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News in Brief, June 2022

News in Brief

In Our Shoes

By Donna M. Marinucci

Women ASCO attendees in comfortable shoes

Photo by © ASCO/Matt Herp 2022

I recently attended ASCO '22—post two years of COVID-cloistering. Elated to be able to attend the in-person event, when I checked in with my ‘Green Pass,’ a pleasant women behind the registration desk slapped a golden '20-year member flag' at the bottom of my plastic meeting badge. It was then that it struck me—for over 20 years I have been observing the transformation of care and treatment for patients with cancer largely digesting information through ASCO posters and abstracts to better understand these tangibles.

And for the intangibles? I simply looked down at the convention center floor. What I saw were women—literally voting with their feet—no longer having a day of pain and aching arches, blisters and calluses. ASCO once again was providing evidence—this time for the advancement of women—transforming their stilettos into tennis shoes. And while this may not constitute methods and materials required for a landmark abstract—there was definitely practice-changing evidence all around me.

Kudos to those women and men in leadership catalyzing these advancements to ensure change is afoot!

Welcome New Principal Investigators

At its April 14 meeting, the Principal Investigator (PI) Committee voted to accept requests to change the following voting principal investigators:

  • Iowa-Wide Oncology Research Coalition NCORP: Joshua Lukenbill, DO, replaces Robert J. Behrens, MD
  • Michigan Cancer Research Consortium NCORP: Tareq Al Bagdadi, MD, replaces Philip J. Stella, MD
  • Mount Sinai Health System / The Tisch Cancer Institute: Joseph A. Sparano, MD, replaces Lale Kostakoglu Shields, MD, MPH
  • Pacific Cancer Research Consortium NCORP: Charles W. Drescher, MD, replaces Gary E. Goodman, MD
  • Stanford University / Stanford Cancer Institute: Melinda L. Telli, MD, replaces Heather A. Wakelee, MD

View the full voting PI Committee roster at www.ecog-acrin.org.

2022 Paul Carbone, MD Fellowship Awarded

Andrew Srisuwananukorn, MD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), is the recipient of the 2022 Paul Carbone, MD Fellowship Award, a research grant that aims to develop and promote excellence in clinical trials leading to improvements in cancer care. Each year, ECOG-ACRIN names one outstanding senior oncology or hematology research fellow at a member institution to receive this award and associated professional recognition.

Dr. Srisuwananukorn’s project will focus on research to develop deep learning algorithms to diagnose pre-fibrotic primary myelofibrosis and essential thrombocythemia from bone marrow biopsy digital microscopy images. Artificial intelligence may help standardize objective methods to rapidly, accurately, and inexpensively diagnose these two conditions that predict a higher risk for progression to overt myelofibrosis or leukemia.

Minority Trainees Attend Spring Group Meeting

Sixteen underrepresented minority trainees attended the Spring 2022 Group Meeting in Chicago thanks to travel scholarships provided by ECOG-ACRIN. Minority 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. Below, we highlight the recipients.

Support Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine

At the General Session of the Spring 2022 Group Meeting, Nataliya V. Uboha, MD, PhD (University of Wisconsin/UW Carbone Cancer Center), spoke about her efforts to support her native Ukraine during this difficult time. Together with other doctors and volunteers, she works with the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) to collect and send medical supplies to Ukraine. Please consider donating to UMANA today to aid medical relief in Ukraine.

Dr. Uboha is the study chair for EA2183, A Phase III Study of Consolidative Radiotherapy in Patients with Oligometastatic HER2 Negative Esophageal and Gastric Adenocarcinoma, and a member of the ECOG-ACRIN Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee.

ASCO Honors Jedd Wolchok with David Karnofsky Award

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) honored ECOG-ACRIN Melanoma Committee Chair Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), as its 2022 David A. Karnofsky Award and Lecture recipient. Dr. Wolchok is a clinician-scientist exploring innovative immunotherapeutic strategies in translational research and numerous pivotal clinical trials. He was instrumental in the clinical development leading to the approval of ipilimumab for advanced melanoma.

The award is presented annually in the name of David A. Karnofsky, MD, in honor of his outstanding contributions to research in the diagnosis and/or treatment of cancer. Dr. Wolchok delivered a 30-minute lecture on Sunday, June 4 during the Opening Session of the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago and online. Learn more.

Margaret Campbell Wins 2022 Extraordinary Healer® Award

CURE® Media Group recognizes Margaret Campbell, BSN, RN, as the recipient of its 2022 Extraordinary Healer® award, which honors nurses in the cancer community who strive to go above and beyond their call of duty. Campbell is a research nurse at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She was chosen from a group of nearly 100 nominees for her ability to balance patient obligations with the demands of clinical trials. Campbell received the award on April 27, during the 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress. Learn more.

As NCI-MATCH Winds Down, Leaders Take Stock

Recently, ECOG-ACRIN Group Co-Chair Peter O’Dwyer, MD, who also co-leads the NCI-MATCH precision medicine trial, spoke at length with Precision Oncology News reporter Catherine Shaffer. NCI-MATCH is winding down, but researchers are still analyzing data from its many arms and taking notes for the design of future precision oncology trials based on what this pioneering initiative got right and the challenges it faced.

Reminder: Consider Patients for NCI-MATCH Arms H and Z1M

Two treatment arms remain open for patient participation. Arm Z1M is evaluating the immunotherapy combination of relatlimab and nivolumab. It is for patients whose tumors have LAG-3 expression with microsatellite instability (MSI) and have progressed after anti–PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy. Arm H, for patients with BRAF mutations, will assess the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib, both targeted therapies. Learn more.

Oncology Times Features TMIST Breast Cancer Screening Trial

In the current issue, Oncology Times correspondent Amy Gallagher interviews TMIST Study Chair Etta Pisano, MD, and ECOG-ACRIN Health Equity Committee Co-Chair Edith Mitchell, MD, about progress in studying the 3D mammogram’s ability to reduce advanced breast cancers – the kind more likely to kill women. To accurately gauge this, they are asking women of color to participate in the trial. They are also encouraging imaging centers in underserved areas to open the study to ensure broad representation among participants.

TMIST Accrual Passes 71,000

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

The Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) continues to enroll new participants at a robust monthly pace despite the recent surge in the pandemic. Total accrual stands at 71,087 participants among 121 participating sites as of June 21, 2022. TMIST surpassed the halfway mark in March, with Black participation rising above 20%.

Welcome new sites! We are happy to announce four new active sites: Oncosalud S.A.C. in Lima, Peru; Ospedale Ca’ Foncello di Treviso – ULSS 2 Marca Trevigiana, in Treviso, Italy; Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and Kaiser Permanente - Kensington Medical Center in Kensington, MD.

Yet, more sites and participants are needed. “Support for special initiatives to enhance the representation of under-represented populations is available. Therefore, I encourage eligible sites to take part in this uniquely accessible, yet landmark, clinical trial,” says ECOG-ACRIN Group Co-Chair Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD.

Important updates and reminders:

  • Education and recruitment materials are available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Korean, and Vietnamese)
  • Financial burden can be a barrier to TMIST participation, especially for women of color, and can be exacerbated by COVID-19. Therefore, the supplemental trial EAQ201 is assessing COVID-19-related financial hardship and distress in women who decline participation in TMIST.
  • Read the quarterly site newsletter for more updates
  • New sites may join this trial! Visit acr.org/TMIST, read this card, and watch this video. Contact TMIST staff to discuss the study requirements, reimbursement/payment structure, and how to start the application process.

Spring Group Meeting Session Recordings

Did you attend (either in-person or virtually) the Spring 2022 Group Meeting? If so, don’t forget that you may access session resources and view session recordings on the Attendee Hub website for a limited time. Just log in to the Attendee Hub with the information you provided during registration, navigate to ‘Schedule,’ and then select ‘On Demand’ from the dropdown list. The Attendee Hub website will expire 90 days following the meeting (early August). 

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

ECOG-ACRIN in the News

For the latest interviews and feature articles, visit News Stories at ecog-acrin.org.

Research Results

Researchers with ECOG-ACRIN presented a wide range of study results at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago and online June 3-7. Read the feature article in this issue. 

 

 

 

 

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