As a supporter of both Northwell Health (formerly the North Shore-LIJ Health System) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation is playing a key role in the fight against cancer, with local and national implications.
In April 2015, CSHL President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Stillman and Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling signed a strategic affiliation to align CSHL’s world-class cancer research with Northwell’s growing network of clinical services encompassing more than 16,000 new cancer cases annually across the New York metropolitan area, including those treated at North Shore University Hospital’s Don Monti Cancer Center.
The historic affiliation will benefit from the investment of more than $120 million to accelerate cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Funds will be used to advance cancer therapeutics research, develop a new clinical cancer research unit at the Northwell Cancer Institute’s headquarters in Lake Success, NY, to support early-phase clinical studies of new cancer therapies, and recruit and train more clinician-scientists in oncology.
“The unique integration of research scientists, clinical translational researchers and cancer clinicians promises to speed the advance of novel cancer diagnostics and therapeutics to patients in the region,” said Dr. Stillman.
As the new partnership evolves, Mr. Dowling said, “The Northwell Health Cancer Institute’s more than 200 academic oncologists and clinicians will make CSHL’s promising pre-clinical research available as innovative trials to select cancer patients at a much earlier stage.”
More recently, Northwell and CSHL developed a specialized joint physician-scientist fellowship program, focused on translational research training in the Northwell Cancer Institute, and basic translational research training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. It is the intent of this exciting new training program to lead to bench to bedside research as well as to train potential physician scientist leaders and future faculty members.
In another exciting development, a new phase one clinical trial is scheduled to begin in early 2016 that could bring early-phase research to breast cancer patients. The study, which will evaluate the safety of a therapeutic candidate for HER2-positive breast cancer, was developed by physician scientists of Northwell Health, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and DepYmed, a Long Island-based cancer therapeutic development company.
“This would be the first clinical study born from the new strategic affiliation between CSHL and Northwell Health,” said Dr. George Raptis, acting executive director of the Northwell Cancer Institute.
As a strong, long-time benefactor of Northwell and CSHL, the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation has helped bring both organizations closer together over the years, funding projects that facilitated collaboration between the world-renowned cancer research laboratory and one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers.
“The alliance between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Northwell Health promises to transform our approach to clinical translational research, improve patient care and ultimately outcomes, bringing us another step closer to our ultimate goal of curing cancer,” said Caroline Monti-Saladino, president of the Monti Foundation. “It reinforces the critical role of our donors in supporting cancer research and clinical care.”