Conquer Cancer Recognizes 26 Oncology Researchers for Findings in Gastrointestinal Cancers and Clinical Immuno-Oncology

January 24, 2018

ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the Gastrioinstenital Cancers and Clinical Immuno-Oncology Merit Awards. These awards recognize oncology fellows and trainees’ quality and scientific merit of their research in their respective areas of concentration. This past weekend, 26 young researchers were recognized at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, CA; ten recipients will be recognized at the 2018 Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in San Francisco, CA, this upcoming weekend.

The following individuals were selected for a 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Merit Award:

  • Eric Anderson, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Curative intent surgery and associated overall survival variation between elderly and younger patients in the National Cancer Database. (Abstract 373)

  • Aileen Deng, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Healthcare utilization and costs associated with GI cancers in the United States. (Abstract 361)

  • Pat Gulhati, MD, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

First line gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy for localized pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. (Abstract 369)

  • Andreana Natalie Holowatyj, PhD, University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute

Colorectal tumor patterns among adolescents, emerging adults, and young adults. (Abstract 567)

  • Jaymin Jhaveri, MD, MS, Emory University

Prognostic relevance of human papillomavirus infection in anal squamous cell carcinoma: Analysis of the National Cancer Database. (Abstract 735)

  • Ranjit Joseph, MBBS, University of North Carolina

Expression of immune genes and a signature of PD-1 inhibition resistance in basal-like pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) subtypes. (Abstract 277)

  • Sophia C. Kamran, MD, Harvard University

Genomic evolution and acquired resistance to preoperative chemoradiation therapy (CRT) in rectal cancer. (Abstract 613)

  • Michael Lam, MBBS, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Effect of matched therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer on progression free survival in the phase I setting. (Abstract 619)

  • Sunyoung S. Lee, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Automation of quantifying and mapping of stromal and malignant cells in pancreatic adenocarcinoma using deep learning. (Abstract 266)

  • Alexandra G Lopez-Aguiar, MD, BA, Emory University Winship Cancer Institute

Defining the role of lymphadenectomy for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: An eight institution study of 695 patients from the U.S. Neuroendocrine Tumor Study Group. (Abstract 212)

  • Jonathan M. Loree, MD, British Columbia Cancer Agency

Serial monitoring of ctDNA to highlight mutation profiles in colorectal cancer. (Abstract 641)

  • Paula Marincola Smith, MD, BS, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Impact of insurance status on survival in neuroendocrine tumors: A multi-institutional Study from the U.S. Neuroendocrine Study Group. (Abstract 371)

  • Federica Marmorino, MD, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Pisana

Histopathologic response and growth patterns of colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRCLM) in patients treated with triplets plus bevacizumab (bev) or anti-EGFRs. (Abstract 636)

  • Susan McDuff, MD, PhD, Harvard University

Using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to predict surgical outcome after neoadjuvant chemoradiation for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). (Abstract 272)

  • Sweet Ping Ng, MBBS, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Lymphopenia and outcomes of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma treated with radiotherapy. (Abstract 278)

  • Hayato Omori, MD, Shizuoka General Hospital Cancer Center

Impact of adjuvant chemotherapy with S-1 on survival in patients with type 4 and large type 3 gastric cancer. (Abstract 98)

  • Roheena Z. Panni, MBBS, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Association of preoperative monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio with overall survival after resection of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. (Abstract 216)

  • Allan Andresson Lima Pereira, MD, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Predictors for detecting circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). (Abstract 634)

  • Ari Rosenberg, BS, MD, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1), PD-L1, and overall survival (OS) of patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer. (Abstract 50)

  • Haider Samawi, MD, FRCPC, University of Calgary

A real-world comparison of multi-modality therapies in locally advanced gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancers. (Abstract 96)

  • Daniel Shepshelovich, MD, Princess Margaret Cancer Center

The association of FCGR2A and FCGR3A polymorphisms with outcomes in cetuximab treated metastatic colorectal cancer patients: CCTG and AGITG CO.20 trial analysis. (Abstract 633)

  • Mohamad Bassam Sonbol, MD, Mayo Clinic

Long-term outcomes of liver transplantation (LT) for the treatment of neuroendocrine liver metastases (NELM): The Mayo Clinic experience. (Abstract 355)

  • Nguyen H. Tran, MD, University of Michigan

Integrative whole exome, transcriptome, and clinical profiling of biliary tract cancers (BTCs). (Abstract 279)

  • Pieter Christiaan van der Sluis, MD, PhD, Msc, University Medical Center Utrecht

Robot-assisted minimally invasive thoraco-laparoscopic esophagectomy versus open transthoracic esophagectomy for resectable esophageal cancer: A randomized controlled trial. (Abstract 6)

  • Changqing Xie, MD, PhD, National Institutes of Health

Tremelimumab in combination with microwave ablation in patients with refractory biliary tract cancer (BTC). (Abstract 365)

  • Mohammad Y. Zaidi, MD, MS, Emory University Winship Cancer Institute

Defining the number of lymph nodes needed to accurately stage small bowel neuroendocrine tumors: An 8-institution study from the US neuroendocrine tumor study group. (Abstract 265)


The following individuals were selected for a 2018 Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium Merit Award:

  • Aanika Balaji, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Immune-related adverse events requiring inpatient management: Spectrum of toxicity, treatment, and outcomes. (Abstract 138)

  • Rachel Julie David, MD, Wilmot Cancer Institute, University of Rochester Medical Center

Immunotherapy use, outcomes, and toxicities in gastrointestinal malignancies. (Abstract 100)

  • Michael Edward Devitt, MD, University of Virginia

The effect of chemotherapy on the tumor immune microenvironment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): A single-institution retrospective analysis. (Abstract 155)

  • Sami Ibrahimi, MD, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Effect of body mass index and albumin level on outcomes of patients receiving anti PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. (Abstract 213)

  • Uqba Khan, MD, St. John Hospital and Medical Center

Frequency and prognostic role of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and MMR status in advanced non-colorectal GI malignancies. (Abstract 89)

  • Anuhya Kommalapati, MD, University of South Carolina

Characterization of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients treated with rituximab, brentuximab and ibrutinib: A report from the Southern Oncology Network on Adverse Reactions (SONAR). (Abstract 133)

  • Devarati Mitra, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute

The prognostic significance of PDL1 expression in locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) treated with definitive intent. (Abstract 150)

  • Sarbajit Mukherjee, MD, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 therapy: Do proton pump inhibitors affect the outcome? (Abstract 208)

  • Abdul Rafeh Naqash, MD, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

Survival stratification using a baseline inflammatory physiology based scoring system in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with anti-programmed cell death-1 (anti-PD-1) therapy. (Abstract 152)

  • Jesus Vera Aguilera, MD, Mayo Clinic

A clinical insight into therapeutic sequence in advanced melanoma. (Abstract 186)


The 2018 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards in gastrointestinal cancers and clinical immuno-oncology are supported by AstraZeneca, Friends and Family of Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Beller, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics LLC (an AbbVie Company), Dr. Kathleen Pritchard Medicine Professional Corporation, Lilly, Friends and Family of Dr. James B. Nachman, Frances A. Shepherd, MD, FASCO, Stephen A. Sherwin, MD, and Takeda Oncology.

Click here for more information on the Merit Awards program or instructions on how to apply.