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Paul Finger

Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology

Education

1983-1986 — Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Residency Training

Research Summary

I started my research career as a Tulane medical student. Work there led me to co-invented a microwave applicator for intraocular hyperthermia along with Robert Paglione from RCA. Taking this work from bench (Brookhaven National Laboratory and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) to bedside (North Shore – Cornell), I found it could save sight and life.

Subsequent highlights of my innovations include the discovery of palladium-103 plaque therapy for intraocular tumors, topical chemotherapy (Mitomycin and interferon) “eye drops” for conjunctival melanoma as well as new eye and vision sparing radiation methods/devices for cancers located anteriorly in the iris or posteriorly around the optic nerve. In 2007, I first reported anti-VEGF treatment to suppress radiation retinopathy and anterior optic neuropathy. This method is widely used, saving vision around the world.

In terms of new methods of diagnosis, my published research efforts include 3D-ultrasound techniques to reveal previously obscure areas of the eye, optic nerve and orbit. Out of necessity, I established normative high frequency ultrasound measurements for the iris and ciliary body. Other contributions were typically published to support my fellows and residents. We have published on whole-body PET/CT to diagnose and stage ocular melanoma, orbital lymphoma, sebaceous carcinoma, conjunctival melanoma and have evaluated SUV as a biomarker for choroidal melanoma metastasis. In other works, we showed that PET/CT can be used to discover and stage systemic metastasis to the eye, reveal oculosystemic sarcoidosis and evaluate choroidal melanoma response to ophthalmic radiation therapy. Separately, I recognized that using available small gauge aspiration cutter technology would allow for safer, self-sealing, micro-incisional biopsies. This clinical research generated publications on the “Finger Iridectomy Technique (FIT)” as well as the “Finger Aspiration Cutter Technique (FACT)” for orbital tumors. 

Research Interests

Dr. Finger has a particular interest in ophthalmic radiation therapy. As Chair of the Guideline Task Force for Plaque Radiation Therapy for choroidal melanoma and retinoblastoma of the American Brachytherapy Society as well as the clinical director of the TG-129 for the American Brachytherapy Society, Dr. Finger has continued to work on making plaque irradiation safer and more effective. He has pioneered the use of palladium-103 plaque radiation and 3D ultrasound plaque localization as well as both laser photocoagulation and anti-VEGF therapy for radiation retinopathy (and optic neuropathy).

Research Keywords

radiation, ultrasound imaging, anti-VEGF therapy, small incision biopsy

Intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for macular radiation retinopathy: a 10-year study
Finger, Paul T; Chin, Kimberly J; Semenova, Ekaterina A. Intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for macular radiation retinopathy: a 10-year study. European journal of ophthalmology. 2016 Jan -0;26(1):60-66 (1786722)

Microincision, aspiration cutter-assisted multifocal iris biopsy for melanoma
Finger, Paul T; Milman, Tatyana. Microincision, aspiration cutter-assisted multifocal iris biopsy for melanoma. European journal of ophthalmology. 2016 May 21;:0-0 (2279672)

International survey of staging for retinoblastoma provides evidence for the 2016 8th edition AJCC TNMH retinoblastoma cancer staging
Gallie, B L; Mallipatna, A; Finger, P; Zhao, J; Kivela, T; Chantada, G; Lau, W; Ramirez-Ortiz, M A; Catala, J; Yousef, Y; Ushakova, T; Yarovoy, A; Wilson, M; Khetan, V; Walsh, J; Blair, P; Renner, L; Teekappanava, N. International survey of staging for retinoblastoma provides evidence for the 2016 8th edition AJCC TNMH retinoblastoma cancer staging [Meeting Abstract]. Pediatric blood & cancer. 2016 November 2016;Conference:(48th):S21- (2312102)

Conjunctival Lymphoma-An International Multicenter Retrospective Study
Kirkegaard, Marina M; Rasmussen, Peter K; Coupland, Sarah E; Esmaeli, Bita; Finger, Paul T; Graue, Gerardo F; Grossniklaus, Hans E; Honavar, Santosh G; Khong, Jwu J; McKelvie, Penny A; Mulay, Kaustubh; Prause, Jan U; Ralfkiaer, Elisabeth; Sjo, Lene D; Toft, Peter B; Vemuganti, Geeta K; Thuro, Bradley A; Curtin, Jeremy; Heegaard, Steffen. Conjunctival Lymphoma-An International Multicenter Retrospective Study. JAMA ophthalmology. 2016 Apr 1;134(4):406-414 (2045432)

INTRAVITREAL BEVACIZUMAB IN THE MANAGEMENT OF BREAST CANCER IRIS METASTASIS
Seidman, Carly J; Finger, Paul T; Silverman, Joshua S; Oratz, Ruth. INTRAVITREAL BEVACIZUMAB IN THE MANAGEMENT OF BREAST CANCER IRIS METASTASIS. Retinal cases & brief reports. 2016 Feb 9;:?-? (2044842)