The oral history videos in this series are sections of an interview with Dr. Kanti Rai, conducted by Dr. Gerald Marti on May 3, 2010 at the National Institutes of Health. The topics discussed in this interview span his life and career, from his relationships with mentors, colleagues, and the uncle who inspired him to become a doctor, to the clinical studies in which he participated, to the history of iwCLL and his leadership in ASH.
An introduction to Dr. Kanti Rai’s career and experience, this video covers his relationships with early mentors and research experience, focusing on his work on myeloproliferative diseases and participation in the Polycythemia Vera Study Group and Cancer and Leukemia Group B.
In this video, Dr. Kanti Rai discusses the history of CLL clinical treatment, from treatment with chlorambucil and prednisone through the development of treatment with FCR. His discussion includes his participation in various clinical trials, such as the CALGB study of the effectiveness of fludarabine vs. chlorambucil.
Dr. Kanti Rai discusses the historical shift in CLL treatment from palliative care to the pursuit of complete remission and minimal residual disease or conversion to a manageable chronic disease as effective treatments have become available.
Dr. Rai recounts how Dr. Jacques-Louis Binet and he founded the International Workshop on CLL (iwCLL) and how the organization grew, from the first meeting at Pitié Salpêtrière in Paris which Dr. Binet had organized to the 2009 meeting in Barcelona. He mentions many founding members and describes the evolution of leadership within the organization as new researchers and CLL study groups became involved.
Dr. Kanti Rai recounts his positive experience in the American Society of Hematology (ASH), from his introduction to ASH membership, to his tenure on the executive committee, to his election as vice president of ASH and subsequent tenure as vice president, president-elect, and president.
Dr. Kanti Rai talks about his childhood and early career. He begins by discussing his early career in pediatric medicine and how Dr. Arthur Sawitsky guided him to a fellowship in hematology and research with Dr. Eugene Cronkite at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Then, he recounts how his uncle, who was a physician in India, served as his role model and inspired him to pursue medicine.
Dr. Kanti Rai discusses how he met Dr. Nicholas Chiorazzi and they developed their research partnership studying IGHV mutational status and clinical staging. He notes that their model of partnership, which has involved collaboration between laboratory research and clinical practice, has been fruitful for both research and practice, and discusses how this same model developed in the Chronic Lymphocyctic Leukemia Research Consortium (CRC).
Dr. Rai and Dr. Marti discuss treatment for splenomegaly, including the advisability of splenectomy, and how one would develop a clinical trial examining the effects of splenectomy on CLL patients.