Summer 2015 Message from the Director

John Leonard, MD
John Leonard, MD

To date 2015 has been a very exciting and productive year for the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Giorgio Inghirami led a team of researchers that defined the genetic landscape in anaplastic large cell lymphoma, an important form of T-cell lymphoma. Dr. Ethel Cesarman, along with WCMC pathologists and experts in bioinformatics sequenced the genome of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, identifying a common mutation associated with a good prognosis as well as several, previously unreported mutations that might provide targets for future therapies. Following work by Dr. Selina Chen-Kiang to put the oral drug palbociclib on the shelf for treatment of mantle cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma, a subsequent trial demonstrated significant benefit in combination with letrozole for treatment of breast cancer, resulting in FDA approval. Dr. Peter Martin and collaborators at WCMC were part of a multi-institutional collaboration that was awarded $11 million from the National Institutes of Health to study lymphoma outcomes and epidemiology over many years.

Recently, in an effort to offer an informative and understandable discussion of new publications to the general lymphoma community, we debuted the REDLAMP or “Review of Emerging Data for Lymphoma Patients” video series. In each video, one of our lymphoma specialists will briefly discuss the impact and takeaways from a new research publication that is relevant to people with lymphoma. We hope that this series will be educational and useful.

In this edition we will discuss some of the issues that people with lymphoma face on a day-to-day basis that often take a back seat to discussion of new treatment options. Specifically, Dr. Kelly Trevino from the Center for Research on End of Life Care in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine is going to discuss some of the psychosocial needs that are unique to people with lymphoma as well as some of the emerging research strategies to study and improve on the care we deliver. We will also feature Shayne Robinson, our Hematology/Oncology Dietitian, who will be discussing recommendations for the prevention of cancer and promoting healing while taking anti-lymphoma therapies.

Finally I would like to welcome two new additions of to our group. Dr. John N. Allan has joined our CLL Center, focusing on clinical research for and treatment of patients with CLL and other lymphoid malignancies. He has a specific interest in understanding Richter’s syndrome. Dr. Sarah Rutherford is also a new faculty member who has a focus on research and care for people with aggressive lymphomas. Both physicians have been part of the WCMC group for several years and it’s great to have them as new key members of our Lymphoma Program

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, or our available clinical trials please email us at, or call us at 212-746-2919. You can also check out our website at or follow me on Twitter at @JohnPLeonardMD.

One thought on “Summer 2015 Message from the Director”

  1. Thank you, Dr Leonard, for your dedication to treatment, research, and patient education. While I am not a lymphoma patient, I am a cancer survivor, and have been successfully treated at NY Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Med Ctr. I am a big fan of the hospital and its fine doctors, nurses, technologists, and dieticians. You set a great example on social media for how doctors can spread the latest medical and research developments to the patient community. Keep up the good fight!

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