Raoul Tibes, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist who sees and treats patients with hematological malignancies as well as heads laboratory research efforts in leukemia research. Further, Dr. Tibes is actively conducting early-phase (Phase 1 and 2) clinical trials with novel molecular therapies, agents or both. He is also dedicated to education and is a frequent speaker at medical education conferences.
Dr. Tibes' specific areas of expertise are acute and chronic leukemias — acute myloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) — as well as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) such as polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia and myelofibrosis. He also sees patients with lymphomas and other blood diseases.
Research strategies center on identifying novel vulnerabilities and treatment targets in myeloid (AML, MDS and MPNs) and lymphoid disorders and immediately translate those into new therapy approaches and new treatments (on clinical studies) for patients. The approach taken is a functional genomics RNA interference (RNAi) approach using small interfering RNA in high-throughput format established by Dr. Tibes for leukemia cells.
- RNAi screening. With the novel methodology and platform established by Dr. Tibes, hundreds to thousands of genes can individually be silenced (inhibited) and assessed for their anti-leukemia activity alone or in combination with conventional cytotoxics. Several large-scale RNAi screens have been conducted (for example, with cytarabine and 5-azacytidine) and results are being used to design rational clinical combination trials.
- Epigenetic therapies. Specific research efforts are targeting DNA damage repair and cell cycle checkpoint pathways and finding sensitizers to epigenetic therapies. Parallel biomarker research to identify specific molecular markers to select patients for particular therapies is ongoing.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Tibes' translational-clinical research program is to advance care and treatment of patients with hematological malignancies through translational research in leukemia. He designs new treatment regimens for patients who have failed standard treatments, or combines new agents aimed at increasing the initial response to treatment.
In addition, Dr. Tibes performs personalized medicine by profiling tumor or leukemia cells of patients and selecting targeted therapies.
- Member, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Panel for standard of care guidelines, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2014-present
- Scholar in clinical research, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2014
- ASCO Career Development Award, Conquer Cancer Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2011