Dr. Andrei Shustov Receives Verastem Oncology Innovation in Care Award

December 2019

As the ASH meeting was getting underway, we took time out to recognize this year’s recipient of the Verastem Oncology Innovation in Care Award: Dr. Andrei Shustov, Professor of Medicine and Hematology, University of Washington, Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and President and Founder of the T-Cell Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation (TCLLF).

Dr. Shustov recognized a critical lack of resources available to those affected by T-cell leukemias and lymphomas and subsequently dedicated his career to breaking new ground to expand support and research efforts to those affected by these diseases.

Dr. Shustov’s work to expand resources and support for those affected by T-cell leukemias and lymphomas through the creation of the T-Cell Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation (TCLLF) is a tremendous testament to his ability to see what’s possible and apply relentless passion and skill to make it a reality. The TCLLF makes important contributions to patient education and care, advocacy and advancing research broadly to serve the community today and will create a better future for those affected by the disease.

Last year, we announced the first recipient of the Verastem Oncology Innovation in Care Award which recognizes individuals, organizations or teams who are leading the way in advancing the principles of patient-focused care, including coordination and integration of care, engaging patients, families, and caregivers in providing comprehensive support as well as collaborating with others in the cancer care system for ongoing quality improvement.

The 2018 award was presented to Dr. Brian Koffman, Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Board Member at Large, at the CLL Society for his groundbreaking work as a renowned physician, educator and clinical professor turned patient who has dedicated himself to teaching and helping the CLL community since his diagnosis in 2005.

Dr. Koffman was also in attendance at our reception this year and spoke to his personal passion to advance care for CLL patients and his appreciation for Verastem Oncology’s efforts, including the company’s support the the Expert Access program.

Dr. Koffman noted that when he first began working with Verastem, the company sought to assist with unmet needs in the CLL community, “What I said was that while there were great treatments out there, because CLL is such a rare disease, study after study had proven that far too many patients are not getting their best possible care. Research had shown a 2-year survival advantage with having a CLL expert on your team. We immediately went to work on helping us design, build and fund an innovative telemedicine program to offer a free expert 2nd opinion online. This was even long before they had a commercial drug approved.”

For more information about the Verastem Oncology Innovation in Care award and Dr. Shustov’s contributions, please click here to read the press release.

“Our ability to progress our mission depends upon those who share our vision to improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. We applaud the efforts of those breaking new ground to expand support and research for people battling cancer, many of whom are here this evening.”

  – Dr. Brian Koffman, Co-Founder of CLL Society