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Simeone Leads New NYU Pancreatic Cancer Center

Published Online:8:27 PM, Mon July 31, 2017

Diane M. Simeone, MD
Diane M. Simeone, MD, is stepping up to lead the new Pancreatic Cancer Center at NYU Langone. She has been a member of NYU Langone since March 2017, and will continue in her role as associate director of translational research at the Perlmutter Cancer Center.

The internationally renowned pancreatic cancer surgeon and researcher is also the incoming chair of the scientific and medical advisory board for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Previously, she was the director of the gastrointestinal oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. Additionally, she had previously served as the president of the American Pancreatic Association as well as of the Society of University Surgeons.

In addition, Simeone is on the Pancreatic Cancer Task Force with the National Cancer Institute and is leading the Precision Promise trial consortium to find next-generation clinical trials for patients with pancreatic cancer.

“Advances in many areas of cancer biology and genomics have created an unprecedented opportunity to drive discoveries that have real impact on patients, especially those with lethal diseases like pancreatic cancer,” Simeone said in a statement. “It is our obligation to step up to this challenge.”
The new pancreatic center is a multidisciplinary center of excellence designed to develop innovative approaches to diagnose, treat, and prevent pancreatic cancer, according a new release from NYU Langone.

“Unfortunately, the medical community has limited ability to prevent pancreatic cancer, detect it at an early stage or treat it effectively,” Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, said in a statement. “For these reasons, we have identified improving pancreatic cancer outcomes as among our top priorities.”

The pancreatic center will focus its efforts on the management of pancreatic tumors and transforming clinical findings into clinical practice. Simeone and her colleagues will research the genetic predisposition of pancreatic cancer and patient’s risk factors for developing the disease. Her and her team will also investigate molecular events involved in the development of pancreatic cancer, including trying to identify biomarkers for the early detection of the disease and for targeted therapy approaches.

“In the past, pancreatic cancer took a back seat to the investigation of other forms of cancer,” said Simeone. “But the increasing number of cases has changed that. We will advance the most promising laboratory findings to the clinic in the shortest possible time, improve clinical trial design and efficiency, facilitate data sharing, and capitalize fully on technologic advances that will one day lead us to an early detection test for pancreatic cancer.”

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