David R. Wise, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Departments of Medicine and Urology and a member of NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, treats people who have prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. Dr. Wise conducts research to identify new diagnostic and treatment strategies for people with prostate cancer and develop diagnostics for individualized patient care. He also seeks to identify new therapies that can reactivate the immune systems of people who have prostate cancer.
He discusses developing new clinical trials for treating prostate cancer and his role in advancing quality-of-life issues for people with prostate cancer.
You joined Perlmutter Cancer Center in 2017. What are some of the accomplishments that you have been able to achieve?
Since I arrived at Perlmutter Cancer Center, my goal has been to expand our clinical research program for taking care of men with high-risk and advanced prostate cancer. We’ve built a large portfolio of clinical trials specifically focusing on exciting, new treatments with new, strong science that we’ve made available to our patients. These trials are for people who have aggressive disease and also for people for whom existing treatments have fallen short. Building a clinical trials program has been a really important part of what I’ve been trying to do since I got here. Collaborating with colleagues in medical oncology, radiation oncology, and urology has been critical toward that goal.
We have also built up a program in which we have ongoing collaborations with top Perlmutter Cancer Center scientists to create platforms in the labs that can be used to develop the next generation of drugs.
What do you see as your role in advancing quality-of-life issues for people with prostate cancer?
That’s a very important point. As oncologists, we are taught that quality of life is crucial. It is important that we prioritize the safety and tolerability of treatments so that men can have a good quality of life while being treated for cancer. As a result, I prioritize various classes of immunotherapies as my clinical trial treatments rather than historically more toxic treatments. We are also very excited about the prospect of trying to improve the tolerability of treatments that affect testosterone levels in men with prostate cancer.
The legacy of NYU Langone—and Perlmutter Cancer Center—has been exceptional clinical care and exceptional patient-centered care. What is especially exciting is how that is now further enriched by clinical research. We are trying to merge exceptional clinical care with cutting-edge clinical trial work and clinical research. Perlmutter Cancer Center is an exceptional environment to be able to do that.