Apr 14, 2016

The Lymphoma Clinical Research Group at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian has been awarded a 2016 Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum for its study demonstrating the efficacy of an innovative combination therapy for treating mantle cell lymphoma. 

The study “Lenalidomide plus Rituximab as Initial Treatment for Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” led by first author Dr. Jia Ruan and senior author Dr. John Leonard, was published Nov. 5, 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study demonstrates that the pill Lenalidomide, taken in combination with the antibody Rituximab, effectively manages the disease — a cancer of the white blood cells that primarily affects the elderly — without the typical debilitating effects of chemotherapy, inducing remissions in the vast majority of patients.

The forum conducts an annual, national competition to determine 10 outstanding clinical research accomplishments in the United States that are both innovative and have a substantial effect on human disease. In recognition of the 2016 clinical research awards, the winners presented their findings on April 12 at the annual Clinical Research Forum meeting in Washington, D.C.

“I am tremendously honored as a representative of the lymphoma research team to receive this award,” said Dr. Ruan, an associate professor of clinical medicine and a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, and an oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “The award showcases the high-impact original clinical research being developed at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian by our Lymphoma Program, in collaboration with many talented translational researchers here and at other academic institutions.”

Dr. Leonard, director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, said the study illustrates the value of bench-to-bedside research in developing the most advanced, personalized patient care.

“This award recognizes that our program is leading cutting-edge clinical and translational research in lymphoma,” said Dr. Leonard, who is also associate dean for clinical research, the Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and associate director of clinical trials at the Meyer Cancer Center, and an oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. “The research provides an exciting new treatment for patients with mantle cell lymphoma and highlights the innovative therapies being developed at our institutions.”