Pioneers in Cancer Treatment

Pioneers in Cancer History

1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s



World famous research conducted by Dr. Alton Ochsner is originally published in the article “Primary Pulmonary Malignancy” in Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Volume 68, pages 435-451, February 15, 1930. Dr. Alton Ochsner was among the first physicians to link smoking with lung cancer. He continued his research throughout his career, evident through his various publications and presentations on the topic.

Dr. Alton Ochsner


Dr. Albert Segaloff


Dr. Albert Segaloff arrives at Ochsner and is involved in breast cancer research and treatment for the next 37 years. His work inevitably leads to an investigation of the role that estrogen plays in the development of breast cancer and results in several significant breakthroughs in its study and treatment. He pioneers using testosterone to treat breast cancer and helps develop a standard for breast tumor measurement.



Ochsner opens a new $750,000 research building 
on the Jefferson Highway Main Campus. The facility is instrumental in a wide range of research including cancer. In 1974, the building is renamed the Richard W. Freeman Research Building as a tribute to Ochsner Foundation Board Member, Richard Freeman, and his devotion 
to Ochsner and its advances in cancer research 
and treatment. 

 $750,000 research building


The Rawley M. Penick Memorial Pavilion rotational cobalt therapy


The Rawley M. Penick Memorial Pavilion officially opens. The two-story building houses research and clinical laboratories for the nuclear medicine and biophysics divisions as well as elaborate nuclear and electronic equipment that are significant advancements in cancer research and treatment.


Ochsner introduces the new rotational cobalt therapy unit, improving the ability of Radiation Oncologists to treat cancer tumors.



Dr. Albert Segaloff receives a $476,404 research award from the National Cancer Institute
to study breast cancer. His research was invaluable in giving physicians around the world the tools to identify and treat breast tumors.

Dr. Albert Segaloff



The Ochsner Cancer Institute is founded to coordinate cancer care for patients and to develop clinical research and supportive care programs. This further establishes Ochsner’s commitment to research, education and the highest quality of patient care. Future cancer patients benefit from the innovative therapies developed as a result of Ochsner Cancer Institute’s clinical studies.

Dr. Carl Kardinal


Dr. Carl Kardinal, Director of the Cancer Institute and Principal Investigator of the Ochsner Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), and Nancy Rivera, Data Manager, receive funding from the National Cancer Institute to support clinical trial X-rays designed to speed cancer treatments to community patients. This CCOP Program grant is the largest yet awarded to Ochsner.


Under the leadership of Dr. Richard Ré, the Division of Research undergoes a major expansion of research laboratories to further support Ochsner’s mission of patient care, research and education in a variety of medical disciplines. The new laboratory space enables research of Cellular Immunology, Hepatology, Hypertension, Molecular Immunogenetics, Molecular Oncology and Molecular Genetics to expand. This provides new intellectual insights to scientists and physicians and contributes to important scientific breakthroughs that directly and indirectly improve the quality of care provided to patients at Ochsner
and elsewhere.



Ochsner presents the first “Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health” at the annual convocation of the American College of Chest Physicians. The award is given to honor outstanding work demonstrating important relationships between tobacco consumption and circulatory or respiratory diseases.



The Ochsner CCOP scores highest among the National Cancer Institute’s Community Clinical Oncology Programs. This is the largest clinical trial network in Louisiana and Mississippi. Ochsner Medical Center coordinates with other research sites, including Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge, Terrebonne General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic and Jackson Oncology Associates in Mississippi.

Ochsner Cancer History
Ochsner Cancer History Doonesbury


Doonesbury comic strip highlights the findings of Dr. Alton Ochsner that smoking causes lung cancer.

Ochsner Journal


The Ochsner Journal is published, reviving a publishing tradition began by Dr. Ochsner in the 1940s. The Journal contains articles on current research and medical practices, providing area doctors with valuable news and scientific information on a wide range of medical topics. This quarterly publication supports Ochsner’s mission to improve the health of the community and helps create an active dialogue on practice standards in healthcare.



Named after its benefactress, Lieselotte Tansey, of Selle, Germany, the Tansey Breast Center opens at Ochsner Medical Center. This new facility provides greater focus on cancer treatment and care and expands patient care through improved breast diagnostic services and consultation services.

Tansey Center
Breaking Ground


The American Cancer Society breaks ground for The Hope Lodge, a place where cancer patients and their families can find help and hope when home is far away. The 4-acre property located at the corner of River Road and Labarre Road was donated to the American Cancer Society by Ochsner Health System, historically a leader in cancer research and treatment since the 1940s.


Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner begins its Carcinoid Program, specializing in the treatment of difficult-to-diagnose, slow-growing neuroendocrine malignant tumors. This program is a collaborative effort between Ochsner and LSU’s Stanley Scott Cancer Center and is led by a team of the country’s top cancer experts.

Ochsner Medical
Cancer Research


Ochsner Studies Advance Cancer Treatment. Each year, Ochsner physicians and scientists are involved in an average of 300 ongoing clinical trials and publish 200 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals. A 2007 Ochsner study published in the New England Journal of Medicine announces the findings of a study showing unprecedented survival rates for patients with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that occurs in the blood-making cells of bone marrow.


Ochsner Health System receives a 5-year, $1.6 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health. This grant, one of many awarded to Ochsner during the first decade of the century, is awarded forDr. Yong Sung Choi’s research in B-Cell Lymphoma Therapy for cancer patients.

Cancer research
Cancer Research


Ochsner continues to invest in the newest diagnostic technology available for cancer diagnosis and treatment and becomes the first in New Orleans to offer an advanced system for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery. The Trilogy© Sterotactic System is a powerful, precise and versatile technology solution for treating cancer and neurological lesions.


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and Ochsner Health System join in a long-term partnership to enhance treatment of cancer patients in greater New Orleans. The partnership combines LSU Health Sciences Center’s strengths in medical education and cancer research with Ochsner Health System’s strengths in clinical cancer care. It provides advanced prevention and treatment, develops novel clinical trials and new therapies, and educates clinical oncologists for the State of Louisiana.


Ochsner’s success in integrating patient care, research and education reaps dozens of national awards including the Consumers’ Choice Award from the National Research Foundation, which identifies the most preferred hospitals in more than 100 U.S. markets.


Community Education and Outreach Programs. A broad-reaching greater New Orleans-area community education program includes: The Mobile Fitness Unit that takes physical education classes to area schools, “Hello Health Seminars” held throughout the city, local health fairs, and TV spots and programs on local TV stations. One such program focused on educating local women of both risks and available treatment for HPV, a virus that increases women’s risk of developing cervical cancer.

Cancer History Outreach

STAR program2008:

S.T.A.R. is a free, educational summer camp designed to inspire, educate, and prepare students for the future. The knowledge and skills acquired in the program will provide students with a solid foundation on which to build an advanced education and a successful career in science, research, medicine or healthcare.

Cancer Center Ribbon

The Ochsner Cancer Institute is awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and The ASCO Cancer Foundation’s 2008 Clinical Trial Participation Award for its ongoing efforts to improve cancer care through participation in clinical trials.

Ochsner Cancer Center History


All Ochsner Medical Centers and large Health Centers offer improved digital mammography imagery for more accurate diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. This enhancement in women’s services enables radiologists to review images immediately and more closely inspect suspicious areas to make immediate diagnostic decisions.


The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center officially opens with the chemotherapy infusion suite

The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner
US News 2012 Cancer Ranking Ochsner Medical Center


Ochsner Medical Center and Ochsner’s West Bank Campus were named “High Performing” in Cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Surgical and Medical Oncology move in to The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center.


Ochsner Medical Center and Ochsner’s West Bank Campus were named “High Performing” in Cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

US News 2014-2015, Cancer


Ochsner Medical Center and Ochsner’s West Bank Campus were named “High Performing” in Cancer by U.S. News & World Report.