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Ajay Dhakal, M.B.B.S.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 487-1700

Fax: (585) 321-1724

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Settings

Cancer, Hospital Medicine


Dr. Ajay Dhakal received his medical degree and completed his internship at Kathmandu Medical College in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2009. Dr. Dhakal then finished his residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York in 2015. He then completed a clinical fellowship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York in 2018.

Dr. Dhakal's special interest is breast cancer. His goal is to help breast cancer patients live longer with a good quality of life. Dr. Dhakal is passionate about conducting clinical research to better understand cancer biology and to discover new ways to treat breast cancer.

In his free time, Dr. Dhakal likes to travel and watch movies.




    MBBS | Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital (Nepal)

    Post-doctoral Training & Residency

    07/01/2015 - 06/30/2018
    Fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

    07/01/2013 - 06/30/2015
    Residency in Internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center

    07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013
    Internship in Internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center

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    2017 - 2018
    Nominated for Gerald L. Logue Memorial Travel Award
    Sponsor: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center,
    Location: Buffalo, NY

    Best Poster, Annual Research Day
    Sponsor: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
    Location: University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

    Resident-Rock Award
    Sponsor: Maimonides Medical Center
    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Dean's List in Basic Science Final Examinations
    Sponsor: Kathmandu Medical College
    Location: Nepal

    2003 - 2009
    Ministry of Education Scholarship
    Sponsor: Kathmandu Medical College
    Location: Nepal

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    Clinical Trials

    (CompassHER2-pCR): Preoperative THP and Postoperative HP in Patients Who Achieve a Pathologic Complete Response

    Lead Researcher: Ajay Dhakal

    This trial studies how well paclitaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab work in eliminating further chemotherapy after surgery in patients with HER2-positive stage II-IIIa breast cancer who have no cancer remaining at surgery (either in the breast or underarm lymph nodes) after pre-operative chemotherapy and HER2-targeted therapy. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as paclitaxel, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are both a form of "targeted therapy" because they work by attaching themselves to specific molecules (receptors) on the surface of tumor cells, known as HER2 receptors. When these drugs attach to HER2 receptors, the signals that tell the cells to grow are blocked and the tumor cell may be marked for destruction by the body's immune system. Giving paclitaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab may enable fewer chemotherapy drugs to be given without compromising patient outcomes compared to the usual treatment.

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    The CompassHER2 Trials (Comprehensive Use of Pathologic Response Assessment to Optimize Therapy in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer) CompassHER2 Residual Disease (RD), a Double-Blinded, Phase III Randomized Trial of T-DM1 Compared With T-DM1 and Tucatinib

    Lead Researcher: Ajay Dhakal

    This phase III trial studies how well trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) and tucatinib work in preventing breast cancer from coming back (relapsing) in patients with high risk, HER2 positive breast cancer. T-DM1 is a monoclonal antibody, called trastuzumab, linked to a chemotherapy drug, called DM1. Trastuzumab is a form of targeted therapy because it attaches to specific molecules (receptors) on the surface of cancer cells, known as HER2 receptors, and delivers DM1 to kill them. Tucatinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. Giving T-DM1 and tucatinib may work better in preventing breast cancer from relapsing in patients with HER2 positive breast cancer compared to T-DM1 alone.

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    MammaPrint, BluePrint, and Full-genome Data Linked With Clinical Data to Evaluate New Gene EXpression Profiles: An Adaptable Registry (FLEX Registry)

    Lead Researcher: Ajay Dhakal

    The FLEX Registry will be implemented to operate as a large-scale, population based, prospective registry. All patients with stage I to III breast cancer who receive MammaPrint® and BluePrint testing on a primary breast tumor are eligible for entry into the FLEX Registry, which is intended to enable additional study arms at low incremental effort and cost. FLEX Registry will utilize an adaptive design, where additional targeted substudies and arms can be added after the initial study is opened.

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    MammaPrint, BluePrint, and Full-genome Data Linked with Clinical Data to Evaluate New Gene EXpression Profiles: An Adaptable Registry (FLEX Registry)

    Lead Researcher: Ajay Dhakal

    The purpose of this registry is to create a large-scale, population-based database. This database will match health information to genome data to identify new gene associations in breast cancer. The study will look at Agendia Breast Cancer tests, including MammaPrint® and BluePrint™, which are tests that help doctors analyze and profile breast cancer tumors.

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    Journal Articles

    Dhakal A, Anders CK. "Screening brain MRI in inflammatory breast cancer: Is it time?" Cancer.. 2022 Dec 1; 128(23):4055-4057. Epub 2022 Oct 10.

    Dhakal A, Van Swearingen AED, O'Regan R, Anders CK. "Systemic Therapy Approaches for Breast Cancer Brain and Leptomeningeal Metastases." Current treatment options in oncology.. 2022 Sep 22; Epub 2022 Sep 22.

    Gupta RK, Roy AM, Gupta A, Takabe K, Dhakal A, Opyrchal M, Kalinski P, Gandhi S. "Systemic Therapy De-Escalation in Early-Stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Dawn of a New Era?" Cancers.. 2022 Apr 7; 14(8)Epub 2022 Apr 07.

    Books & Chapters

    Book Title: Angel's Concise Clinical Methods,
    Author List: Dhakal A, Magar A, Shrestha S, Shrestha R, Palikhey S
    Published By: Makalu Publication House 2006 in Nepal