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My research focuses on translational- clinical developmental therapeutics in leukemia. Simply put, I try to identify leads in the leukemia laboratory research that can be translated into clinical investigations that advance the care and cure in leukemia. In the past three decades I made several discoveries that improved prognosis and survival in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (tyrosine kinase inhibitors, e.g. imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, bosutinib which improved the 10-year survival from 20% to 90%, in acute lymphocytic leukemia (HPER-CVAD regimen and its derivatives which improved cure rates from 20% to 60+%), the discovery of decitabine for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome and of clofarabine for the treatment of leukemias, among others. I continue my research endeavors with new targeted therapies across all leukemias.
Hagop M. Kantarjian, M.D., is a nonresident fellow in health policy. He serves as a professor and chair of the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is also the Kelcie Margaret Kana Research Chair and associate vice president for global academic programs. As a clinical-translational researcher, Kantarjian has contributed to significant improvements in the treatment of various leukemias, including the development and testing of first- and second-generation BCR-ABL inhibitors in chronic myeloid leukemia, combination therapies for acute lymphocytic leukemia, and several new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. He serves on the board of directors for the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Kantarjian received the Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research from the American Association for Cancer Research and the John Mendelsohn Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as numerous other honors and awards. He has authored or co-authored more than 1,000 peer-reviewed medical publications. Kantarjian earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the American University of Beirut and completed a fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center.