Hutson Named TTUHSC Hematology Oncology Division Chief and UMC Cancer Center Director

Man wears a suit a tie and smiles.

Thomas E. Hutson, D.O., Pharm.D.

Thomas E. Hutson, D.O., Pharm.D., an internationally recognized leader in the field of urologic cancers, has been named chief of the Hematology Oncology Division in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine, the university announced today (April 10).

As a Texas Tech Physician, Hutson will be involved in the research, clinical and educational components associated with the Hematology Oncology Division. He will also serve as medical director of the future UMC Cancer Center.

“We are eager to have someone of Dr. Hutson’s caliber join the TTUHSC team,” TTUHSC President Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., said. “In West Texas, the cancer incidence rate is 8% to 12% higher than the national occurrence for all types of cancer – and the survival rate is much lower than in urban areas. Dr. Hutson will play a crucial role as we work to develop a comprehensive academic cancer center in partnership with UMC. This specialized cancer center will also advance TTUHSC’s pursuit of achieving the National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, opening new doors to groundbreaking research, innovative treatment options and greater access to care for the people of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.”

Hutson, who has spent the last 21 years at Baylor University Medical Center as director of the Genitourinary (GU) Oncology Program and co-director of the Urologic Cancer Research and Treatment Center, is regularly invited to speak at medical venues worldwide. He has served as the clinical lead investigator on several international research trials and in leadership roles for various national research groups, including the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, where he continues to serve on the GU Research Executive Committee and co-leads the Phase 1b/2 clinical trial program.

“On behalf of UMC Health System, we warmly welcome Dr. Hutson to Lubbock and to UMC,” UMC President and CEO Mark Funderburk said. “His recruitment is further evidence of a strong and shared commitment between UMC and TTUHSC: to establish an all-inclusive cancer facility, providing a wide range of treatment and integrative medicine programs, patient and family support, and research and clinical trials, close to home — a destination center providing patients and families the reassurance that their experience will be of the highest caliber. UMC’s partnership with TTUHSC is the lynchpin of our vision for the future. Under the leadership of Dr. Hutson, our new state-of-the-art cancer center and expanded oncology physician base will change the landscape of cancer care for the entire region.”

Hutson said UMC’s cancer center will seek to optimize the clinical care it provides by matching up the physicians and their staff and providing them the best support they need to deliver the leading medical care to patients coming from West Texas and beyond.

“We want this to be a destination cancer center so patients feel they're getting the highest level of quality and there's no need to drive to other areas because they are receiving highly specialized and excellent care close to home,” Hutson added. 

Hutson also will oversee an existing fellowship program at TTUHSC that trains new physicians in hematology and medical oncology. He wants to expand the fellowship program to train health care professionals working in other disciplines.

“The UMC Cancer Center really is multidisciplinary; it's not just medical oncology and hematology, but all the surgical subspecialties that are involved,” Hutson explained. “We want it to be a training center of excellence for physicians that are involved in every aspect of the treatment of cancer. And then it comes down to research; the future of cancer cure is research.”

As a clinical trialist and clinical investigator, Hutson has been involved in hundreds of clinical trials. He also has served in national leadership roles in various internationally-known clinical research entities such as the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, considered by many to be the premier Clinical Research Institute that conducts first-in-human trials to Phase 3 registrational trials.

Once TTUHSC partners with networks such as the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Hutson said the university will have immediate access to research-backed changes in the standard of care for cancer patients. This will help to alter the research landscape at TTUHSC, which includes the TTUHSC School of Medicine Cancer Center currently directed by C. Patrick Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D.

“You need them both (clinician and researcher) to work in tandem,” Hutson said. “You learn very quickly that you need to know what the other does because you don't do well if you try to do both. We have a cancer center committee Dr. Reynolds and I both sit on, and we work hand-in-hand. Dr. Reynolds has been great; we share similar colleagues and he's been very supportive.” 

Hutson received his medical degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and his Pharm.D. from Ohio Northern University. He completed an internal medicine residency and fellowships in hematology, medical oncology and experimental therapeutics at the Cleveland Clinic. His research interest is urologic cancers, which can impact the kidney, bladder, renal pelvis, penis, testicles and urethra.

Hutson is author of more than 500 scholarly works, including original research, monographs and book chapters. He is editor-in-chief of the Kidney Cancer Journal and serves on multiple editorial boards, including the peer-reviewed journals Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy and Clinical Genitourinary Cancer. 

Lukman Tijani, M.D., will continue to serve as the interim division chief until Hutson officially begins August 1, 2024.

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