- Press Release Distribution

Dedicated Neuroendocrine Tumors Program launched at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Led by Aman Chauhan, M.D., new program is ‘hyperfocused’ on research and treatment for these complex cancers

Dedicated Neuroendocrine Tumors Program launched at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
( MIAMI, FLORIDA (March 16, 2023) – Aman Chauhan, M.D., and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have embarked on a mission to make Sylvester a top-level research center for neuroendocrine tumors and to make Miami a first-choice destination for patients seeking treatment for these complex cancers.

Chauhan, an internationally recognized neuroendocrine expert and the newly named leader of Sylvester’s Neuroendocrine Tumor Program, has devoted his career to neuroendocrine cancer care and research.

“We have recruited an expert in neuroendocrine cancer who is one of the very best in the world,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in South Florida. Part of Chauhan’s training and experience in clinical trials and research was completed at the NCI.

“My dream is to help advance the field, develop new treatments, and to see improvement of patients’ overall outcomes. I envision that we’ll do that with this dedicated program, which is hyperfocused on this disease, clinically and research-wise,” Chauhan said.

“Neuroendocrine cancer has long been under the radar because it is considered a rare cancer type. But the number of people diagnosed each year tells only part of the story. Early in my career I realized a critical unmet medical need for this very cancer that took the lives of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and singer Aretha Franklin,” Chauhan said.

Unlike many other cancers that are named according to where they are on the body, neuroendocrine cancer can afflict any body part.

“Neuroendocrine tumors may behave aggressively or become a chronic illness requiring sequential and newer treatments. International experts are uncommon, but with Dr. Chauhan’s arrival, Sylvester will be a destination site for patients seeking new and innovative treatments,” said Craig Moskowitz, M.D., physician-in-chief at Sylvester and professor of medicine at the Miller School.

Jonathan Trent, M.D., Ph.D., director of sarcoma oncology at Sylvester, said the effects of Chauhan’s experience, expertise and wide recognition are already being seen.

“Dr. Chauhan is already building a portfolio of cutting-edge clinical trials for our patients in South Florida. Two of his trials will be open not only at Sylvester but also other select NCI-designated Cancer Centers around the U.S.,” he said.

The reason statistics blur this cancer’s true toll, according to Chauhan, is that many who have neuroendocrine tumors can live for years with chronic disease, so the burden on society is higher than the numbers suggest. Also, while other cancer rates are remaining stagnant or declining, the incidence of neuroendocrine cancer has increased eight- to nine-fold in the last 40 or 50 years.

New drug development is an important aspect of developing neuroendocrine cancer centers of excellence, Chauhan said. “That’s why we are focusing a lot of our energy on developing these trials. I’m currently leading two such trials nationally and will start two more this quarter.”

The current trials are first-in-human phase 1 studies. One is looking at adding a drug called triapine, a radiation sensitizer, to a standard-of-care radioactive drug, lutetium Lu 177 dotatate, also known as Lutathera, to manage neuroendocrine tumors. That trial is moving to an NCI-funded national randomized phase 2 study, on which Chauhan is co-PI. 

The other phase 1 study is looking at combining a drug called peposertib, a DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) inhibitor, with a radiation-based drug.

“These tumors almost always come back after treatment with a standard radiation-based treatment. That’s because cancer understands how to repair itself. We want to impair that process of cancer DNA repair by adding peposertib,” Chauhan said. “Our findings in animal models looked promising, and we will soon be announcing our results on humans.”

C. Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D., chief of Sylvester’s Myeloma Division and leader of the Translational and Clinical Oncology Program, said Chauhan wants to advance the field of neuroendocrine cancers by looking at some of today’s most novel therapeutic approaches.

“Dr. Chauhan will also co-lead our radiopharmaceutical drug development program at Sylvester. Like immunotherapy changed the cancer treatment landscape, radiopharmaceuticals might be the next wave in oncology,” Landgren said. “These drugs are radiation based, but unlike conventional radiation they are tailor-made for individual patients who have many different cancer types, including neuroendocrine cancer.”

Chauhan began to focus on neuroendocrine cancers during his residency training at Louisiana State University (LSU). He then completed specialized neuroendocrine training in a fellowship with well-known neuroendocrine specialist Lowell B. Anthony, M.D. Chauhan also spent time at the National Cancer Institute getting experience in understanding clinical trials and new drug development, then he spent the next five years at the University of Kentucky, where he focused on neuroendocrine cancer as assistant professor of medicine in the university’s Division of Medical Oncology.

about Dr. Chauhan’s research here.

# # #


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Dedicated Neuroendocrine Tumors Program launched at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


Leading MS/PML experts recommend genetic testing to prevent fatal brain infection

In an editorial in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, two leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts are advocating for genetic testing to identify MS patients who are at higher risk of developing a devastating side effect from their medications.  People with MS are faced with the excruciating decision of whether they should take medications that are effective in slowing the progression of the disease, but may also trigger this potentially fatal complication, a rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The ...

Protein engineers navigate toward more targeted therapeutics

More than a third of FDA-approved drugs work by targeting a G protein-coupled receptor, or GPCR. The human body has more than 800 types of GPCRs that provide cells with information about the external environment to calibrate responses. Drugs that either block or activate GPCRs are used to treat a wide range of diseases including hypertension, pain and inflammation. Most drugs bind to the outside of the receptor, but this can result in adverse side effects since receptors often resemble one another.  In a new study published in Nature, Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan, a professor in the College of Biological ...

Antibody fragment-nanoparticle therapeutic eradicates cancer

ITHACA, N.Y. -- A novel cancer therapeutic, combining antibody fragments with molecularly engineered nanoparticles, permanently eradicated gastric cancer in treated mice, a multi-institutional team of researchers found. The results of the “hit and run” drug delivery system, published in the March issue of Advanced Therapeutics, were the culmination of more than five years of collaboration between Cornell, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. “I’ve seen beautiful ...

Childhood volunteering encourages future voting in elections, study shows

Childhood volunteering encourages those from politically disengaged homes to go on and vote when they are older, a major new study shows. Community action leads to them becoming more interested in politics and to see voting as a duty, according to the research. However volunteering didn’t have the same impact for most children, so it shouldn’t be seen as the answer to falling voter numbers. The research was carried out by Dr Stuart Fox, now at the University of Exeter and conducted while he worked at Brunel University. He used the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Survey and structural equation modelling to examine ...

Extinct animals on islands cannot be replaced

Lush plants, large trees and many different, beautiful and colorful exotic animals. This is probably how most people imagine the small island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.  But that may not be the case. As in several other places in the world, the island and its nature are at risk of mass extinction, and in just a decade or two the flourishing nature and the many diverse animals may have dwindled to very few. At least if the extinction of the many plants and animals on the island continues. They are part of a particularly sensitive ...

DNA treatment could delay paralysis that strikes nearly all patients with ALS

DNA treatment could delay paralysis that strikes nearly all patients with ALS
In virtually all persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in up to half of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia, a protein called TDP-43 is lost from its normal location in the nucleus of the cell. In turn, this triggers the loss of stathmin-2, a protein crucial to regeneration of neurons and the maintenance of their connections to muscle fibers, essential to contraction and movement. Writing in the March 16, 2023 issue of Science, a team of scientists, led by senior study author Don Cleveland, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Neurosciences and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at University ...

Loss of Menin helps drive the aging process, and dietary supplement can reverse it in mice

Loss of Menin helps drive the aging process, and dietary supplement can reverse it in mice
Decline in the hypothalamic Menin may play a key role in aging, according to a new study publishing March 16th in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Lige Leng of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, and colleagues. The findings reveal a previously unknown driver of physiological aging, and suggest that supplementation with a simple amino acid may mitigate some age-related changes. The hypothalamus has been recognized as a key mediator of physiological aging, through an increase in the process ...

Dana-Farber researchers chart a course for understanding, preventing, and treating young-onset colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer among young people is increasing globally and rapidly. Experts expect it to become the leading cause of cancer death in individuals aged 20-49 in the U.S. by the year 2030. Yet no one is certain why this disease is suddenly affecting so many young people. In a new paper published in Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers outline the complexities of the disease and the research needed to map out a path toward understanding it. “The rising incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer is extremely concerning, and it is urgent that the scientific community comes together to better understand the underlying ...

Hidden signals play a vital role in evolution of warning coloration in amphibians

New findings help answer a particularly vexing evolutionary question: how do species that use bright coloration to keep predators away survive long enough for this warning signal coloration to evolve, before predators who can better spot them through their colors learn to avoid them? A study comparing a series of models points to warning color signaling, or aposematism, likely appearing through intermediate steps where coloration is only visible when an organism is fleeing or intentionally displaying a hidden feature. Evolutionary selection to avoid being eaten by predators has driven considerable variation in the diversity of animal ...

Common gut bacterium exploits Rho factor phase separation to colonize the mammalian gut

The common commensal gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron uses phase separation of the transcription termination factor Rho to colonize and thrive in the mammalian gut, according to a new study in mice. The findings suggest that phase separation may also be vital for other important gut microbes and relevant for novel microbiome-based clinical applications. The gut microbiota plays a critical role in human health. Manipulating gut commensal communities could provide promising therapeutic pathways for treating a host of diseases. However, this goal requires understanding mechanisms that enable ...


Altering cancer treatment dosing could reduce climate impact, study finds

The secret sex life of coral revealed

New deep learning model is ‘game changer’ for measuring embryo development

Smarter foragers do not forage smarter

A unified account of Darwinism’s varieties

Marketers can manage 'feature creep'

Intermittent fasting shows promise in improving gut health, weight management

Scientists identify gene that could lead to resilient ‘pixie’ corn

Utilizing medical assistants to manage patient portal messages shown to support practice and physician efficiency

Study shows clinic continuity associated with reduced hospital and emergency visits

Recognizing the range of experiences among individuals of Latino, Hispanic, and/or Spanish origin is an essential step toward health equity

study reveals decline in reported medicare outpatient procedures by family physicians amid an aging population

COVID-19 pandemic leads to drop in breast cancer screenings, especially among older and racial minority women

Translating the Surgeon General’s framework on social isolation and loneliness to actionable steps in primary care

Point/counterpoint: Is prediabetes overdiagnosed?

Primary care clinics can help low-income families receive nutritional support benefits

The wall of evidence for continuity of care

Parents of children with serious illness from Somali, Hmong, and Latin American communities desire better communication and support in pediatric health care

Primary care can improve hygienic practices while reducing waste

HKUST researchers enhance performance of eco-friendly cooling applications by developing sustainable strategy to manipulate interfacial heat transfer

Variations in medical assistant to primary care clinician staffing ratios may reflect differences in practice ownership and organizational culture

Better disciplinary structures in schools can help reduce hate speech directed against Asian American students

Bringing back an ancient bird

Wistar research identifies mechanisms for selective multiple sclerosis treatment strategy

Fatherhood’s hidden heart health toll

The importance of integrated therapies on cancer: Silibinin, an old and new molecule

Texas A&M-led team creates first global map of seafloor biodiversity activity

Light therapy increases brain connectivity following injury

Power imbalance in health care reveals impact of race and role on team dynamics and DEI efforts

NRG Oncology appoints new vice-chairs for their patient advocate committee

[] Dedicated Neuroendocrine Tumors Program launched at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Led by Aman Chauhan, M.D., new program is ‘hyperfocused’ on research and treatment for these complex cancers