Long Islanders no longer need to drive into Manhattan to get the cancer care they need.
The Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island in Mineola is fighting cancer with treatment and research, as well as clinical trials. And it is the only full-service, National Cancer Institute designated cancer center on the island.
“The fact that the center itself is associated with a fantastic hospital is really a huge plus because, sadly, cancer patients are sick enough to require hospitalization and the fact that you can have continuity of care with the same doctors and also all access to different kinds of sub-specialties, is really valuable, especially if the person is ill enough to require hospitalization,” said Dr. Eva Chalas, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Long Island School of Medicine and physician director at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island.
Here, patients can expect cutting-edge care through access to phase 1 clinical trials that the center’s oncology experts are currently conducting.
For example, Dr. Jonathan Hass, one of the first radiation oncologists in the country to use CyberKnife technology (a non-invasive treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors,) has recently introduced what is called the Radixact treatment delivery system that uses image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy to shape radiation to the tumor while avoiding healthy tissue. He is also, in collaboration with Dr. Aaron E. Katz and Dr. David R. Wise, conducting a trial aimed at decreasing the sexual side effects of those suffering from prostate cancer and are going through radiation by using a medication called Darolutamide.
“We provide comprehensive care,” Dr. Chalas said. “We have everything from aided minimally invasive surgery to, now, bone marrow transplant and everything you can think of.”
The minimally invasive surgery program at the center uses six robots, with 60 percent of the procedures being performed for cancer, and allows surgeons to perform the procedures with small incisions, giving the patient a shorter recovery time.
Also at the center, patients can expect to hear from multiple experts as they manage their care.
“We really boosted up our support system,” Chalas said. “We have specific social workers who work with cancer patients. We have nutritionists and we have rehabilitation for our cancer patients. We have cardio-oncology because some of the drugs and some of the treatments that are given for cancer can adversely affect the heart, so we have specialists in heart disease who are very familiar and know what different kinds of medicines and treatments can do to the heart… We have a very robust palliative service, which is a service that helps provide symptom relief to patients.”
Chalas added that she is proud of the center’s navigation system that is run by nurses. In the program, nurses assist patients as they navigate the health system by helping them make appointments and they help ensure quality insurance.
“The whole mantra of the Perlmutter Cancer Center is to really be leaders and strive to provide really what we call patient-centered care,” Chalas said. “Hopefully future generations of individuals who are affected by cancer will continue to have better and better prognoses.”
—Additional information provided by the Perlmutter Cancer Center