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Blue Skies

LACNETS Medical Advisory Council

ABOUT MAC

Our Medical Advisory Council (MAC) consists of distinguished NET experts committed to improving the lives of NET patients through multidisciplinary patient care, scientific research, and peer and patient education. Together, we aim to improve access to expert care, critical information, and groundbreaking medical treatments.

MEET OUR COUNCIL

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JAYDIRA DEL RIVERO, MD

Endocrinologist, Oncologist, National Cancer Institute 

Dr. Del Rivero earned her medical degree from the University of Veracruz in Veracruz, Mexico and completed her internal medicine residency at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center/NYU-Langone Medical Center. 

Dr. Del Rivero completed a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Inter-Institute Endocrinology Training Program (IETP) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) where she was part of a research team developing clinical trials for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. She then joined as Assistant Professor at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) where she specialized in endocrine oncology involving thyroid cancer, parathyroid and adrenal tumors, and clinical research for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

She subsequently completed a second fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with a research focus on endocrine malignancies.  Dr. Del Rivero is board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Del Rivero is a Physician Scientist in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch. She is the Principal Investigator of the Natural History Study for Neuroendocrine Neoplasm and Adrenocortical Cancer to provide the basis of further development of therapeutic interventions, prevention/screening guidelines, endpoints for future clinical trials, and patient reported outcome measures. Dr. Del Rivero’s current efforts is the development of novel treatment approaches and targeted therapies for endocrine malignancies such as advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, adrenocortical cancer and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.

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ALEXANDRA GANGI, MD

Surgical Oncologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Alexandra Gangi is a board-certified surgical oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Gangi completed a general surgical residency at Cedars-Sinai and completed her surgical oncology fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

She currently serves as the director of the Gastrointestinal Tumor and Cancer Regional Therapies Programs with specialization in Pancreatic and GI Neuroendocrine tumors, Metastatic colorectal cancer, and Peritoneal Surface Malignancies. Her research focuses on understanding GEPNET heterogeneity between and within tumors subtypes and mechanisms of chemotherapy induced liver injury.

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LINDA (LINDY) GARDNER, MSN, RN, VA-BC

Lead Nurse, Nuclear Medicine, UCLA Health

Lindy has over two decades of Interventional Radiology experience prior to transitioning over to Nuclear Medicine in March of 2017. She obtained her RN qualification in 1993 from John Moores University of Liverpool, (LJMU) United Kingdom, she is a graduate from the University Of Dundee, Scotland where she received her Bachelors, and Master’s of Science in Nursing. 

In her Nuclear Medicine role Lindy is the lead nurse for the Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) program, from the expanded access program (EAP) thru to the FDA approved commercial program. She has presented this program to a national and international audience; her skills are utilized as an expert liaison for institutions commencing the PRRT program, focusing on the patient experience, education, and therapy administration. Lindy is the nursing pillar lead for The International Center for Precision Oncology foundation (ICPO), with her focus on education, support and navigation for the NET patient journey. 

She is also the lead nurse for Radio-Ligand Therapy (RLT) for prostate cancer within Theranostics at UCLA, covering both clinical application and research.    

Lindy is a member of the Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN), and the Association for Vascular Access (AVA), holding her board certification in vascular access (VACC). She sits as a member on The Healing NET Scientific Advisory Committee. 

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J. RANDOLPH HECHT, MD

Medical Oncologist, UCLA Health

Dr. Hecht is a Professor of Clinical Medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA School of Medicine. He holds the Carol and Saul Rosenzweig Chair for Cancer Therapies Development and is the Director of the UCLA Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.

Dr. Hecht attended medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He took his internal medicine residency at Northwestern and completed fellowships in gastroenterology research at the University of Chicago, and in gastroenterology and medical oncology at UCLA. Dr. Hecht is an internationally known clinical and translational researcher in the field of gastrointestinal cancers. He has published widely on the molecular biology, early detection, and treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. He has lead and is currently directing small trials with new molecules as well as large international randomized trials. Current ongoing research includes preclinical models of therapy with biological agents, early studies with gene therapy vectors and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and leading phase II and phase III trials with novel agents.

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ANDREW HENDIFAR, MD

Medical Oncologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

The current research focus of Andrew Hendifar, MD, is on developing new therapies for pancreatic cancer and neuroendocrine tumors. Dr. Hendifar has helped form multidisciplinary teams that specialize in the treatments of pancreatic cancer, and carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Hendifar is the primary investigator for several groundbreaking therapies, including radioimmunotherapy for neuroendocrine tumors, anti-inflammatory therapy for pancreatic cancer and novel approaches to cancer cachexia. His national roles include SWOG GI Committee Member and a member of NIH Neuroendocrine Tumor Task Force. He also serves on the steering committee member for the Precision Promise Consortium and chairs the associated Supportive Care Committee. At Cedars Sinai he leads the Gastrointestinal Disease Research Group and is the founding Director of the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program.

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DANENG LI, MD

Medical Oncologist, City of Hope

Daneng Li, M.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, specializing in treating gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Li currently leads the liver tumors program and is also the co-director of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at City of Hope.

Dr. Li embraces a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of patients with neuroendocrine tumors.  He leads several clinical trials focused on improving outcomes for patients with NETs and works closely with scientists in the development of the next generation of novel therapeutics. Nationally, he has served on several NET committees including the NANETS Research Committee, NANETS Continuing Medical Education Committee, and the Patient-Physician Communication Task Force for the Healing NET Foundation, allowing him to work closely to support NET patient advocacy programs.  For all his efforts, he was honored as a recipient of the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Cancer Award during the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in 2018.

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