I am a hematologist and medical oncologist, currently at Ochsner Cancer Institute and Ochsner Health System in New Orleans. I am also a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland/ Ochsner School of Clinical Medicine. My clinical and research interests are hematologic malignancies, particularly aggressive lymphomas and multiple myeloma.
While the current clinical and biological models explain the behavior of these tumors fairly well, they are far from perfect. There are a significant number of patients with aggressive lymphomas and myelomas who either fail to respond to aggressive treatment approaches or have early relapses with terrible outcomes. Precision medicine, targeted therapeutics, and individualizing treatment approaches have all had significant successes in the past decade, made possible by the sequencing of the human genome and eventual advances in identifying specific targets in various cancers.
A vast majority of lymphoma and multiple myeloma patients still receive standard treatments, although the disease biology might be different, based on age, race, sex, and other attributes.
I want to harness the resources at LCRC, including the computational facility, and the ability to integrate molecular genetics, proteomics, and immunologic data and identify differential expression of genes/ markers in aggressive hematologic neoplasms.
The role of liquid biopsy for circulating mRNA, cell free DNA is being investigated in various hematologic neoplasms and could be very useful to ascertain poor responders or patients at high risk for relapse.
The landscape of myeloma and lymphoma treatments are getting increasingly complex. The availability of genomic data has expanded the markers available and several of these can be harnessed as predictors, and/or to predict poor responders/ early relapses.
Louisiana has a significant African American population, and plasma cell disorders are more prevalent in this population and offers very good opportunities for investigators seeking answers to myeloma behavior in African Americans.
I underwent an intensive, 10-day NCI funded big data in oncology workshop recently that introduced me to the immense possibilities that are available to the oncology researcher asking the right questions.
I hope I can partner with like-minded researcher(s) at LCRC to ask, and answer some of the interesting questions and contribute to the ever-changing field of cancer research.