Legion Healthcare Partners welcomes new members to its Advisory Board
HOUSTON ― Legion Healthcare Partners is pleased to announce the addition of Ritsuko Komaki, M.D., FACR, FASTRO to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Komaki has been a leader in the field of radiation oncology for over 40 years with extensive knowledge of particle therapy and has been a pioneer in the proton therapy field since 2000.
“It’s with great pride and pleasure to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board at Legion Healthcare,” says Dr. Komaki. “It has been my lifelong mission to reduce unnecessary radiation and toxicity in patients, and proton therapy is a necessary technology to achieve this goal. Since the passing of Dr. Jim Cox, my husband and colleague of 42 years, it’s become even more clear to me the importance of passing along our legacy in the study and treatment in proton therapy. We must always continue to look forward, we must train and educate all medical residents and fellows in the field or particle therapy. I share that vision with Legion Healthcare Partners and look forward to helping them increase accessibility, expand training and education, lower cost and provide value-based proton therapy treatment to patients throughout the world.”
“I am extremely proud that Dr. Komaki will be joining our Advisory Board. Ritsuko is a true pioneer in radiation oncology with decades of scientific research and clinical treatment within the field of proton therapy. Her vast experience and knowledge will provide an additional asset to Legion’s veteran radiation oncology management team,” says John Styles, CEO of Legion Healthcare Partners.
As a child growing up in the post atomic destruction in her hometown, Hiroshima, Japan, Dr. Komaki saw the power and devastation delivered through the knowledge of physics. At two years old, Dr. Komaki’s childhood best friend, Sadako Sasaki, was severely irradiated. She survived for another ten years, becoming one of the most widely known hibakusha—a Japanese term meaning "bomb-affected person." She is remembered through the story of the one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death, and to this day is a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare. This experience led to Dr. Komaki’s passion and drive to learn about cancer and become a leader in the field of radiation oncology.
In concert with her husband, Dr. James Cox, she was the driving force in developing proton beam therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her goal was to reduce scattering of low-dose radiation, which might cause latent secondary malignancies in children and young adults. During the initial discussions of how to bring proton therapy to the State of Texas, Dr. Komaki was instrumental in working with John Styles in developing, at the time, the most advanced proton therapy center in the United States. The Center was the first to deliver intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT). To date, the Center has treated over 12,000 patients. This was the culmination of Dr. Komaki’s dream—to reduce the amount of radiation given to patients and reduce toxicity and comorbidities.
Dr. Komaki graduated from the Hiroshima University School of Medicine and completed her residency in radiation oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In addition, Dr. Komaki served as faculty at Columbia University. In 1988, Dr. Komaki joined MD Anderson Cancer Center and was the Section Chief in Thoracic Radiation Oncology. She was professor emeritus and the Gloria Lupton Tennison Distinguished Endowed Professor for Lung Cancer Research.
Dr. Komaki has been an Invited Professor at nine academic institutions and has roughly 575 publications. She has been recognized with numerous honors, awards and grants including the American Society for Radiation Oncology Fellow in 2006, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Medal in 2006, the Juan del Regato Gold Medal in 2008, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Foundation Merit Award in 2009, the Gold Medal from the Japan Lung Cancer Society in 2009, a Gold Medal from the Japan Radiological Society in 2009, and the Gold Medal from the Japan Society of Therapeutic Radiology in 2010. She was also appointed Emeritus Professor of the Japanese Association of Women Radiation Oncologists. She was given a special award of Takahashi Memorial Lecturer from Japan Radiological Society in April 2009. She has served as the president of the American Radium Society in 2008 and was president of the Fletcher Society 2013.
About Legion Healthcare Partners (legionhp.com)
Legion Healthcare Partners is a group of healthcare executives, clinical advisors and domain experts that provide financing, ownership, development, management services, certified educational programs for radiation oncology with an emphasis on proton therapy. Legion provides a value-based approach powered by proprietary technology solutions to help manage healthcare providers' financial and operational efficiency. Legion Healthcare Partners is based in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.legionhp.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.