I am a medical oncologist who cares for people with head and neck cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma and thyroid cancer. I see about 400 patients each year at Memorial Sloan Kettering Basking Ridge, in New Jersey, and have 17 years of experience. I am committed to helping my patients fight and beat cancer. There is nothing more meaningful to me in life than this pursuit.
I specialize in treating squamous cell cancer of the mucosal surfaces, including the lips, mouth, throat, voicebox, and nasopharynx. I am particularly interested in treating patients whose tumors are caused by smoking or viruses, such as HPV and the Epstein-Barr virus.
I also have expertise in caring for people with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. This is a common type of skin cancer that can be deadly if it recurs or spreads to other parts of the body. Incurable squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is rare, but I have extensive experience in treating patients whose disease can’t be cured with surgery or radiation.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the best treatment approach for each patient. It’s critical to find options that will maximize the chance of a cure and minimize side effects. For my patients who have incurable disease, I especially weigh the potential of therapies that will prolong life or reduce symptoms against any side effects. Quality of life always comes first.
The goal of my research is to develop new treatment approaches for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. We recently published the results of the first trial of palbociclib for treating head and neck cancer. Palbociclib is a pill that targets a specific genetic defect that is found in nearly all HPV-unrelated squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. This drug is likely to provide a significant benefit for the treatment of incurable head and neck squamous cell cancer. My long-term goal is to develop more of these types of therapies that will help improve cure rates.
- Clinical Expertise: Head & Neck Medical Oncology; Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin; Targeted Therapy
- Awards and Honors: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Clinical Scholars Award; AACR-Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research Fellowship in Basic Research; Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Investigator Award
- Languages Spoken: English; French; Spanish
- Education: MD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
- Residencies: Cleveland Clinic; Mount Sinai Medical Center
- Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Medical Oncology
Oral Oncology, Michel, L. et al 2016: Phase I trial of palbociclib, a selective cyclin dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitor, in combination with cetuximab in patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.Learn more
Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.Learn more