Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, August/September 2020
September 14, 2020
Blood pressure machine
Now Enrolling: EAQ191 / CARISMA for management of hypertension in patients with metastatic renal cell or thyroid cancer on anti-angiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitors
October 19, 2020

News in Brief, October 2020

News in Brief

In the latest NCI-MATCH news:

  • The Journal of Clinical Oncology has published the results of Arm H. Lead author April K.S. Salama, MD and colleagues report on the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib in a mixed histology cohort of pretreated patients with solid tumors, lymphomas, and multiple myeloma whose tumors harbored a BRAF V600 mutation. Arm H met its primary endpoint with a confirmed objective response rate of 33.3% (90% CI 19.9%, 49.1%), signaling that the combination warrants further investigation. Access the abstract here.
  • A new survey in JCO Precision Oncology reports that physicians who participate in NCI-MATCH perceive value to patient treatment that outweighs the additional effort required. The survey findings help identify barriers that may limit participation and inform the design of future genomic and other profiling studies. Access the abstract here.
  • Don't miss the NCI-MATCH feature story in this issue: Genomic study of 6000 NCI-MATCH cancer patients leads to new clinical trial benchmarks.

Leadership Appointments

The following appointments were recently approved by the Group Co-Chairs and are currently in effect.

Executive Committee

Al B. Benson, III, MD, FACP, FASCO is EA's new Vice-Chair, replacing Joseph A. Sparano, MD.

Dr. Benson is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Director for Cooperative Groups at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Within ECOG-ACRIN, Dr. Benson is currently Chair of the Data Safety Monitoring Committee (Therapeutic), Co-Chair of the Cancer Care Delivery Research Committee, Co-Chair of the NCORP Community Advisory Committee, and the EA Principal Investigator for Northwestern University. He is the former Chair of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee. He is Past President and a current member of the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and a current member of the PrECOG, LLC Board of Managers.

Therapeutic Studies Program

  • Priya Bhosale, MD (The MD Anderson Cancer Center) is the Imaging Chair for the Gynecologic Cancer Working Group, replacing Susanna L. Lee, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital)

  • Ronnie A. Sebro, MD, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) is the first Imaging Chair for the Sarcoma Working Group

Throughout the past year, the leaders of the nine disease-oriented scientific committees and three working groups have been collaborating with the NCORP Advisory Committee and the EA Membership Department to identify individuals to serve as their Community Co-Chair. The following are the latest appointments approved by the Group Co-Chairs.

  • Mitchell I. Edelson, MD (Abington Hospital, an Affiliate of Jefferson Health) is the first Community Co-Chair for the Gynecologic Cancer Working Group

  • Xin Yao, MD (ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center, Appleton, WI) is the Community Co-Chair for the Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee, replacing P.J. Flynn, MD (Minnesota Oncology/Abbott Northwestern Hospital)

View the full list of scientific leaders in the Therapuetic Studies Program at www.ecog-acrin.org.


Welcome New Main Member Institutions

At its October 5th meeting, the Principal Investigator Committee voted to add two institutions with voting privileges to the committee:

  • Reinstatement of the University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute as a Standing Main Member, with Carla I. Falkson, M.B.Ch.B, M.Med, MD as Principal Investigator. Dr. Falkson is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology at the University of Rochester and the Cancer Center, Director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program and Breast Cancer Service Line. She held fellowships at The MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She transitioned to the University of Rochester from the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), where she formerly served as the EA Principal Investigator for UAB.
  • Application of the City of Hope as a Scientific Main member, with Stanley Hamilton, MD as Principal Investigator. City of Hope is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Hamilton is Professor and Chair, City of Hope National Medical Center Department of Pathology. He received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his fellowship, residency, and internship at Johns Hopkins University. He has been active in EA for more than 20 years and currently holds several positions. He is Co-Principal Investigator for the U24 grant for the EA Biospecimen Bank to Support the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN); Deputy Chair, Laboratory Sciences Program; Chair, Laboratory Science and Pathology Committee, Co-Chair, Biomarker Steering Committee; Co-Chair, Immune Strategy Biomarker Sub-Committee; and a current member of the Scientific Planning Committee, Laboratory Science Advisory Committee (LabSAC), Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee, and Nominating Committee.

Welcome New Principal Investigators

Also at its October 5th meeting, the Principal Investigator Committee voted to accept requests to change the following voting principal investigators:

  • Baptist Memorial Health Care / Mid South Minority Underserved NCORP: Philip E. Lammers, MD replaces Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, MD

  • Dartmouth College/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center: Keisuke Shirai, MD replaces Clifford J. Eskey, MD

  • New York University/NYU Cancer Institute: Catherine M. Diefenbach, MD replaces Deidre J. Cohen, MD

  • University of Alabama/UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center: Erica Stringer-Reasor, MD replaces Carla I. Falkson, MD

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

The Southeast Clinical Oncology Research Consortium NCORP is now a Main Member of ECOG-ACRIN, with Judith O. Hopkins, MD, Principal Investigator. With 30+ years of experience, Dr. Hopkins is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine with Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a staff physician with Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Kernersville, NC. She received her medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. No Principal Investigator Committee vote was required to add this site to the EA roster, as its status is non-voting.


Research Recognitions

ECOG-ACRIN Group Co-Chair Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) received the 2020 Potamkin Prize from the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition on October 16, 2020. Dr. Schnall's clinical research on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has led to practice-changing results in breast cancer screening and detection. Most recently, he was part of the landmark ECOG-ACRIN clinical trial EA1141, which examined abbreviated MRI when compared to 3D mammography. Schnall and the team of scientists from around the world reported in JAMA that abbreviated MRI was 2.5 times more effective than 3D mammograms in women with dense breasts and at average risk for developing breast cancer--an extremely significant finding. Read a profile of Dr. Schnall.

The American Association for Cancer Research recognized Matthew Schabath, PhD (Moffitt Cancer Center) for the meeting highlights from its Virtual 13th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Dr. Schabath presented the results of a survey of healthcare providers in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. The survey covered attitudes, knowledge, and practice behaviors about LGBTQ patients with cancer.

The National Cancer Institute has appointed Lakshmi N. Rajdev, MD, MS (Lenox Hill Hospital and the Northwell Health Cancer Institute) as Medical Oncologist on the NCI Late Phase Emphasis Central Institutional Review Board (CIRB (LPE CIRB). Dr. Rajdev is Chair of the EA Esophagogastric Working Group in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee and a member of the Esophagogastric Task Force of the NCI Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee. She also chairs trial EA2165: A Randomized Phase III Study of Nivolumab After Combined Modality Therapy (CMT) in High-Risk Anal Cancer.

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