I first had the opportunity to treat patients with sarcoma during my oncology fellowship training. I really enjoyed the challenge of this area of oncology because of the many types of tumors and their rarity. When I meet a patient, I work to be certain the pathologic diagnosis is correct and address what we need to do to treat the disease. I collaborate with Fox Chase pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and social workers to develop the right treatment plan. We meet as a team weekly at the Sarcoma multi-disciplinary tumor board to review individual patient cases and agree on the best management.
I am also committed to developing new therapies for patients with sarcomas. The strides made in improving cancer care have come from research and clinical trials. I work closely with scientists to better understand gastrointestinal stromal tumors and other sarcomas. I aim to have research studies as a treatment option for my sarcoma patients.
Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Resident, Internal Medicine, New York University Medical Center, NY
As a cancer survivor of over 20 years and as a mother who lost a daughter to cancer, I can say with certainty that cancer does not discriminate. Prior to my diagnosis, there was no family history of cancer and I always lived a healthy lifestyle, yet this disease affected me. A diagnosis can sneak up on anyone, regardless of how healthy they appear.
Alyssia O’Malley was a 44-year-old mother of two when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 retroperitoneal sarcoma in 2014. Her primary care physician referred her to Fox Chase Cancer Center for treatment where she underwent chemotherapy and later surgery. Today her cancer is in remission, and she is back to work full time. " I was very blessed to be at Fox Chase," Alyssia said. "I had been so scared, but I never worried in their care. They made me feel safe, and I knew they would do everything they could."
At the age of 74, Larry Reddick was growing more and more frustrated with the hoarseness of his voice. When he began losing weight for no reason, he decided to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist, but found this physician was not helpful. Larry then sought a second opinion from the Temple Head and Neck Institute, where he was diagnosed with grade 2 chondosarcoma, a rare cancer that would need surgery. He was referred to Fox Chase Cancer, where the surgery was a success. "Fox Chase is solely focused on cancer, and the staff is compassionate and professional," Larry said. "Fox Chase is the ultimate in quality care professionals, and I will always be extremely grateful to them. Today I am cancer free."
When Darryl Hall was diagnosed with colon cancer, he was referred to a surgeon at a local hospital. After two colonoscopies and exploratory surgery, Darryl still felt he had no solid answers regarding his condition. He decided to seek a second opinion from a specialist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Darryl had a completely different experience at Fox Chase, where he underwent surgery and chemotherapy. "I encourage other people like me to get a second opinion if they are not happy with their current treatment plan," he said. "Both my wife and I received the best of care at Fox Chase. We are grateful to our doctors, and we recommend Fox Chase to anyone needing cancer care. Today we are both doing well and can enjoy the time we spend together and with our five grandchildren."
von Mehren M., George S., Heinrich M.C., Schuetze S.M., Yap J.T., Yu J.Q., Abbott A., Litwin S., Crowley J., Belinsky M., Janeway K.A., Hornick J.L., Flieder D.B., Chugh R., Rink L.A.,Van den Abbeele A.D., Linsitinib (osi-906) for the treatment of adult and pediatric wild type gastrointestinal stromal tumors, a sarc phase ii study. Clin Cancer Res. 26(8): 1837-1845, 2020. PMC7856429. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31792037.
Patel D, Handorf E, von Mehren M, Martin L, Movva S. Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Uterine Leiomyosarcoma: Trends and Factors Impacting Usage. Sarcoma, 2019:3561501, 2019. PMC6387708
Calvo E, Azaro A, Rodon J, Dirix L, Huizing M, Senecal FM, LoRusso P, Yee L, Poggesi I, de Jong J, Triantos S, Park YC, Knoblauch RE, Parekh TV, Demetri GD, von Mehren M. Hepatic safety analysis of trabectedin: results of a pharmacokinetic study with trabectedin in patients with hepatic impairment and experience from a phase 3 clinical trial. Investigational new drugs, 36(3):476-86, 2018. PubMed
Moten AS, Movva S, von Mehren M, Wu H, Esnaola NF, Reddy SS, Farma JM. Granular cell tumor experience at a comprehensive cancer center. J Surg Res, 226:1-7, 2018. PubMed
von Mehren M, Joensuu H. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 36(2):136-43, 2018. ascopubs.org
Movva S, Wen W, Chen W, Millis SZ, Gatalica Z, Reddy S, von Mehren M, Van Tine BA. Multi-platform profiling of over 2000 sarcomas: Identification of biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets. Oncotargets 2015 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
von Mehren M, Bookman M, Meropol N, Weiner L, Sherman E, Li J, Knoblauch R, Parekh T, Cohen R. Phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of trabectedin with docetaxel in patients with advanced malignancies. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, 75(5):1047-55, 2015. PubMed
von Mehren M, Randall RL, Benjamin RS, Boles S, Bui MM, Casper ES, Conrad EU 3rd, DeLaney TF, Ganjoo KN, George S, Gonzalez RJ, Heslin MJ, Kane JM 3rd, Mayerson J, McGarry SV, Meyer C, O'Donnell RJ, Pappo AS, Paz IB, Pfeifer JD, Riedel RF, Schuetze S, Schupak KD, Schwartz HS, Van Tine BA, Wayne JD, Bergman MA, Sundar H. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, version 2.2014. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 12(6):853-62, 2014. PubMed
von Mehren M, Randall RL, Benjamin RS, Boles S, Bui MM, Casper ES, Conrad EU, DeLaney TF, Ganjoo KN, George S, Gonzalez RJ, Heslin MJ, Kane JM, Mayerson J, McGarry SV, Meyer C, O'Donnell RJ, Pappo AS, Paz IB, Pfeifer JD, Riedel RF, Schuetze S, Schupak KD, Schwartz HS, Van Tine BA, Wayne JD, Bergman MA, Sundar H. Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 2.2014 Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 12(4):473-83, 2014.
Hensley H, Devarajan K Johnson JR, Piwnica-Worms D, Godwin AK, von Mehren M, Rink L. Evaluating New Therapies in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Using in vivo Molecular Optical Imaging. Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, 15(7):911-8, 2014. PubMed
Demetri G, Reichardt P, Kang Y-K, Blay JY, Rutkowski P, Gelderblom H, Hohenberger P, Leahy M, von Mehren M, Joensuu H, Badalamenti G, Blackstein M, Le Cesne A, Schffski P, Maki RG, Bauer S, Nguyen BB, Xu J, Nishida T, Chung J, Kappeler C, Kuss I, Laurent D, Casali PG. Efficacy and safety of regorafenib for advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumours after failure of imatinib and sunitinib (GRID): an international, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet, 381(9863):295-302. 2013. PubMed PMID: 23177515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3819942.
Belinsky MG, Rink L, Flieder DB, Jahromi MS, Schiffman JD, Godwin AK, von Mehren M. Overexpression of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor and frequent mutational inactivation of SDHA in wild-type SDHB-negative gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer, 52(2):214-24, 2013. PubMed PMID: 23109135; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3564228.
George S, Wang Q, Heinrich MC, Corless CL, Zhu M, Butrynski JE, Morgan JA, Wagner AJ, Choy E, Tap WD, Yap JT, Van den Abbeele AD, Manola JB, Solomon SM, Fletcher JA, von Mehren M, Demetri GD. Efficacy and safety of regorafenib in patients with metastatic and/or unresectable gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) following failure of imatinib and sunitinib: a multicenter phase II trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30(19):2401-7, 2012.
von Mehren M, Rankin C, Goldblum JR, Demetri GD, Bramwell V, Ryan CW, Borden E. Phase II SWOG-directed Intergroup Trial (S0505) of Sorafenib in Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Cancer, 118(3):770-6, 2012.
Demetri GD, Wang Y, Wehrle E, Racine, Nikolova Z, Blanke C, Joensuu H, von Mehren M. Imatinib Plasma Levels Correlate With Clinical Benefit in Patients With Unresectable/ Metastatic Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27(19):3141-7, 2009. Epub May 18 2009. PubMed PMID: 18942073; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2606912.
Eisenberg BL, Harris J, Blanke CD, Demetri GD, Heinrich MC, Watson JC, Hoffman JP, Okuno S, Kane JM, von Mehren M. Phase II trial of Neoadjuvant/Adjuvant Imatinib Mesylate for Advanced Primary and Metastatic/Recurrent Operable Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) – early results of RTOG 0132. Journal of Surgical Oncology, 99(1):42-7, 2009. PubMed