I believe that the path towards treating any disease is best navigated by thoroughly understanding not only the disease, but also the patient. Good communication between a physician and a patient is especially critical in the treatment of cancer. Each patient has a right to be both respected and heard. In addition, relying on a team of experts to help manage the complexities of treating cancer is essential for success. As a physician, I strive to provide personalized and scientifically sound care to each of my patients.
My medical career started out as a pharmacist, specializing in oncology, where I prepared chemotherapy regimens and studied the effects the body has on drugs (pharmacokinetics). When I went to medical school, it was for the sole purpose of eventually becoming an oncologist. During my hematology/oncology and clinical pharmacology fellowships, I spent a great deal of time in early clinical development, with a goal of finding new effective therapies for patients with cancer. I honed my knowledge of drug discovery by spending five years in the pharmaceutical industry where I led multiple programs aimed at treating patients with cancers that didn’t respond to traditional chemotherapy. Today, my interests focus on early drug development for all types of cancers, and understanding how each medication may best be used. In addition I specifically focus on the treatment of lung cancer, skin cancers including melanoma, and gastrointestinal malignancies.
In many situations, the best medical care a patient with cancer can get is on a clinical trial. These clinical trials offer patients potentially promising new therapies and very close follow up supplied by a team of experts. Fox Chase Cancer Center, with its leading-edge technology and dedicated medical professionals, offers numerous clinical trials and is helping to advance the care of all patients with cancer.
The staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center continually impress me with their unified commitment towards reducing the burden of cancer. When you step through the doors at Fox Chase Cancer Center, it is obvious that focusing on the patient is the top priority. I am proud to be a member of the caring community at FCCC, where oncology research and science is tailored and personalized for each patient.
Fellow, Clinical Pharmacology/Toxicology, Oncology Phase I Program, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 2002-2004
Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, 1999-2002
Resident, Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, 1996-1999
Resident, Biostatistics, Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, 2003
MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, 1996
BS, Pharmacy, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 1990
Board Certified in Medical Oncology
Board Certified in Clinical Pharmacology
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
International Program Steering Committee
NCCN ORP Investigator Steering Committee
Executive Editorial Board
American Board of Clinical Pharmacology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Honors & Awards
Robert L. Krigel Memorial Award: Excellence in Teaching and Clinical Oncology, 2014
In 2014, just after turning 67, I noticed a spot on my leg. When I went to see a dermatologist near where I live in Forked River, New Jersey, he diagnosed me with melanoma. I was really surprised. I’m dark-skinned—Italian—and melanoma is not common in dark-skinned people. I never used tanning beds or laid out a lot in the sun, but I guess it can happen to anyone.
I’m 64 years old and live in Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is just north of Philadelphia. I’m retired now, but I spent many years doing social justice work and fundraising for nonprofits. It was a busy life, which is why, when I developed a lesion on my left shin, I didn’t pay attention to it. Then, literally overnight in 2015, it got really bad. I wound up in the hospital, where they diagnosed me with stage IV melanoma—skin cancer.
I am 40 years old and currently live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Although I work as a case manager for an insurance company now, I was previously employed as a full-time nurse. I have always been a busy person with plenty on my plate, so when I started feeling tired and losing weight, I thought it was caused by the stress of my daily routine.
It wasn’t until July 2017 that I couldn’t ignore my symptoms any longer. When I developed a migraine and felt a tremor in my arm and eye, I knew I was about to lose consciousness. I immediately called 911.
Hong D.S., Rixe O., Chiu V.K., Forde P.M., Dragovich T., Lou Y., Nayak-Kapoor A., Leidner R., Atkins J.N., Collaku A., Fox F.E., Marshall M.A., Olszanski A.J., Mogamulizumab in combination with nivolumab in a phase i/ii study of patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 28(3): 479-488, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34753777.
Hong DS, Rixe O, Chiu VK, Forde PM, Dragovich T, Lou Y, Nayak-Kapoor A, Leidner R, Atkins JN, Collaku A, Fox FE, Marshall MA, Olszanski AJ. Mogamulizumab in Combination with Nivolumab in a Phase I/II Study of Patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Nov 9;. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-2781. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed
Wagner J, Kline CL, Zhou LL, Campbell KS, MacFarlane AW, Olszanski AJ, Cai KQ, Hensley HH, Ross EA, Ralff MD, Zloza A, Chesson CB, Newman JH, Kaufman H, Bertino J, Stein M, El-Deiry WS. Dose intensification of TRAIL-inducing ONC201 inhibits metastasis and promotes intratumoral NK cell recruitment. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 128(6):2325-38, 2018. PubMed
Phase I study of the mTOR inhibitor ridaforolimus and the HDAC inhibitor vorinostat in advanced renal cell carcinoma and other solid tumors. Zibelman M, Wong YN, Devarajan K, Malizzia L, Corrigan A, et al. Investigational new drugs. 2015; 33(5):1040-7. PubMed
Phase I dose-escalation study of cabazitaxel administered in combination with gemcitabine in patients with metastatic or unresectable advanced solid malignancies. Rixe O, Puzanov I, LoRusso PM, Cohen RB, Morris JC, et al. Anti-cancer drugs. 2015; 26(7):785-92. PubMed
Principles of immunotherapy. Olszanski AJ. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN. 2015; 13(5 Suppl):670-2. PubMed