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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Centers of Excellence - Cancer Institute

Medical Oncology & Cancer Genetics Center of Excellence

The medical oncologists/hematologists at the Division of Hematology Medical Oncology are disease-focused and work as part of a multidisciplinary center of excellence. The physicians collaborate with specialists in surgery, radiation oncology, pathology and diagnostic radiology, as well as supportive and palliative care, to provide the most appropriate and personalized cancer treatment plan for each patient.

The Division of Hematology/Oncology provides consultation for the evaluation and management of patients with hematologic and oncologic disorders. A wide range of therapeutic protocols have become available for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors, many of which combine infusional chemotherapy with radiation therapy. There are specially trained chemotherapy nurses to provide additional expertise for these programs.

Located in Suite T our Chemotherapy Infusion Room offers state-of-the-art treatment in a naturally lit atmosphere. All treatment and services are provided within the Suite, including:

  • Expert oncologists to diagnose and treat nearly every type of cancer
  • Multidisciplinary treatment planning with experts who can offer the best options
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI) and industry-sponsored phase I, II and III clinical trials
  • Pain management and supportive care programs
  • Cancer genetic counseling program
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Patient Navigation
  • Patient Education
  • Patient library
  • A relaxed and supportive environment for innovative cancer care

We provide exceptional care for virtually every type of cancer. Our specialists are nationally renowned experts, leading integrated research programs in collaboration with the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, School for Graduate Studies, School of Health Professions and College of Nursing. Our patients have the support of a full range of programs and services designed to provide care for the whole person – clinically, emotionally, socially and psychologically. Our patients benefit from the world-class expertise of our physicians in a setting that provides ambulatory surgery, urology and a complete range of diagnostic radiology. Convenient access to a range of coordinated services enhances quality of life and helps support the recovery process.

We partner with our patient to conduct clinical research trials that inspire hope. Together through clinical research trials, our patient partners in research, physicians and scientists at the SUNY Downstate are working hard to find new and better ways to treat and prevent cancers. Patients have access to a wide range of clinical trials, including those offering the newest and most promising therapies. Together we can discover treatments that help today and tomorrow.


Cancer Genetic Program at SUNY Downstate

Genetic testing can help estimate the chance of developing cancer. It does this by searching for specific changes in genes, chromosomes, or proteins. These changes are called mutations.

Genetic tests are available for breast, ovarian, colon, thyroid, and some other cancers. Genetic testing may help:

  • Predict the risk of a particular disease
  • Find if changes in the genes that may pass may increase cancer risk to children in the family
  • Manage increased cancer risk by having more regular cancer screening or taking steps to lower risk

No genetic test can say whether someone will, certainly, develop cancer. However, a test can tell a person is at higher risk of developing cancer than most people.

Only some people with a gene mutation will develop cancer. For example, a woman with a 75% chance of breast cancer may never develop the disease. Meanwhile, a woman with a 25% chance may develop breast cancer.


Risk factors for hereditary cancer

A hereditary cancer is any cancer caused by a gene mutation. The following factors suggest that a person may be at risk

Family history of cancer: Having 3 or more relatives on the same side of the family with the same or related forms of cancer

Cancer at an early age: Having 2 or more relatives diagnosed with cancer at an early age, which may be different depending on the type of cancer.

Multiple cancers: Having 2 or more types of cancer occurring in the same relative


Reasons to consider genetic testing for cancer

Here are some questions to help decide to have or not genetic counseling and testing:

  • Do I have a family history of cancer?
  • Have I developed cancer at an earlier-than-average age?
  • How will I interpret the results of genetic testing? Who will help me use this information?
  • Will the test results affect my medsical care or the medical care of my family?
  • If I have a genetic condition, can I lower my cancer risk?


Iuliana Shapira, MD

Chief, Department of Hematology/Oncology
Cancer Genetics
Associate Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology
SUNY Downstate

Gurinder Sidhu, MD

Associate Chief
Assistant Clinical Professor
SUNY Downstate

Jason Gonsky, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
SUNY Downstate
Director of Hematology and Oncology
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Mikhail Khazan, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
SUNY Downstate
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Evelyn Taiwo, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
SUNY Downstate
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Robert Lewis, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
SUNY Downstate
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Iryna B. Durnyeva, MSN, OCN, NP-C

Assistant Director of Nursing
Director Patient Education Program
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Office Phone: (718)-270-8323

Judy Bishop, MSA, RN, CRN

Assistant Director Nursing
Office 718-270-3769
Beeper 917-760-1927

Dolly Romeo, RN, OCN

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Office 718-270-2284
Beeper 917-218-2869

Hortense Hamilton, RN, CBN

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Office 718-270-2284
Beeper 917-218-2869

Claudette Marshall, RN, CBN

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Office 718-270-2284
Beeper 917-218-2869


Appointment and Contact Information:

SUNY Downstate Medical Center Suite A
Phone: (718) 270-1500 Fax: (718) 270-1578 &-4436
For appointments call: 718-270-3777 &-2643
24 hours per day 7 days per week answering service 718-692-9882

Kings County C Building Cancer Care Center
NYC Health + Hospitals/ Kings County
451 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Tel: 718 245-2770
Appointments Clinic: 718 245-2847
Fax: 718 245-2944
24 hours per day 7 days per week answering service 718-692-9882


For more information on cancer types and treatments please visit: