Dr. Kambiz Dowlat Awarded Society Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Howard Snider presenting award to Dr. Dowlat (right)

The American Society of Breast Surgeons awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to Kambiz Dowlat, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Rush University in Chicago during the Society's 18th annual meeting in Las Vegas. The ASBrS Board of Directors rarely awards the Lifetime Achievement Award, with Dr. Dowlat being only its third recipient. The award is given when an individual has made significant contributions to improving the practice of breast surgery or serves as an advocate to advance the quality of care for breast disease patients. Dr. Dowlat has distinguished himself in both of these categories.

Dr. Dowlat was born in Kermanshah, Iran, earned his medical degree from the University of London, served his internship in London and Oxford, and did his surgical residency at three hospitals in Bristol. He immigrated to the United States in 1980 and completed a breast fellowship at University of Chicago. He then joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Surgery focusing on breast disease. At the time, excisional biopsy was the standard of care for the diagnosis of breast cancer. However, Dr. Dowlat was always looking for ways to better deliver patient care and was aware that needle biopsies were being pioneered in Sweden. In 1985, he traveled to Sweden, learned the technique and brought the first stereotactic table to the United States at the University of Chicago. In 1987, he joined the faculty of Rush University as an Associate Professor of Breast Surgery and was dedicated to performing stereotactic needle biopsy in conjunction with stereotactic wire localizations on all of his patients before they had excisional biopsy of non-palpable lesions in order to establish accuracy. Today, Dr. Dowlat's vision is a reality. Image guided percutaneous needle biopsy is the diagnostic procedure of choice for image guided breast abnormalities and he has organized and led numerous courses instructing surgeons on how to perform stereotactic and ultrasound guided breast biopsies.

Dr. Dowlat was also a pioneer in thermal ablation of breast cancer, beginning his work on laserthermia in the late 1980's. Laserthermia was the forerunner of other ablative techniques which continue to evolve as methods of treatment for breast cancer 30 years after his pioneering work. His current visionary project is the development of a "hot balloon" for intraoperative thermal ablation following lumpectomy--a technique that could potentially replace the need for partial breast radiation.

Dr. Dowlat has been an active member of The American Society of Breast Surgeons since 1995 and served on the board of directors from 2005-2008. The announcement of his Lifetime Achievement Award drew a standing ovation from the over 1,700 breast surgeons attending the Society's annual meeting.