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Jorge Cortes, MD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Jorge Cortes, MD

Director, Georgia Cancer Center | Augusta University


Jorge Cortes is a clinical investigator who has helped research and develop multiple treatment options for chronic myeloid leukemia.





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New Georgia Cancer Center leader discusses cutting-edge research and treatment




Jorge Cortes comes to the Georgia Cancer Center after spending the last 23 years at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he has taken on many roles in the Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine; including his roles as the Deputy Department Chair, the Chair of AML and CML Sections, Professor of Medicine and Internist. In addition, Cortes held the title of Jane and John Justin Distinguished Chair in Leukemia Research and was the Leukemia Fellowship Program Director. He was also the Deputy Division Head for the Cancer Network, and Chair of the Executive IRB at MD Anderson.

Cortes obtained his undergraduate and post-graduate training in Mexico City before completing his fellowship in Houston, TX. He has over 230 grants and contracts where he was principal investigator. He has authored nearly 1,000 peer-review original research articles with numerous other accolades towards his name and practice.

The Cortes family, Jorge, his wife and two children, will be transferring to the Augusta area from Houston. They are excited to experience all the beauty and culture our area has to offer and will enjoy the cooler weather.

Areas of Expertise (12)

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Blood and Bone Marrow Transplants


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Hemtaologic Oncology


Leukemia and Lymphoma

Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms


Accomplishments (6)

John Goldman Prize, International CML Foundation


Samuel J. Hassenbush III, M.D., Ph.D., Physicians Referral Service Leadership and Institutional Service Award (LISA), MDACC,


Institutional Service Award (LISA), MDACC (professional)


2016 Cattlemen for Cancer Research Hero Award (CCR), Cattlemen for Cancer Research


Andrew Sabin Family Fellows, MDACC


Meet Houston's Top Doctors 2016, The Medcity


Education (7)

Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico,: M.D. 1986

Centro Universitario Mexico: B.S., Biological Sciences 1979

Instituto Nacional de la Nutricion Salvador Zubiran: 1986−1989, Residency in Internal Medicine

Instituto Nacional de la Nutricion Salvador Zubiran: 1989−1990, Medical Chief Resident

Instituto Nacional de la Nutricion Salvador Zubiran: 1990−1992, Hematology Fellowship

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center: 1992−1995, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: 1991−1992, Hematology Fellowship

Media Appearances (13)

Paceline announces Georgia Cancer Center research grants

The Augusta Press  online


Paceline, the fundraising arm for cancer research of the Georgia Cancer Center, announced grants to six university researchers at a Friday ceremony. “The work our scientists do in their labs relies on the passion, determination, and generosity of each team and individual who took part in Pace Day Weekend 2023,” said Jorge C. Cortes, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at the Medical College of Georgia. MCG cancer researcher Yukai He said Paceline’s fundraising serves as an inspiration for his work. “As a cancer researcher at the Georgia Cancer Center, I really feel excited about the huge potential of this Paceline campaign,” he said. “This is the reason I support this event year after year. Paceline not only provided the seed money for my research to jump-start the work, but it also is a collective effort to make a team. That is the spirit we should have in research.”

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Rigel Announces Publication of Data on REZLIDHIA® (Olutasidenib) in Post-Venetoclax Patients with Mutant IDH1 AML in Leukemia & Lymphoma

Associated Press  online


Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced a peer-reviewed publication in Leukemia & Lymphoma on data from an analysis of the Phase 2 study evaluating REZLIDHIA® (olutasidenib), a potent, selective, oral, small-molecule inhibitor of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (mIDH1)1, in patients with mIDH1 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were relapsed/refractory (R/R) to prior venetoclax-based regimens. “Venetoclax in combination with a hypomethylating agent is currently standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed AML who are unfit for intensive chemotherapy, including those with mIDH1. When this therapy fails, patients historically have had limited treatment options and poor prognoses,” said Jorge E. Cortes, M.D., Director, Georgia Cancer Center, Cecil F. Whitaker Jr., GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Cancer, and Phase 2 trial investigator. “The findings from these analyses suggest that REZLIDHIA may provide an effective treatment for patients with AML following failure of venetoclax combination therapy. REZLIDHIA induced durable remissions consistent with those observed in the pivotal trial and had a favorable tolerability profile in this challenging to treat patient population, representing a valuable treatment option.”

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Georgia Cancer Center director urges public to practice cancer prevention

The Augusta Press  online


Cancer used to be a death sentence for most people, but advances in research and medicine are making many forms of the disease survivable. Memes circulate constantly on social media accusing the healthcare industry of cow-towing to pharmaceutical companies looking to make a buck off of cancer patients by treating symptoms, rather than attempting to cure the disease. Dr. Jorge Cortes begs to differ, stating that while the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University does treat cancer patients in its clinics, the primary focus of the center is research and providing community awareness on how to prevent the devastating illness or discover it in time while it is still treatable. “The biggest reason that cancer treatment becomes so expensive for most people is because they wait to seek treatment and do not practice prevention. It costs far more money to keep someone alive for six months at a time using drug therapy because the cancer was not detected in time,” Cortes said.

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Georgia Cancer Center gets new director

The Augusta Chronicle  


Dr. Jorge Cortes is excited about the research and the potential at Georgia Cancer Center but what attracted him most was the chance to reach out and improve treatment for minority and underserved populations in Georgia that bear a higher burden from the disease...

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Future Oncology Publishes Two Manuscripts on Cancer Metabolism and Drug Candidate CPI-613® (Devimistat)

Yahoo! Finance  


One paper addresses the evaluation of the efficacy of devimistat in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, authored by Dr. Philip Philip, oncologist and clinical professor of oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University. The other paper addresses the use of devimistat for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), authored by Dr. Jorge Cortes, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University...

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Georgia Cancer Center receives $6 million grant to improve access to clinical trials



"The awarding of this grant is a recognition of the efforts of Dr. Ghamande and the commitment of the Georgia Cancer Center to improve cancer care in our communities," said Dr. Jorge Cortes, director of the Georgia Cancer Center. "There has been tremendous progress in our fight against cancer. Unfortunately, many patients do not have access to the most advanced therapies and clinical trials. By extending the participation in clinical trials of underserved and minority populations in Georgia and Mississippi through this grant, we can improve their long-term outlook."...

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Big grant helps Georgia Cancer Center reach across the state

The Augusta Chronicle  


The center is one of 14 National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Minority/Underserved Community Sites across the country and will use the six-year grant to partner with others in the state and one site in Mississippi to open up access to clinical trials and also look at issues such as prevention or interventions that could help patients avoid cancer, said Dr. Jorge Cortes, the center’s new director...

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Cancer center’s new chief starts transition

The Augusta Chronicle  


As a pioneering drug developer himself, Dr. Jorge Cortes knows the need to study not only why some patients benefit from a cancer drug but also why some did not and how that fits into the complex environment of treating individual cancers...

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Novartis' Scemblix Shows Superior, Long-term Efficacy In 96-week Follow-up Trial

Nasdaq  online


Novartis (NVS) Tuesday announced longer-term follow-up data from the Phase III ASCEMBL trial for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase previously treated with two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In this analysis, the proportion of patients in the Scemblix (asciminib) arm who achieved a major molecular response at 96 weeks was more than double that in the Bosulif (bosutinib) arm, substantially increasing from previous analyses. Additionally, the probability of maintaining MMR for at least 72 weeks for patients treated with Scemblix was 96.7%, reflecting long-term durability of efficacy.

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Georgia Cancer Center researchers awarded grants

The Augusta Press  online


Six researchers at the Georgia Cancer Center received grants on June 13 from funds collected through the 2021 Paceline ride. The six proposals selected for the grants ranged from research projects for breast cancer and leukemia as well as developing a mobile lab to engage local high school students. Dr. Jorge Cortes, director of the Georgia Cancer Center, said there were 20 projects submitted for consideration. “Doing cancer research is difficult. It’s expensive. The support is not abundant. So, these kinds of grants, this kind of support allows investigators to do initial experiments to develop new projects, to do many things. And this year, we opened many categories to allow us to work in some of the areas where we have very important priorities,” he said.

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Georgia Cancer Center hosts ribbon cutting for cutting edge, radiation therapy building

WFXG  tv


On Wednesday, Georgia Cancer Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony for it’s newly expanded and renovated radiation therapy building. The improvements were made possible with the help of a nearly $10 million investment from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and state lawmakers.

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Jorge E. Cortes, MD, on CML: Efficacy and Safety of Vodobatinib

The ASCO Post  online


Jorge E. Cortes, MD, of Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, discusses new findings on vodobatinib, which was administered to patients with chronic-phase Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and appeared to be efficacious and safe in people who had received therapy with two or three prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

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One on One with Richard Rogers | Georgia Cancer Center

WRDW  tv


Not many cities the size of Augusta can boast a world-class cancer center. The first research building in Augusta opened in 2006, and the campus has been growing ever since. Doctor Jorge Cortes is the director of the Georgia Cancer Center. He’s our studio guest this morning to talk one on one with Richard Rogers.

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Answers (3)

Why is it important to be screened for cancer on a regular basis? 

View Answer >

Being proactive when it comes to cancer screenings is another main factor in determining whether the patient will experience a remission or a recovery, rather than be forced into a treatment program that attempts to slow the spread of the disease and prolong life.

Does family history matter when it comes to cancer?

View Answer >

“We know that many forms of cancer are inherited in human genes; therefore, a person’s family medical history is a major indicator of what cancer might be hiding under the surface."

Why is cancer treatment so expensive?

View Answer >

"The biggest reason that cancer treatment becomes so expensive for most people is because they wait to seek treatment and do not practice prevention. It costs far more money to keep someone alive for six months at a time using drug therapy because the cancer was not detected in time."

Articles (6)

Analysis of cardiovascular and arteriothrombotic adverse events in chronic-phase CML patients after frontline TKIs.

Blood Advances

Jain P, Kantarjian H, Boddu PC, et al.


Cardiovascular or arteriothrombotic adverse events (CV- or AT-AEs) are reported in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). The incidence and characteristics across different TKI have not been systematically analyzed. We analyzed 531 patients treated with frontline TKIs in different prospective trials: imatinib 400 mg (n = 71) and 800 mg (n = 203), nilotinib (n = 108), dasatinib (n = 106), and ponatinib (n = 43).

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Treatment-free remission with first- and second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

American Journal of Hematology

Cortes J, Rea D, Lipton JH.


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has become a chronic disease, for which the chronic phase is manageable with tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Patients with optimal responses to TKIs have achieved long‐term survival, and treatment‐free remission (TFR) has since become an additional treatment goal in CML. In this review, we discuss important factors to consider prior to stopping treatment. In addition, published and presented data with the first‐generation TKI imatinib, as well as current clinical trials evaluating TFR with the second‐generation TKIs dasatinib and nilotinib, are examined.

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Ponatinib efficacy and safety in Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia: final 5-year results of the phase 2 PACE trial.


Cortes JE, Kim DW, Pinilla-Ibarz J, et al.


Ponatinib has potent activity against native and mutant BCR-ABL1, including BCR-ABL1T315I. The pivotal phase 2 Ponatinib Ph+ ALL and CML Evaluation (PACE) trial evaluated efficacy and safety of ponatinib at a starting dose of 45 mg once daily in 449 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) resistant/intolerant to dasatinib or nilotinib, or with BCR-ABL1T315I. This analysis focuses on chronic-phase CML (CP-CML) patients (n = 270) with 56.8-month median follow-up.

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Bosutinib Versus Imatinib for Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Results From the Randomized BFORE Trial

Journal of Clinical Oncology

Cortes JE, Gambacorti-Passerini C, Deininger MW, et al.


Bosutinib is a potent dual SRC/ABL kinase inhibitor approved for adults with Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) resistant and /or intolerant to prior therapy. We assessed the efficacy and safety of bosutinib versus imatinib for first-line treatment of chronic-phase CML.

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Understanding geographic and racial/ethnic disparities in mortality from four major cancers in the state of Georgia: a spatial epidemiologic analysis, 1999–2019

Scientific Reports

Justin Xavier Moore, Martha S. Tingen, Steven S. Coughlin, Christine O’Meara, Lorriane Odhiambo, Marlo Vernon, Samantha Jones, Robert Petcu, Ryan Johnson, K. M. Islam, Darryl Nettles, Ghadeer Albashir & Jorge Cortes


We examined geographic and racial variation in cancer mortality within the state of Georgia, and investigated the correlation between the observed spatial differences and county-level characteristics. We analyzed county-level cancer mortality data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer mortality among adults (aged ≥ 18 years) in 159 Georgia counties from years 1999 through 2019.

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Racial/Ethnic Representation in Pivotal Clinical Trials for Drugs Approved for Leukemias and Multiple Myeloma

The ASCO Post

Jorge Cortes


In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Casey et al found that most U.S. minority populations were underrepresented in clinical trials leading to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of drugs for treating leukemias and multiple myeloma.

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