Neil E. Kay, M.D.
Project Involvement: Clinical Research Core
Neil E. Kay, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a Consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Kay received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba Medical School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology.
Dr. Kay is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and the National Cancer Institute's Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium.
Dr. Kay's primary area of interest is in the biological pathogenesis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and has been working on this aspect for more than 30 years. His work has led to the refinement of CLL prognostic staging indicators using molecular biologic and genetic techniques to more accurately determine individual patient outcomes and promising therapeutic agents to treat the disease. His work, and the work of others, has advanced the ability to counsel CLL patients about their risk of progression. These advances are more relevant to our understanding of the disease and have helped in the development of some unique treatment options. Treatment options arising from this work include, use of epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) a chemical found in green tea which appears to block VEGF from binding and is now in clinical trials for use in early stage CLL; or use of combination chemoimmunotherapy regimens such as pentostatin, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (PCR); or PCR plus other agents such as anti-VEGF antibodies (bevacizumab or revlimid). More recently he and his team at Mayo are working on the development of mimicking the microenvironment in the laboratory setting so as to better study the impact of drugs and other agents on the survival of CLL B-cells. In this way there will be a more realistic approach to determining efficacy of single or combination agents in the treatment of CLL patients.
Dr. Kay is the principal investigator on several clinical trials and research grants focused on this disease. Some of his more recent publications of his work include: "CD49d expression is an independent predictor of overall survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: a prognostic parameter with therapeutic potential." Br J Haematol. 2008; "MBL or CLL: which classification best categorizes the clinical course of patients with an absolute lymphocyte count >or= 5 x 10(9) L(-1) but a B-cell lymphocyte count <5 x 10(9) L(-1)?" Leuk Res. 2008; "Aberrant regulation of pVHL levels by microRNA promotes the HIF/VEGF axis in CLL B-cells." Blood. 2009; "Phase I Trial of Daily Oral Polyphenon E in Patients with Asymptomatic Rai Stage 0 to II Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia." J Clin Oncol. 2009.