Silvia C. Formenti, MD, has been appointed Chair of the newly established Department of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Radiation Oncologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, effective April 15. Dr. Formenti, currently the Chair of Radiation Oncology at New York University Langone Medical Center, has also been named the Associate Director of Radiation Oncology at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.
A recognized leader in radiation oncology and breast cancer research, Dr. Formenti’s work has transformed the paradigm in radiation biology, demonstrating the efficacy of combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy to control cancer cell growth in solid tumors. By recruiting patients’ immune systems to reject their individual tumor, the approach results in personalized immunotherapy, specific for each individual patient. She has translated preclinical work into clinical trials in metastatic breast cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma and has opened a new field of application for radiotherapy, whereby localized radiation can be used as an adjuvant to immunotherapy of solid tumors and lymphomas.
In her new roles at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Dr. Formenti will expand and enhance the existing radiation oncology program, building upon translational research to better investigate, target, and treat individual patients’ unique cancers. Faculty in the department will investigate precision medicine approaches to radiation oncology, focusing on combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy and other modifiers of the tumor microenvironment to design advanced treatments and therapies that are tailored to each patient’s individual tumor.
“One of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of our generation is the revelation that not all cancers are the same, and, as such, neither should their treatments be the same,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. “Dr. Formenti is at the forefront of this personalized approach to cancer. Her distinguished work in radiation oncology has left a lasting mark on cancer care.”
Dr. Formenti received her medical degree from the University of Milan (Italy). She joined New York University Medical Center as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in 1999. ■