Mark Kris Named Lead Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering-IBM Watson Collaboration

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mark Kris

Memorial Sloan Kettering medical oncologist Mark Kris has been named the lead physician for the institution’s IBM Watson collaboration.

Medical oncologist Mark G. Kris has been named Lead Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering-IBM Watson Collaboration.

Over the past year, Dr. Kris and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering have worked with an IBM team to develop a powerful cancer resource built on the IBM Watson system that will provide medical professionals with improved access to current and comprehensive cancer data and practices. As Lead Physician of the Memorial Sloan Kettering-IBM Watson Collaboration, Dr. Kris will spearhead the effort to train the IBM Watson supercomputer to learn everything it can about cancer care and how Memorial Sloan Kettering experts use medical information and their experience in personalizing cancer treatments. This new decision-support tool will eventually help physicians everywhere create individualized cancer diagnostic and treatment recommendations for their patients.

Dr. Kris — who has stepped down as Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service after serving in that role since 1990 — specializes in the care of people with cancers arising in the chest, including lung cancer, thymoma, mediastinal tumors, and cancers of unknown primary origin. He is also a researcher, with a particular interest in finding ways to select the best treatments for patients with cancers based on the molecular characteristics of tumors.


2 years ago I had my prostate removed due to cancer, and now my PSA is creeping up again, very slowly, but steadily. I haven't been getting many ideas in terms of treatment, and wondering what Watson might have in store.

Dear Dana, we are sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Watson for Oncology is not yet ready to provide treatment information for patients with prostate cancer. However, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s physicians are Watson’s teachers so even if we haven’t trained Watson for Oncology on a given cancer patients are welcome to schedule appointments, including for second opinions, at MSK. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our specialists to discuss possible next steps in your care, please call our Physician Referral Service at 800-525-2225. Thank you for reaching out to us.

I am advocating for a patient with GBM. She was diagnosed in January of 2016, had surgery on March 1, 2016 and began radiation and chemo treatment that month.

Her GBM is progressing at a faster rate than her oncologist expected.

As a retired IBM employee I have followed the development of the IBM Watson medical project and have requested that the oncologist consider any value it may provide. He has not shown an interest in taking any proactive initiative to utilize Watson's data mining capabilities, but is willing to provide any appropriate information and data.

Can you please guide me on how a patient with GBM can get access to information from the Watson project that may help in treatment?

As a member organization of the NYGC Watson collaboration, is this something MSK can help with? If so, can a patient self enroll and can work be done remotely, not requiring travel, which is difficult for the patient at this time,

Thank you for your comments and recommendations.

Mark Cohn

Dear Mark, MSK physicians are Watson’s teachers, so although Watson for Oncology trained by Memorial Sloan Kettering is not currently evaluating cases for patients with GBM, patients are welcome to schedule appointments, including for second opinions, at MSK by calling our Physician Referral Service at 800-525-2225. We are continuing to build support for additional cancers as part of our partnership with IBM Watson.

Unfortunately, we only offer medical records reviews and evaluations for international patients who live outside of the United States.

Thank you for reaching out to us.

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