Cancer Treatment Centers of America and WPBT2 Host Preview of Ken Burns’ Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies


BOCA RATON, FL – More than 200 community leaders and healthcare professionals gathered at the Boca Raton Museum of Art on March 4 to preview Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a three-part, six-hour documentary directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns. Boca Raton-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America Global (CTCA), a national network of five hospitals that specialize in the treatment of patients fighting complex cancers and production supporter of the documentary, hosted the event along with WPBT2. Guest speakers included Barak Goodman and Pamela Crilley, D.O., chief of medical oncology at CTCA’s Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Journalist Helen Aguirre Ferré served as master of ceremonies. According to Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of CTCA, the company’s involvement with this film project reflects its commitment to increasing the public’s awareness of the complex nature of the disease, as well as the latest advancements in both diagnostics and treatment options. “As part of our mission to enlighten both patients and their caregivers about the complexities of this disease, we are proud to be part of this important educational effort and help bring attention to the remarkable progress being made in the fight against cancer,” he said. The host committee for the film preview included: Kelly Smallridge, president of the Palm Beach Business Development Board; Alejandra Perez, M.D., director of Breast Cancer Centers at Memorial Cancer Institute; Alice Taylor, CEO of Broward Health Imperial Point; Troy McLellan, CEO of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce; Armando Leighton, CEO of CRS Jet Spare Parts and WPBT2 board member, and his wife, Diane; Chris Synder of the American Cancer Society; and Linda Spielmann, director of catering for St. Andrews Country Club and a cancer survivor. The series, which aired locally on WPBT2 March 30-April 1, was inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name authored by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., a medical oncologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. In 2010, Stand Up to Cancer’s Co- Founder Laura Ziskin obtained the rights to Dr. Mukherjee’s book. At the same time, WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller read the book while she was being treated for cancer at The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. The two connected in 2011 and began plans for the documentary. “WPBT2 is proud to broadcast the Ken Burns’ series Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies. The series will resonate with our South Florida audience as cancer has most certainly touched every family in some way. True to WPBT2’s mission, this film fulfills our quest to educate, enlighten and inspire through providing outstanding content,” said Dolores Sukhdeo, WPBT2 president and CEO. During a question and answer session following the film viewing, Dr. Crilley discussed the privilege she feels in being able to treat cancer patients. “I have the opportunity every day to go with my patients on their journeys,” she said. “We are making dramatic progress in the battle against cancer and will see even more advances in the near future.” When asked what he would like viewers to take away from the film, Goodman replied, “Hope.”