I am a board-certified medical oncologist specializing in cancers that arise in the lungs. Although my special interests are small cell lung cancer and neuroendocrine tumors of the lung (pulmonary carcinoids), I also care for a large number of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. With my colleagues on the Thoracic Oncology Service, I conduct clinical trials of new treatments for patients with these malignancies.
I feel my research provides my patients with additional options for care by using the latest information about the molecular basis of these diseases. For example, we collect special cells in the blood (circulating tumor cells) to more precisely and more quickly determine the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment in men and women with small cell lung cancer.
I also conduct research designed to make clinical trials more efficient. The sooner we know a treatment is working, the quicker we can share this good news. In cases where treatments are not helping, we can switch to a different treatment with a better chance of benefit. Using new computer and scanning technologies designed at Memorial Hospital, we can collect a patient’s symptoms and side effects along with medical information and radiographic (imaging) response in one secure database through the internet. This system allows us to better determine if new combinations of cancer drugs show sufficient promise to merit further testing in persons with lung cancer.
Surgeons and radiation oncologists work closely with me to care for patients with neuroendocrine tumors of the lung. We strive to use all resources available to get the best results for our patients with this disease.
- Clinical Expertise: Lung Cancer (Small Cell, Non Small Cell); Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lungs
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
- Residencies: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Fellowships: Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York)
- Board Certifications: Internal Medicine; Medical Oncology
Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.
Clinical Trials Led by M. Catherine Pietanza
- A Phase I Study of LDE225 with Etoposide and Cisplatin for the Initial Treatment of Extensive Small Cell Lung Cancer
- A Phase I/II Study of SC16LD6.5 in Patients with Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer
- A Phase Ib/II Study of OMP-59R5 plus Etoposide and Cisplatin in Patients with Previously Untreated Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer