Internationally Recognized Scientist is the New Chief of Myeloma at Roswell Park

Jens Hillengass, MD, is a clinician and researcher focusing on ways to improve patients’ quality of life
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Highlights: 
Myeloma forms when plasma cells multiply out of control in bone marrow
Dr. Hillengass has more than 15 years of experience in field
He will also serve as a Professor of Oncology at the cancer center

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An internationally recognized scientist, Jens Hillengass, MD, is the new Chief of Myeloma at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to this, Dr. Hillengass served as Deputy Chief of the Section of Multiple Myeloma at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. While he was there, he was responsible for the largest autologous stem-cell transplant program in that country, led the workgroup for hemato-oncological imaging at the German Cancer Research Center, and was an attending physician and associate professor. 

As part of his new role, Dr. Hillengass will continue his research on hematological diseases, including multiple myeloma and its precursor diseases. Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms when a type of white blood cell called plasma cells multiply out of control and crowd out healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. Since the disease can be very painful, Dr. Hillengass has been investigating the effect of physical activity on pain and ways to improve patients’ quality of life. 

A scientist with more than 15 years of experience, Dr. Hillengass is also an expert in diagnostics and treatment of monoclonal plasma-cell disorders, autologous stem-cell transplantation and hemato-oncological imaging. His special interests include early detection and characterization of monoclonal plasma cell disorders, and imaging of bone or bone-marrow involvement in monoclonal plasma-cell diseases.

“I often see patients who are in the advanced stages of their disease, so I work with them to create individualized myeloma treatments and try to make them as comfortable as possible. In terms of research to move the field forward, I think we have a real opportunity to gain significant new insights by utilizing new imaging tools and analyzing the findings with ‘big data’ approaches,” says Dr. Hillengass, who will also serve as Professor of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park.

Dr. Hillengass is board-certified in internal medicine and hematology/oncology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg and went on to complete fellowships in hematology/oncology, at the University hospital of Heidelberg; radiology, at the German Cancer Research Center; and as a visiting researcher at the National Cancer Institute.

He has authored or co-authored more than 115 peer-reviewed publications, and has also been principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous clinical trials.

“We’re very happy to have Dr. Hillengass as the Chief of Myeloma. Dr. Hillengass is a widely respected international expert in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple Myeloma.  He joins us from the University of Heidelberg, where he was the Deputy Chief of the Division of Multiple Myeloma and recipient of the Young Master’s Award from the German Research Foundation. He’s a leader in his field and has extensive experience in hematology and oncology. His skills will help foster new developments and innovative treatments. We’re excited to welcome him to the team at Roswell Park,” says Marc Ernstoff, MD, the Katherine Anne Gioia Chair of Medicine at Roswell Park.

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Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org