News & Stories


Q & A with Generosa Grana, MD, Director, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper


Generosa Grana, MD, FACP Head, Division of Hematology/Oncology Director, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

Dr. Generosa Grana is the Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and has been caring for patients at Cooper for 21 years. Thanks to her leadership and vision, patients from throughout the region have access to world-class cancer care right here in South Jersey.

Read this short Q & A with Dr. Grana and find out why you should join her for the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund dinner at Ponzio’s in September and the Pink Roses Teal Magnolias brunch in October.

Dr. Grana also discusses what her typical day is like (long) and shares something you might not know about her.

Q. The MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper will be celebrating its second anniversary this fall. How has it changed cancer care in South Jersey?

A. MD Anderson Cooper has changed cancer care in South Jersey tremendously. It has opened up a broader range of options for cancer patients. Patients have access to more clinical trials for more cancers, and they benefit from cancer care that uses MD Anderson’s proven treatment approach, which is based on comprehensive research and specialized expertise.

Q. Tell us about some of the big research projects currently underway at MD Anderson Cooper?

A. One of the most exciting projects we have happening now involves our high-risk lung cancer screening program in which individuals at high-risk of developing lung cancer are offered screening and prevention services. The program is evaluating the effectiveness of screening in preventing lung cancer deaths. As part of this program, a clinical trial is ongoing looking at biomarkers of disease. Participants in the screening program are offered the opportunity to participate in this MD Anderson sponsored trial, which will help to shed light on the process of lung cancer development.

In the area of breast cancer research, we have an increasing number of clinical trials open using novel therapies. These trials give our patients access to cutting edge therapies and provide patients more options for care. Our relationship with MD Anderson has made more trials available to us. Clinical trials are designed to help researchers find new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat breast cancer. All of today’s successful treatments for cancer are based on results of past clinical trials.

Q. What is a typical day like for you?

A. My first meeting of the day starts at 7 a.m. with the administrative group for the Cancer Center. We discuss all aspects of the cancer program to make sure we are delivering the best possible care each and every day. On my clinical days I see patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then do all my administrative work after that. On my non-clinical days I focus on everything else that comes with running the top Cancer Center in the region – recruiting staff, addressing patient issues within the cancer program, working to enhance the education of residents and fellows and serving on various hospital committees. I have an amazing team of people that I work with, and we are all energized by the exciting work that is happening to continuously advance cancer care.

Q. Why is it important for people to support MD Anderson Cooper through fundraising events like the Jim Fifis dinner and Pink Roses Teal Magnolias brunch?

A. Support from philanthropy is critical to many of the things that are happening in the cancer program. Support from fundraising events helps us ensure that we have the state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that are expected when partnering with MD Anderson, which has been ranked in the top two cancer centers in the nation since the U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” survey began in 1990. That’s hard to do with the current level of finances in health care.

In addition, research is not something that can support itself, yet it is very important to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Funding helps us to meet the staffing and programmatic needs of the research program. Furthermore, cancer takes a toll on families in many ways, including financially. Our Patient in Need fund provides small grants to patients who need help paying for prescriptions, transportation, utility bills and food.

Overall the work of the cancer center needs the support that comes from a large constituency and could not be done without their commitment in time, energy and financial support.

Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

A. I am an avid gardener. While my work activities somewhat limit the amount of time I can spend gardening, it is something I love to do. I grew up in a farming community in Spain so it’s really an extension of who I am. When I’m working in the garden its like I’m back home.

To support the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund and Pink Roses Teal Magnolias click here.