Richard D. Carvajal, MD

Director, Developmental Therapeutics; Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn Chair for Junior Faculty
Pictured: Richard Carvajal

Medical oncologist Richard Carvajal describes how rewarding it is to contribute to the surge in early-stage clinical trials and novel therapies that are transforming the outlook for people with rare cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering.


As the Director of the Developmental Therapeutics program and a member of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with various cancers, with the overall objective of controlling and curing these diseases. To achieve this goal, I have used our increasing knowledge of the underlying biology of cancer to develop and conduct clinical trials of new agents in specific molecular subsets of disease. By personalizing therapy based upon findings within the tumor of each individual, we have the potential to achieve dramatic and meaningful clinical responses in our patients.

My melanoma research has included the study and treatment of uncommon clinical and molecular subsets of melanoma such as melanomas arising from the eye (uveal melanomas), from the mucosal surfaces of the body (mucosal melanomas), and from the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the fingernails (acral melanomas). Although these tumors arise from pigment cells of the body just as do the more common melanomas that arise from the skin (cutaneous melanomas), they are clinically and biologically distinct from cutaneous disease. Once metastatic (that is, spread from where they originally began to other sites in the body), these diseases have proven to be difficult to treat.

Appointments for New Patients
Clinical Expertise

Melanoma; Sarcoma

Languages Spoken

MD, New York University School of Medicine


University of Michigan Medical Center


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, Hematology

Publications by Richard D. Carvajal

Carvajal RD, Shah MA, Tse A, Lefkowitz R, Kelsen DP, Schwartz GK, O'Reilly EM. A phase II study of docetaxel (D) followed by flavopiridol (F) in advanced, gemcitabine-refractory pancreatic cancer (PC). Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol 2008. Vol 26 (May 20 Suppl): Abstr 15558.

Shah GD, Coit DG, Brady M, Wolchok JD, Carvajal RD, Busam K, Panageas K, Roman R, Viale A, Socci N, Chapman PB. Phase II trial of neoadjuvant temozolomide in advanced melanoma. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol 2008. Vol 26 (May 20 Suppl): Abstr 9058.

Dickson MA, Carvajal RD, Shah MA, Cane LM, Dials HJ, Schwartz GK. A phase I study of FOLFOX administered with flavopiridol (F) in patients with refractory solid tumors. Proc Amer Soc Clin Oncol 2008. Vol 26 (May 20 Suppl): Abstr 3569.

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