Clinical & Translational Research
Dr. Popa's main clinical and research activities lie in the fields aero-digestive tract cancers and rare tumors. She has a experience in the treatment of common malignancies such oral/throat cancers as well the whole range of intestinal cancers including neuroendocrine [carcinoid] cancers, colorectal and anal cancers. Her clinical and research interest focus is on sarcomas [both soft tissue tumors as well as bone tumors] as well rarer cancers of the digestive tract such as liver, bile duct and gallbladder cancers.
The Division of Hematology/Oncology here at Cornell is spearheading the development of highly specialized multi-disciplinary teams in these very difficult to treat tumors. As part of this effort, Dr Popa has been an integral component of the liver cancer program here at Cornell, working closely with the Liver Transplant and Interventional Radiology teams for the past 10 years. In addition, she is now collaborating with Surgical Oncology and Radiation Oncology in the context of a new Sarcoma & Rare Tumor program.
The goal of these collaborations is to offer seamless multidisciplinary treatment plans which are individualized to each patient's particular disease type and health conditions, actively using the newest generation of molecular profiling of tumors to offer the best combination of effective and less toxic treatments that are available. These treatment plans range from using standard and well-proven regimens to offering new experimental treatment options in a manner tailored to patient's goals of care and capacity to undergo therapy.
Her active membership as part of the Gastrointestinal Oncology group here at Cornell allows her to participate in and be ability to offer all of the Group's clinical trial options to patients.
Examples of ongoing research and clinical trials which Dr Popa is able to offer patients depending upon their eligibility include liver transplant for bile duct cancers, immunotherapy for advanced oral/throat cancers and pancreatic cancers, targeted antibody-drug conjugate treatment of advanced solid tumors, non-chemotherapy approaches to advanced colon and pancreatic cancer and reduction of side effects w/ novel mucosal protectants. She is also particularly interested in the management of metastatic or advanced soft tissue and bone tumors with an emphasis on molecular profiling of tumors with the most advanced available methods and creating management plans which incorporate both surgery, radiation and systemic therapy to maximize disease control and quality of life.