By: Richard Pazdur, M.D.
I am privileged to work every day with many physicians and other health care professionals dedicated to advancing public health for all Americans. One of them is Dr. Gregory Reaman, who has been awarded the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s prestigious Return of the Child Award. Greg has devoted his career to finding better ways to treat and improve the outcomes for children with cancer.
This award, presented in December in New Orleans, is given each year to a person who has made a major and lasting scientific or humanitarian contribution to the better understanding, management or treatment of pediatric hematological malignancies. (Hematological malignancies are the types of cancer that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes.)
Greg was honored for his exceptional leadership and accomplishments in the field of pediatric hematology and oncology during his lengthy career as a clinician and academic researcher and, since 2011, as a member of my team here at FDA. His primary work has focused on clinical trials for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the early phases of developing experimental drugs for children. Greg’s leadership in these areas has led to significant improvements in the care of children with ALL, as well as the facilitation of new drug development for children with cancer.
Greg is a previous recipient of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Tree of Life Award, which honors those who have played a major role in improving the quality of life of patients and their families. Through these and many other efforts, his extensive research has helped to advance how pediatric blood cancers are treated today.
At FDA, where he is associate director of oncology sciences, Greg is using new mechanisms created by recent laws to facilitate public discussion and promote drug research and development for children with cancer.
Greg is also executive director emeritus and senior attending physician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Throughout his distinguished career, Greg has held other leadership positions at Children’s and at the National Childhood Cancer Foundation. He is also a tenured professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
I know of no greater endeavor in life than to dedicate one’s work to making this world a better place for children, and I know of no individual more deserving of an award for such efforts than Greg. I know I speak for my entire staff and all of us at FDA when I congratulate Greg on his achievements.
Richard Pazdur, M.D., is director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research