Our Team and Approach

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Clinical trial nurses Emily Toulouse and Julie Kinoshita

Clinical trial nurses Emily Toulouse (left) and Julie Kinoshita are key members of the Program for Drug Development in Leukemia.

Within the PDD-L, we have an appreciation for the complexity of phase I clinical trials in patients with acute leukemias and related diseases. We have an experienced team of investigators and research support staff that help guide the research from trial conception to completion. The PDD-L is aided by the Leukemia Service research program manager, clinical research manager, research project manager, clinical research supervisor, clinical research associate, research regulatory associate, and clinical research coordinator as well as other ancillary services and teams within the institution. We treat patients with the help of the Developmental Therapeutics Unit (DTU), a unit dedicated to the treatment of patients on clinical trials located at the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Correlative Sciences Program (CSP), a core facility focused on biological specimen management.

Translational Science

One of the strengths of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is our world-famous research laboratories that are advancing our understanding of how cancers start and can change over time, how to measure and block the abnormal processes inside cancer cells and how to enhance the body’s immune response against cancer. With emerging information about the genetic basis of leukemia, our researchers are focused on developing targeted therapies that can tailor treatment for specific genetic subtypes of leukemia that are discovered using our MSK IMPACT Heme assay, a 400-gene testing panel.

In deciding which trials to make available at MSK, the PDD-L aims to have studies with a strong scientific rationale with rigorous preclinical evidence of safety and potential efficacy. We partner with the trial sponsor(s) and the Center for Hematologic Malignancies at MSKCC (CHM) to design correlative studies that will maximize the knowledge we learn from each trial and patient treated. We hope that this parallel research will help spur new understanding and enterprise within our laboratories that will ultimately help future patients.

Clinical Trials Nursing

Due to the strong focus on first in human trials and the acuity of the diseases studied, our research nurses are fundamental to the proper execution of our clinical trials. We have a dedicated team of inpatient and outpatient research nurses that support research activities within the PDD-L. In line with the hospital’s overarching mission to provide excellent patient care, our dedicated clinical trials nurses integrate their expertise into the care of clinical trial participants, ensuring compliance with protocol procedures, assessments, and symptom management. They work closely with the clinical research administration team to align data collection and regulatory activities to support the integrity of our clinical trials.