By Catherine S.M. Diefenbach, MD
Director, Hematology Translational Research, and Director, Clinical Lymphoma Program, Perlmutter Cancer Center
Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health is a leading cancer center in the New York City area and part of NYU Langone Health, one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers. A member of ECOG-ACRIN since 2007, Perlmutter Cancer Center received designation as a “Comprehensive Cancer Center” by the National Cancer Institute in 2018.
Perlmutter Cancer Center serves the metropolitan New York City area, and our physicians treat patients in facilities located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. The center conducts cutting-edge basic, translational, clinical, and population research with the aim of enhancing cancer prevention, devising new cancer treatments, and improving patient outcomes and quality of life.
Ranked among the Best Hospitals for Cancer by U.S. News & World Report, Perlmutter Cancer Center is an accredited program of the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer and a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program. The Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) recognizes the cancer center as a FACT-accredited organization for autologous transplantation. It is also a Magnet Recognition Program® with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a Designated Center of Excellence for the Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Foundation, and a consortium member of the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC®).
Perlmutter Cancer Center has a diverse portfolio of clinical trials that provides patients with access to the newest, most innovative therapies to treat their cancer. Over the last five years, Perlmutter Cancer Center has tripled the size of its clinical trials office, doubled its trial accrual, and dramatically increased its phase I trial portfolio, with those accruals increasing fourfold in the last four years.
At Perlmutter Cancer Center, I am currently director of Hematology Translational Research as well as director of the Clinical Lymphoma Program. I lead several ECOG-ACRIN clinical trials in the lymphoma space at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, and I developed and serve as the study chair of E4412, A Phase I Study with an Expansion Cohort/Randomized Phase II Study of the Combinations of Ipilimumab, Nivolumab and Brentuximab Vedotin in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma.
This trial began initially as a single-arm phase I study exploring the combination of ipilimumab with an anti-CD30–directed antibody-drug conjugate in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma. Because Hodgkin lymphoma is a very unusual tumor with very rare tumor cells in a microenvironment that is full of dysfunctional immune cells, my colleagues and I pioneered the concept of directing targeted chemotherapies to the few tumor cells that are present while activating immune cells in the tumor microenvironment that are protecting and promoting tumor cell growth.
This therapy proved to be safe and active in patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma, and the study was subsequently expanded to include nivolumab, and then both ipilimumab and nivolumab, as a three-arm phase I study. It was further developed into a randomized phase II study comparing the doublet of brentuximab and nivolumab to the triplet of brentuximab, ipilimumab, and nivolumab.
My colleagues at Perlmutter Cancer Center are conducting additional ECOG-ACRIN studies focused on other blood cancers as well as solid tumors:
Bruce Raphael, MD, is site PI of EA9161, A Randomized Phase III Study of the Addition of Venetoclax to Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab versus Ibrutinib and Obinutuzumab in Untreated Younger Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Nina D'Abreo, MD, is site PI of EA1181, (CompassHER2-pCR): Preoperative THP and Postoperative HP in Patients Who Achieve a Pathologic Complete Response Part 1 Component of: The CompassHER2 Trials (COMprehensive Use of Pathologic Response ASSessment to Optimize Therapy in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer)
Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD, is site PI of EA5163/S1709, INSIGNA: A Randomized, Phase III Study of First-line Immunotherapy Alone or in Combination with Chemotherapy in Induction/Maintenance or Postprogression in Advanced Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) with Immunobiomarker SIGNature-driven Analysis