A Message From Director Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD

A Message From Director Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD

We begin 2022 with a look at The Tisch Cancer Institute’s (TCI) latest discoveries. In this report we highlight the work of our dedicated investigators who explore the complexity of cancer formation and metastasis and search for effective ways to stop it. These advances will help provide our patients with better health and longevity.

We begin 2022 with a look at The Tisch Cancer Institute’s (TCI) latest discoveries by highlighting the work of our dedicated investigators. Their advances will bring our patients better health and longevity.

At Mount Sinai’s Vaccine and Cell Therapy Laboratory, we have created unique, individualized vaccines and shown their safety and promise. In another laboratory, investigator Jian Jin, PhD, and I have engineered a small molecule, MS21, which effectively targets the PTEN/AKT pathway, one of the most commonly mutated pathways in human cancer. Biopharmaceutical companies have been working to develop a drug that accomplishes this for two decades, but with limited success. We believe MS21 holds promise.

Also in this report, we share Mount Sinai’s latest findings on macrophages and their potential role in curtailing tumor invasiveness and growth. And we show how many of our National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded researchers are making strides in overcoming refractory acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, mantle cell lymphoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

  • MS21

    This small molecule effectively targets the PTEN/AKT pathway.


In another article, we focus on “bystander killing” as a method of improving T-cell-based immunotherapies for a range of cancers by destroying targeted tumor cells along with bystander tumor cells—even those that do not express an antigen.

During the summer of 2021, TCI welcomed Joseph A. Sparano, MD, as Deputy Director and Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology. Throughout his distinguished 33-year career, Dr. Sparano’s work has led to breakthroughs in the screening and treatment of breast cancer and cancers associated with HIV infection. Dr. Sparano will continue this work at Mount Sinai and help us prepare for an updated, future designation as an NCI Comprehensive Care Center.

Indeed, we are proud to present this year’s report, which reflects TCI’s ongoing mission of exploration and innovation. We remain steadfast in our commitment to improving the lives of our patients by providing them with better treatments. 

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Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD

Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD