2021 ASCO Oral Presentation Review: Immunotherapy Resistance in Leiomyosarcoma

Earlier this month POA Chairman Dr. Chadi Nabhan led a webinar with Dr. Roman Groisberg, Director of the Sarcoma Program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ. Dr. Groisberg discussed key findings from the 2021 ASCO Oral Presentation, “Large scale multi-omic analysis suggests mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy in leiomyosarcoma.”  You can view this webinar and the entire Caris library of educational webinars here.


AdventHealth Promotes Medical Leader to Head Seven-County Division in Central Florida

AdventHealth has created a new leadership role and promoted Dr. Neil Finkler to serve as chief clinical officer for the entire Central Florida Division which includes Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties. This is the first time AdventHealth has named a chief clinical officer who will be responsible for the seven-county region. Read more.


Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Again Named a Top Pediatric Cancer Program

U.S. News & World Report has named Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center the top pediatric cancer program in New England and #2 in the nation in its 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s has been recognized as one of the top three pediatric cancer centers in the country each year since the ranking’s inception, earning more #1 rankings than any other program.
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Hanks Receives ASCO Conquer Cancer Award

Duke Cancer Institute physician-scientist Brent Hanks, MD, PhD — associate director of Translational Science for DCI’s Melanoma Disease Group and director of the Hanks Lab — has received the 2021 Conquer Cancer- Bristol-Myers Squibb Advanced Clinical Research Award in Immune Checkpoint Therapy. Read more.


Atrium Health

Winship Researchers Share Latest Advances at ASCO Conference

Researchers and clinicians from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University (Winship) will present new findings at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, taking place online June 4-8. The meeting will highlight top caliber scientific research from oncology thought leaders throughout the world. Read more

Atrium Health

Next-Generation Sequencing in Patient Case Finds Novel Fusion Gene in Pleomorphic Adenoma

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center recently used RNA next-generation sequencing of a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) sample to identify a novel fusion gene indicative of pleomorphic adenoma (PA), a common benign salivary gland tumor. Read more.

Claire and Tom Joyce Make $5 Million Gift to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University to Advance New Medical/Surgical Pavilion and Georgetown Scholars Program

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University today announced a $5 million gift from Claire and Tom Joyce to support the construction of the new Medical/Surgical Pavilion at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP) Necessity Fund Endowment at Georgetown University. Read more.

New High-Tech Hoag Program Recruiting Trials for Breast, Prostate, Bone Marrow Cancers

Cancer cells have secrets. And Dr. Gary Ulaner aims to unlock them. Peering deep into the human body with a clarity traditional scans can’t match, molecular imaging can find tiny cancers that standard scans are blind to. The technology powering this uber-vision also can be harnessed to search out and destroy sneaky cancer cells where they hide — dangling the promise of more individualized and effective cancer treatments in the near future. Read more.

HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center is First Hospital in Arizona to Perform Revolutionary, Minimally Invasive Robotic Lung Biopsy Procedures

HonorHealth, a leading Valley healthcare system serving 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area, announced today that the Scottsdale Shea Medical Center is the first hospital in Arizona to perform a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, with shape sensing technology, which is used to help diagnose lung disease. 
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Dr. Andrew Aplin Named New Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Deputy Director

Andrew E. Aplin, PhD, has been named Deputy Director for Scientific Strategy of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC). Aplin, who is the Associate Director for Basic Research at SKCC and the Kalbach-Newton Professor in Cancer Research, assumed the role on June 1. Read more.

Atrium Health

Levine Cancer Institute Enrolls World’s First Patient in Specialized Lymphoma Clinical Trial

We are pleased to announce that Levine Cancer Institute (LCI) enrolled the first patient in the world in an innovative phase I clinical trial for patients with relapsed or refractory B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Since LCI has a substantial number of patients who are included in this population, the overarching goal in launching the trial is to develop an additional opportunity for patients needing clinical care when previous therapies are no longer effective. Read more.

Prominent Scientist Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Ph.D., to Lead New Cancer Dormancy and Tumor Microenvironment Institute at Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Albert Einstein Cancer Center (AECC), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Montefiore Health System today announced that leading cancer biologist Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Ph.D., has been named founding director of the Cancer Dormancy and Tumor Microenvironment Institute (CDTMI), director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center, and co-leader of the AECC Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program. He will also be an endowed professor of cell biology at Einstein. He will assume his new roles on October 1, 2021. Read more.

New England Cancer Specialists Adopt Deep Lens’ Clinical Trial Matching Solution Viper to Expand Clinical Trial Offering

Deep Lens and New England Cancer Specialists (NECS) today announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration to deploy artificial-intelligence (AI)-based clinical trial matching solution, VIPER, into the NECS network. The Deep Lens’ VIPER platform uses proprietary cloud-based technology to facilitate, triage and accelerate the clinical trial recruitment process. Read more.

Studies show prostate cancer outcomes may depend on where patients live in Pennsylvania

In the first study, investigators analyzed geographical locations such as country of residence at time of diagnosis and risk factors associated with higher mortality rates of prostate cancer. Within the areas studied, they determined that certain regions had higher concentrated cases of prostate cancer than others. 
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$2.7 Million NIH Grant Supports University of North Carolina and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Collaboration in Pancreatic Cancer Research

In the world of cancer therapies, nanoparticles hold great promise for delivering more effective and safer cancer treatment than the standard small molecule drugs that are commonly used today.

William Zamboni, PharmD, PhD, an expert in the pharmacology of nanoparticles at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Sha Chang, PhD, director of medical physics research at UNC, and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, whose work involves understanding the tumor microenvironment, are hoping to fight pancreatic cancer using the combination of a novel type of radiation and nanoparticles. The work is supported by a $2,792,913 grant (1R01CA247652-01A1) from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute. Read more.

Clinical Trial Looks at Novel Chemo Delivery Method

Unlike other pancreatic cancer clinical trials designed to study investigational drugs, TIGeR-PaC is testing a new method of drug delivery. During the procedure, which is called RenovoTAMP™, a catheter is placed into the major artery next to the patient’s tumor. Chemotherapy is then delivered through the arterial wall so it can reach the adjacent tumor using a technology called RenovoCath™. Sutter is the only site in Northern California offering this clinical trial. Read more.

Molecularly Targeted Radiation Therapy Extends Survival for Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer

A new cancer treatment that uses engineered radioactive molecules to target prostate cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth extended survival for patients with advanced prostate cancer, according to newly announced results of the VISION trial. The international phase III clinical trial, which was co-led by Tulane University medical oncologist Dr. Oliver Sartor, is the first to use this approach to demonstrate improvements in survival for prostate cancer patients. Read more.

Connecting with Director Sweasy: Cancer Research is Personal

In June 2019, Joann Sweasy, PhD arrived at the University of Arizona Cancer Center to serve as the associate director for basic sciences. By October that year, Dr. Sweasy was named the center’s interim director. Nine months later, she was named director. It was a whirlwind first year for Dr. Sweasy, but it was nothing like the next 12 months when she carefully guided the University of Arizona Cancer Center through the pandemic. The Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in the state and one of 51 in the country. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the center has continued serving cancer patients with cutting edge cancer care, research and treatment, including the launch of theArizona Clinical Trials Network. Read more.

Precision Medicine Driving Progress in the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers

Molecular profiling in the field of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers is precision medicine at its finest, according to physician-scientist Rachna T. Shroff, MD, MS, chief of GI Medical Oncology at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and member of the ASCO Daily News Expert Panel. It has also become increasingly clear over the years that patient outcomes vary widely based on tumor-specific molecular features, tumor location, and patient characteristics. ASCO Daily News recently spoke with Dr. Shroff about the promise of molecular profiling and novel targeted therapies for patients with GI malignancies. Read more.

UC San Diego Health Offers New Immunotherapy Treatment for Multiple Myeloma Following FDA Approval

Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval, UC San Diego Health is the first designated medical center in San Diego certified to offer a new immunotherapy treatment of multiple myeloma outside of a clinical trial. The new immunotherapy is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, and UC San Diego Health is preparing to treat its first patient this month. 
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Estimated 2,100 New Cases Of Colon Cancer Each Year Among Coloradans

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently lowered its recommended age to begin screening for colon cancer from 50 to 45. It’s the third most common cancer in America, and in Colorado, there are an estimated 2,100 new cases each year. Dr. Chris Lieu, the Associate Director of Clinical Research at the CU Cancer Center, explained the change stems from an increase in the number of colorectal cancer cases among younger people. Read more.

Cancer Center Celebrates 10-Year Milestone

Ten years ago this month, The University of Kansas Cancer Center and Kansas City Cancer Center held a ribbon-tying celebration at the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park. The event marked the beginning of a merger designed to give more patients access to the very best cancer care – and the start of a new era for cancer care in our region. The merger brought together the area’s premier academic medical center and premier network of outpatient cancer care locations. By becoming one team of physicians and staff, The University of Kansas Cancer Center could now provide the latest treatment options, clinical trials and exceptional care to patients across the region, close to home. Read more.

Dr. Jeffrey Miller Awarded $9M NIH/NCI P01 Program Project Grant to Develop Off-The-Shelf NK Cells

Jeffrey Miller, MD, Deputy Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, and his research team have been awarded a $9M National Institutes of Health (NIH) P01 Program Project Grant grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for his program titled “NK cells, their receptors, and cancer therapy.” The focus of the grant is to target Acute Myeloid Leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Ovarian Cancer with natural killer (NK) cells.
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A Break from Chemo: PARP Inhibitor Shrinks Tumors in Pancreatic Cancer Patients with Mutations

More than two-thirds of pancreatic cancer patients harboring genetic mutations saw their tumor stop growing or shrink substantially after being switched from intensive chemotherapy to the PARP inhibitor rucaparib as a maintenance therapy, researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania reported online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The results from the phase II trial at the ACC support the use rucaparib for pancreatic cancer patients with BRCA1BRCA2, and PALB2 variants to help control tumor growth without the aggressive side effects of chemotherapy. Read more.

MCI Research Presented at SGO Annual Meeting

Research conducted at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute was recently presented during the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Virtual Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Nathaniel Jones, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, gave a presentation on eliminating racial disparities in clinical trial enrollment for women with endometrial cancer. Read more.

Caryn Lerman, PhD, Director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Named President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes

Caryn Lerman, PhD, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Keck Medicine of USC, has been named president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). Lerman joined the AACI Board of Directors in 2019 and was elected vice president/president-elect in 2020. Read more.

Investigators Recommend Allo-Transplant for Eligible Patients with Myelofibrosis

Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis , investigators say allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) should be considered a standard of care option for patients with high-risk myelofibrosis, according to a presentation given during the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting. Read more.

Study Finds Dosing Strategy May Affect Immunotherapy Outcomes

Overweight cancer patients receiving immunotherapy treatments live more than twice as long as lighter patients, but only when dosing is weight-based, according to a study by cancer researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The findings, published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, run counter to current practice trends, which favor fixed dosing, in which patients are given the same dose regardless of weight. The study included data on nearly 300 patients with melanoma, lung, kidney, and head and neck cancers over five years. Overweight patients were considered those with a body mass index, which accounts for height and weight, of 25 or more. Read more.

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Yield New Insights Into The Origins of Synovial Sarcoma

A new study published this month in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reports findings that may change the understanding of how synovial sarcoma develops and spreads. The study, headed by Kevin B. Jones, MD, a surgeon-scientist, and Bradley R. Cairns, PhD, cancer researcher and chief academic officer, both at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U), analyzed how a group of protein complexes initiate the cancer and may speed or slow its progression. Read more.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Among First in Country to Offer Radiotherapy That Lets Tumors Guide Treatment

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center will be the first cancer center in the eastern United States, and one of just a handful in the country, to offer the most advanced radiotherapy system for treating patients. The RefleXion™X1 is the world’s first biology-guided radiotherapy (BgRT) machine that’s expected to improve treatment and expand options for patients with metastatic disease, where few treatments are currently available. Read more.

ASCO Oral: Landmark Study Rings in the First Immune-based Therapy for Patients with Resected, High-risk Early-stage Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as an Oral Presentation during its 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, 04 – 08 June, primary results from the phase III IMpower010 global trial show that treatment with an immune checkpoint inhibitor improves disease-free survival in patients with resected, stage II-III, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Demonstrating improved disease-free survival compared to best supportive care, this pivotal trial is the very first phase III study to evidence the efficacy of immunotherapy atezolizumab in this patient population. Administered as adjuvant therapy following surgery and chemotherapy, atezolizumab showed improved disease-free survival in stage II-IIIA randomized patients, with greater benefit observed in the PD-L1-positive subgroup. Read more.

A Monumental Step Forward in the Treatment of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Harboring a KRAS Mutation

A monumental step forward in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring a KRAS mutation, available at Virginia Cancer Specialists: Non-small cell lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States.  According to the American Cancer Society approximately 229,000 new lung cancer cases were diagnosed and 136,000 deaths from the disease occurred in 2020.  This is more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer combined. Read more.

Brain Tumor Center established at Siteman Cancer Center

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital have established the Brain Tumor Center, a multidisciplinary practice of physicians and scientists whose mission is to provide leading-edge, patient-centric care for brain tumor patients while also developing transformative basic, translational and clinical research to develop new therapies and improve patient outcomes. Read more.

Clio Man Chooses the Newest Version of Cancer Radiation Treatment at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center

After over 40 years in the business, Richard Centilli of Clio, Michigan, is normally waiting for this year’s latest car models to hit the showroom floor at the dealership where he works. When he was told that he had to seek treatment for prostate cancer, little did he know the latest muscle machine available to fight cancer was nearby. “I’ve been monitored for prostate cancer for 10 years and every time I took a PSA, [the level] got a little bit worse,” said Richard. “I think it was right around 3 in 2011. In 10 years, it went up. I believe it was 8.6. [My doctor] did three biopsies over the 10 years. Read more.

WVU Cancer Institute

WVU Cancer Institute to Open Center at WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital

Cancer patients in Fayette and Greene counties will no longer have to travel to find the care they need thanks to a new partnership between the WVU Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital to open a cancer center on the second floor of the Annex Building on the Hospital’s campus. “The opening of our new cancer clinic and infusion center makes good on our commitment to bring exceptional cancer care to this community,” David Hess, M.D., CEO of Uniontown Hospital, said. “We are truly blessed to offer the comfort and convenience of specialized cancer treatment right on our hospital campus.” Read more.