MAYWOOD -- A nationally known multiple myeloma researcher and clinician has joined Loyola University Health System as director of Illinois' leading blood and marrow transplant program.
David H. Vesole, MD, PhD, FACP, specializes in stem cell transplants for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other hematological diseases. Dr. Vesole is offering new and emerging therapies designed to extend patients' lives.
Multiple myeloma generally isn't curable, but treatments are improving. Ten years ago, patients typically survived about three years. Today, patients typically survive six or more years. "You always hold out the hope that new therapies will prolong life while maintaining good quality of life," Vesole said.
In 2008, there were about 20,000 new multiple myeloma cases in the United States and about 11,000 Americans died of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Treatments include chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and immunomodulatory agents. Transplants are the standard of care for younger patients and patients in otherwise good health. The patient receives high-dose chemotherapy, which destroys all of his or her bone marrow, including the myeloma cells. The bone marrow progenitors are replaced with stem cells previously collected from the blood stream of the patient.
Loyola's Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is the largest in Illinois, having performed more than 1,900 transplants. A full range of options is available to patients, including autologous stem cell, allogeneic related and unrelated bone marrow/stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplants.
Loyola patients also have opportunities to participate in national clinical trials for lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma and breast, lung, ovarian and testicular cancers.
Dr. Vesole will conduct clinical trials on promising new therapies. For example, drugs under development zero in on cancer cells by targeting specific molecular pathways. Such agents could be combined with drugs already in clinical use.
Dr. Vesole has authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and books. He recently served as co-chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Myeloma Committee and co-chair of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Plasma Cell Disorder Committee. He currently serves on the International Myeloma Foundation Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Vesole will work with Patrick Stiff, MD, who formerly served as BMT program director and continues to work with the transplant team. Dr. Stiff also serves as director of Loyola's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. The BMT team also includes Tulio Rodriguez, MD and Scott Smith, MD. The BMT program provides state-of-the art patient care and participates in clinical trials to improve transplant outcomes.
Dr. Vesole is a Professor of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Vesole earned his medical degree from Northwestern University and his PhD in immunology and microbiology from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in hematology and oncology at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Before joining Loyola, Dr. Vesole served as an attending physician at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York. Before that, he was a professor of medicine and clinical director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.