Grateful Patient Presents Sylvester Sarcoma Expert with Outstanding Care Award

Jonathan Trent, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, has been recognized with an Outstanding Care Award by the Sarcoma Alliance and the grateful patient who nominated him.

“This is an amazing and unexpected award,” said Trent, who directs the Sarcoma Medical Research Program and co-directs the Musculoskeletal Center at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “I am truly honored by this recognition. Receipt of this award underscores the national expertise that is available at the Multidisciplinary Bone and Soft-tissue Cancer program at Sylvester.”

Trent was nominated by Kenneth S. Saladin, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of human anatomy at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, who was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor in 2010.

“He has an open, friendly, soft-spoken demeanor that GIST patients find comforting and reassuring,” Saladin said of Trent. “Most of my consultations with Jon are, I think, only 20 or 30 minutes long, yet I always leave feeling all my questions and concerns have been addressed. He never watches the clock or makes me feel he needs to get on to the next patient.”

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor, the most common sarcoma of the gastrointestinal tract, affects about 5,000 people a year in the United States. Rare diseases like GIST are best treated at multidisciplinary centers with expertise like Sylvester.

Saladin said a consultation with Trent saved him from a surgery much more extensive than the one he ended up having.

Surgery alone will cure only about half of all GIST patients. Trent, who pioneered the use of the medication Imatinib preoperatively and postoperatively in patients who undergo surgery for GIST, has seen recurrences dramatically reduce and survival rates improve.

Saladin presented the award to Trent September 11.

The Sarcoma Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that promotes respect and compassion for people with rare connective tissue cancers, created the awards this year as a way for patients to recognize the outstanding care they receive from a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health care provider.

With the motto “You Are Not Alone,” the Alliance connects sarcoma patients with one another and provides education, support and grants to help patients who cannot afford a second opinion.

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