News in Brief, December 2023

Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, October 2023
October 19, 2023
Trial Spotlight: A Closer Look at ECOG-ACRIN’s Lung Cancer Studies
December 19, 2023
Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, October 2023
October 19, 2023
Trial Spotlight: A Closer Look at ECOG-ACRIN’s Lung Cancer Studies
December 19, 2023

News in Brief, December 2023

News in Brief

Shaji Kumar Becomes Myeloma Committee Co-Chair

Shaji K. Kumar, MD, is the newly appointed co-chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Myeloma Committee, replacing Sagar Lonial, MD. Dr. Kumar is a professor of medicine, chair of the myeloma group, and chair of research in the Division of Hematology, all at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

A member of ECOG-ACRIN since 2005, Dr. Kumar focuses his research on the development of novel drugs for the treatment of myeloma through well-designed clinical trials. He currently chairs the ongoing trial, EAA181 (EQUATE), which is testing the use of combination therapy in adult patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are not intending to have an early autologous stem cell transplant. He led the previous E1A11 (ENDURANCE) trial and has co-chaired numerous other ECOG-ACRIN studies.

Dr. Kumar received the prestigious ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Award in 2014 for outstanding scientific and administrative contributions to the Group and the broader scientific community. He received his medical degree from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, India, and completed residencies at AIIMS and Mayo Clinic. He also completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Mayo Clinic.

Mei Tang Becomes Community Cancer Committee Co-Chair

Mei Tang, MD, has been appointed co-chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Community Cancer Committee, a new position. Dr. Tang is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC). She received her MD from the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She completed a residency at GBMC and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Maryland Medical System.

Dr. Tang also serves as community co-chair for the ECOG-ACRIN Head and Neck Cancer Committee. She is particularly interested in solid tumors and treats all types of cancer and benign hematological diseases. She actively participates in patient care, clinical research, and medical education. She believes in personalized cancer therapy and works closely with patients and their families to address both healthcare and quality of life.

National Academy of Medicine Elects Jedd Wolchok

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recently announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members, including ECOG-ACRIN Melanoma Committee Chair Jedd D. Wolchok, MD. Dr. Wolchok was elected for his commitment to understanding the role of the immune system in cancer therapy and his work leading several practice-changing trials establishing the use of immune checkpoint blockade for melanoma and other cancers. For example, he was instrumental in the clinical development leading to the approval of ipilimumab for advanced melanoma. He was also recognized for his impactful efforts in defining the mechanistic basis for sensitivity to these therapies.

Dr. Wolchok is the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, where he leads an expansive multidisciplinary research and clinical enterprise.

Michael Pins Retires

After a long career in clinical pathology, Michael R. Pins, MD, has retired. His two most recent positions were clinical pathologist at Aurora Advocate Health in Illinois and chair of pathology at the Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Pins previously held positions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He was a director of the former ECOG Pathology Coordinating Office and Reference Laboratory. After the 2012 merger of ECOG and ACRIN, he actively participated in the ECOG-ACRIN Genitourinary Cancer Committee and Laboratory Science and Pathology Committee.

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Press Program Highlights E4112 Trial Addressing Over-Treatment of DCIS

Personalized diagnostic tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery and a molecular assay can help optimize the use of surgery and radiation therapy in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The latest results from study E4112 address the selective use of breast radiation based on the OncoType DX® Breast DCIS Score. Patients who avoided radiation based on a low-risk Score experienced a low rate of breast cancer recurrence after 5 years (5.1%). At the same time, the patients with a high-risk Score who received radiotherapy had a similar recurrence rate (4.5%), about two-thirds lower than reported in previous trials where patients with high-risk Scores did not receive radiotherapy.

The results were featured on the official press program for the 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Multiple news outlets covered the analysis through interviews with lead author Seema A. Khan, MD (Northwestern University and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center). Among the widest-reaching stories are those in GenomeWeb, Podcast, HealthDay, Cancer Therapy Advisor, OncLive (video), SABCS Highlight, and Patient Power (video).

Investigators Receive ECOG-ACRIN Awards of Distinction

Two presenters from the 2023 Young Investigator Symposium received awards of distinction—an annual tradition. Their names were announced during the General Session of the Fall 2023 Group Meeting.

Fatemeh Ardeshir, MD, MSc (Emory University/Winship Cancer Institute) won the distinction award for translational research for her presentation, Cell Surface Target Discovery Pipeline in Metastatic Thymic Epithelial Tumors.

Andrew Srisuwananukorn, MD (The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center) secured the distinction award for clinical research. His presentation was titled Interpretable Artificial Intelligence Differentiates Prefibrotic Primary Myelofibrosis from Essential Thrombocythemia.

Record Number of Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD Travel Scholarship Awardees Attend the Fall Group Meeting

Sixteen trainees who self-identify with populations historically excluded from medicine attended the Fall 2023 Group Meeting in Washington, DC, thanks to travel scholarships provided by ECOG-ACRIN. These trainees include students, residents, fellows, and early-career investigators from member institutions. The program also includes other trainees focusing on minority health or health disparities regardless of race or ethnicity.

This year, the program was renamed in honor of Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCCP, FRCP, co-chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Health Equity Committee. The honor recognizes Dr. Mitchell for establishing the scholarship program in 2017 and for her longstanding commitment to health equity and cancer research.

Fall Group Meeting Session Recordings

Did you miss the Fall 2023 Group Meeting? If so, you can still catch up on important study updates and training by viewing our library of session recordings. Simply register for the meeting and then visit the Attendee Hub Website to view and stream session recordings on demand.

After you have registered, go to the Attendee Hub Website and log in with the information provided during registration. Navigate to ‘Schedule,’ and then select ‘On Demand’ from the dropdown list. Note: The Attendee Hub Website will expire 90 days following the meeting (late January 2024).

In the coming weeks, we will also post select session recordings and resources from the Fall Group Meeting on the members’ section of the ECOG-ACRIN website. These materials will be available indefinitely to anyone with member login credentials, regardless of meeting attendance.

TMIST Breast Cancer Screening Trial Update

The study chair for this trial is Etta Pisano, MD (American College of Radiology).

Enrollment of women in the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) stands at 95,387 participants as of December 15, 2023 (towards the goal of 128,905). The trial is running in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Peru, South Korea, Italy—and now Thailand.

The trial now has participants in Thailand! Congratulations to Chiang Mai University (Thailand), a new site that has already enrolled three patients. Welcome also to Carle BroMenn Outpatient Center, Carle BroMenn Medical Center, and Northwestern Cancer Center-Valparaiso, the latest sites to activate TMIST. With these new additions, there were 129 active sites during the last quarter. In case you missed it, here is the link to the latest TMIST newsletter for sites.

“We all need a mammogram anyway, so why not do it with a study that allows the scientists to understand more and move closer to finding better treatments and ways of maybe even preventing it?” says TMIST study participant Carol Stovall, PhD in a recent Associated Press article, Breast cancer is deadlier for Black women. A study of mammograms could help close the gap.

Learn more about TMIST on

ASCO 2024 Abstract Submissions Now Open

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is now accepting abstract submissions for the 2024 Annual Meeting through Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST. More information is on the ASCO website. Please notify immediately if you plan to submit an abstract to ASCO.

All draft abstracts using ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) study data must be submitted to by Tuesday, January 23, 2024, including trial-in-progress abstracts and late-breaking abstract placeholders. This deadline is firm and necessary to ensure sufficient time for ECOG-ACRIN to prepare/review the authorship line and for a courtesy review by NCI and industry collaborators, if applicable.

For questions regarding ECOG-ACRIN publication procedures, please contact the ECOG-ACRIN publications team. ECOG-ACRIN publication and authorship guidelines are available on the member section of the ECOG-ACRIN website.

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