Doctors of Distinction 2013 – Dr. George Raptis

Dr. George Raptis
Vice President, Oncology Network,
North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute

Dr. George Raptis applied for an oncology fellowship in the late 80s when he wrote an essay about the concept of a magic bullet drug that would target cancer cells and leave normal cells alone. Back then, it was more theory than practice. But now, he’s seeing that possibly come to life: “Thankfully as a result of decades of research in molecular biology—and now the ability to sequence the cancer genome—there are a growing number of targeted therapies which are more effective and less toxic, with some leading to cures while others have dramatically improved outcomes,” says Dr. Raptis. The father of four daughters came to the Island after running the breast cancer program at Mount Sinai (NYC) where he focused on the disease that will touch 1 in 8 women. He’s now part of a team that will treat more than 16,000 cancer patients annually, which has a way of paying itself forward. “I remain surprised at the number of individuals who say that having had cancer has made their lives better. Many go forward and commit themselves to changing the world, while others quietly perform anonymous acts of kindness,” Dr. Raptis said.