Nancy E. Kemeny, MD

About Me

I am a medical oncologist with a special expertise in developing new chemotherapy regimens for colorectal cancer. During my 30 years at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I conducted some of the first studies using drugs such as irinotecan (Camptosar®) and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®), which are now widely used in patients with colorectal cancer. I was also the lead investigator of a large, multi-institutional study that helped in the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of oxaliplatin for colorectal cancer treatment in the U.S. My research has involved improving outcomes for people with liver metastases using regional chemotherapy. Regional chemotherapy involves administering drugs into an artery that feeds tumors in the liver. This can be done using an internally implanted pump called hepatic arterial infusion (HAI). The effectiveness of HAI regional chemotherapy given in combination with systemic chemotherapy has led to its use in patients with surgically resected (removed) liver metastases (also known at adjuvant treatment). This combination has decreased the recurrence of disease after liver resection.

A recent publication updated the survival of 287 patients who were treated on four adjuvant studies conducted at MSK from 1991 to 2009. All of the patients included in this analysis had their primary colon or rectal tumors removed and underwent surgery to remove the liver metastases and to place the HAI pump. Each study used different combinations of systemic chemotherapy, but all studies included HAI pumps.

The median follow up for all patients was 11 years and nine years for patients treated after 2003. Patients treated after 2003 with HAI combined with newer systemic chemotherapies had a 78% five-year survival and 61% ten-year survival.

New studies using this therapy have allowed patients with extensive liver disease who are not resectable to achieve an excellent response, which then allows resection. We have also used this treatment for patients with primary liver cancer.

  • Clinical Expertise: Colorectal Cancer; Pseudomyxoma Peritonei; Islet Cell Cancer; Thymoma
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2002-2018)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Residencies: Internal Medicine - St. Luke's Hospital
  • Fellowships: Medical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Internal Medicine; Medical Oncology

Clinical Trials

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.


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.

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