Annual Meeting

AM 2014 Daily News Sunday B

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46B ASCO DAILY NEWS • SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014 YIA Recipient Dr. Jennifer Woyach: ASCO Refl ections, Current Research I n 2011, the Conquer Cancer Founda- tion of the American Society of Clini- cal Oncology presented Jennifer Woy- ach, MD, of The Ohio State University (OSU), with a Young Inves- tigator Award (YIA). The YIA provides re- search funding to promising young physi- cians during the fi nal years of training to support the transition to a faculty appointment and to encourage quality research in clinical oncology. It is funded by the Conquer Cancer Foundation's Grants and Awards Program, which has supported more than 1,000 of the brightest minds in clinical and translational cancer research worldwide. Dr. Woyach's YIA supported her research on using carfi lzomib—a tetrapeptide epoxyketone and a selec- tive proteasome inhibitor—for leu- kemia management, which she con- ducted while under the mentorship of John Byrd, MD, also of OSU. Two years later, Dr. Woyach was able to present the results of her YIA-funded study, "A Phase I Study of Carfi lzomib in Chron- ic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lym- phocytic Lymphoma/Prolymphocytic Leukemia" during the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. Since her YIA, Dr. Woyach has com- pleted her fellowship at OSU and has accepted an assistant professorship there in the Division of Hematology. She has also been appointed to the Leukemia Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and is developing a phase III clinical trial for initial therapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In an interview with ASCO, Dr. Woy- ach discusses her Annual Meeting pre- sentation, how the YIA has helped her career, and what she is working on now. Q What are the results of your study, "A Phase I Study of Carfi lzomib in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/ Prolymphocytic Leukemia"? Dr. Woyach: We found that carfi lzomib is well tolerated in CLL, and we found no maximum tolerated dose in the dos- es examined. Effi cacy at this schedule is modest but appears to be improved with higher doses. Pharmacokinetics are consistent with what has been re- ported previously with this drug in mul- tiple myeloma. Q What was it like presenting your research during the Annual Meeting? Dr. Woyach: I enjoyed presenting at the Annual Meeting because it allowed the opportunity both to present my work and interact with other people in the fi eld with whom I will likely work in the future. Q What was it like working with Dr. Byrd? How did that mentorship further your career? Dr. Woyach: Dr. Byrd has been an ex- cellent mentor during my training and continues to be my mentor now that I am on the faculty at OSU. He has given me the opportunity to work on projects that will defi nitely help my career and hopefully also benefi t the fi eld of CLL. He has also introduced me to other re- searchers in the fi eld and has given me the opportunity to present my research to other leaders in the fi eld of leukemia. He has been an outstanding role model of a laboratory and clinical researcher, clinician, and educator. Q Are you currently working on any other research projects? Dr. Woyach: My research currently is focused on novel therapeutics for CLL, and my laboratory interest is Bruton's ty- rosine kinase (BTK) inhibition and resis- tance to BTK inhibitors. I am working on phase I and II clinical trials with novel agents in CLL, and I am the intergroup chair of a phase III trial examining stan- dard therapy versus ibrutinib or ibruti- nib plus rituximab for older patients with untreated CLL, which is scheduled to open in the next few months. To learn more about the Conquer Can- cer Foundation and to help support the careers of bright young investigators like Dr. Woyach, visit the Conquer Cancer Foundation area near the entrance to the Oncology Professionals Hall. Adapted from ASCO Connection Online August 22, 2013. The John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation, New Supporter of a 2014 Young Investigator Award The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award (YIA) has a 30-year history of successfully launching the careers of oncology leaders by encouraging and pro- moting high-quality research in all aspects of the fi eld. Often this research is in underfunded areas such as palliative care, cancer preven- tion, survivorship, quality of life, rare cancers, and pediatric cancers. Since 1984, the Young Investigator Award program has provided more than $31 million in funding to more than 750 researchers from countries all around the world. These achievements would not have been possible without the generous sup- port from many individuals, corporations, foundations, nonprofi ts, and health care companies. The Conquer Cancer Foundation is very pleased to be working with one of its newest supporters, The John and Eliza- beth Leonard Family Foundation, which is funding a 2014 Young Investigator Award. The Leonard Family Foundation was creat- ed in January 2011 by John E. Leonard, PhD, and Elizabeth S. Leonard to continue their history of charitable and philanthropic giving, with a vision of improving the lives of others by promoting medical research and educa- tion, supporting the health and welfare of the disadvantaged, and promoting environmental awareness. Dr. Leonard is president and CEO, and his wife Elizabeth and their children Mat- thew and Katherine serve on the board. "Our family foundation was formed, in part, to support basic and translational rese arch, and we are delighted to fund a 2014 Young Investigator Award. These awards are impor- tant in sustaining cancer research at a time of constrained federal funding and rising can- cer incidence," said Dr. Leonard in an inter- view with ASCO. Dr. Leonard has more than 30 years of ex- perience in translational research and biotech- nology, having worked in both academia and the private sector. While working at companies such as IDEC, Biogen Idec, and most recently Vaccinex, he helped introduce more than 30 investigational agents into human clinical tri- als to evaluate their safety and effi cacy in the treatment of patients with cancer or with autoimmune disease. In addition, Dr. Leonard is a veteran, having served in the 1991 Gulf War. "We're very grateful to have the support of the Leonard Family Foundation," Conquer Cancer Foundation Chair W. Charles Penley, MD, FASCO, said. "Their support will en- able a young investigator to begin a career in research, hopefully directly resulting in improvements in the care of patients with cancer. These awards come at a critical time in the careers of young researchers and can lead to a lifetime of scientifi c discovery." The recipient of the 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award supported by The Leonard Family Foundation will be recognized at the Conquer Cancer Foun- dation Grants and Awards Ceremony today. To learn more about the YIA, stop by the Donor Lounge in S401 or visit to make a donation to support cancer research. Learn more about The John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation at leonardfamily Dr. Jennifer Woyach such as the Eastern Cooperative On- cology Group and the American Col- lege of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN, @EAOnc) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (@sloan_ kettering), are promoting their clini- cal trials through Twitter, while other organizations, such as ASCO (@ASCO), use Twitter to send general information about the importance of clinical trials. Local institutional review boards may not allow the use of social media as an accrual tool for specifi c clinical trials, but in many cases, physicians can use Twitter or other social media to send hy- perlinks to publicly available sites such as ClinicalTrials.Gov as a way to raise awareness about the availability of clini- cal trials, Dr. Thompson said. "I don't think we need every patient and every clinician to be on Twitter; we just need enough people to amplify the message and make sure it is understood that participation in clinical trials is a standard of care as a guideline recom- mendation from the National Compre- hensive Cancer Network and that par- ticipating in a clinical trial is often the best available therapy a patient can get," Dr. Thompson said. Another challenge in recruitment for clinical trials is overcoming the so-called "Digital Divide," which refers to differ- ences in access to technology among patients, said Robert S. Miller, MD, Can- cer.Net editor in chief and oncology medical information offi cer at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Cen- ter at Johns Hopkins. Although social media is a valuable communication tool, not all patients have readily available access to a computer or smartphone, and some patients may only have access to a smartphone, so sending information that is not optimized for a mobile device may limit their participation. "When we talk about something like advertising a clinical trial on Twitter, we have to understand that there are popu- lations that have varying levels of access to that information," Dr. Miller, who will be speaking in tomorrow's Educa- tion Session, told ASCO Daily News. In trying to address these barri- ers, researchers should consider the potential for using electronic health records (EHRs) and patient portals in concert with other options for educa- tion and recruitment. For example, in the near future, a researcher affi liated with a large health network might be able to use information within the net- work patients' EHR to identify suitable patients for a planned clinical trial, then use the patient portal to commu- nicate to the patients that the charac- teristics of their disease make them eligible to participate in a trial and pro- vide more information, Dr. Miller said. Another possibility would be using the EHR for data mining to identify areas for future research. With any of these new approaches to communication, there is a need for oversight to preserve patient confi den- tiality and to adhere to the principles of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Dr. Miller said. Stan- dards would need to be established to prevent coercion to enroll in a trial, or having patients share too much infor- mation while participating in a study. Social Media in Medicine Continued from page 43B

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