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Hari Deshpande, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Clinical Research Team Leader Sarcoma, Medical Oncology; Director Medical Oncology Inpatient Consult Service, Medical Oncology

Contact Information

Hari Deshpande, MD

Research Summary

I have been involved in clinical trials since joining Yale in 2004. My main interests are in sarcoma, thyroid cancers and cancers of unknown primary. I was named leader of the Sarcoma DART (Disease aligned research team) on January 1st 2022. My current research includes new treatments for thyroid cancers as well as all types of sarcoma. I am fortunate to have been an investigator in over 20 trials of different therapies in Sarcomas, head and neck cancers, thyroid cancers and GU cancers

Extensive Research Description

I have been involved in research at the Yale Cancer Center since 2004. Initially, my practice included patients with GU and head and neck cancers. However, since 2010, I have mainly seen patients with sarcomas, thyroid cancer, and cancers of unknown primary. I was recently named the Disease Aligned Research Team (DART) leader for sarcoma in 2022. Sarcomas are a rare type of cancer. Of the almost 2 million new cases of cancer that we see today, sarcomas account for less than 20,000. Furthermore, they are subdivided not only in bone and soft tissue types, but also into more than 50 subtypes within these categories. This makes learning and understanding the disease more difficult as many clinicians may not see large numbers of these patients. I have been very fortunate to work at Yale which is a referral center for patients with sarcoma. My colleagues in surgical oncology treat soft tissue sarcomas involving the abdominal cavity and other sites, as well as orthopedic oncology surgeons who treat patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities, have national and international reputations that have brought patients to Smilow. This has allowed us to participate in clinical trials as we have the patient population you may be able to take advantage and enroll in studies of new treatment modalities.

My main focus of research is in clinical trials. These have been either investigator initiated, industry sponsored, or cooperative group. I have been fortunate to be able to work with excellent physicians and scientists in other specialties who have helped design innovative studies for our patients. One trial that I was the local principal investigator for, had a larger accrual at Yale than many other larger cancer centers. This involved patients with desmoid tumors, a rare type of soft tissue tumor that can often cause significant morbidity and is relatively unknown to many clinicians. This trial, a cooperative group study involving sorafenib, and another industry sponsored study that was open at Smilow involving nirogecastat, have shown great promise and may give patients options for treatment that do not involve major surgery. Because desmoid tumors and many sarcomas are rare cancers or tumors, these types of clinical trials require cooperation among major cancer centers around the country and around the world. It is a great honor to be involved in this type of collaboration, to work with and hear reports from colleagues in different institutions and have access to potentially new treatment options for our patients. Other rare tumors that we have had trials for include tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT) and PEComas.

Another trial that accrued very well at Yale was one I participated in, in collaboration with my colleagues from endocrine surgery. This helped established a new treatment for medullary thyroid cancer vandetanib.

More recently I've been involved in trials for patients with de- differentiated liposarcoma, myxoid liposarcoma, differentiated thyroid cancer, chondrosarcoma and angiosarcoma. As the DART leader I hope to bring many other clinical trials to Yale, to help patients with both sarcoma and thyroid cancers.

The clinical trials I am involved with change frequently - I encourage interested people to view the Yale Cancer Center Clinical Trials website.

Sarcoma; Cancers of unknown primary; Thyroid cancer


Research Interests

Chondrosarcoma; Leiomyosarcoma; Liposarcoma; Osteosarcoma; Soft Tissue Neoplasms; Sarcoma, Synovial; Thyroid Neoplasms; Neoplasms, Connective and Soft Tissue; Liposarcoma, Myxoid

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Larynx; Lip, Oral Cavity and PharynxA Phase II Randomized Trial of Adjuvant Therapy With Pembrolizumab After Resection of Recurrent/Second Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma With High Risk Features
Unknown SitesPrOspective Non-interventional Study in Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic TRK Fusion Cancer Treated With Larotrectinib
Esophagus; Larynx; Lip, Oral Cavity and PharynxA Phase II/III Randomized Study of Maintenance Nivolumab Versus Observation in Patients With Locally Advanced, Intermediate Risk HPV Positive OPCA
Other SkinA Phase 3, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study to Evaluate Pembrolizumab Versus Placebo as Adjuvant Therapy Following Surgery and Radiation in Participants With High-risk Locally Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (LA cSCC) (KEYNOTE-630)
Bones and Joints; Kidney; Pediatrics; Soft TissuePhase 3 Accelerated BEP: A Randomised Phase 3 Trial of Accelerated Versus Standard BEP Chemotherapy for Patients With Intermediate and Poor-risk Metastatic Germ Cell Tumors
Other Urinary; Urinary BladderPhase II Open Label, Study of IMMU-132 in Metastatic Urothelial Cancer After Failure of Platinum-Based Regimen or Anti-PD-1/ PD-L1 Based Immunotherapy
Bones and Joints; Brain and Nervous System; Leukemia, not otherwise specified; Leukemia, other; Lymphoid LeukemiaNCI-COG Pediatric MATCH (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice) Screening Protocol
Larynx; Lip, Oral Cavity and PharynxSingle-Arm Phase II Trial of Dual Inhibition of EGFR With Afatinib and Cetuximab With Correlative Studies in the Second-Line Treatment of Recurrent or Metastatic Squamous Cell Cancers of the Head and Neck
Larynx; Lip, Oral Cavity and PharynxRadiation Therapy With Cisplatin, Docetaxel, or Cetuximab After Surgery in Treating Patients With Stage III-IV Squamous Cell Head and Neck Cancer