Nasser K Altorki   Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery

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In addition to overseeing the clinical lung cancer program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Nasser Altorki is also the Director of the Lehman Brothers Lung Cancer Research Center and is well known for his clinical research in the use of COX-2 inhibitors in the treatment of lung and esophageal cancer, the development of a lung cancer vaccine, and the early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer using CT scans - work done with the Early Lung Cancer Action Project. In collaboration with Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, Dr. Altorki is also involved in an NIH-supported program to evaluate the effects of cigarette smoke in cancer formation and the possible means to reduce the risk of the development of lung cancer among current and former smokers. His recent published findings include a report that tobacco smoke induces CYP1B1 (a marker for cancer) in the aerodigestive tract, and that tumor size predicts survival in the most common type of lung cancer (Stage IA). Under Dr. Altorki's leadership, The Division of Thoracic Surgery is actively involved in multiple clinical trials, recruiting up to 50 new patients annually. Some of our currently active trials include: -Phase II trial of induction chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin/etoposide followed by surgical resection, followed by docetaxel for non-small cell lung cancer involving the superior sulcus (Pancoast tumors) -Phase III Study of single-agent Tarceva (erlotinib) following complete tumor resection and w or w/o Adjuvant chemo in patients with 1B-IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer who have EGFR positive tumors RADIANT STUDY. Stages IB IIIA. -A pilot study of preoperative Tarceva™ monotherapy in patients with early stage (I/II) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Stage 1 & II. -Phase II, Non-Randomized, Multicenter Study to /evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Pazopanib as Pre-Surgical Therapy in treatment-Naïve Subjects with Stage IA or IB, Resectable Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. Stage I only. -Phase II Study of Trimodality Therapy for Patients with Thymoma at Significant Risk for Recurrence. -Correlative studies on angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in lung and esophageal abnormalities -Evaluation of tumor antigen expression and specific immune responses in cancer patients with non-small cell lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and other cancers.


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Funding awarded

  • Intercepting progression from pre-invasive to invasive lung adenocarcinoma  awarded by National Cancer Institute Principal Investigator 2019 - 2021
  • Targeting ART1, a novel immune checkpoint, for the treatment of lung cancer  awarded by United States Department of Defense Co-Investigator 2019 - 2021