Cancer innovators in demand at hospitals amid research advances, aging population

Recent developments in cancer treatment have hospitals increasingly on the hunt for top talent to aid in clinical trials, according to Capital New York.

For example, New York's NYU Langone recently recruited several leading lights of cancer research for its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. Meanwhile, Weill Cornell Medicine earlier this year hired Nobel laureate and National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus.

"This is partly driven by the excitement around new therapeutics in cancer," Laurie Glimcher, an immunologist and the dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, told Capital New York. "We can mine human gene sequence, which we could never do before. We can visualize with astonishing clarity tissues and organs for humans." Clinical trials based on genomic testing also represent a major advance in cancer treatment and research going into 2016, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

But there is also a sense of urgency behind the industry's emphasis on cancer treatment and research: as Americans age, they become more susceptible to cancer, Benjamin Neel, director of the Perlmutter Center, told Capital New York. These population trends have also spurred a boom in cancer center construction, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

The new hires also bring numerous federal grants to the table, as well as the possibility of more in the future, a vital commodity as the National Institutes of Health bears the brunt of budget cuts, according to the article. New York teaching hospitals in particular have had little success appealing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for increased funding, leading them to take the initiative in investing in new talent and other resources. For example, North Shore-LIJ recently announced it will put more than $175 million into expanding treatment centers while touting its partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to identify patients for early-phase cancer trials which, if successful, will lead to advanced-phase clinical trials at the health system's facilities.

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