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Conquer Cancer Foundation Honors 12 Rising Oncology Professionals for Outstanding Research in Gastrointestinal Cancers

For Immediate Release:

November 21, 2013

Media Contact:
Kate Blackburn
Phone: (571) 483-1379

ALEXANDRIA,Va. – The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology announced today the recipients of the 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards in Gastrointestinal Cancers, which honor rising oncology researchers for their contributions to the field. The 12 award recipients will have the opportunity to present their research and interact with other clinical investigators at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium taking place January 16-18 in San Francisco. 

“The high-quality research contributions made by these young scientists will help to improve the lives of people living with gastrointestinal cancers around the world,” said W. Charles Penley, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “The Conquer Cancer Foundation is privileged to recognize these researchers for their dedication to the future of clinical oncology.”

“The high-quality research contributions made by these young scientists will help to improve the lives of people living with gastrointestinal cancers around the world.”

-W. Charles Penley, MD, FASCO

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award recipients are selected based on the scientific merit of their abstracts and receive funding to help with travel expenses to attend the Symposium. This year’s awardees have conducted research in a wide range of areas, including studies focused on circulating tumor cells, genomic indicators of survival, and molecular pathways. 

The 2014 Merit Award in Gastrointestinal Cancers recipients and their abstracts are:

  • Jacob Akeny, MD, University of California, Los Angeles
    Pancreatic circulating tumor cells as a diagnostic adjunct in pancreatic cancer.
    (Abstract 175)

  • Danielle Bischof, MD, University of Toronto
    Open versus minimally invasive management of gastric GIST: An international multi-institutional analysis of short- and long-term outcomes.
    (Abstract 85)

  • Chiara Cremoli, MD, Istituto Toscano Tumori
    Early tumor shrinkage (ETS) and deepness of response (DoR) to predict progression-free, postprogression, and overall survival: Results from the phase III TRIBE trial.
    (Abstract 521)

  • Edward James, MD, Yale School of Medicine
    Interim analysis of a phase II study of dose-modified FOLFIRINOX (mFOLFIRINOX) in locally advanced (LAPC) and metastatic pancreatic cancer (MPC).
    (Abstract 256)

  • Ahmed Katsha, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Role of aurora kinase A on regulating inflammation and inducing NF-κB pathway activation in gastric cancer.
    (Abstract 78)

  • Nishi Kothari, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    Regular aspirin (ASA) use and survival in patients with PIK3CA-mutated metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC).
    (Abstract 386)

  • Rachit Kumar, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Association of ALDH-expressing cancer stem cells with survival in patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with adjuvant chemoradiation.
    (Abstract 262)

  • Eric Mellon, MD, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    Survival benefits of adjuvant radiotherapy and lymph node dissection in pancreatic cancer treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
    (Abstract 263)

  • Eric Morgen, MD, University Health Network
    Genomic determinants of prognosis in esophageal adenocarcinoma: Using computational methods to account for gene-gene interactions.
    (Abstract 42)

  • Renata Peixoto, MD, BC Cancer Agency
    Eligibility of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (MPA) patients for first-line palliative intent nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (NG) versus FOLFIRINOX (FIO).
    (Abstract 259)

  • Frances Sclafani, MD, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
    TP53 predictive value for cetuximab (C) benefit is independent of RAS: Results of the EXPERT-c trial.
    (Abstract 447)

  • Preet Singh, MD, Mayo Clinic
    Association of metformin with reduced mortality in patients with colorectal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
    (Abstract 522)

The Conquer Cancer Foundation is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Grants and Awards Program this year. Learn more about this milestone and how you can join the Foundation’s efforts to support the next 30 years at www.conquercancerfoundation.org.

2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Merit Awards are supported by: the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment; Lilly; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company; and Shine for Scott, Inc.