Steven Itzkowitz, MD, conducts clinical and translational studies focused on gastrointestinal cancer. Translational studies are exploring the possible impact of the gut microbiome on patients who have primary sclerosing cholangitis, an inflammatory condition of the bile ducts that is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
His team was part of the earliest efforts to develop non-invasive, stool-based tests for the detection of colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps, the latest version of which is now commercially available and included in colon cancer screening guidelines. He served as the national Principal Investigator of a clinical trial to test a stool DNA screening test in patients with IBD who are at high risk of developing colorectal cancer. He is currently leading a multicenter study designed to explore whether patients with IBD who have a history of cancer are at increased risk for recurrent or new cancers by virtue of the medicines they are taking for their IBD.
Dr. Itzkowitz spearheaded community outreach efforts to raise awareness of colon cancer in East Harlem. He and his colleagues have demonstrated the effectiveness of using patient navigators and other system improvements to increase screening colonoscopy rates among minority individuals, and demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of this approach. He served as Co-Chair of the New York Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition, a consortium that demonstrated the feasibility of increasing overall screening rates while also eliminating ethnic disparities in screening colonoscopy across New York City.