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Foundation Recognizes Oncology Professionals for Outstanding Research in Gastrointestinal Cancers

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today announced the recipients of its 2013 Merit Awards in Gastrointestinal Cancers, which honor rising oncology researchers for their contributions to the field. The Foundation will award 25 individuals for their high-quality work in the treatment and management of gastrointestinal cancers.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation is pleased to recognize the 2013 Merit Award recipients for their dedication to conducting essential gastrointestinal cancer research,” said Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, Chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “The work of these researchers is vital for patients living with cancer as it improves the care that they receive and makes it possible for them to spend more time with the people they love.”
The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards are designed to promote clinical research by young oncology scientists. Awardees are selected based on the scientific merit of their abstracts and receive funding to help with travel expenses to attend the Symposium. Recipients will have the opportunity to present their research and interact with other clinical investigators at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, January 24-26.

Recipients of the Merit Awards supported by Shine For Scott, Inc., for research in colorectal cancer are:

  • Chiara Cremolini, MD, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Istituto Toscano Tumori
    Circulating angiogenic factors as predictors of benefit from bevacizumab (bev) beyond progression in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC): Translational analyses from the phase III BEBYP trial.
  • Aalok Kumar, B.ESc., MD, British Columbia Cancer Agency
    Use of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) and outcomes in stage II colon cancer (CC) with versus without poor prognostic features.
  • Van Morris, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Progression-free survival in metastatic, BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer.
  • Andrea Russo, MD, Harvard Radiation Oncology Program
    Mutational analysis of locally advanced rectal cancer and response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation.

Additional Merit Award in Gastrointestinal Cancers recipients and the research they will be presenting are:

  • Sarah Barton, MBChB, FRACP, Auckland District Health Board
    Reporting of subgroup analyses (SGA) in phase III randomized trials in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer.
  • Seth Bellister, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Prediction of prognosis in patients treated with everolimus for extrapancreatic neuroendocrine tumors by a single nucleotide polymorphism in PHLPP2.
  • Young Chae, MD, MPH, MBA, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    The association between statin use and hepatocellular cancer outcome.
  • Michael Chuong, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
    High rates of pathologic complete or near complete response following neoadjuvant chemotherapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.
  • Alexandra Drakaki, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    The role of microRNA-9 in hepatocellular oncogenesis.
  • Luca Faloppi, MD, Scuola di Specializzazione in Oncologia Medica, Università Politecnica delle Marche
    Locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic tumors: Molecular biology may help to know it and to select the optimal treatment.
  • Olusola Faluyi, MRCP, PhD, Princess Margaret Hospital
    MicroRNA polymorphisms and esophageal cancer outcome.
  • Jessica Freilich, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
    Comparative outcomes for 3D conformal versus intensity modulated radiation therapy for esophageal cancer.
  • Jordan Kharofa, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin
    Local control in resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer (PCa) treated with preoperative chemoradiation using IMRT or chemotherapy alone.
  • Nishi Kothari, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    Concordance of KRAS mutation detection between illumina next generation gene sequencing (NGS) and clia-approved, clinical assays in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
  • David Luyimbazi, MD, City of Hope Medical Center
    Conditional survival in gastric cancer: Does race influence prognosis in long-term survivors?
  • Ludmila Martin, MD, The Ohio State University Medical Center
    Treatment-related hypertension (HTN) as a predictive biomarker for clinical outcomes in patients (pts) with advanced pancreas cancer (APCA) treated with bevacizumab (B): A pooled analysis of four prospective clinical trials.
  • Florencia McAllister, MD, The Johns Hopkins University
    TH17 cells promote early pancreatic tumorigenesis.
  • Gerald Prager, MD, Medical University of Vienna
    Predictive value of baseline CD66e/CEA serum levels on efficacy of bevacizumab-based treatment in advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Vaibhav Sahai, MD, MS, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Promotion of gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer cells by three-dimensional collagen I through HMGA2-dependent histone acetyltransferase expression.
  • Vikas Sehdev, PhD, Vanderbilt University
    Regulation of HDM2 E3-ubiquitin ligase in esophageal adenocarcinoma cells by AURKA.
  • John Shen, MD, Moores Cancer Center
    Molecular profiles of appendiceal adenocarcinoma: The UCSD experience.
  • Kazuki Sudo, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Association of trimodality therapy (TMT) with rate of local-regional relapse and rare luminal-only relapse for patients with esophageal and esophagogastric junction (E-EGJ) cancer: Implications for the surveillance strategy.
  • Elizabeth Won, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Phase II study of preoperative chemotherapy plus bevacizumab with early salvage therapy based on FDG-PET response in patients with locally advanced gastric and GEJ adenocarcinoma.
  • Joyce Wong, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
    Prognostic impact of lymph node retrieval and ratio in gastric cancer: A single center U.S. experience.
  • Changho Yoo, MD, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine
    A phase I dose-finding study of vorinostat (V) combined with capecitabine (X) and cisplatin (P) as first-line therapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

These 2013 Merit Awards in Gastrointestinal Cancers are supported by Amgen, Lilly USA, LLC, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.