June 8, 2007

VICC investigators, research featured at ASCO convention

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(photo by Susan Urmy)

VICC investigators, research featured at ASCO convention

CHICAGO — Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers presented and discussed the latest advances in cancer care, treatment, prevention and survivorship here during the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting June 1-5.

More than 25,000 cancer specialists from around the world gathered for the convention in Chicago's McCormick Place to hear about the latest research for cancers including lung, head and neck, breast, endometrial (uterus) and colorectal cancers.

In addition to teaching and presenting, VICC investigators received two awards.

Pierre Massion, M.D., was awarded the 2007 Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA), a $450,000 grant to continue his lung cancer research evaluating a new approach to the early detection of lung cancer.

Earle Burgess, M.D., was presented with a Young Investigator Award (YIA) to support his research in the lab of VICC interim director Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., studying transcription factors in head and neck cancer.

The award, a one-year, $50,000 grant, is designed to encourage and promote high-quality research in clinical oncology by funding promising investigators during their transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment.

VICC deputy director David Johnson, M.D., a past ASCO president, shared his knowledge on the art of choosing, using and becoming a mentor during Saturday's fellows and junior faculty education session, and educated attendees about lung cancer during a session late Monday discussing molecular prognostic profiles in resected non-small-cell lung cancer.

Saturday morning featured two Vanderbilt experts sharing their expertise with colleagues in education sessions, with Barbara Murphy, M.D., speaking on head and neck cancer and Alan Sandler, M.D., on lung cancer.

Poster discussion sessions highlighted more than 4,000 abstracts of clinical research accepted for the five-day meeting, including the results of a Phase III trial of XELOX vs. FOLFOX4 as a second line treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer from VICC researchers including Mace Rothenberg, M.D.

Bruce Roth, M.D., spoke to more than 400 attendees as an expert on bladder cancer during the “Contemporary Management of Invasive Bladder Cancer” special session, a joint symposium presented by ASCO and the European Society for Medical Oncology.

In the area of lung cancer, Sandler presented a phase II study during Tuesday's poster display/discussion session on cisplatin plus etoposide plus bevacizumab for previously untreated extensive stage small cell lung cancer — a trial of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.