John P. Leonard, MD
Professor of Medicine
Executive Vice-Chairman, Department of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Initiatives, Weill Cornell Medicine
Attending Physician, New York Presbyterian Hospital
The Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology.
Professor of Medicine.
Executive Vice-Chairman, Department of Medicine.
Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Initiatives, Weill Cornell Medicine.
Attending Physician, New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Everything that we do at our center, whether clinical care, research or education, is focused on helping patients.
Here are some of the many reasons why patients tell us they come here – whether from the New York area, the surrounding region, or traveling from all over the country and other parts of the world in order to receive evaluation and treatment for lymphoma by our group:
Please also scroll down below in order to view a video which describes our team and the experiences of some of our patients:
We are not a “factory” or a “machine”, moving patients through as if they are boxes in a warehouse. Instead we provide personalized and compassionate care that is state of the art. We take the time to get to know our patients, and partner with them to devise the best available evaluation and treatment program. While we are well aware of “guidelines”, “treatment algorithms”, and “institutional programs and regimens”, we focus on what is best for the individual patient rather than a cookbook.
Patients seek treatment here because they are referred here by their physicians, who recognize our expertise and know that across the region and the country we are a “go to” place to seek the best lymphoma care. Our physicians are internationally recognized for clinical skill, research, and personal qualities. In fact, we care for a substantial number of individual physicians (or their family members) who are themselves dealing with lymphoma.
Cancer patients don’t always (or unfortunately won’t always) just have cancer – they have multiple other complex medical problems that may be active concurrently with or exacerbated by cancer treatment. Weill Cornell Medical College physicians are among the best across all medical specialties, not just cancer. New York Presbyterian Hospital is one of the top hospitals in the nation. This can be particularly valuable in patients dealing with issues such as cardiology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, endocrinology, lung and kidney issues. Patients do not want to have to be sent to another hospital or center should their other medical issues become a problem in the midst of cancer treatment. They want access to the best specialists if needed, all in one place, in a coordinated fashion.
Our center provides access to the full array of resources needed for “comprehensive” cancer care. This includes nutrition, psychosocial support, complementary medicine, rehabilitation, pain management, and other areas. We have developed an outstanding team of physicians (including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and others), nurses, physician assistants and related health care personnel in order to optimally serve patients with these disorders. Our patients recognize the value of this support.
The hematopathology group (responsible for diagnosing and evaluating biopsies of lymphomas and other blood cancers) is among the best and largest of any academic medical center. They are widely recognized for their diagnostic and research expertise, and in fact have a significant role in educating other hematopathology specialists.
Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian have an outstanding electronic medical record, which facilitates communication among caregivers and also makes information directly available to patients via Weill Cornell Connect.
We are available to our patients. They appreciate countless late night phone calls and frequent interactions by email when we are needed.
Physicians in our group are tightly connected with and collaborate with lymphoma-related non-profit organizations such as the Lymphoma Research Foundation and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Several have leadership roles with these groups. They know our team very well.
Our program and our physicians are internationally recognized for efforts to enable patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and related disorders to have the best possible clinical outcome. We have helped to establish standards of care practiced across the US. Our group has played a role in development of nearly every drug that has been FDA approved for lymphoma therapy in the last decade. Through clinical trials, many of our patients were among the first in the world to receive them. We are leaders of the Lymphoma Committee of National Cancer Institute-supported Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology within the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. In this capacity, and through the NCI Lymphoma Steering Committee, we lead NCI sponsored trials being conducted at major medical centers across the US that will establish the next generation of therapies.
We also interact with other leading lymphoma centers across the world – their physicians know us well, mutually share advice and opinions, and appreciate our expertise and collaboration. Pharmaceutical companies who need help in developing new agents for lymphoma also regularly seek our counsel and participation.
Many patients come here from initial diagnosis because they recognize that we are the place to be for their entire lymphoma journey. Others come for a second opinion, and return to a local physician – we are happy to provide this service and to remain available for input whenever needed. Unfortunately, some patients come here because they have few effective treatment possibilities left due to the nature of their disease. We are committed to making every effort to meet the needs of each patient that turns to us, and in many cases we have new ideas and strategies that can make a significant difference.
Our laboratory collaborators at Weill Cornell include many of the leading lymphoma and cancer researchers in the world. We are recognized for our translational studies in areas such as immunotherapy, cell cycle inhibitors, tumor profiling, PI3 kinase inhibition, epigenetic therapy, tumor suppressors, and other areas that are at the forefront of lymphoma research.
While a major part of our efforts are focused on trying to bring new and “cutting edge” treatments to patients, we recognize that many patients are not interested in or appropriate for participation in clinical trials. Our patients recognize and appreciate that we are committed to providing information on all of the options (both standard and new), and partnering with patients and families in order to develop a treatment approach that fits every individual situation.
Lymphomas as a group are a complex set of disorders. While many patients are treated here as their primary oncologist, others come for a second opinion while having their primary oncologic care with a local physician, having us follow along as needed. Others are referred (or otherwise seek care) for access to novel agents as part of clinical trials. We are pleased to provide care in any fashion that would be of assistance to patients, in order to help them achieve the best possible therapeutic results. Patients or physicians with any questions about our lymphoma programs, clinical trials, or related issues should feel free to contact us for more information.
You can feel free to follow me on Twitter @JohnPLeonardMD regarding new developments in lymphoma, activities of our program, and other topics and comments from me and colleagues in the field.