Faculty Profile

Dr. Steven K. Libutti, M.D.

Steven K. Libutti, M.D.

Professor, Department of Surgery

Professor, Department of Genetics

Vice Chair, Department of Surgery

Associate Director for Clinical Services of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Areas of Research: Dr. Libutti’s research includes tumor neovascular formation, the interaction between tumor cells, endothelial cells & components of the tumor microenvironment, and mouse models particularly endocrine & neuroendocrine tumors.

Professional Interests

Dr.Libutti is studying tumor neovascular formation and the interaction between tumor cells, endothelial cells and the components of the tumor microenvironment including fibroblasts and cancer stem cells. The goal of Dr. Libutti's research program is to develop novel cancer therapies through a better understanding of the complex interactions within the tumor microenvironment. The interaction of tumor cells with the vasculature, stromal elements such as fibroblasts and cancer stem cells, is critical for both tumor growth and the spread of tumor cells to distant organs. The process of new vessel development within the tumor is termed angiogenesis and is required for tumors to grow larger than a few millimeters. In order to better understand the relationship between the tumor and its blood supply, their research is focused on the interaction between tumor-derived factors and endothelial cells developing in the context of the tumor microenvironment.  Dr. Libutti's approach to the study of these interactions has been through the utilization of a variety of in vitro and in vivo model systems. His team is using gene expression profiling to understand the changes that occur in cells within the tumor exposed to tumor-derived factors. His laboratory is developing techniques, which allow them to isolate endothelial cells, fibroblasts and cancer stem cells from tumor tissue. This has resulted in their ability to study tumor-derived cells directly, and has led to the observation that tumor associated endothelial cells and stromal cells have epigenetic changes compared to normal cells from the same tissue type. This approach has also allowed them to identify specific genes such as FILIP1L (formerly DOC1), which appear to play a role in the control of endothelial cell responses to angiogenesis inhibitors.

The laboratory has also developed mouse models of human cancers that recapitulate the tumors seen in human conditions. The laboratory is particularily interested in endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors and has developed mouse models of MEN1 and vHL. The tumors that result are similar to those seen in patients with these syndromes and serve as a useful tool for studying biomarkers and target genes. A human biospecimen repository for endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors with over 900 samples has also been developed for correlative studies. Endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors are extremely vascular and therefore serve as an ideal model for studies of tumor angiogenesis and the tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Libutti's team is also using noninvasive imaging techniques, including dynamic MRI and PET, to map changes in tumor blood flow within tumors both in animal models and in patients on clinical trials. A variety of inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis are being actively studied. These include both recombinant proteins derived from naturally occurring substances as well as small molecules designed to act on specific pathways. Various methods of delivering these agents, including targeted gene therapy approaches and the use of tumor targeted nanoparticles are being pursued. Dr. Libutti was the first to administer TNF bound colloidal gold nanoparticles as targeted therapy to cancer patients. The overall goal of Dr. Libutti's work is to translate a better understanding of tumor cell-host cell interactions, within the context of the tumor microenvironment, into better therapies for patients with cancer.

In addition to his laboratory and research interests, Dr. Libutti is an accomplished clinical surgeon. His clinical expertise is in the management of malignancies of the liver, pancreas, and GI tract, and in applying laparoscopic surgery to managing patients with malignancies. In addition, Dr. Libutti is an internationally recognized expert in endocrine surgery and provides surgical consultation and treatment for patients with disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, and for endocrine tumors arising in the pancreas.

Selected Publications

1: Henry L, Helou L, Solomon N, Chang A, Libutti S, Stojadinovic A. Current Practice Patterns Regarding the Conduct of Thyroidectomy and Parathyroidectomy amongst Surgeons - A Survey Study. J Cancer. 2012;3:207-16. Epub 2012 May 12. PubMed PMID: 22606210.

2: Inchauste SM, Lanier BJ, Libutti SK, Phan GQ, Nilubol N, Steinberg SM, Kebebew E, Hughes MS. Rate of Clinically Significant Postoperative Pancreatic Fistula in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. World J Surg. 2012 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22526042.

3: Yavuz S, Simonds WF, Weinstein LS, Collins MT, Kebebew E, Nilubol N, Phan GQ, Libutti SK, Remaley AT, Van Deventer M, Marx SJ. Sleeping Parathyroid Tumor: Rapid Hyperfunction after Removal of the Dominant Tumor. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22508712.

4: Oberstein PE, Remotti H, Saif MW, Libutti SK. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: entering a new era. JOP. 2012 Mar 10;13(2):169-73. PubMed PMID: 22406593.

5: Weisbrod AB, Liewehr DJ, Steinberg SM, Patterson EE, Libutti SK, Marston Linehan W, Nilubol N, Kebebew E. Association of Type O Blood with Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors in Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome. Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22350603.

6: Nilubol N, Weinstein L, Simonds WF, Jensen RT, Phan GQ, Hughes MS, Libutti SK, Marx S, Kebebew E. Preoperative Localizing Studies for Initial Parathyroidectomy in MEN1 Syndrome: Is There Any Benefit? World J Surg. 2012 Jun;36(6):1368-74. PubMed PMID: 22350475.

7: Prasad NB, Kowalski J, Tsai HL, Talbot K, Somervell H, Kouniavsky G, Wang Y, Dackiw AP, Westra WH, Clark DP, Libutti SK, Umbricht CB, Zeiger MA. Three-gene molecular diagnostic model for thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2012 Mar;22(3):275-84. Epub 2012 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 22280184; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3286810.

8: Arciero CA, Shiue ZS, Gates JD, Peoples GE, Dackiw AP, Tufano RP, Libutti SK, Zeiger MA, Stojadinovic A. Preoperative thyroid ultrasound is indicated in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism. J Cancer. 2012;3:1-6. Epub 2011 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 22211139; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3245602.

9: Datrice NM, Langan RC, Ripley RT, Kemp CD, Steinberg SM, Wood BJ, Libutti SK, Fojo T, Schrump DS, Avital I. Operative management for recurrent and metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma. J Surg Oncol. 2012 Jun 1;105(7):709-13. doi: 10.1002/jso.23015. Epub 2011 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 22189845.

10: Wood BJ, Poon RT, Locklin JK, Dreher MR, Ng KK, Eugeni M, Seidel G, Dromi S, Neeman Z, Kolf M, Black CD, Prabhakar R, Libutti SK. Phase I study of heat-deployed liposomal doxorubicin during radiofrequency ablation for hepatic malignancies. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2012 Feb;23(2):248-55.e7. Epub 2011 Dec 16. PubMed PMID: 22178041; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3264789.

11: Kitano M, Millo C, Rahbari R, Herscovitch P, Gesuwan K, Webb RC, Venkatesan AM, Phan GQ, Hughes MS, Libutti SK, Nilubol N, Linehan WM, Kebebew E. Comparison of 6-18F-fluoro-L-DOPA, 18F-2-deoxy-D-glucose, CT, and MRI in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms with von Hippel-Lindau disease. Surgery. 2011 Dec;150(6):1122-8. PubMed PMID: 22136831; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3293369.

12: Webb R, Mathur A, Chang R, Baid S, Nilubol N, Libutti SK, Stratakis CA, Kebebew E. What is the Best Criterion for the Interpretation of Adrenal Vein Sample Results in Patients with Primary Hyperaldosteronism? Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22048631.

13: Burton ER, Gaffar A, Lee SJ, Adeshuko F, Whitney KD, Chung JY, Hewitt SM, Huang GS, Goldberg GL, Libutti SK, Kwon M. Downregulation of Filamin A interacting protein 1-like is associated with promoter methylation and induces an invasive phenotype in ovarian cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2011 Aug;9(8):1126-38. Epub 2011 Jun 21. PubMed PMID: 21693594; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3157597.

14: Spiegel AM, Libutti SK. Targeted therapies: Good news for advanced-stage pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2011 May;8(5):258-9. Epub 2011 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 21448150.

15: Citrin D, Camphausen K, Wood BJ, Quezado M, Denobile J, Pingpank JF, Royal RE, Alexander HR, Seidel G, Steinberg SM, Shuttack Y, Libutti SK. A pilot feasibility study of TNFerade™ biologic with capecitabine and radiation therapy followed by surgical resection for the treatment of rectal cancer. Oncology. 2010;79(5-6):382-8. Epub 2011 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 21447969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3078259.

More Information About Dr. Steven Libutti

Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Montefiore Medical Center
Medical Arts Pavilion
3400 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467

Tel: 718.920.4231
Fax: 718.882.1279

Research Information

Media Coverage

The New York Times interviews Dr. Steven Libutti in an article about Steve Jobs' decision to delay surgery for his pancreatic cancer.

U.S. News & World Report (via HealthDay) features comments by Dr. Steven Libutti regarding the American Society of Clinical Oncology's new policy statement recommending that physicians speak with their patients with advanced cancer about end-of-life choices earlier than is common practice.

More media coverage