Dana E. Rathkopf, MD

About Me

I am a board-certified medical oncologist who works as part of a multidisciplinary team to treat people with prostate cancer and other genitourinary cancers. My primary focus is on the medical treatment of men with advanced or high-risk prostate cancer. I have been doing this work for more than a decade.

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I also develop and design clinical trials testing new treatments for my patients. These involve agents that are targeted to androgen receptor (AR) signaling and other molecular pathways that allow the disease to grow and spread. The outlook for men with advanced prostate cancer, also known as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), has changed dramatically over the past five years thanks to advances in systemic therapies. Drug development has shifted from standard chemotherapy to targeted approaches based on a fundamental understanding of the makeup of the disease biology. One impressive example of the success of this approach was the discovery that androgen receptor overexpression is associated with resistance to conventional anti-androgens. Accompanying this discovery has been the development of AR targeted therapies that block the growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer, such as the AR antagonist enzalutamide (Xtandi®) and the androgen synthesis inhibitor abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®).

I have had a leadership role in clinical trials using these next-generation AR targeted therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer who have not yet received chemotherapy. The survival benefits shown in these trials changed the standard of care for patients. I am now focused on improving outcomes for patients in need by using new AR-directed therapies and combinations of targeted agents.

On a national level, I am the site principal investigator at MSK for the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), an initiative designed to increase patient access to clinical trials across the country. I also serve as co-chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Guidelines Advisory Group.

Although I do a lot of work on clinical trials in an effort to bring new and more-effective treatment options into clinical practice, my first priority is always my patients. Many of them ask me why I became interested in a disease that affects only men. In addition to my interest in the unique biology of the prostate cancer disease pathway, and the opportunity to work with extraordinary mentors and colleagues, I am also a daughter, wife, and mother of three sons. The choice to pursue a career in prostate cancer was an easy one for me.

  • Clinical Expertise: Prostate Cancer; Other Genitourinary Cancers; Clinical Trials
  • Awards and Honors: Excellence in Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, ASCO/AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) Workshop: Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, ASCO Merit Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Tulane School of Medicine
  • Residencies: New York University Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Medical Oncology

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