A valued member of Mount Sinai’s faculty for more than 30 years, Waxman currently holds a variety of positions, including, Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Honorary Professor and Co-Director of the Center of Differentiation Therapy at Shanghai Jiao Tong Medical University. He is the Founder and Scientific Director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation.
Waxman has authored more than 300 scientific papers and was among the first to study differentiation as a cancer therapy. He has also written chapters in textbooks on hematology, chemotherapy and nutrition, a series of books entitled Differentiation Therapy, and another called The Leukemia Cell. Waxman helped found the International Conference on the Differentiation Therapy of Cancer, which brings together researchers from around the globe every two years.
Waxman is an authority on nutritional factors that are involved in normal DNA synthesis such as vitamins B12, folic acid and vitamin A. He discovered proteins that are required for the normal use of these vitamins and methods to measure and define their deficiencies. He designed chemotherapeutic agents for the purpose of blocking normal function of these vitamins as anti cancer treatments. His work on understanding abnormal differentiation of blood cells resulting in leukemia has formed the basis of differentiation therapy so successfully used in curing acute promyelocytic leukemia. He continues to apply these concepts to other forms of leukemia and cancer in general.
His research program is devoted to expanding differentiation therapy to other forms of cancer. We continue to uncover new compounds that alone or in combination correct abnormal gene function by targeting regulatory proteins that cause abnormal differentiation resulting in cancer. Specifically, he and his lab are uncovering ways to extend the clinical use of arsenic trioxide to degrade cancer producing proteins that block differentiation. They are able to produce an anti-tumor effect associated with inducing differentiation with a decoy compound that blocks a protein known to shut down important gene information which leads to breast cancer. This decoy molecule has the possibility of becoming a drug that will be useful in the treatment and perhaps prevention of breast cancer.
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