New York, NY
Dr. Robert N. Taub
Medical Oncologist and Hematologist
Herbert Irving Pavilion, 9-907
161 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
Yale University School of Medicine - 1961
New England Mc and Yale University School Of Med
Yale University School of Medicine
Dr. Robert Taub is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Columbia Medical Center specializing in the diagnosis and clinical care of patients with malignant mesothelioma. Dr. Taub serves as director of Columbia's Mesothelioma Center, where he is developing combined chemotherapeutic and surgical techniques that are highly effective in combating mesothelioma, a terminal malignancy.
Dr. Taub is exploring clinical trials involving multimodal treatment algorithms with a specialization in intracavitary chemotherapy for patients diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and lung-preserving therapies for pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Taub works closely with the Columbia Comprehensive Cancer Center’s team of oncologists and the Department of thoracic oncology.
Dr. Taub’s extensive experience has led him to impress upon patients that even though one particular treatment regimen may not result in efficacy for a particular patient, there are others available, including experimental therapies.
His work has been recognized and awarded by the Beth Israel Cancer Research Fund, the Mount Sinai Hospital, and the American Cancer Society. Throughout the course of his career he has worked in a number of areas including medical oncology, immunology, hematology, and internal medicine.
Recent research has indicated that vast differences in human genetics (genomes) from patient to patient are, in part, responsible for the varied responses to treatment seen in patients with similar types of mesothelioma. In this video, Dr. Robert Taub discusses personalized treatment approaches for patients diagnosed with peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Taub’s Guide to Navigating Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Step 1. Making a treatment decision.
Patients must first decide whether they will participate in conventional therapies or, for the reasons of lack of effectiveness or otherwise, to explore participation in a clinical trial. Conventional chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma is limited to a combination therapy of Alimta and Cisplatin, a cocktail which is currently the only FDA-approved method for systemic chemotherapy treatment of the disease.
Those patients who decide to explore clinical trials often do so because primary treatment protocols are not effective or not markedly effective in treating their tumor. Volunteering for a clinical trial is an important decision. If the decision is indeed made to participate in a clinical trial they must next decide what phase of the trial they will participate in.
Step 2. Know the Phases of Clinical Trials
Phase one clinical trials focus on the maximum toleration of toxicity in patients who participate in them. Once a patient develops toxic symptoms, the dosage is scaled back depending on the patient. Phase one clinical trials for mesothelioma are rare given the fragility of patient health.
Phase two clinical trials are considered the preferred choice for mesothelioma patients. These trials test the safety and effectiveness of a drug against a given cancer. The majority of mesothelioma patients participating in clinical trials will begin with a phase two trial. If a given drug or drug combination demonstrates efficacy or patient response in 20% or more of patients, it will often become a phase three trial.
Phase three clinical trials are considered the best in the field of general oncology but are rare among mesothelioma patients. These trials test the effectiveness of a given drug against a current accepted treatment protocol. In some cases, multimodal therapies, including surgery and chemotherapy, will be tested against the effectiveness of surgery alone. These studies require many patients and present the most conclusive evidence-based treatment protocols.
3. Seek a Second Opinion!
Nearly all patients should seek the opinion of not only their primary physician, but also those working in tandem with their primary oncologist on multimodal therapies. Patients who are undergoing surgery should consult with radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and pathologists to explore how multimodal therapies may benefit them. As Dr. Taub frequently says, “If you’re oncologist has no time to speak with you- go elsewhere immediately.”
Educational Background and Professional Appointments
Dr. Taub received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, where he was later made a fellow. His internship was completed at the New England Medical Center - TUFTS University. He is board certified in Oncology, Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Allergy & Immunology.
Dr. Robert N. Taub, M.D., Ph.D. was recently appointed to the chair of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. There, he serves as a mentor to aspiring oncologists, stressing multidisciplinary approaches to mesothelioma treatment.
Relevant Articles by Dr. Robert N. Taub
New York-Presbyterian The University Hospital of Columbia
Cornell Web Site Physician Detail
Taub. Robert N. “Navigating Mesothelioma Clinical Trials with GPS (Getting Personalized Service) 2009. Online Video Clip. YouTube. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation