The LRG Visits Rutgers Cancer Institute
Left to right: Sahibjeet Kaur, Denisse Montoya,
Dr. Roman Groisberg, Laura Occhiuzzi, Sara Rothschild, Diana Nieves
Earlier this month, members of the LRG staff including Senior VP, Laura Occhuzzi, Patient Registry Director, Denisse Montoya, Patient Registry Supervisor, Sahibjeet Kaur, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Sara Rothschild and Senior Director of Outreach and Engagement, Diana Nieves were invited to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey by sarcoma specialist Dr. Roman Groisberg.
Dr. Groisberg, a sarcoma specialist, is actively pushing research to new levels and providing the best treatment for GIST patients. This institution is especially important because it is the only NCI (National Cancer Institute) designated cancer center in New Jersey.
Along with colleague Dr. Shridar Ganesan, Dr. Groisberg, shared some challenges community hospitals face in terms of treating rare cancers like GIST. There was a discussion about how we can work together to educate patients and medical professionals about rare cancers more effectively and how to make treatments accessible to all patients. Select cases from the institution’s Tumor Board were presented and it was interesting to compare Rutgers’ review board to LRG’s own Virtual Tumor Board.
The LRG is excited to have another GIST specialist in New Jersey and to have the opportunity to work with Rutgers Cancer Institute. For more info: https://www.cinj.org/
Dr. Groisberg shared about collaborating with the LRG, his interest in sarcomas, and his extensive bowtie collection.
What made you decide to focus more on sarcomas?
I had a mentor during fellowship (Vivek Subbiah at MD Anderson) who had a lot of sarcoma patients treated on early phase clinical trials. It became apparent to me that this is an understudied and underrepresented group of diseases that deserved more.
Can you provide a brief statement about your vision with working with the Life Raft Group?
As the only sarcoma focused oncologist at the only NCI designated cancer center in NJ, I hope to provide the best medical care for GIST patients. With the help of Life Raft Group patients will have not only cutting edge medical care, but the support, education, and community to help them live life with GIST rather than be defined by their disease. With the Life Raft Group, we are developing innovative research programs to study mechanisms of resistance to next-generation Kit inhibitors.
And the bowties?
I did medical school in New Orleans; they are quite fashionable there and some of my favorite professors wore them. When I moved to New Haven for residency, I missed New Orleans and thought this would be a good way to remind myself. Also, they are much more hygienic than regular ties.
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