Researcher Spotlight: Julie Erika Haydu, MD, PhD
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
Runge Lymphoma Project Scholar
Follicular lymphoma (FL) remains an incurable disease with current treatment options. Initial treatment of FL often involves the use of chemotherapy, and there are no approved chemotherapy-sparing regimens available for frontline treatment of FL patients with high tumor burden. Given the potential side effects associated with chemotherapy, Dr. Haydu’s LRF research aims to investigate a novel non chemotherapy-based approach for patients with previously untreated FL. “I hope my study will ultimately yield a new upfront treatment for FL patients that has minimal side effects and results in long remissions,” she says.
Dr. Haydu is a physician scientist pursuing a career as an academic lymphoma researcher. She earned her PhD in Cancer Genetics alongside her medical degree at Columbia University in New York, NY. She completed her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to her participation in the Lymphoma Scientific Research Mentoring Program, Dr. Haydu has also been recognized as a Runge Lymphoma Project Scholar.
Dr. Haydu’s commitment to lymphoma research is driven by her patients, who inspire her to be at the forefront of developing new treatment options that address all of their needs. “Follicular lymphoma provides unique challenges in that it often needs to be treated multiple times over a person’s life, and thus avoiding toxicity and maximizing remissions is critically important,” she says. “My patients with FL inspire me to come up with new, non-chemotherapy approaches that result in durable remissions and preserve quality of life so my patients can keep doing the things they love.”