Fall 2014 Message from the Director

John Leonard, MD
John Leonard, MD

Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter. Our goal is to continue publishing these newsletters on a regular basis to help the lymphoma community remain abreast of the recent activities of WCMC researchers. This edition continues our focus on new, non-chemotherapy drugs. First, we report the recent FDA-approval of idelalisib based on a phase III clinical trial led by Dr. Richard Furman.  Second, Dr. Peter Martin explains the evolving understanding of mechanisms of resistance to ibrutinib in mantle cell lymphoma. Third, we highlight three new clinical trials that explore new ways to treat lymphomas.

Finally, we have been speaking to patients and researchers about the WCMC Lymphoma Program, and this is what we have learned about why patients continue to come here.

1. Personalized and compassionate care: Just like every person in the world is unique, every lymphoma is different. We are not a factory, so we do not treat our patients like cars on an assembly line. Rather, we strive to provide highly personalized, compassionate, state-of-the-art care to every person with lymphoma. Our physicians strive to build strong, long-term relationships. People seeking a second opinion or consultation can usually be seen within a few days.

2. Comprehensive cancer care: Besides the direct care related to lymphoma, we also have the resources needed to provide comprehensive care in the following areas: stem cell transplantation, pain, palliative care, nutrition, rehabilitation, psychiatry, support groups, and end of life care support. Our medical records system patient records are automatically accessible to other physicians within the system and to patients, allowing for more streamlined coordination of care with other caregiver

3. Total care: People with lymphoma may develop additional complex medical problems besides lymphoma. Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital is one of the top-ranked hospitals in the United States, with experts in specialties including cardiology, pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, nephrology, infectious diseases, and multiple surgical specialties. We are proud to offer both lymphoma care and top-ranked “total care” in the same hospital.

4. Our reputation: Our program and physicians have an international reputation. We receive referrals from physicians all over the world. We are recognized as outstanding by various cancer-related non-profit organizations (support and research), and our work with them is very important.

5. Our science: Like our clinical care, our clinical research is nationally recognized. In addition to collaborations with the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical industry leaders, and other national groups, our researchers design and conduct multiple clinical trials based on findings coming directly from internationally recognized researchers at WCMC, helping to bring the latest laboratory advances to our patients before they are available anywhere else. Our work, (with the participation of our patients) has contributed to the FDA approval of novel agents/techniques, which our patients are among the first to receive.

We are always striving towards opening a dialogue with the wider community – lymphoma patients and their family/caregivers – if you have any requests or ideas about topics that you would like us to cover on our blog or in future newsletters please let us know through the website contact form.

Best regards,

John Leonard MD

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