NYU Perlmutter Creates New Pancreatic Cancer Center


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Diane M. Simeone, MD

Diane M. Simeone, MD

PERLMUTTER CANCER CENTER at NYU Langone has announced the creation of a multidisciplinary center of excellence to develop innovative approaches to diagnose, treat, and prevent pancreatic cancer. The new Pancreatic Cancer Center brings together laboratory researchers, surgeons, oncologists, geneticists, and others throughout NYU Langone to create a comprehensive care model to address this usually fatal disease. 

Key to its mission is cultivating an environment in which science and industry collaborate on the discovery and development of new technologies and therapies. Interdisciplinary “team research” will involve all areas of medicine—from basic science, through drug development, to implementing new treatments in the patient care setting. 

Pancreatic cancer surgeon and researcher Diane M. Simeone, MD, will lead the new Pancreatic Cancer Center. Dr. Simeone also is the incoming Chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of the highly influential Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, one of the country’s premier organizations advancing the fight against the disease through research funding, community engagement, and government advocacy. 

“Advances in many areas of cancer biology and genomics have created an unprecedented opportunity to drive discoveries that have real impact on patients, especially those with lethal diseases like pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Simeone. “It is our obligation to step up to this challenge.” 

Emphasis on Patient Care, Advancing Research 

DR. SIMEONE and her colleagues will continue to investigate the molecular events important in pancreatic cancer development— specifically identifying biomarkers for early detection and new therapies that improve survival. On the clinical side, the program will focus on the management of patients with pancreatic tumors and expedite the progression of laboratory findings to clinical practice. It also will have a strong emphasis on genetic predisposition for pancreatic cancer and evaluating risk factors for patients. 

Through the Pancreatic Cancer Center, patients will have access to a team of clinicians, most of whom will practice at Perlmutter Cancer Center’s main facility on East 34th Street and 3rd Avenue. When appropriate, patients also will have the opportunity to enroll in promising clinical trials on new drugs to fight pancreatic cancer. 

Equally important, the Center will tackle obstacles that have often held back research advances in pancreatic cancer. “In the past, pancreatic cancer took a back seat to the investigation of other forms of cancer,” Dr. Simeone said. “But the increasing number of cases has changed that. We will advance the most promising laboratory findings to the clinic in the shortest possible time, improve clinical trial design and efficiency, facilitate data sharing, and capitalize fully on technologic advances that will one day lead us to an early detection test for pancreatic cancer.” ■


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