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Driving the Future in Cancer Care

September 15, 2017

From the Fall 2017 issue of AtlanticView:


Nationally acclaimed cancer clinicians bring expertise, innovations to Atlantic Health System

As part of an ongoing focus on cancer care and research, Atlantic Health System has recruited two nationally recognized experts in treating gastrointestinal, lung, and head and neck cancers. Here, these physicians are continuing their focused expertise in patient care and cutting-edge clinical research, which ensures that Atlantic Health System’s patients and other physicians will have access to the latest advances in cancer care.

The newest cancer specialists at Atlantic Health System are Angela Alistar, MD, with a focus on pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers, and Missak Haigentz, MD, with expertise in lung and head and neck cancers. Coincidentally, both specialists have strong ties to New Jersey and welcome the opportunity to practice in the region.

Dedicated to Quality Care

Dr. Alistar joins Atlantic Health System as medical director of gastrointestinal (GI) medical oncology for Morristown Medical Center. She has extensive experience in GI oncology, with specific expertise in treating pancreatic and other challenging GI cancers. She has also designed, secured funding for and conducted therapeutic clinical trials. She served as the principal investigator for one study that focuses on genomic research in the treatment of cancer.

“My goal is to bring novel clinical trials to patients in our community and to create a center of excellence for pancreatic cancer, like those at major academic medical centers,” Dr. Alistar says. She also has a strong research focus on immunotherapies, which involve medicines that use the body’s own immune system to combat disease.

Dr. Haigentz is chief of hematology and oncology for Morristown Medical Center and medical director of Atlantic Hematology and Oncology for Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. A leader in cancer treatment and medical education, he has designed and led national trials on various cancer drugs. Like Dr. Alistar, he, too, is passionate about the promise that clinical trials hold for cancer care.

“Now more than ever, it’s truly exciting to be engaged in clinical research, to participate in the next generation of cancer breakthroughs,” says Dr. Haigentz, a longtime resident of New Jersey. “I’m thrilled to make access to the newest treatments a part of routine care for our patients at Atlantic Health.”

Looking Forward

In addition to their experience in treatment and research, Drs. Haigentz and Alistar have both taught medicine and contributed to leading medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Lancet Oncology.

Today, because of efforts of physicians like these, patients do not have to travel far to get the best cancer care. Atlantic Health System is improving patient care by recruiting physicians with amazing clinical experience and expertise, who provide the highest level of care obtainable anywhere, and who also lead and/or participate in clinical trials that will bring access to new drugs and technology to our patients.

Dr. Haigentz sees this approach as fulfilling a tremendous regional need. “Having local physicians with subspecialty specific cancer expertise and a growing portfolio of clinical trials will most certainly improve the lives of patients in our community.”

Learn more about Atlantic Health System Cancer Care >

“Having local physicians with subspecialty-specific cancer expertise and a growing portfolio of clinical trials will most certainly improve the lives of patients in our community.”

– Missak Haigentz, MD