Carla Falkson 2014 webRank:                  

Hematology & Oncology

Campus Address:
NP 2540

Mailing Address:
1720 2nd Avenue South, NP2540
Birmingham, AL 35294-3300

Administrative Contact: 
Jasmine Shelby
(205) 975-2691

For an appointment, call (205) 934-9999 or toll free 1 (800) UAB-8816.


Dr. Falkson joined the Hematology/Oncology Faculty at UAB as a Professor of Medicine and Senior Scientist, Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2001. She is an alumnus of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.


St. Mary's Diocesan School for Girls, Pretoria, South Africa: Joint Matriculation Board

MB ChB (Baccalaureus in Medicine and Surgery) (USA MD equivalent) University of Pretoria, South Africa

MMed(Int) (Masters in Internal Medicine) University of Pretoria, South Africa

MD (Doctorate in Medicine) University of Pretoria, South Africa


Feb 2001- present Professor of Medicine; Division Hematology/Oncology; University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

April 1998 – Feb 2001 Professor and Head (Chief Specialist), Dept Medical Oncology, University of Pretoria, So Africa

April 1994- March 1998 Professor, Dept Medical Oncology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Jan 1992- March 1998 Principal Specialist/Senior Lecturer, Dept Medical Oncology, University of Pretoria, So Africa

Jun 1989‑Dec 1991 Specialist/Lecturer, Dept Medical Oncology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Jul 1987‑Jun 1989 Clinical Assistant/Lecturer, Dept Internal Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

July 1986‑June 1987 Clinical Fellow, Hematology Oncology, Division of Medicine, University of Texas System Cancer Center, MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston, Texas, USA

Jul 1987‑Jun 1989 Clinical Assistant/Lecturer, Dept Internal Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Dec 1984‑Jun 1986 Clinical Assistant/Lecturer, Dept Internal Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Nov 1983‑Nov 1984 Medical Officer/Lecturer, Dept Cancer Chemotherapy, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Nov 1982‑Nov 1983 Intern, 1 Military Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa


Chairperson, Interdisciplinary Breast Clinic Steering Committee; UAB, USA (2001-2005)

Chairperson for ECOG for NSABP-B 34 and S 0307. (2003-present)

Bisphosphonate therapy in breast cancer and bone metastatses.
Member : ECOG Breast Committee (1989- present) and Breast Core Committee (2001-present).

Chairperson: Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Working Group: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA (2001- 2005)

Principal investigator for various clinical trials in breast cancer (1989-present)

Member : CIRG, BIG (IBCSG), BREAST studies (1989- present)

January 2005- present External Reviewer for Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) National Cancer Institute

November 2004- present Member, Audit Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

1996 – 2003 – Member, Scientific Committee, 2nd, 3rd and 4th International Conference – Adjuvant Therapy of Malignant Melanoma, Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK

November 2001- present Principal Investigator, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

September 2002-Nov 2006 Chairperson, Quality Assurance Committee, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

2000-2002 – Member, International Organising Committee for the AORTC Conference 2001 (African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer)

1995-2001 – Member, Research Protocol and Ethics Committee, Pretoria Academic Hospital and University of Pretoria. Acting Chairman with needed.

Feb 2001- January 2006 Chairperson of the Breast Cancer Interdisciplinary Working Group; UAB; Comprehensive Cancer Center

Feb 2001- March 2003 Avon Breast Cancer Scholar; UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

Feb 2001- Sept 2003 Medical Director of the Breast Health Center; UAB; Comprehensive Cancer Center

August 2001-Sept 2002 Co-Principal Investigator for NCCN for UAB

1999-2001 – Member, Interim Provincial Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Gauteng Department of Health

March 17-19, 2000 – Chairperson, Organising Committee for SASMO/SASRO : Oncology 2000 Congress at Pretoria, South Africa

1998-2001 – Member, Medical Research Council (MRC) of South Africa: Ethics Committee

April 1997-June 1998 Chairman, Audit Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

1996-1997 – Member, Medical Ethics Education Subcommittee, Medical Association of South Africa

April 1996-March 1997 Vice Chairman, Audit Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

May 1995-Feb 2001 Principal Investigator, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group for the University of Pretoria.


1. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (1990-present)

2. American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (1999-present)

3. University of Texas M D Anderson Associates (1987-present)

4. European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) (1991-present)

5. Medical Association of the State of Alabama (2002- present)

6. Jefferson County Medical Society (2002-present)

7. South African Society of Medical Oncology (SASMO) (1989-present)

8. Member :Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) (1995-present)

9. Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (ECOG) (1989-present)

10. Breast Cancer International Research Group (BCIRG) (1998-present)

11. BR.E.A.S.T. (Breast European Adjuvant Studies Team) (1998-present)

12. International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) (1998-present)

13. TBCRC (translational Breast Cancer Research Cosnsortium)

Clinical Interests
Carla I. Falkson has been actively involved in development and planning of trials, with an emphasis on clinical trials. Her research has been focused on developing innovative treatments for patients with cancer, as well as coordinating other aspects of cancer research. Her major interests are in the areas of breast cancer and melanoma. She is actively involved in planning ECOG's scientific research program. Examples of research include:

Breast Cancer – designing adjuvant and metastatic trials, with emphasis on translational research and quality of life issues for women with breast cancer.

Dr. Falkson is actively involved with development and planning of trials, with an emphasis on clinical trials in breast cancer. She is interested in fostering collaboration between groups and is Principal Investigator for UAB's Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group(ECOG) projects. She has been an active member of the ECOG Breast Committee since 1989 and a member of various other international breast cancer groups (for example BCIRG/CIRC).
Examples of research include the use of bisphosphonates in breast cancer and chairing studies with these agents such as NSABP-B 34 and S 0307 for ECOG. The use of antiangiogenic agents in breast cancer and treatments for Her2-positive breast cancer are also areas of focus.

Dr. Falkson has been actively involved with quality assurance in cancer research, including
chairing UAB's Quality Assurance Committee and ECOG's Audit committee, and has been a
member of the ECOG Publications Committee and Audit Committee since 1996.

Other examples of research interests include: Bone metastatases in breast cancer; bisphosphonates as adjuvant therapy for breast cancer; clinical aspects of gamma delta T-cells in breast cancer; circulating serum-Her-2 neu in serum in breast cancer; Herceptin in breast cancer and tumor exosomal jak3BP-mediated immunosuppresion of NK cells in patients with breast cancer. Dr Falkson has also been involved with genetic studies (BRCA determination) in various South African populations. (Done in collaboration with the Department of Human Genetics, University of Pretoria) and co-chaired various breast cancer genetic studies in Pretoria (1995-2001) and co-chairman of various genetic studies eg BRCA1 & 2 determinations (see publications) and been a member of the ECOG Gene Therapy Committee (1997-2001).

Selected Publications
•Worthington J, Waterbor JW, Funkhouser E, Falkson C, Cofield S, Fouad M. Receipt of standard breast cancer treatment by African American and White women. Int J Med Sci. Jul 7;5(4):181-8, 2008.
•Worthington J, Funkhouser E, Waterbor JW, Falkson C, Cofield S, Fouad M. Accuracy of registry breast cancer treatment data among cases treated in urban hospitals. Journal of Registry Management. 35 (2): 75-80 2008
•Yu S, Liu C, Su K, Wang J, Liu Y, Zhang L, Li C, Cong Y, Kimberly R, Grizzle WE, Falkson C, Zhang HG. Tumor exosomes inhibit differentiation of bone marrow dendritic cells. J Immunol. Jun 1;178(11):6867-75. 2007.
•Slamon D, Eiermann W, Robert N, Pienkowski T, Martin M, Pawlicki M, Chan A, Smylie M, Liu M, Falkson C, Pinter T, Fornander T, Shiftan T, Valero V, Von Minckwitz G, Mackey J, Tabah-Fisch I, Buyse M, Lindsay MA, Riva A, Bee V, Pegram M, Press M, Crown J, on behalf of the BCIRG 006 Investigators. Phase III randomized trial comparing doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel (AC®T) with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel and trastuzumab (AC®TH) with docetaxel, carboplatin and trastuzumab (TCH) in HER2 positive early breast cancer patients: BCIRG 006 study SABCS 2005 and 2006.
•Biagi J, Herbert K, Smith C, Abdi E, Leahy M, Falkson C, Wolf M, Januszewicz H, Seymour J, Richards K, Matthews J, Dale B, Prince H A phase II study of dexamethasone, ifosfamide, cisplatin and etoposide (DICE) as salvage chemotherapy for patients with relapsed and refractory lymphoma. Leuk Lymphoma. 46(2):197-206. Feb 2005
•Goedhals L, Falkson G, Smith BL, Falkson CI, Gasmi J, Lategan A, Burillon JP, His P. Vinorelbine and cisplatin in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix: the South African Experience. Anticancer Res. 25(3c):2489-92; May-Jun 2005
•Wadler S, Levy D, Frederickson HL, Falkson CI, Wang Y, Weller E, Burk R, Ho G, Kadish AS; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. A phase II trial of interleukin-12 in patients with advanced cervical cancer: clinical and immunologic correlates. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study E1E96. Gynecol Oncol. 92(3):957-64 Mar 2004
•Falkson Carla I .The Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer: Overview. Medical Professional Magazine Alabama Vol 1, No 1 2004
•Edmonson JH, Ryan LM, Falkson CI, Hicks DG, Blum RH. Phase II Study of Ifosfamide + Doxorubicin in Patients with Advanced Synovial Sarcomas (E1793): A Trial of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Sarcoma 7:9-11, 2003
•Retsas S , Falkson CI et al. Report on the 4th International Conference on the Adjuvant Therapy of Melanoma Held at the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK. March 15-16, 2002. Melanoma Research; 12 (3) A1-A4, 2002
•Falkson CI, Lawson D, Ibrahim J, Kirkwood J, Cohen G, Whiteside T, Zarour H. A randomized, placebo-controlled phase III trial of yeast derived GM-CSF vs peptide vaccination versus GM-CSF plus peptide vaccination vs placebo in patients with "No Evidence of Disease" after complete surgical resection of "locally advanced" and/or Stage IV melanoma. An Eastern Co-operative Group trial. Melanoma Research, 12(3) A6, 2002
•Schink, Weller, Harris, Cella, Gerstnet, Falkson C I, Wadler. Outpatient Taxol and Carboplatin for Suboptimally debulked Epithelial Carcinoma of the Ovary Results in Improved Quality of Life: An ECOG Phase II Study (E2E93). The Cancer Journal from Scientific American, Mar-Apr;7(2):155-164 , 2001
•Nabholtz J, Falkson C, Campos D, Szanto J, Martin M, Chan S, Pienkowski T, Zaluski J, Pinter T, Krzakowski, Vorbiof D, Loenard R, Kennedy I, Azli N, Murawski M, Riva A, Pouillart P on behalf of TAX 306 study group. Docetaxel and doxorubicin (AT) compared to doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) as first-line chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer: results of a randomized, multicenter, phase III trial . J Clin Oncol. Mar 15;21(6):968-75, 2003.
•Saphner T, Weller E A, Tormey D C, Pandya K J, Falkson C I, Stewart J, Robert N J. 21 day oral etoposide for metastatic breast cancer. A Phase II study and review of the literature. Am J Clin Oncol, 23: 258-262, 2000.
•Mullin V, Cella D, Chang C-H, Eremenco S, Mertz M, Lent L, Falkson C I, Falkson G. Development of three African language translations of the FACT-G. Quality of Life Research, 9: 139-149, 2000.
•Yawitch T M, Mertz M, Falkson C I, van Rensburg E J. Absence of commonly recurring BRCA1 mutations in black South African women with breast cancer. S A Med J, 90, 788 (2000) 2000
•Simpson J F, Gray R, Dressler L G, Cobau C D, Falkson C I, Gillchrist K W, Pandya K J, Page D L, Robert N J. Prognostic value of histologic grade and proliferative activity in axillary node positive breast cancer: Results from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) companion study, E4189. J Clin Oncol, 18:2059-2069, 2000
•Sparano JA, O'Neill A, Schaefer PL, Falkson CI, Wood WC. Phase II trial of doxorubicin and docetaxel plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in metastatic breast cancer: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study E1196. J Clin Oncol. Jun;18(12): 2369-77. 2000

Book Chapters

•Falkson, CI, Breast Cancer. In: Oxmore House Publications, USA. 2003
•Williams C and Falkson Carla. Adjuvant Therapy of Breast Cancer. In: Williams CKO, Olopade OI, Falkson CI (EDS): Breast Cancer in Women of African Descent. 2005.

•Falkson CI, Rossman J, Nabell L, et al. A phase II trial investigating if bevacizumab in combination with hormone therapy will reverse acquired estrogen independence in metastatic breast cancer patients. Abstract 1074, Proc ASCO 2008.
•Elizabeth A. Kvale, Olivio Clay, Lesley A. Ross, Jocelyn McGee, Jerri Edwards, Carla Falkson, Karlene Ball. Cognitive and functional impairment in older cancer survivors. Abstract34;AACR 2007.
• A. Forero-Torres, I. Percent, J. Galleshaw, L. Nabell, J. Carpenter, C. Falkson, C. Jones, H. Krontriras, J. De Los Santos, M. Saleh. Neo-adjuvant letrozole and bevacizumab. In Press ASCO 2008
•S. A. McDaniel, H. Krontiras, J. T. Carpenter, L. M. Nabell, K. I. Bland, M. M. Urist, C. I. Falkson, A. Forero; Univ of Alabama At Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Safety and effectiveness of dose dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage II/IIIbreastcancer. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol 2006
•Van Rensburg EJ, Yawitch TM, Schlebusch CM, Dorfling CM, Mertz MS and Falkson C I : BRCA1 Mutations in Black South African Breast Cancer Patients: Preliminary Results of a Population-based Study. Proc Am Assoc Cancer Res 42:661 (#3558) 2001
•Falkson, C. I., Jooste, R., Falkson, H.C., Falkson, G., Rens, D., van Aarde, R. Eek, R.W. Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluorouracil Plus or Minus Depo-Buserelin in Premenenopausal Women with Lymph Node Positive Breast Cancer. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol. (#1777), Vol 20 part 2 pg 7b, 2001
•Rapoport, B.L., Mahomed, A. Uys, Falkson, C.I., Landers, G., Raats, J.,Significant Responces in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Refractory to Anthracycline Therapy: Preliminary Results of a Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Cisplatin and Raltitrexed. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol. (#1927), Vol. 20 part 2 pg 45b, 2001
•Raats, J., Rapoport, B.L., Mahomed, R., Uys,A., Eek, R., Slabber,C., Falkson, C.I., Landers, G., Moodley, D. A Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Cisplatin and Raltitrexed in newly Diagnosed Patients with Metastatic Carcinoma of Unknown Primary (CUP). Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol. (#2292),Vol. 20 part 2 pg 135b, 2001
•Flinn IW, Jemiai Y, Lee, S, Bennett, JM, Falkson, CI, Flynn, P, Pundaleeka, SK, Stadtmauer, E, Schnell, FM, Tallman, MS, Rowe, JM. Phase II Trial of Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide (Flu/Cy) in Patients with Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study. (E1997) Am Soc Hematology: (#2649) : 2001
•Slabber C F, Falkson C I, Musi N N M, Burger W. A Phase II study of docetaxel in advanced, inoperable squamous carcinoma of the esophagus. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol. (#1151), pg 300a, 1999

For an up to date list of publications, please click here: PubMed

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