After comprehensive training and certification in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, as well as then acquiring additional expertise in Cancer Pharmacology and transplant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute from 1994 onwards, I joined the Division of Hematologic Oncology and the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center in December 1999. I was appointed Clinical Director of the Myeloma Center in January 2001 and have since led several novel, biologically-derived translational efforts in multiple myeloma under the overall direction and mentorship of Kenneth Anderson, M.D. These have been focused in the clinical study of new drugs in the Phase 1, 2 and 3 settings as principal investigator and first author of derived manuscripts; specifically thalidomide, the thalidomide analog lenalidomide [Revlimid], and the first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib [Velcade]. Subsequent studies have focused on other novel agents including 2- methoxy estradiol [also known as 2-ME2], histone deacelytase inhibitors (including SAHA, also known as vorinostat) and the HSP-90 inhibitor,17-AAG, also known as tanespimicin, as well as other small molecules, including perifosine and the second generation proteasome inhibitors, NPI 0052 and MLNM 9708, as well as the newest immunomodulatory agent, pomalidomide . My most recent translational clinical innovation has been the combination of lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (also known as RVD) first combined in our phase I trial in relapsed disease and now established in the upfront setting as a potential landmark regimen, which is currently under investigation in several multicenter phase III studies. My senior investigator role in the VISTA trial comparing bortezomib in combination with melphalan and prednisone versus melphalan and prednisone alone as part of an international team has proven to be especially productive, as this has been a highly successful study establishing bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone as a new treatment standard in patients not eligible for stem cell transplant.
Currently, I am leading multiple efforts studying the use of combination therapies predominantly in relapsed and refractory myeloma, an area of primary interest to me. I also serve as a principal investigator and study chairman for several clinical trials relating to other areas of myeloma treatment, including the use of combination therapies in earlier disease designed to target resistance and reduce toxicity. My major leadership efforts are focused on the IFM/DFCI upfront study in patients eligible for stem cell transplant in combination with RVD. Finally, an important new area of interest for me is treatment-emergent neuropathy in myeloma, its characterization and strategies to minimize it.
My other substantive contribution in the area of treatment- related toxicity has been in the development of Defibrotide for the treatment of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), complicating stem cell transplant, as well as its development as a broader therapeutic adjuvant in anti-neoplastic therapy.
As a clinical researcher in myeloma and transplant, I have published 200 original articles and over 90 reviews, chapters, and editorials in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Leukemia, Clinical Cancer Research, and British Journal of Haematology, as well as made numerous presentations with accompanying monographs both nationally and internationally in the context of both education and research.