Hematologist-oncologist Ahmad Samer Al-Homsi, MD, MBA, will lead a new bone marrow transplantation program at New York University (NYU) Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center for treating blood-borne cancers and potentially utilize transplantation as an adjunct to immunotherapy for solid tumors. He also will investigate ways to reduce graft-vs-host disease.
In addition, Dr. Al-Homsi will facilitate NYU Langone’s collaboration with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to institute haploidentical transplantation at Perlmutter Cancer Center, in which less perfectly matched individuals can serve as donors. The advent of haploidentical transplantation at NYU will vastly expand the potential donor pool for patients who require a transplant.
Dr. Al-Homsi, who officially joins NYU Langone on June 1, 2017, most recently cofounded the blood and bone marrow transplantation program at Spectrum Health, a major multisite health system in West Michigan. Prior to joining Spectrum, he was Chief of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island, an academic affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Al-Homsi also directed the blood and marrow transplantation program and held several clinical and academic posts at the University of Massachusetts and its affiliated medical center.
Dr. Al-Homsi’s research is focused on preventing the potentially life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation graft-vs-host disease. He has led clinical trials examining innovative combinations of medications to prevent graft-vs-host disease, including cyclophosphamide and proteasome inhibitors. Such combinations can omit the need for extended and burdensome prophylactic traditional agents and are applicable to patients with limited kidney function, who are often denied blood and marrow transplantation.
“Our understanding of hematologic malignancies has advanced greatly over the past decade, to the point that many cases are curable,” said Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, Director of Perlmutter Cancer Center. “Bone marrow transplantation plays a critical role in these advances—but it doesn’t come without risk. Dr. Al-Homsi’s research holds tremendous promise to curtail negative interactions between host and transplanted cells and make this form of treatment safer and more effective.” ■