The Division is committed to fulfilling Stony Brook’s mission of excellence in research, and to advancing scientific knowledge to improve patient care and population health.
Stony Brook participates in several national clinical trials, and our participation allows us to use the latest in therapeutic advances for the care of our patients. No patient is ever required to participate in a clinical trial.
While clinical trials are not for everyone, the availability of these trials serves as a hallmark of our ability to offer leading-edge treatment. For many patients, this is the only opportunity available in Suffolk County to benefit from such studies.
The Division’s current research programs are focused on novel approaches to optimizing surgical outcomes, as well as other treatment strategies to improve patient care. For information about our active clinical trials, please visit the breast cancer clinical trials page of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center.
Recent funding in support of the Division’s research has been provided by the National Cancer Institute through its cooperative affiliation with the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG).
Melanoma and Sarcoma Surgery
Current research interests include tumor profiling of melanoma and the role of lymph node surgery in patients with melanoma, through participation in the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial 2 (MSLT-2).
The MSLT-2 is a national surgical trial that is evaluating the role of lymph node surgery in patients with melanoma. The current recommendation for patients with a positive sentinel node biopsy is to undergo a completion lymph node dissection.
However, at present, no clear evidence demonstrates that patients have better survival if this surgery to remove the lymph nodes is done, although previous data suggest that patients at least have a longer disease-free survival with completion lymph node dissection.
The MSLT-2 is designed to determine if a therapeutic benefit exists for routine completion lymph node dissection in patients with microscopic or molecular involvement of the sentinel lymph node. Any patient with cutaneous (skin) melanoma and a positive sentinel node is eligible for the trial. The sentinel node procedure does not have to be done at Stony Brook, so patients can be referred to us after their initial surgical procedure.
Patients who enroll are randomized to either immediate lymph node dissection or observation of the nodal basin with ultrasound every four months. The lymph node dissection or ultrasounds do need to be done at Stony Brook. To maintain continuity of care of those patients referred to us, we involve the referring physician in the patient’s long-term follow-up.
For information about our current clinical trials, call our clinical research coordinator Jeannine Molzon, LPN, at 631-444-8156, or visit the Department of Surgery clinical trials page.