Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available to our patients. Sign up for Connect today to schedule your vaccination. Continue your routine care with us by scheduling an in-person appointment or Video Visit.

News and Events

Find our current Cardiothoracic events and news stories below.

Reducing Copper in the Body Alters Cancer Metabolism to Reduce Risk of Aggressive Breast Cancer

Transmission electron microscopy images

Transmission electron microscopy images showing TM-mediated changes in the cristae (arrow) inside the mitochondria of cancer cells, which contribute to cellular metabolism. Image courtesy of Dr. Divya Ramchandani, Juan Pablo Jimenez and Leona Cohen-Gould.

Depleting copper levels may reduce the production of energy that cancer cells need to travel and establish themselves in other parts of the body by a process referred to as metastasis, according to a new study by investigators from Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). The discovery of the underlying mechanisms of how copper depletion may help reduce metastasis in breast cancer will help inform the design of future clinical trials.

In a series of research papers from 2013 to 2021, Weill Cornell Medicine researchers showed that in a phase II clinical trial when patients who had high-risk triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) were treated with a drug that lowers the levels of copper in their bodies, it prolonged the period of time before their cancer recurred and spread or metastasized. In the current study, published Dec. 15 in Nature Communications, and led by first author Divya Ramchandani, a research associate in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, the investigators used animal models to take a closer look at why that was the case. Click here to read the full article. 

Simple Surgical Technique Associated with Significant Reduction in the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation After Cardiac Surgery

Mario Gaudino, MD

Dr. Mario Gaudino

 

A simple surgical technique during cardiac surgery was associated with a 56 percent reduction in the incidence of an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation that can lead to stroke, with no added risks or side effects, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian investigators. The findings suggest that the method, called posterior left pericardiotomy, has significant potential for preventing prolonged hospital stays and the need for additional interventions and drugs to reduce the risk of strokes and heart failure associated with atrial fibrillation.

The study evaluated whether a posterior left pericardiotomy, a slit in the backside of the sac around the heart to drain excess fluid, could help prevent atrial fibrillation in patients who underwent cardiac surgeries. The randomized controlled trial was published Nov. 14 in The Lancet. Click here to read the full article.

Healthgrades specialty hospital rankings

Healthgrades rates NewYork-Presbtyerian and Weill Cornell as America's 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery Award.  Superior Clinical Outcomes in Heart Bypass and Heart Valve Surgery.  

Healthgrades rates NewYork-Presbtyerian and Weill Cornell as America's 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care Award.  Superior Clinical Outcomes in Heart Bypass, coronary interventional procedures, heart attack treatment, heart failure treatment, and heart valve surgery

Scientists Find a New Way to Reverse Immune Suppression in Tumors

two men posing for a photo

Drs. Vivek Mittal (left) and Dingcheng Gao

Malignant tumors can enhance their ability to survive and spread by suppressing antitumor immune cells in their vicinity, but a study led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian has uncovered a new way to counter this immunosuppressive effect.

In the study, published Sept. 20 in Nature Cancer, the researchers identified a set of anti-immunosuppressive factors that can be secreted by cells called club cells that line airways in the lungs. They showed in a mouse model of lung cancer that these club cell factors inhibit highly potent immunosuppressive cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which tumors often recruit to help them evade antitumor immune responses.

The inhibition of the MDSCs led to an increase in the number of antitumor T cells at the tumor site, and greatly improved the effectiveness of FDA approved PD1 immunotherapy. 

“These club cell-secreted factors are able to nullify immune suppressor cells that otherwise help tumors escape an effective antitumor response,” said co-senior author Dr. Vivek Mittal, director of research at the Neuberger Berman Lung Cancer Center and the Ford-Isom Research Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. “We’re excited by the possibility of developing these club cell factors into a cancer treatment.” Click Here to read the full article. 

TWIST - Designing an International Multi-center Trial

Evaluating therapeutic approaches through clinical research can be done at many different scales; some exploratory studies seek to enroll just a handful of participants at a single site while other ideas require a great deal more statistical power. Thankfully multi-center and international collaborations are an excellent source of that power! Join our Director Dr. Mario Gaudino on Tuesday August 17th for a look at his work and experience designing and running a trial that spans over 50 countries!

Presented by

Mario F. L. Gaudino, MD

Director, Joint Clinical Trials Office 

Time: Aug 17, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://weillcornell.zoom.us/j/94207946257

Meeting ID: 942 0794 6257

One tap mobile

+16468769923,,94207946257# US (New York)

+13017158592,,94207946257# US (Washington DC)

Donor Spotlight: Supporting a Culture of Caring

Hamms photo

Charles Hamm recently underwent open-heart surgery with Dr. Stephanie Mick of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center to remove the melanoma that had metastasized inside his heart. 

Inspired by the dedication and compassion they experienced via lifelong connections with their physicians, Mr. and Mrs. Hamm recently made a gift of $1 million in honor of Dr. Mick and the other NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell physicians who saved Charles’ life: Drs. Leonard Girardi, David Blumenthal, and Richard Cohen.

Read More

2021 NYC Walk For Victory

Join us at the Hudson River Park, Saturday, June 5th for the annual Marfan Foundation's global walk program. Click here for more details. 

2021 Walk for Victory

Q&A with Dr. Mario Gaudino, Newly Appointed Director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office

For Dr. Mario Gaudino, being an excellent cardiothoracic surgeon and conducting clinical research to find new ways to improve patients’ outcomes have been two sides of the same coin since he was a medical student in Rome. Today, he is a renowned surgeon treating patients with heart and cardiovascular disease, and at the same time, serves as the primary investigator of the ROMA Trial, an international, randomized controlled trial that aims to determine the best strategy for coronary artery bypass surgery.

As the newly appointed director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, Dr. Gaudino will oversee ongoing clinical trials and lead strategic planning efforts. He will focus on increasing the number of active clinical trials available to Weill Cornell Medicine patients, which currently stands at about 400, with just over 200 studies for patients with cancer and just under 200 for patients with other diseases. Dr. Gaudino, who is also the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and a cardiothoracic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, will also encourage more physicians to get involved in clinical research and strengthen the JCTO’s existing infrastructure and services that support investigators across the two institutions.

How did you become interested in working on clinical research?

At my alma mater in Rome, I learned that clinical research is part of a clinician’s essential activities. My mentors said many times that something relevant to clinical research happens every day in a busy clinical practice and that if you don’t think that’s true, you’re not paying close enough attention. Physicians who also conduct research can improve knowledge, advance the field and provide benefits to more patients than is possible through clinical care alone.

Please click here to read more Q&As. 

Dr. Mario Gaudino Appointed Director for the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO)

Dr. Mario Gaudino recently appointed as the Director for the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Hospital.  In his new role, Dr. Gaudino will oversee ongoing clinical trials and provide strategic growth plans to increase investigator-initiated trials, pragmatic trials, and ongoing improvements and enhancements to the existing clinical trial infrastructure.

Dr. Gaudino will collaborate closely with the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center and the other critical institutional entities for clinical research. He will help establish a vision for advancement, key metrics and targets, and provide oversight and leadership to the JCTO team. In this capacity, Dr. Gaudino will also serve as faculty liaison to Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian leadership, as well as clinical research faculty and departments. In collaboration with the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research, he will create a blueprint for expanding the clinical trials portfolio and associated revenue to support the growth targets across the full Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian network.

Patient Peter Ciaccia's Story

Leonard Girardi, Cardiac surgery, cardiac surgeon, aortic aneurysm,
Peter Ciaccia had a 6 cm bulge in his ascending aorta. Dr. Leonard Girardi made an incision in his chest and repaired the aortic aneurysm by replacing the aortic valve using a natural valve made from cow heart tissue. 
Peter, was the former President of Events for New York Road Runners and Race Director of the New York City Marathon for 18 years is dedicated to fitness and a long-time distance runner. 

Weill Cornell Medicine Cardiothoracic Surgery 525 East 68th Street
Box 110
Suite M 404
New York, NY 10065 Directions
Phone: (212) 746-5166

Explore