Interview with Prof. Dr. Doru Paul, MD, PhD - medical oncologist from New York

About  Prof. Dr. Doru Paul

Prof. Dr. Doru M. Paul is an oncology, hematology and internal medicine specialist with over 20 years of experience practicing in New York City. 

Dr. Paul is an expert in the treatment of head and neck and lung cancer with a track record of developing successful multidisciplinary approaches to treat these conditions. He has also made major contributions as a translational and clinical researcher. Demonstrating a national and international presence in his field, he has widely presented his research defining specific therapeutic targets or processes that can be targeted for the improved treatment of cancer patients.

Dr. Paul has a strong background as a translational and clinical researcher. Since 2003, he has been Principal Investigator or Local Principal Investigator on 40 studies, and co-Principal Investigator on 20 others. He has designed and conducted several investigator-initiated studies and initiated 3 FDA-approved investigational new drug studies. He designed the first in-man pilot study that uses Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) for the targeted treatment of cancer, obtaining approval from the FDA and funding from the Northwell Health Cancer Institute.

Co-organizer of the Stop Cancer Romania symposium now at its 7th edition, initiator of the online TV program Stop Cancer TV, president of the non-profit organization Heal 21 that provides support for Romanian cancer patients, using Medicai’s online platform, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Medical and Radiation Oncology.
Dr Doru Paul


Hello, Prof. Dr. Doru Paul and thank you for agreeing to speak with us in this short interview.

1. What inspired you to become an oncologist and what are some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your work?

Cancer is one of the most significant challenges of contemporary medicine. With the enthusiasm of an 18-year-old, as early as my first year of medical school, I decided to try to understand it better. Helping others and alleviating their suffering is the most important satisfaction that I now consider, looking back over time, a doctor's only lasting reward.

2. What are some of the most important advances in cancer treatment and research at the moment and how do you see these evolving in the future?

New targeted treatments for genetic transformations and advances in immunotherapy that will continue to develop over the next decade. In the next decade, systemic treatments targeting metastases at the body level will probably emerge, in addition to targeting the cellular and tissue level.
3. What role do you see artificial intelligence and genomics playing in oncology?

The avalanche of data in healthcare benefits and will increasingly benefit from advances in computer science and artificial intelligence (AI). In the future, human-AI cooperation will be more and more rewarding.  The revolution in oncology brought by targeted treatments and immunotherapy will continue over the next decade. Speaking of genomics, although we know the number of genes expressed in proteins in humans, the function of most genes is still unknown. Also, exploring this genomic "dark matter", not expressed in proteins, and deciphering the code of chromosomal spatial arrangements are fundamental questions for genomics - a field which will continue to play a key role in oncology.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenges currently facing the field of oncology and how can we work to address these challenges in an impactful way?

Despite many scientific and technological breakthroughs we still do not know what cancer is or why a particular cancer occurs in a specific person.

5. What are the top 3 digital tools you have found particularly useful in your practice (for research, finding information, treatment plans, etc. Answers can range from telemedicine platforms to clinical decision support systems to educational resources or social media).

UpToDate, PubMed, Zoom.

6. What gives you hope for healthcare in 2023?

The recent American Cancer Society (ACS) report demonstrating a 32% decrease in US mortality between 1991 and 2019, approximately 3.5 million more survivors. I hope we will soon see similar results in Romania!



Thank you very much for your time!

About the author - Andra Bria

Andra Bria is a growth marketer at Medicai. She is interested in health equity, patient experience and care pathways. She believes in interoperability and collaboration for a more connected healthcare industry.