Sylvester Physicians and Researchers to Present at ASCO

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Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will be well represented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting June 1- 5 in Chicago, as several physicians and researchers are scheduled to make key presentations.

Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A.

At the Plenary Session on Sunday, June 3, Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., associate director of Global Oncology at Sylvester, will present the abstract on the Phase III KEYNOTE-42 study, comparing the immunotherapy pembrolizumab to platinum-based chemotherapy as first-line therapy in a subset of lung cancer patients.

Following that presentation, Lopes will be a panelist for a post-plenary discussion session on lung cancer. On Friday, June 1, Lopes, who is also associate professor of clinical medicine, will also be chairing an education session on access to new and expensive medications in developing countries.

“Our mission as a cancer center is to engage in research that is practice-changing and leads the nation’s efforts to develop better treatments for cancer patients,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D. “Dr. Lopes’ ASCO plenary presentation describes that kind of meaningful, collaborative clinical research. We are extremely proud of his efforts and those of his colleagues.”

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine.” Jonathan Trent, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of Precision Medicine and professor of medicine at Sylvester, will be speaking at an education session on Sunday, June 3, on the controversies in chemotherapy for localized soft tissue sarcoma. Bat-ami Gordon, director of Precision Medicine will present her poster board on survival of patients treated by a precision oncology approach. Jared Cotta, M.P.H., project coordinator, is presenting a poster on increasing access to genetic sequencing for women and minorities to lift barriers to molecular-driven clinical trials.

At a poster session on immunotherapy, Breelyn Wilky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Sarcoma Program, will talk about a Phase I clinical trial for a monoclonal antibody in advanced solid tumors. She will also present a poster on a Phase II trial of axitinib plus pembrolizumab for soft tissue sarcomas.

On Monday, June 4, Jaime Merchan, M.D., director of Sylvester’s Phase I Clinical Trials Program will present on a study of TOCA 511 and TOCA FC.  This combination therapy uses a retrovirus to infect cancer cells, deliver an engineered suicide gene and activate an immune response against the cancer cells. This study is investigating changes in immune activity in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.

At the Clinical Science Symposium on Targeted Therapy in Leukemia, Justin Watts, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, will present a Phase I dose escalation study of an IDH1 inhibitor in patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. This will take place on Monday, June 4.

In the Global Heath track, Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., medical director of Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, will speak on international quality measures in oncology care during a “Meet the Professor” session on Saturday, June 2.

Outcomes and treatment for patients with non-Hodgkins lymphomas will be the topic during a poster session on June 4, when Juan Carlos Ramos, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine, and Juan Pablo Alderuccio, M.D., a hematologist at Sylvester, discuss their individual poster boards.

Sylvester liver cancer specialist Lynn Feun, M.D., will present a Phase II study of pembrolizumab in advanced unresectable malignant liver tumors during a poster session on Sunday, June 3. In an Education Session on Emerging Therapies in Upper Gastrointestinal Malignancies, A. Craig Lockhart, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Medical Oncology, will speak about current and future aspects of immunotherapy for these tumors.

For physicians and nurses who are unable to attend the conference, the Division of Continuing Medical Education is hosting ASCO Review 2018 Updates & Advances in Cancer Therapy on June 30 at the Conrad Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Lockhart is the course director, and the program co-chair is Raja Mudad, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and medical director of the chemotherapy unit at Sylvester.