Researcher Spotlight: Yazeed Sawalha, MD

Cleveland Clinic

Patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma who relapse or have refractory lymphoma that does not respond to treatment still have poorer outcomes, with many of the current available treatments having either limited benefit or significant side effects. Dr. Sawalha’s LCRMP project is testing a combination of three newer novel agents – lenalidomide (Revlimid), umbralisib, and ublituximab – which have shown promise as individual therapies. “The purpose of this clinical trial is to find out whether we can achieve a safe and more effective treatment regimen in this patient population by combining these three drugs together,” Dr. Sawalha says.

Dr. Sawalha received his MD from the University of Jordan and completed a residency at King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan before a residency and fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, where he is currently completing the final year of his fellowship. “I decided to become a clinical investigator focusing on lymphoma after I spent time during my residency and fellowship training taking care of patients with lymphoma,” he says. “I appreciated the need for more effective cancer treatments, and experienced firsthand the joy of enrolling patients with lymphoma on clinical trials and seeing the positive impact of investigational therapies on patients who otherwise had limited treatment options.”

Dr. Sawalha will be joining the lymphoma faculty at The Ohio State University in July 2019, and anticipates that his participation in the LCRMP will help him succeed as he moves into the next stage of his career as a clinical investigator in lymphoma. “It will allow me to expand my knowledge in topics pertinent to the development and conduct of this clinical trial and other future projects. In addition, this program provides me with an invaluable opportunity to connect with esteemed researchers and experts in the field, and develop relationships with new mentors and other scholars,” he notes. “I am very excited to be a part of this great opportunity and hope to be able to deliver cutting edge research and care for our patients.”