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Cancer Insight Founder George E. Peoples, Jr., MD, Chosen to receive BioMed SA’s 2016 Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience

Dr. George Peoples, Jr., CEO and Founder of Cancer Insight, a boutique clinical research and development organization focused on cancer immunotherapy, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 BioMed SA Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience.  The award honors individuals who have put novel ideas into action with tangible, transformational results.  Dr. Peoples, a wartime trauma surgeon and cancer immunotherapy pioneer, will accept the award at BioMed SA’s annual award dinner in San Antonio on September 15, 2016.

Dr. Peoples was selected for this honor based on his innovations in a number of prominent and varied fronts.  He has led the charge to advance clinical discoveries in cancer immunotherapy including a vaccine for breast cancer, instituted protocols in military medicine that have increased soldier survival on the battlefield, and developed business initiatives that support the San Antonio life sciences industry.

“Dr. Peoples is a great example of someone whose spirit of innovation has persevered against all odds to achieve transformational results for the benefit of others, whether it be saving lives on the battlefield or advancing new ways to prevent the recurrence of cancer,” said BioMed SA President Ann Stevens. “We are delighted that he has chosen to carry on his work here in San Antonio after completing his military service, and we look forward to honoring him at our award dinner September 15.”

“San Antonio’s ecosystem of academic excellence combined with forward-thinking pioneers in cancer research, development and commercialization makes it a perfect place to create a center of excellence in cancer immunotherapy,” said Dr. Peoples.  “I am honored to be part of San Antonio’s thriving healthcare and bioscience sector and look forward to working with other leaders here in the cancer community to continue advancing the fight against this dreadful disease.”

Dr. Peoples recently retired as a colonel after 30 years of active duty service as a surgeon and research scientist in the U.S. Army. He had been stationed at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) as Chief of Surgical Oncology (2006-2014) and made the decision to stay in San Antonio after retiring.  Upon retiring from active duty, Dr. Peoples chose to carry on his work by forming Cancer Insight, LLC.  Cancer Insight is conducting multiple Phase I and II clinical trials. He is past Chair of the Cancer Program at SAMMC and past Deputy Director of the United States Military Cancer Institute.

Pioneer in Cancer Immunotherapy

While in the Army, Dr. Peoples founded and directed the Cancer Vaccine Development Program (CVDP) for 15 years, focused on the discovery, development and clinical testing of cancer vaccines.  Four of these vaccines have been licensed for commercial development, including NeuVax, the only breast cancer vaccine currently in an FDA approval trial.  In addition, NeuVax is being tested in two combination trials with Herceptin, one of the most beneficial breast cancer drugs in the past two decades.

The groundbreaking work of the CVDP to support research and development in the field of cancer immunotherapy is now being reconstituted under a San Antonio-based non-profit organization called the Metis Foundation to carry forward the work started by Dr. Peoples.

Dr. Peoples was an early pioneer in the new frontier of cancer vaccine development and has written extensively over the past 20 years on the immune response to cancer with more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters.

 Innovator in Military Medicine on the Battlefield

Dr. Peoples’ selection for the BioMed SA award was based not only on his pioneering work in cancer immunotherapy, but also on his role leading the first surgical team on site at the Pentagon after the September 11 attacks and as chief surgeon of the first Forward Surgical Team (274th FST) on the ground in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).  He and his team were responsible for treating the wounded in some of the fiercest battles in Iraq and managed to save the lives of unprecedented numbers of wounded soldiers.

During his tenure on the front lines, soldier mortality decreased from a recent historical average of 24 percent to approximately 10 percent.  Dr. Peoples and his team were able to transform survival rates by making a science of performance, investigating and improving how well they used the knowledge and technologies at hand to make simple changes in processes and procedures that had an enormous impact, according to surgeon and author Atul Gawande, whose best-selling book, “Better,” (2007) includes an account of Dr. Peoples’ work on the battlefield after 9/11.  Among his many awards for his military service, Dr. Peoples has been awarded the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars.

Prior to his arrival at SAMMC in 2006, Dr. Peoples was Chief of Surgical Oncology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (1988-2006).  He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point (1984), and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (1988).  He completed his surgical training at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and during that time also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Biologic Cancer Therapy at Harvard Medical School (1988-1996).  He went on to complete a surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center (1998).

Additionally, Dr. Peoples is a Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and a Professor (adjunct) of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. He also serves as Chief Medical Officer for Rapamycin Holdings, a San Antonio-based startup company that holds the exclusive licenses for rapamycin-related research discoveries made at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).

ABOUT CANCER INSIGHT: Cancer Insight is a Texas-based boutique contract research organization (CRO) dedicated to discovering, developing and testing emerging biotechnologies specializing in cancer immunotherapy. Founded by industry pioneer Dr. George Peoples, Cancer Insight offers CRO services within an academic ecosystem built to provide value and insight beyond expectation. With an experienced team delivering decades of scientific research and business management, Cancer Insight is dedicated to eradicating cancer through the discovery of safe and effective treatments to prevent the recurrence of cancer.

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