Jorge J. Castillo, MD
After completing my training in Hematology and Oncology, I stayed as a Faculty member at the Brown University Medical School spending 60% of my time doing clinical care, 30% clinical research and 10% teaching. My research has focused on studying the various risk factors that could be associated with an increased risk of developing hematologic malignancies. I have also run a series of investigator-initiated prospective clinical trials using non-chemotherapeutic regimens, and have developed several multi-institutional efforts to study rare lymphomas such as plasmablastic lymphoma and HIV-associated T-cell lymphomas. Finally, I have helped and mentored Peruvian colleagues to design studies suitable for publication in English literature.
My most successful area has been epidemiological research; I have used meta-analytical methods to gather the existing body of evidence and identified cigarette smoking as a risk factor for Hodgkin lymphoma, and red blood cell transfusions for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Also, using a similar method, I was able to demonstrate an increased risk of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma in individuals with diabetes. This work has been published in high-impact factor journals such as Blood and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. I believe that there are many things to learn from the studies that have already been done, if the systematic reviews and subsequent meta-analyses are carefully designed.
The accrual for one of my non-chemotherapy prospective studies has been completed and will work on an abstract presentation and subsequent manuscript. My work on rare lymphomas has been published in journals such as Cancer, The Oncologist, Leukemia and Lymphoma and Leukemia Research, and has been very well cited despite the rarity. This work has allowed me to generate an international collaborative network with participants from the United States, England, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Peru. I would like to think that I have increased the awareness towards these less well-understood conditions through collaboration. My work with Peruvian colleagues has been fruitful with close to 20 publications in the last 5 years.
I have spent a good amount of time mentoring colleagues, fellows, residents and medical students. Many of the trainees who have worked with me have been able to present their research at national meeting such as the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. Even after their graduation, I am proud to see that they continue doing meaningful research and I am always happy to help in any way possible with study design, statistical support or just pure and constructive criticism of their protocols and manuscripts.
My next steps will be to continue doing clinical research focusing more in the careful design and execution of prospective clinical trials, and the envision of potential systematic reviews and meta-analysis not only for epidemiological associations but also to evaluate therapeutic interventions. I will also continue mentoring colleagues and trainees at different levels while promoting international collaboration.