Richard D. Carvajal, MD
Richard Carvajal is a scientific advisor to Chimeron Bio. As the Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Melanoma Service at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Carvajal is focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with melanoma and other cancers, with the overall objective of controlling and curing these diseases.
To achieve this goal, he has used our increasing knowledge of the underlying biology of cancer to rapidly integrate this knowledge, novel therapeutic agents, and efficient trial design in order to improve the outcomes of cancer patients everywhere. Working closely with the laboratory scientists, the group is using the techniques of molecular biology to identify specific proteins, genes, or other molecules that influence the growth of each person's cancer, with the goal of selecting the most promising therapies for individual patients.
In an advance that helped to launch a new era of personalized medicine in melanoma therapy, Dr. Carvajal has led a clinical trial of imatinib (Gleevec) in patients with melanoma characterized by the presence of a mutation in a gene called KIT. While this mutation is rare in cutaneous melanoma, it is found in about 20% of mucosal and acral melanomas. Based in part on the positive results of this trial, where long-lasting tumor responses were observed in patients with these diseases, the use of imatinib in melanomas harboring KIT mutations was added to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for the treatment of melanoma.
Dr. Carvajal's research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program, and the generous philanthropic support of our patients and their families. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, and book chapters.
In addition to Dr. Carvajal's work at Columbia University Medical Center, he serves as the co-chair of the International Rare Cancer Initiative Uveal Melanoma working group, a joint initiative between the National Cancer Institute, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and the Cancer Research UK to enhance international collaboration in the conduct of clinical trials for uveal melanoma.