New York University Medical Center – NYU Langone Medical Center

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New York University Medical Center
550 First Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Phone: (212) 263-7300

Since April of 2008, the New York University Medical Center has officially been known as the NYU Elaine A. and Kenneth G. Langone Medical Center after the two benefactors who recently bequeathed $200 million to the institution, which in turn has attracted an additional $50 million in contributions.

While the Center is among the top institutions in the nation for biomedical research and medical education, it is also home to the NYU Cancer Institute and the Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

The NYU Langone Medical Center was founded in 1841 as the New York College of Medicine. Some of the famous names associated with this institution include John Revere (son of Paul Revere of “midnight ride” fame), Dr. Walter Reed, and Jonas Salk, developer of the first polio vaccine.

Dr. Harvey I. Pass is another prominent physician who is intimately associated with the Center, currently serving as Professor and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology. Dr. Pass has been studying mesothelioma for twenty years since serving as Head of Thoracic Oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

During his tenure at the NYU Langone Medical Center, Dr. Pass has established the first organized tissue archives for use as a resource for the study of mesothelioma. Some of the findings of this study include:

  • the presence of SV (“simian virus”) 40 in human mesothelioma cells
  • the role played by the human insulin growth factor receptor in the development of mesothelioma
  • the connection between mesothelioma and the gene for neurofibromatosis (tumors of the nerve cells)
  • the discovery of mesothelin (a type of protein implicated in mesothelioma and other cancers)

Before coming to the Center, Dr. Pass was instrumental in building the thoracic oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Today, he is a reviewer for several professional medical journals and a leading advocate for lung cancer and mesothelioma victims. Dr. Pass, who has also served as Chairman if the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), recently made a statement before members of the U.S. Congress at the Ban Asbestos Now Press Conference.

Dr. Harvey Pass has been Director of the NYU Division of Thoracic Surgery since 2005.

Patients at the NYU Cancer Institute are diagnosed using the latest techniques, including combination positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) scanning. In addition, the doctors may use other diagnostic tools, including:

  • Autofluorence Bronchoscopy: a patented tool using an endoscopic light and video camera
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound: an out-patient procedure consisting of a “minimally invasive” lymph node biopsy

Once a diagnosis of mesothelioma has been confirmed, patients may undergo any number of treatments. Such treatment options are at the discretion of the doctor and patient, and depend on the type of tumor as well as the location and stage of the malignancy. These may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

There are also new, cutting edge treatments available at the Institute. One of these is known as photodynamic therapy, which actually uses a photoactive drug and non-thermal laser to destroy cancer cells.

Another exciting development in cancer treatment at the Institute is known as radiofrequency ablation, which is a minimally invasive technique used in the treatment of smaller tumors on and in the lung. This treatment employs electrodes and alternating current in order to destroy malignancies.

The physicians at the NYU Cancer Institute are aware that cancers such as mesothelioma affect every individual differently. Dr. Pass is among the few thoracic surgeons and cancer experts in the nation who will not make a final decision on surgical and treatment options before he has actually had an opportunity to open a patient’s chest and made an assessment of the malignancy based on direct observation.

The New York University Langone Medical Center is located in Manhattan on First Avenue, just off FDR Drive between East 29th and East 34th Streets.