Dr. Alastair Thompson is bringing his expertise to Baylor College of Medicine as the new section chief of breast surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, and co-director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, part of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“As a world-renowned and respected surgeon who has led many important international breast cancer trials during his time in Scotland and tenure at MD Anderson, we anticipate Dr. Thompson’s recruitment will help build a preeminent breast surgery program here at Baylor and will strengthen the foundations of our medical and surgical oncology programs,” said Dr. Todd Rosengart, chair of the Department of Surgery.
“Dr. Thompson is an experienced breast surgeon and researcher who will further strengthen our outstanding breast cancer patient care and research program in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center,” said Dr. Kent Osborne, director of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.
Thompson added, “Baylor already has a stellar reputation for research and patient care, and I am eager to make further strides in breast surgical oncology and work with an established team to achieve even greater milestones.”
Looking forward to the move into the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Thompson envisions further cultivating the individualized, patient-focused care pathway, providing a personalized experience for each patient.
“The environment at Baylor is unique in that it allows for the comprehensive care of the patient as a whole, from diagnosis to surgery to survivorship care. I am excited to work with a team of people who are gifted and talented and have an approach to care that pushes the boundaries and improves care for the future,” Thompson said.
Another goal for Thompson in his role is to educate patients and the community about alternatives to extreme bilateral mastectomy in breast cancer care. “Less is sometimes more, and I think we need to increase public awareness of therapy-based options to shrink tumors prior to surgery. As a consequence, less invasive surgery, such as a lumpectomy, or where a mastectomy is preferred, nipple-sparing or skin-sparing mastectomy may be available,” he said.
Thompson is an advocate for translational medicine and actively leads the latest in clinical trial research in order to find the best ways to advance work done in the lab into the clinic. With his move to Baylor, Thompson will further develop his current leadership roles with the Southwest Oncology Group, Cancer Research Network Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium and National Cancer Institute.
Thompson completed his education at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he also trained as a physician-scientist, working in the lab studying the molecular biology of breast cancer. He then moved to Dundee, Scotland, where he built a breast cancer team and led the cancer center there. In 2014, Thompson moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, joining the faculty as a professor of surgery, during which time he was amongst the top 1 percent rated nationally for patient satisfaction in Press Ganey reports.