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Clinical Expertise

  • Chemotherapy regimen
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Neoplasm metastasis


Kanti R. Rai, MD, is chief of Northwell Health’s Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Research and Treatment Program. Internationally recognized for his expertise in diagnosing and treating leukemia in adults, Dr. Rai is a Joel Finkelstein Cancer Foundation Professor of Medicine and professor of molecular medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, and professor of medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. He has been practicing for more than 50 years.

Dr. Rai went to SMS Medical College in Jaipur, India. An uncle who was a physician was a strong influence on his decision to go into medicine. Having planned to become a pediatrician, he did his residency training in pediatrics, ending at North Shore University Hospital in 1959. He is board certified in pediatrics. During his residency, he treated a 3-year-old girl with leukemia, who died a few months later. “That experience affected me deeply,” Dr. Rai said, “and my mentor guided me to become a fellow in hematology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.” This led him to pursue research in CLL, and to becoming a hematologist, treating adults.

His groundbreaking research led to establishing the Rai clinical staging system for CLL. This was followed by his clinical research in other malignancies of blood including acute myelocytic leukemia in the adult population. Dr. Rai has remained in the forefront of research in CLL. His areas of interest include the natural history of CLL, improving prognostic markers of this disease, and developing newer strategies of therapy that are hypothesis-driven.

The author of more than 100 medical journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Rai is an active member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), and served as its president in 2006; the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); and the American Association for Cancer Research. He is also a member of the International Workshop on CLL (iwCLL), CLL Global Research Foundation, and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (now known as Alliance For Clinical Trials In Oncology) . Dr. Rai is the recipient of ASCO’s David Karnofsky Award (2012), iwCLL’s David Galton Award (2013), and ASH’s Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement (2014).


Northwell Health - Monter Cancer Center : 450 Lakeville Rd, Lake Success, NY 11042, USA

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