Two Karmanos Leaders Named Health Care Heroes

The 2024 list of Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Heroes contains two Karmanos Cancer Institute leaders: Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, and Michael Dominello, D.O.

Advancements in Care Hero

Dr. Pasche, president and CEO of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, was named an Advancements in Care Hero for his co-invention of the Therabionic P1 device. He and his co-inventor, Alexandre Barbault, started studying the use of low-level radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to treat cancer in the early 2000s.

“This is a systemic targeted therapy; it only targets the cancer cells,” Dr. Pasche told Crain’s. “There are no side effects. There’s no drop in blood counts, which is especially important for cancers like liver cancer. We think we’ve got something really special here.”

Boris Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP

The P1 device was FDA-approved in September 2023 to treat advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. By the end of the year, it will be available for patients at Karmanos. In addition, Karmanos researchers and scientists are studying the use of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to treat other solid tumor cancers.

Dr. Pasche is a medical oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal malignancies and hereditary cancer. In addition to his position as president and CEO, he is also Karmanos’ principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Grant, chair of the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine, and a scientific member of the Molecular Therapeutics Research Program.

Read Dr. Pasche’s Health Care Heroes profile here.

Learn more about the P1 device here.

Physician Hero

Dr. Dominello, radiation oncologist, medical director of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, leader of the Neuro-Oncology Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and member of the Breast Cancer MDT at Karmanos, was named a Physician Hero. He has been focused on incorporating and publishing novel treatments and techniques to improve patients’ outcomes, specifically for breast and brain cancer.

One such manuscript that Dr. Dominello authored details an innovative radiation delivery method developed by his team at Karmanos to minimize incidental dose to the heart when treating left-sided breast cancers. This technique is now considered standard practice to keep the radiation dose to the heart at near-zero levels (PMID: 34902636). Also, in the last three years, he has enrolled 25 patients in interventional clinical trials and 193 patients in prospective observational studies with patient-reported outcomes to learn how care teams can better care for patients.

Michael Dominello, D.O.

He's laser-focused on streamlining the patient experience and building a thriving radiosurgery program that puts patients' comfort first. Dr. Dominello was integral in bringing the only out-patient Gamma Knife radiosurgery system to the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Weisberg Cancer Center in Farmington Hills and designing the space for the machine. This machine treats brain tumors and neurological disorders. He and his team continue to study how to improve patient experience and outcomes with this non-invasive procedure, utilizing the most precise stereotactic radiosurgery system.

“The brain is very important real estate, and so selecting the optimal tool to treat that spot, that lesion, that tumor … that is a true advantage in cancer medicine,” Dr. Dominello told Crain’s.

In addition to his above-mentioned positions, Dr. Dominello is a scientific member of the Molecular Imaging Research Program and an associate professor at WSU School of Medicine.

Read Dr. Dominello’s Health Care Heroes profile here.

Learn more about Gamm Knife here.

Congratulations to both Drs. Pasche and Dominello for being recognized as 2024 Health Care Heroes. View the list of honorees here.