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Experimental Strategies in Malignant Mesothelioma

Raffit Hassan, MD, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Hassan, is an Investigator and Chief of the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Section in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hassan is a medical oncologist whose laboratory and clinical research is focused on developing novel therapies for the treatment of mesothelioma. Work done by him and his collaborators has shown that mesothelin, a tumor antigen which was discovered at the NCI, is a useful target for tumorspecific therapy of malignant mesothelioma. His group is presently conducting clinical trials of three different agents targeting mesothelin namely, SS1P an anti-mesothelin immunotoxin, MORAb-009 a chimeric anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody and CRS-207 a mesothelin tumor vaccine.

David Schrump, MD, National Institute of Health

Dr. Schrump graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Chicago as well as a 3-year research fellowship in human cancer immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Following completion of his thoracic surgery residency at the University of Michigan in 1993, Dr. Schrump was appointed Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 1997, he was appointed Head of Thoracic Oncology, Surgery Branch, NCI, receiving NIH tenure in 2006. In 2010 he received a MBA in Health Services Management from Johns Hopkins University. His clinical interests include surgical management of complex thoracic malignancies, and his translational research efforts are focused on epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression in thoracic malignancies and the utilization of chromatin remodeling agents for the treatment and prevention of these neoplasms.

David J. Sugarbaker, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

David J. Sugarbaker is the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgical Oncology at Harvard Medical School, the Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Philip E. Lowe Senior at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Sugarbaker attended Wheaton College in Wheaton Illinois and then went on to attend Cornell University Medical College in New York. He completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and his cardiothoracic training at the Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Following his training in Toronto in 1988, Dr. Sugarbaker return to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston appointed as Chief of the newly formed Division of Thoracic Surgery.

The Division of Thoracic Surgery has grown to one of the largest in the nation performing over 3500 cases/year with 14 staff surgeons and 3 research associates. Dr. Sugarbaker pioneered the technique of extrapleural pneumonectomy and its application to patients with mesothelioma. He has developed innovative multimodality therapies and directed translation research programs in this disease that are known worldwide. He is Founder and Director of the International Pleural Mesothelioma Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

During Dr. Sugarbaker’s tenure at the Harvard Medical School, he has had the opportunity of mentoring many residents both in the General Surgery Program and the Cardiothoracic Program. Dr. Sugarbaker is well known both on a national and international level. He travels extensively being invited to lecture at various hospitals, society and association meetings here in the United States, Europe, Japan, China and Australia. Dr. Sugarbaker has published extensively in all the top journals and textbooks and has just published a textbook on thoracic surgery.

Joshua Sonett, MD, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Joshua R. Sonnett is the Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Director of the Lung Transplant Program, and an Attending Surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He is also a Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is instrumental in making the Thoracic Surgery program at Columbia University one of the best in the US and is one of the youngest Professors of Surgery with Tenure at the major academic institutions in the United States.

Dr. Sonett is best known for his work in the multidisciplinary treatment of lung and esophageal malignancies. Leading work in minimally invasive treatment of lung and esophageal cancer. Dr. Sonett and his team at Columbia are leaders developing and teaching techniques in Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) and Minimally Invasive Esophageal (MIE) surgery, allowing surgeons to incorporate these techniques in to their daily practices.

Manish Patel, MD, University of Minnesota

Dr. Patel received a BS in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1996. He then attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, receiving a Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2001. Dr. Patel then pursued residency in Internal Medicine at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. He followed this with a clinical research fellowship at Winthrop University Hospital (Mineola, NY) from 2004-2005. Since 2005, he has been engaged in laboratory research in the area of thoracic malignancies including mesothelioma at the University of Minnesota. Upon completion of his fellowship in 2010, he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota with a clinical and research emphasis on thoracic malignancies. His primary research focus is on virus therapy for mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Daniel Sterman, MD, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Dr. Sterman is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine in Surgery, and the Director of the PENN Interventional Pulmonology Program and Clinical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Gene Therapy Program of the Center for Lung Cancer and Related Disorders of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. His clinical interests are related to the treatment of thoracic malignancies, specifically as they apply to the synergy of molecular medicine and novel technologies in Interventional Pulmonology. His research interests are in the translation of laboratory discoveries from the bench to the bedside: conducting human clinical trials of gene therapy and vaccine therapy for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other pleural malignancies.


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Click here to view Dr. David J. Sugarbaker's slides.


Click here to view Dr. David Schrump's slides.


Click here to view Dr. Lee Krug's slides.


Click here to view Dr. Manish Patel's slides.


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