Loyola University Health System recruited medical oncologist Dr. Muaiad Kittaneh in 2016, adding him to its fight against malignant mesothelioma.
Kittaneh, who spent the previous three years at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, is playing a key role on the mesothelioma tumor board at the Loyola University Medical Center.
“Because mesothelioma is such a rare disease, not many places have a real interest. It takes a group of people who dedicate their careers and expertise to treating it,” Kittaneh said. “We have that here. We can give patients real hope and a survival advantage.”
Kittaneh is both a clinician and researcher, active in his innovative role with clinical trials, new drug development and cutting edge therapeutics.
Beyond treating mesothelioma, he has clinical expertise in colorectal cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma, stomach cancer, breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancers.
He served a fellowship at the University of Miami, where he provided oncology care at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Miami VA and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Kittaneh was a resident physician at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Advocate Christ Medical Center in nearby Oak Lawn, Illinois.
He is a firm believer in the multidisciplinary approach to treatment that is reinforced at the bi-weekly tumor board meetings, where thoracic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists and researchers all gather to discuss individual mesothelioma cases.
The tumor board was started by renowned specialist Dr. Wickii Vigneswaran, director of thoracic surgery at Loyola, to help build a nationally recognized mesothelioma program.
“Survival rates are rising. Expertise is growing,” Kittaneh said. “There is potential here to drive this program to become one of the best, if not the best, at treating this disease.”
In his research, Kittaneh developed a specific interest in cancer genomics, particularly the BAP1 gene mutation, which has been linked to future prevention and treatment of mesothelioma.
He has been involved in novel diagnostic and cancer treatment options that utilize new pathway targeting agents, along with traditional chemotherapy.
Kittaneh graduated from Al-Quds University Medical School. He is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.
At Karmanos, which is affiliated with Wayne State University, he served as principal investigator and co-investigator in numerous clinical trials.
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