Category Archives: Clinical Trials

Dr. Jonathan Goldberg Describes 2 New York Clinical Trials for Follicular NHL

Posted on: March 6, 2013

Dr. Jonathan Goldberg, Cancer Center WestchesterFollicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (follicular NHL) is the most common of the indolent (slow growing) non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and the second most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas overall. Low-grade follicular NHL is a slow growing but thus far incurable disease that patients tend to live with for many years.

The major goals of follicular NHL therapy are to reduce lymphoma activity thereby improving disease related symptoms and to prolong complete remissions, while limiting the side effects of therapy wherever possible. Rituximab is a highly targeted, well-tolerated therapy against these lymphomas.  Given either alone or together with chemotherapy, it is the current standard of care for these patients. While using rituximab alone has a much lower potential for side effects, the remission rate is lower at approximately 30 – 50%.

I am the local lead investigator of two clinical trials—HOMER and CALGB 50901—being conducted at Northern Westchester Hospital to study a potential new therapy for follicular NHL. 

Although not yet studied in follicular NHL, ofatumumab has induced remissions in patients with similar conditions resistant to other medications.

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Northern Westchester Hospital’s Clinical Trials Program Examines the Role of Nutrition in Prostate Cancer Progression

Posted on: January 28, 2013

Finally, a Study on the Effects of Diet on Prostate Cancer

by Dr. Josh Fink

Northern Westchester Hospital CafeIt would be a huge step forward if, one day, Doctors could tell a man that what he eats directly impacts the progression of his disease.  This information might empower our patients to directly affect their health on a daily basis based on their eating habits.

In fact, a recent study reveals that a diet of fried foods may be tied to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

The “MEAL” study (or Men’s Eating and Living), sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is designed to test whether a high-vegetable diet will lower risk for prostate cancer progression compared to a “standard” diet.  The MEAL study is crucial to our understanding of the possible relation between consumption of food/food groups and the progression of prostate cancer.

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Northern Westchester Hospital Clinical Trials Program Expanded

Posted on: August 20, 2012

Leading-Edge Research in Your Neighborhood

An Interview with Dr. Joshua Fink

When you think about medical research, institutions such as Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and Massachusetts General or New York Presbyterian may come to mind. In the not too distant future, you will begin seeing medical research findings coming out of Mt. Kisco as well. Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) has been conducting clinical research trials for several years and has recently expanded their role in this area. 

Dr. Joshua Fink is leading the Clinical Trials Program at Northern Westchester Hospital and is helping to bring additional national research projects to NWH. Dr. Fink provided some insight into these clinical research programs.

Why are clinical research trials important to patients?
It has been shown that patients tend to get better treatment when they’re part of an investigational study. They also have access to leading-edge medicine and procedures, and such programs expose patients to potential, new and innovative therapies for various diseases in a structured and closely supervised fashion.

What sort of trials are you doing?
Our largest study currently underway is investigating the use of the diabetes drug Metformin in preventing the recurrence of breast cancer. We’ll be registering patients for that study over the next 18 months and the study is scheduled to run for five years.

We are working with the Westchester Brain Tumor Program on four trials investigating vaccines for brain cancer. NWH has also participated in trials investigating treatments for multiple myeloma, pain, lung cancer, inoperable cancers, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and various forms of breast cancer.

What are some of the advantages to doing medical research here?
Patients receive advanced medical treatments and the highest quality medical care without having to travel long distances and be removed from loved ones. Keeping caregivers close-by, while receiving treatments, is tremendously beneficial for patients.

The staff at Northern Westchester Hospital will also have access to the resources and knowledge of our partners, such as be the National Cancer Institute and major pharmaceutical companies, helping insure that patients are getting the most up-to-date treatment.

How can I find out more about the trials and possibly take part?
Please contact the Northern Westchester Hospital Clinical Trials Coordinator at 914.666.1366 or online at You can also click here to view a list of clinical trials conducted at NWH.


Westchester Doctor Weighs the Benefits of CAT Scan for Heavy Smokers

Posted on: June 11, 2012

CT Scan Screen for Heavy Smokers Ages 55-74

by Dr. Joshua Fink 

The American Lung Association has now reached an agreement and supports a low-dose CT scan for heavy smokers. It did not lend its support to universal screening, and has re-emphasized that a Chest X Ray is not to be used as a lung cancer screening tool.  It recommends a CT scan for current or past smokers, ages 55-57 , who smoked at least “30 pack years” , which means a pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years, for example. Low dose CT scan screening of the lungs has been shown in a very large study to reduce lung cancer deaths. In fact, compared with a “screening” chest X-ray, which holds little if any purpose, the low dose CT scan has been shown to decrease death rate by 20%, which is very, very significant. The one thing patients need to consider about this test is the “false-positive” rate, which means that something may be seen which is not a cancer. The false positive rate of an “abnormal” finding can be upwards of 90%.

At present, this test is not covered by Medicare or private insurance. Furthermore, the panel has recommended that screening should be done by facilities that can offer a “multi-disciplinary” approach should something be found on the study.

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