Physician Profile

Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS
Chief Surgical Officer
Associate Director for Clinical Science
Surgical Oncologist

I was recruited to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2014 to join an established team of doctors and scientists who have dedicated themselves to finding new treatments and providing the highest quality of care for patients with melanoma and related skin cancers. I have had a long standing interest in using the immune system to fight cancer and am excited about working with the surgeons, medical oncologists, dermatologists, pathologists, radiologists and scientists in New Jersey to provide the most comprehensive care for patients with melanoma and other advanced forms of skin cancer. We know that detecting these cancers early can lead to complete cures and I am working with my colleagues in dermatology to ensure that we are at the forefront of skin cancer screening and prevention. We also know that once these cancers spread they can be very challenging to cure. My personal philosophy is that we need a team to battle the cancer and work with the skin cancer experts at the center along with patients and their families to develop a personal approach that is appropriate for each individual patient.

I did my residency at Boston University and completed two fellowship programs in Surgical Oncology and Tumor Immunology, both at the National Cancer Institute. Following my training I moved to New York City where I established the Columbia University Melanoma Center and established an NIH-funded laboratory in tumor immunology. My clinical practice included patients from both the New York and New Jersey area. In 2009 I moved to Rush University in Chicago to help build a new Cancer Center and established the Rush Melanoma Center where I continued my research into understanding how the immune system can be used to treat melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. In 2014 I was able to return to the New Jersey area and bring my clinical and laboratory experience to the well-known NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center at Rutgers. I am delighted to be back in the region and look forward to helping my patients beat their cancers.

My professional career has provided me with many honors and I have published over 200 scientific papers, books, book chapters and abstracts. In addition to scientific papers, I authored The Melanoma Book as a resource for patients and family members dealing with the diagnosis of melanoma. I have served on the Board of the Melanoma Research Foundation, Society of Melanoma Research and the American Cancer Society Eastern Division. I have also been a member of the Commission on Cancer and was elected President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in 2014. I am a member of several other professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, Society for Surgical Oncology and Society of University Surgeons. I have served on several national review committees for the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health and have been on several editorial boards for medical journals and currently serve as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Immunotherapy Applications.

Clinical Expertise 

Melanoma, Merkel cell cancer, tumor immunotherapy

Honors 
  • Best Doctors, New York, New York Magazine, 2005-2009
  • New York Metropolitan Area Top Doctor, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, 2005-2009
  • Wings of Hope Humanitarian Award, Melanoma Research Foundation, 2008
  • Member, Commission on Cancer, 2008-2015
  • Best Doctors, Chicago, Chicago Magazine, 2010-2014
  • Best Doctor in America, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, 2010-2014
  • President, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, 2014-2016
Contact Information  

To schedule a new patient appointment call 732-235-8515.
For all other inquiries call 732-235-2465.