a foundation for the development of future treatments as well. To date, he has published or contributed to over 100 research publications dealing with the nature and the treatment of sarcomas. His publications have illuminated several little known aspects of the disease and have gone on to support breakthrough studies and treatments in sarcoma oncology. Dr. Chawla has also led multiple drug approvals for treatments that have led to the improvement of the overall welfare and quality of life of sarcoma patients. Furthermore, he continues to lead several studies in novel and promising sarcoma treatment. Currently, he is involved in the study of Rexin-G, an innovative targeted therapy that utilizes retroviral agents to deliver cell-growth inhibiting components to specific areas of interest. The significance of the specificity of Rexin-G is that it has the potential to effectively stop the growth and spread of certain cancer cells while causing little or no side effects. Experiencing no side-effects is of paramount importance to patients battling the disease with conventional chemotherapy and have been victim to its ill-effects. Understanding this, and hoping to ease the burden of chemotherapeutic drugs, Dr. Chawla has also been revolutionary in developing treatment aimed to reverse adverse effects, like immuno-suppression and nausea, that are common to chemotherapy.
As the current director of the Sarcoma Oncology Center, Dr. Chawla is intimately involved in several research activities; continuing his long-time commitment to discovery and inventive therapy. Some of his main areas of research include preoperative chemotherapy of Osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and soft tissue sarcoma; intra-arterial chemotherapy in sarcoma and gynecologic malignancies; study of oncogenes in sarcoma, melanoma, and gynecologic malignancies; the role of monoclonal antibodies in diagnosis and treatment of metastatic melanoma; the role of GM-CSF in amelioration of chemotherapy induced myelosuppression; and limb salvage surgery in Osteosarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, and gynecologic malignancies. In reference to this last research area, Dr. Chawla was one of the first in the field to contribute compelling work in saving the extremities of young patients, where amputation was previously the only option. His work has undoubtedly served as a tremendous breakthrough for such patients.
Because of his wealth of experience and great understanding of oncology, Dr. Chawla has enjoyed several academic appointments. He has been a teacher and mentor of hundreds of fellows, residents, and students at premiere institutions like the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he was an assistant professor Department of Medicine-Melanoma/Sarcoma/Medical Gynecology/Oncology, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was a Co-Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, he serves on the clinical faculty at both the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, as well as at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. In these positions, he finds great joy in guiding and teaching the next generation of physicians that will continue the advancement of a field that he helped build and continues to lead.