Preliminary Program & Confirmed Invited Speakers

Mark B. Faries, MD
The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute A Cedars-Sinai Affiliate, Santa Monica, USA

The Sentinel Node Legacy of Donald Morton: Past, Present and Future

More than two decades ago, Donald L. Morton, MD, proposed that biopsy of sentinel nodes, the lymph nodes closest to a cancer, had a significant role in determining the prognosis and treatment of melanoma patients. In the culmination of a long-term study of more than 2,000 patients, Dr. Morton, Dr. Faries, Robert Elashoff, MD, and their collaborators at other institutions in the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (MSLT) found that biopsy-based management prolongs disease-free survival for all patients and prolongs survival for patients whose melanomas have spread to their sentinel lymph nodes. The results were published in 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine. See also: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1613210
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Catherine Alix-Panabières, PhD
Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Circulating Tumor Cells as Liquid Biopsy in cancer patients: Biology and Clinical Relevance

Dr Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France. In 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research in the Department of Immuno-Virology of the University Medical Centre of Montpellier, France. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment and detection of viable disseminating tumor cells in patients with solid tumors. She is the expert for the EPISPOT technology that is used to detect viable tumor cells in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow of patients with breast, prostate, colon, head & neck cancer and melanoma. This technology has been recently improved to detect functional CTCs at the single cell level and is called EPIDROP. In 2010, she achieved getting a permanent position at the Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier (MCU-PH), a wonderful mixture of giving teaching lessons to medical students on Cancer Biology in combination of developing this field of tumor cell dissemination at the hospital for the cancer patients, leading strongly translational clinical research. As an associate professor, she became the new director of the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) in the Department of Pathology and Onco-Biology. In this unique platform LCCRH, they isolate, detect and characterize circulating tumor cells using combinations of the EPISPOT assay, the CellSearch® system (Silicon Biosystem – Menarini), the CellCollector (GILUPI), the molecular biology (AmpliSpeed device), the Parsortix system (Angle) and the DEPArray (Silicon Biosystem – Menarini) for single cell sorting. She has authored or co-authored >60 scientific publications in this field during the last years including 10 book chapters, she is the inventor of three patents in the liquid biopsy field and she is part of French national projects: for ex, PANTHER (FUI project) as well as of big European projects: CTC-SCAN (Transcan project), CANCER-ID (IMI project), PROLIPSY (Transcan project) and European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA, Marie-Curie project). After she got the Scientific Prize given by the Region Languedoc-Roussillon in 2008, it was a great honor for her to receive the Gallet et Breton Cancer Prize, the highest honor conferred by the French Academy of Medicine in November 2012 and, very recently, the 2017 AACR Award for the most cited scientific article in 2015 (Cayrefourcq et al. Cancer Res). Share this: Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Follow us! Follow us! Get program updates & reminders As session speakers are confirmed, discounts offered, abstract deadline approaching, you will receive an email.
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Miguel Amore, MD
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lymphatics of the Axilla and Groin Based on Caderveric Dissections

Michael Bernas, MS
TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Fort Worth, USA

Imaging of the Lymphatic System in Lymphedema

Michael Bernas is an Associate Scientific Investigator in the Department of Surgery and Director of the Lynphology Laboratories at the University of Arizona. He has broad expertise in both basic and clinical studies of the lymphatic system. Mr. Bernas has particular expertise in animal experimentation including large and small animal operations and cannulations, imaging of small animals and the lymphatic system using multiple modalities, exploring biomarkers suitable for studying lymphatic disorders, and expertise in tissue isolation and analysis.
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Kevin J. Cheung, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA

Signaling pathways controlling cluster-based metastasis

Dr. Cheung is a physician scientist and medical oncologist dedicated to making discoveries in the laboratory to better detect, prevent and treat metastatic breast cancer. Raised in New York, Dr. Cheung graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College (thesis advisor: George Church) and received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College, during which he completed a Howard-Hughes Medical Institute training fellowship (advisor: Jeff Friedman). Dr. Cheung completed an internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by medical oncology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins and a postdoctoral research fellowship in cell biology at the Center for Cell Dynamics (postdoc advisor: Andy Ewald). In July 2015, he joined the faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Cheung is an Assistant Member in the Translational Research Program, Public Health Sciences and Human Biology Divisions. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine at the University of Washington and cares for breast cancer patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
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Melissa B. Davis, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine Englander Institute for Precision Medicine

Cancer heterogeneity based on molecular, cellular, racial and environmental perspectives

Dr Melissa B Davis, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY. Dr. Davis received her PhD at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA, USA) in molecular genetics where she completed groundbreaking work indicating the functional distinctions of steroid hormone transcript/protein isoforms during development. This led to her genomics and systems biology training at Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, CT, USA) where her work on tissue specific hormone receptor function was embedded in the large consortia effort, the modEncode project. Dr. Davis also completed post-doctoral training at the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities at the University of Chicago where she began her current research interest, to identify biological mechanisms of race-related disparities in cancer. The Davis lab has produced findings that establish a unique genetic signature in breast and prostate tumors of African and African American patients highlighting mechanisms of tumor progression that will extend opportunities for precision medicine in minority populations. Her current work builds upon findings in her breast cancer research, where she has identified that the tumor expression of a chemokine receptor (ACKR1) is linked to the tumor-specific immune/inflammatory response. Her work is the first to draw a definitive link between tumor immune cell landscapes and West African Ancestry, in the context of breast cancer, helping identify the drivers of cancer mortality disparities.
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Michael Detmar, MD
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Cancer Metastasis Via the Lymphatic System

Michael Detmar obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 1984. He performed his clinical training in dermatology at the Free University of Berlin where he was appointed Assistant Professor of Dermatology in 1991. He was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School from 1993 to 2005. In 1998, he was appointed as an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. In 2004, he was appointed Professor and Chair of Pharmacogenomics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. His major interests are in the areas of cancer metastasis, vascular biology, inflammation and drug discovery. Major scientific achievements were the discovery of tumor lymphangiogenesis and its impact on metastasis (2001), the discovery of tumor-induced lymph node lymphangiogenesis (2005), and the identification of a major role of lymphatic vessels in organ-to-organ metastasis (2018). He serves as a Section Editor for The Journal of Investigative Dermatology and he is the European Editor of Lymphatic Research and Biology. He has received several scientific awards, including the 2005 Marion B. Sulzberger Memorial Award of the American Academy of Dermatology, the 2007 Rudi Cormane Memorial Lectureship of the European Society for Dermatological Research and an Advanced ERC Grant. In 2013, he was elected as a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Research Foundation. In 2015, he was elected as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He is the author of more than 250 original publications and of several issued patents.
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Christof Fellmann, PhD
UC Berkeley, Berkeley, USA

CRISPR-Cas in diagnosis, drug discovery, and treatment of cancer

Areas of Investigation The recent development of RNA-guided immune systems including CRISPR as programmable tools for genome editing and regulation has spurred a revolution in biology by enabling nearly unlimited genetic manipulation, even in previously difficult contexts such as human cells. This has provided unparalleled insight into mammalian biology and revolutionized medical strategies to treat human disease. Over the last decade, Fellmann’s work has centered on establishing and optimizing RNA‐guided immune systems and applying them to the study of signaling pathways in cancer, with a particular focus on RAS‐mutant tumors. By combining molecular biology and bioengineering, his lab will study the mechanistic interplay between CRISPR‐Cas enzymes and mammalian DNA repair pathways, and use this knowledge to engineer next‐generation approaches for genome manipulation and precision medicine. The team will apply these tools to study the plasticity of cellular signaling networks in RAS‐mutant and TERT promoter-mutant cancer, and build advanced in vivo models of complex human disease, with the ultimate goal of developing innovative therapies for patients Achievements Created a high‐throughput RNAi Sensor assay to assess sequence requirements of efficient microRNA biogenesis Developed an optimized shRNA backbone termed “miR‐E” to boost target knockdown, and a machine learning-based shRNA prediction algorithm called “SplashRNA” Developed combinatorial strategies to target KRAS‐mutant cancer through in‐vivo delivery of nanoparticle siRNA complexes Honors and Awards 2016 NIH Path to Independence Award 2011 Elected Member in the Science Program for Excellence in Science of the Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) 2005 Chairman of the French charter of the Young European Biotech Network
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Bernard A. Fox, PhD
Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center

Utility of multiplex microscopy to study the cancer microenvironment.

Dr. Fox is an internationally recognized leader in immuno-oncology and co-founder and CEO of UbiVac who has spent more than 30 years studying how to use a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Dr. Fox has participated in and led both preclinical and clinical studies of cancer immunotherapy. Building on recent advances in immunology and the Nobel prize-winning science of autophagy, he is utilizing the disruptive innovation of UbiVac’s vaccine technology to advance treatments for patients with many types of cancer. He is also driving UbiVac’s efforts, in collaboration with Janssen Biotech (J&J), to develop vaccines that prevent cancer. Dr. Fox also holds the Harder Family Chair for Cancer Research, at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center and is on faculty at OHSU. His background in translational cancer immunotherapy developed from his tenure as a fellow in Dr. Steven Rosenberg’s lab at the National Cancer Institute. In addition to training a next generation of scientists and physicians, Dr. Fox is the current Chair of the World Immunotherapy Council, a consortium of 22 national and international cancer immunotherapy organizations and a past President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. He has published more than 130 manuscripts and book chapters, served on review committees for the NIH, FDA, philanthropic and governmental organizations in the USA, Europe and Asia, and serves on editorial boards of several scientific journals. Dr. Fox served on the board of directors of NeoPharm from 2004 to 2010, and is currently on the board of directors of the Oregon Bioscience Association. In 2011, Dr. Fox co-founded UbiVac-CMV, to develop cytomegalovirus vectors as vaccines for cancer. Dr. Fox lectures widely and serves on advisory boards for a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In 2015, Dr. Fox received the Visionary/Legacy Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).
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Charles Gawad, MD, PhD
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA

Towards Higher Resolution Precision Oncology with Single Cell Genome Sequencing

Dr. Charles Gawad is a Hematology / Oncology Specialist in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated with honors from University Of Arizona College Of Medicine in 2006. Having more than 12 years of diverse experiences, especially in hematology/oncology and pediatric medicine. His research interests include using single-cell genomics to dissect the roles of intratumor heterogeneity in cancer biology; understanding how pediatric leukemias develop and Genomics technology development for basic science and clinical applications
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Robert J. Gillies, PhD
Chairman, Dept. of Cancer Imaging & Metabolism, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, USA

Radiomics to Predict Metastasis: Life at the Edge

Robert J. Gillies, Ph.D. Professor Gillies is Chairman of the Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism; Vice-chair for research in the Department of Radiology and Scientific Director of the Small Animal Imaging Lab (SAIL) and Image Response Assessment Team (IRAT) shared services at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Prof. Gillies received his PhD in Zoology from University California, Davis in 1979 and did post-doctoral work on in-vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, first at the Bell Labs (Summit, NJ) and then at Yale University. He joined the faculty at Colorado State University as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in 1982. He moved to the University of Arizona as an associate professor with tenure in 1988 to establish a research program in biomedical MR spectroscopy, which over the years grew to include biomedical MRI. While at Arizona, he was director of the Cancer Imaging program and co-founder of the Advanced Research Institute for Biomedical Imaging, ARIBI. He relocated to Moffitt in 2008 as part of a major investment in radiology and imaging research. Prof. Gillies has received numerous local, national and international awards for his teaching and research, including Researcher of the Year 2012 (Moffitt Cancer Center), Furrow award for innovative teaching (U. Arizona), the Yuhas award for radiation oncology research (U. Penn) and the TEFAF professorship (U. Maastricht) a named Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the distinguished Basic Scientist award from the Academy for Molecular Imaging. Dr. Gillies' vision for the Moffitt imaging initiative includes development of new applications to diagnose, predict and monitor therapy response using noninvasive imaging. This work spans a breadth from molecular and chemical work, to animal studies and to human clinical trials and patient care. Dr. Gillies also leads a post-doctoral/resident training program in cancer imaging. His research is focused on functional and molecular imaging of cancer, specifically with an emphasis on the use of imaging to inform evolutionary models of carcinogenesis and response to therapy.
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Jay W. Granzow, MD
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, USA

SURGICAL OPTIONS FOR LYMPHEDEMA TREATMENT

Dr. Granzow is an internationally respected expert in lymphedema and lipedema surgery. Serving as Professor of Plastic Surgery at UCLA, he is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery. He frequently lectures worldwide and publishes in leading medical journals. Dr. Granzow is committed to advancing surgical innovations in lymphedema and lipedema treatment. He created the FLOSM lymphedema treatment system, the first of its kind in the world, incorporating lymphedema surgeries and therapy to successfully target each stage of lymphedema. For lipedema patients, Dr. Granzow’s surgical technique LipisuctionSM, safely and effectively removes pathologic fat while protecting lymphatic pathways.
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Joe W. Gray, PhD
OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, Portland, USA

Personalized Cancer Medicine

Dr. Joe W. Gray, a physicist and an engineer by training, holds positions as Professor and Gordon Moore Endowed Chair, Biomedical Engineering Department Vice Chair; Director, Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB); and Associate Director for Biophysical Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is also Emeritus Professor, University of California, San Francisco; and Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He was a Staff Scientist in the Biomedical Sciences Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1972-1991), Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (1991-2011), and Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences and Life Sciences Division Director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2003-2011). He is Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute / Research Center for Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC), "Measuring, Modeling and Controlling Heterogeneity" (M2CH) that is aimed at developing a systems level understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors work together to enable triple-negative breast cancer to escape therapeutic control in order to devise robust control strategies; PI of a National Institutes of Health program to contribute to further development of the NIH Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures program (LINCS) to develop a dataset and computational strategy to elucidate how microenvironmental signals affect cell intrinsic intracellular transcriptional- and protein-defined molecular networks to generate experimentally durable therapies for patients; PI of a Prospect Creek Foundation study "Serial Measurement of Molecular and Architectural Responses to Therapy" (SMMART) to provide a transformative approach to cancer treatment that focuses on each person who faces cancer to create more effective, durable therapies for treatment of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and leukemia; PI of a Brenden Colson Center for Pancreatic Health project that provides support for a broad-based, team approach to finding causes, early detection and improvement of clinical care for pancreatic diseases including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer; and PI of a Susan G. Komen project to identify the mechanisms by which ERBB2+ breast cancer cells escape inhibition by ERRB2-targeted therapies. Dr. Gray's work is described in over 400 publications and in 80 US patents. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; an elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; a member of the National Institutes of Health, Frederick Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Cancer Institute; a Fellow of the American Association of Cancer Research Academy; and United States Councilor to the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), Hiroshima, Japan
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Dexter Hadley, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco, USA

The Application of Artificial Intelligence to Study Cancer Database.

Dr. Hadley focused on genomics and computational biology during his medical education at Penn. His early work focused identifying genomic risk factors for pediatric neuropsychiatric disease such as autism and ADHD. After completing medical school and a surgical internship, he led a translational bioinformatics team at the Center For Applied Genomics at CHoP where his research contributed to an ongoing precision medicine clinical trial for ADHD. He trained in pathology at Stanford where he mined the open data for biomarkers of severe dengue hemorrhagic fever infection. His research now focuses on digital health to generate, annotate and ultimately reason over big data stores to improve the precision of medicine across the disease spectrum. https://www.hadleylab.org/
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David Haussler, PhD
University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, USA

Cancer Genome Presentation

David Haussler develops new statistical and algorithmic methods to explore the molecular function, evolution, and disease process through the human genome, integrating comparative and high-throughput genomics data to study gene structure, function, and regulation. He is credited with pioneering of hidden Markov models (HMMs), stochastic context-free grammars, and discriminative kernel methods in computational genomics. As a collaborator on the international Human Genome Project, his team posted the first publicly available computational assembly of the human genome sequence on the Internet on July 7, 2000. They subsequently developed the UCSC Genome Browser, a web-based tool that is used extensively in biomedical research. He co-founded the Genome 10K project so science can learn from other vertebrate genomes, co-founded the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Project to enable international comparison of childhood cancer genomes, and is a co-founder and vice-president of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), a coalition of the top research, health care, and disease advocacy organizations that have taken the first steps to standardize and enable secure sharing of genomic and clinical data. Haussler received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of AAAS and AAAI. He has won a number of awards, including the 2015 Dan David Prize in the future category, 2011 Weldon Memorial prize for application of mathematics and statistics to biology, 2009 ASHG Curt Stern Award in Human Genetics, the 2008 Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award from the International Society for Computational Biology, the 2006 Dickson Prize for Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and the 2003 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award in Artificial Intelligence.
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Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD
Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, USA

Targeting the stem cell properties of aggressive cancer cells in heterogeneous tumors

Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix is Shepherd University’s 16th president and is the first graduate to lead the school in its history. Hendrix earned her B.S. from Shepherd in pre-med/biology and her Ph.D. from George Washington University in anatomy/cell biology. She was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the department of anatomy and cell biology. In 1996, Shepherd presented her with the Doctor of Science honorary degree. She became a leading scientist in cancer research, focused on identifying genes that contribute to metastasis -- with a goal of discovering new therapeutic strategies targeting cancer stem cells. Hendrix is currently on the Board of Directors at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, based in California; she chairs the National Disease Research Interchange board, which is funded in part by NIH and is based in Philadelphia; she serves on the Board of Directors for Research!America, based in Washington, D.C., a not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make health research a higher national priority; and she also serves on the Chicago Council for Science and Technology, and the Executive Advisory Board for Northwestern University Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence -- both located in Chicago. Before coming to Shepherd, Hendrix was president and chief scientific officer of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine (2004-2016). Prior to that, she held various positions at the University of Iowa (1996-2004), Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center (1994-1996), and the University of Arizona (1980-1993). Hendrix has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the National Human Genome Research Institute Council, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. She is a Past-President of FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) consisting of over 100,000 members - the largest coalition of biomedical research societies in the United States. She has testified before Congress numerous times in hearings regarding the budgets of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation, and about human embryonic stem cell research. Hendrix has written more than 270 publications on biomedical research and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute, the 2004 Australian Society for Medical Research Lecturer and Medal Recipient for research and advocacy, the 2006 Henry Gray Award by the American Association of Anatomists that recognizes unique and meritorious contributions to the field of anatomical science, the 2008 and 2012 Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Lecturer Award in Japan, the 2012 Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship from the American Association for Cancer Research, the 2014 Vision and Impact Award from the Regional American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, a University of Iowa Award for Excellence and Achievement Among Women, and the Distinguished Woman Faculty Award from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
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Dave S.B. Hoon, PhD
John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, USA

Brain Metastasis and Primary Brain Tumor Progression

Dave S. Hoon, MSc, PhD Director, Molecular Oncology, John Wayne Cancer Institute As the founding Director of the Department of Molecular Oncology, Dr. Hoon continues to pioneer investigations of RNA/genomic/epigenomic biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and predictive assessment of residual tumor cells. He also spearheads investigations of circulating DNA/miRNA biomarkers for staging cancer in patients enrolled in phase II/III clinical trials. He has coauthored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and reviews, primarily related to translational molecular oncology of human solid tumors. Dr. Hoon has served on several review study sections as a permanent member for the National Cancer Institute and was a founding member of NCI’s Cancer Biomarker Study Section. Under Dr. Hoon’s direction the department consists of 22 MD/PhD and research technicians focused on translation molecular oncology. Dr. Hoon has trained more than 60 postdoctoral oncology fellows, who now hold faculty appointments in numerous academic institutions.
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Giorgos C. Karakousis, MD
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Neoadjuvant Therapy for Regionally Localized or Resectable Melanoma

Kevin Kim, MD
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, USA

Targeted Treatment and Immunotherapy of Metastastic Melanoma

Dr. Kevin B. Kim is a medical oncologist. He currently serves as the Medical Director of the Melanoma Clinical Research Program at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, CA. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, and completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN and did a fellowship in hematology/oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He joined the department of Melanoma Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2001. He was an Associate Professor there until his recent move to CPMC. Dr. Kim is a recognized expert in the field of melanoma, and his research has focused on targeted therapy and immunotherapy. His research has helped early clinical development of BRAF inhibitors, such as vemurafenib, dabrafenib, MEK inhibitors, and trametinib, which are now standard of care for patients with BRAF mutated melanoma. His research has also included the clinical investigation of therapy for other mutations, including cKIT and NRAS and also antiangiogenic drugs as well as novel immunotherapy, such as ipilimumab, anti-PD1 antibodies and cancer vaccines. He is also a senior editor for the journal Melanoma Management. Medical School University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, IL, 1995 Residency Training Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 1998 Fellowship Medical Oncology/Hematology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2001 Board Certification American Board of Medical Oncology, 2001 - Current Undergraduate Education University of California at Berkeley, CA, BA in Biochemistry, 1990 Awards Fellowship Research Grant Award, The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1998
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Stanley P. L. Leong, MD
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, USA

Donald M Morton Surgical Oncology Memorial Lecture Introduction

Dr. Leong is board certified in surgery and is a nationally recognized expert in melanoma. He specializes in selective sentinel lymph node dissections, and immunotherapy for patients with advanced melanoma. Dr. Leong has lectured nationally and internationally on new advances in the treatment of malignant melanoma and the use of selective sentinel lymphadenectomy. As Associate Director of CPMC’s Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment, Dr. Leong collaborates with other investigators including Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet on a new integrated research program at CPMCRI aimed at developing novel combination therapies for aggressive and metastatic tumors, including melanomas.
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Amanda Lund, PhD
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA

Lymphatic Vessels and Lymphocyte Trafficking in Melanoma and the Lymphocytic System

The Lund Lab is focused on the role of the lymphatic vasculature in the induction and regulation of immune responses within the skin. Initial studies suggest that the lymphatic vasculature is programmed to be immune suppressive, at least in some contexts, and this suppressive nature functions to facilitate peripheral tolerance. Induction of lymphatic vessel growth during cancer, however, may hijack this suppressive function, consequently driving immune evasion and resistance to therapy. Understanding the mechanisms through which lymphatic vessels influence the tissue-resident immune response and what environmental factors alter this response may aid in the development of new strategies to alleviate immunologically based dermatological conditions from psoriasis and vitiligo to cutaneous malignancies. The Lund Lab conducts interdisciplinary research using a variety of tools to answer these fundamental and translational questions, including in vitro tissue engineered culture systems, spontaneous and inducible murine models of cutaneous malignancy, viral infection models and intravital imaging systems.
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Anthony M. Magliocco, MD
Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, USA

Novel uses of machine learning and analytic microscopy in the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer

Jane L. Messina, MD
Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, USA

Update on Pathology of the Sentinel Lymph Node

After completing residency in anatomic and clinical pathology and a fellowship in dermatopathology, Dr. Messina joined the faculty in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa in 1994, where she practiced for 20 years before moving to Moffitt Cancer Center. She is currently Senior Member in the Departments of Anatomic Pathology and Cutaneous Oncology at Moffitt, section head of Dermatopathology and Professor of Oncologic Sciences, Pathology and Cell Biology, and Dermatology at USF. Her passions include teaching and mentoring of pathology and dermatology residents, as well as 13 dermatopathology fellows to date, and practicing within the busy diagnostic service at Moffitt, which treats >2,000 new melanoma patients annually. She has been director of the dermatopathology fellowship at USF since 2011. She is leader of the pathology core of the Moffitt Skin SPORE grant. Her research interests include pathology of the sentinel node, biomarkers of prognosis in cutaneous melanoma, and etiology and treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma, and she has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
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Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D.
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, USA

Precision Oncology Topic

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, is the Director of Precision Oncology, Director of SMMART trials and holds the Wayne and Julie Drinkward Endowed Chair in Precision Oncology at OHSU. In these roles, he is responsible for the implementation of an integrated program of tumor analysis, decision-making and implementation of novel precision oncology trials. Dr. Mills has published more than 900 papers and holds more than 20 patents. Dr. Mills has served as principal investigator or project investigator on many national peer-reviewed grants including NIH/NCI SPOREs, Stand Up To Cancer, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Komen Foundation grants. His efforts have been recognized in the Komen Foundation’s Brinker Award for Scientific Excellence and the Finneran Family Prize for Translational Research. The majority of Dr. Mills’ trainees have developed successful research careers rising through the ranks to full professor, department chairs, and institute directors. Based on this role, he has been nominated for and awarded multiple mentoring awards, including the Stand Up 2 Cancer Laura Ziskin Prize for Mentoring and the inaugural Waun Ki Hong award for mentorship.
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Saul D. Nathanson, MD
Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, USA
Co-Chair of the Mechanisms of Breast Cancer Metastasis Symposium
Biographical Statement: Dr. Nathanson specializes in breast cancer management, inherited susceptibility to breast cancer, management of melanoma and sarcoma, and research in sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma and breast cancer. He earned his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. His post-graduate training was received at the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand in Surgery and at the Johannesburg General Hospital. Additional training included: the University of California, Center for Health Sciences, Los Angeles in Immunology; the University of California, Los Angeles in Surgical Oncology; and the University of California, Davis in General Surgery. Dr. Nathanson is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist. His main clinical interests are: breast, melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma. He is an international authority on sentinel lymph node biopsy and on the reasons why tumors spread to lymph nodes. Dr. Nathanson loves taking care of patients and feels that it is a privilege to be in this position. He believes that being grateful leads to happiness. Care Philosophy: Surgical oncologists treat unusual tumors and must keep abreast of new directions in the management of tumors. I believe that patients should be treated in a humane way and with all the tools available to modern physicians. Awards and Honors: Consumers Research Council of America (Washington, DC): Americas Top Surgeons: Surgical Oncology, 2004 Consumers Research Council of America, (Washington, DC): America's Top Oncologist, 2005 America's Top Surgeons, 2004-2005 America's Top Cancer Doctors, 2005-2006. Dr. Nathanson has been Top Doctor in Hour Detroit for the past 12 years - breast and surgical oncology. He is in the Top 1% of surgeons and oncologists in the USA (Castle Connolly). He is also a Chair in breast cancer research. He has written and published over 250 papers, book chapters, reviews and has also published one book. He has been awarded NIH grants.
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Kamila Naxerova, PhD
MGH Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, USA

Phylogenetic Origins of Lymph Node Metastasis in Colorectal Cancer: Possible Cancer Metastasis Via the Blood Vascular System

Kamila Naxerova is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She received her B.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology with a specialization in bioinformatics from Heidelberg University in Germany, and her Ph.D. in Human Biology and Translational Medicine from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. She completed her postdoctoral training with Dr. Stephen J. Elledge at Harvard Medical School. She is interested in using computational and high-throughput experimental approaches to elucidate the evolutionary history of human cancer.
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Michael Nishimura, PhD
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, USA

T Cell Repertoire against Cancer Antigens

Nishimura is a nationally recognized leader in the field of immunotherapeutics. He has developed a new treatment involving a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte (or simply T cell). One type of T cell, known as a killer T cell, attaches to and kills cells it recognizes as abnormal. A clinical trial is underway at Loyola of Nishimura’s experimental immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma. A batch of T cells is removed from the patient and genetically modified in the lab. Two genes are inserted into the cells so that they recognize tumor cells as abnormal. The cells then are infused back into the patient. The genetically modified T cells, it's hoped, will recognize the tumor cells as abnormal, and then attack and kill them. Nishimura is program director of Immunologic Therapeutics, associate director of the Oncology Institute and a professor in the Department of Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He is principal investigator of a five-year, $16.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. Nishimura, who lives in Crete, Ill., came to Loyola from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was a professor in the Department of Surgery and scientific director of the Center for Cellular Therapy. Before that, he was an associate professor at the University of Chicago and a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute. He earned his PhD from the University of Maryland, which named him the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences.
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Timothy Padera, PhD
Associate Prof., Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, USA

The role of the lymphatic system in cancer progression

Padera Lab Research: Lymphatic vessels are responsible for draining interstitial fluid from tissues and for transporting immune cells to lymph nodes to maintain the body’s immune surveillance. Thus, lymphatics are important in maintaining both tissue fluid balance and proper function of the immune system. Predictably, disruptions of the lymphatic system lead to lymphedema and the conditions for chronic infections. Lymphatic vessels also facilitate the dissemination of cancer cells from a primary tumor to regional lymph nodes. My research group looks to understand the mechanisms behind the growth, maturation and function of lymphatic vessels and how these mechanisms can contribute to the pathogenesis of lymphedema, chronic infections and cancer dissemination. In order to study the role of the lymphatic system in a variety of disease states, we have developed novel animal models which mimic certain aspects of human disease. Using intravital microscopy, we have investigated the individual steps of lymphatic metastasis. We can monitor the lymphatic vessels in the tumor margin, observe tumor cells moving in lymphatic vessels, measure lymph flow and quantify the number of tumor cells that arrive in the draining lymph node. Our studies have shown that VEGF-C, which is associated with lymphatic metastasis in patients, increases the size of the tumor margin lymphatic vessels, making them more vulnerable to invasion. Our data suggests that VEGF-C needs to be blocked very early in the metastatic process to be able to reduce VEGF-C enhanced lymphatic metastasis. Furthermore, we have shown that VEGFR targeted agents are not effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells that have seeded the lymph node, questioning the ability of these therapies to be used in the adjuvant setting. To further study the growth of metastasis in the lymph node, we have developed a novel model that allows chronic imaging of a tumor draining lymph node. Using our model, we will ask fundamental questions underlying the growth of cancer cells in the lymph node and begin to identify molecular targets for future therapies aimed at eradicating lymphatic metastasis. In addition, we have begun to study the pathogenesis of lymphedema by unraveling the molecular underpinnings of autonomous contraction of collecting lymphatic vessels using a novel animal model. We have shown that the spatial and temporal gradients of nitric oxide, which are disrupted during inflammation, are critical for lymphatics to drive lymph forward. Furthermore, when lymphatic contractions are disrupted, the immune response to a foreign antigen is muted. Thus disruption of lymphatic function has consequences for the overall immune function. We will test whether cancer or bacterial infections invoke similar regulatory dysfunction of lymphatic contraction. This work may lead to new targets to combat lymphedema and infections. Our future studies will continue to dissect the physical and molecular determinants of lymphatic vessel function, lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis. Through the use of our novel imaging technologies and animal models, we will answer timely questions that can lead to the development of treatments for lymphedema, chronic infections and lymphatic metastasis.
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Klaus Pantel, MD, PhD
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Institute of Tumor Biology, Hamburg, Germany

Cancer Micrometastasis and Dormancy

Professor, Dr. Klaus Pantel is the Director of Institute of Tumor Biology, Full Professor (C4) of Medicine, University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg, Germany and Member of the Executive Board of the University Cancer Center Hamburg – Hubertus Wald Tumor Center, as well as the Director of the new Institute of Tumor Biology, Full Professor (C4) of Medicine, University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg, Germany. He is an author of more than 450 publications in cancer research journal. He won the 2011 Award of the Breast Cancer Survivor Group “mamazone”, Augsburg, Germany. In 2010 he was awarded the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research and in 2011, the ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Investigators Grant. He has also been awarded the German Cancer Award in 2010 (Translational Area), from the German Cancer Society. He is the scientific coordinator of the following ongoing projects: EU Innovative Medicines Joint Undertaking (IMI JU) Call “Cancer treatment and monitoring through identification of circulating tumour cells and tumour related nucleic acids in blood”, 37 European partners TRANSCAN-2 ERA-Net PROLIPSY 06/2018 – 05/2021, EU/BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) “Early Detection of Prostate Cancer by Liqued Biopsies”, 5 European partners ELBA – European Liquid Biopsies Academy – Marie-Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) (Pantel vice scientific coordinatior), 02/2018 – 03/2022 – At the Institute of Tumor Biology, 2 Early Stage Previously he was scientific coordinator of the TRANSCAN ERA-Network CTC-SCAN 06/2013 – 05/2016, 36 calendar months,. EU/BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), “Circulating Tumor Cells as Biomarker for Minimal Residual Disease in Prostate Cancer”, 6 European partners.
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Alexander Pissas, MD
Bagnols sur Ceze, Montpellier, France

The Lymphatic Drainage of the Stomach and the Pancreas: Study on Cadavers and on the Living

Merrick I. Ross, MD
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston USA

Should a Completion Lymph Node Dissection be Done Following a Positive Melanoma Sentinel Node Biopsy?

Merrick I. Ross, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Melanoma Section and the Charles M. McBride Distinguished Professorship in Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgical Oncology, within the Division of Surgery at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ross received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, and completed a general surgical residency at the University of Illinois Affiliated Hospitals. Additional postdoctoral training includes a Research Fellowship at the Scripps Clinic and Research Institute, in La Jolla, California, as well as a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ross is the principal investigator for numerous ongoing clinical trials. These trials include studies on interferon alfa-2b and vaccines in resected high-risk primary and regionally metastatic melanoma, intraoperative lymphatic mapping to identify the sentinel lymph node in patients with melanoma and breast cancer, hyperthermic regional limb perfusion with melphalan in patients with satellite and/or intransit metastatic melanoma of the extremity as well as others that deal with melanoma and breast cancers. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Ross is a member of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group for Clinical Trials for melanoma and breast cancer, a member of the Research Steering Committee of the United States Intergroup Melanoma Trials Organization and a member of the Melanoma Research Program Section of the World Health Organization. He is also an active member of various local and national medical organizations. A frequent contributor to the medical press, Dr. Ross has published an impressive number of articles, book chapters, and abstracts. His most recent publishing’s include chapters in Cutaneous Melanoma and articles on sentinel lymph node biopsy in melanoma published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Surgery, Annals of Surgery and the Annals of Surgical Oncology just to name a few. Share this: Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Follow us! Follow us! Get program updates & reminders As session speakers are confirmed, discounts offered, abstract deadline approaching, you will receive an email.
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Sukamal Saha, MD
Easton Hospital, Easton, USA

Sentinel Lymph Node Surgery for Upper GI

Jonathan P. Sleeman, PhD
Professor, Heidelberg University, Germany

Matrix-assisted autocrine signaling in melanoma as a therapeutic target

It is rare for a cancer patient to die from the effects of their initial tumor, and the metastatic spread of tumor cells that is ultimately responsible for the vast majority of cancer deaths. Understanding the cell and molecular biology of invasion and metastasis and the genetic changes that drive these processes represents one of the last great frontiers of exploratory cancer research. Therapies directed against metastatic cells hold the promise of clearing the body of tumor cells and curing the patient. The global aim of our work is to understand tumor metastasis at the cellular and molecular levels, and to apply this and other knowledge to the treatment of human cancer. One focus of our research in this area is to understand the degree to which the dissemination of tumor cells via the lymphatic system contributes to metastasis formation in vital organs. Major research questions include: How do primary tumors interact with and regulate the local lymphatic microvasculature during metastatic progression? Do regional and local effects of pro-lymphangiogenic growth factors have effects beyond the primary tumor that contribute to metastasis formation? What is the relative importance to metastasis formation of dissemination via the lymphatic system compared to dissemination via the blood circulatory system? What genetic changes in tumor cells promote dissemination via the lymphatic system? Do novel therapies that inhibit tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis have potential clinical application for suppressing metastasis and increasing patient survival?
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Betty Smoot, PT, DPTSc
Professor, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

ADJUNCTIVE CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT FOR LYMPHEDEMA

Betty Smoot, PT, DPTSc, MAS, is Associate Professor at UCSF with appointments in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and the Department of Anatomy. She is a licensed physical therapist with certifications in lymphedema therapy and in exercise training for people with cancer. Dr. Smoot earned her entry-level Physical Therapy degree in 1983, her Doctorate in Physical Therapy Science in 2009, and her Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research in 2015, from UCSF. Dr. Smoot's research encompasses two related areas: 1) The effects of breast cancer treatment on physical function and 2) the assessment and treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema. Dr. Smoot received a NIH/UCSF K12 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) research award and a Foundation for Physical Therapy Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant to study breast cancer-related lymphedema. Dr. Smoot is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, American Association of Anatomists, American College of Sports Medicine, International Association of Lymphologists, and the National Lymphedema Network. Dr. Smoot is on the Medical Advisory Board for Sunflower Wellness, a nonprofit San Francisco based corporation that provides exercise program design, exercise classes, and resources to people living with cancer, and training for fitness professionals. Dr. Smoot and colleague Dr. Jeannette Lee teach "Strength After Breast Cancer," an exercise series for women at risk for or with breast cancer-related lymphedema and have created several online patient resources for the UCSF Lymphedema Education and Prevention Program. Dr. Smoot teaches Human Anatomy to Physical Therapy and Medical Students, and Research Design and Evidence Based Practice to Physical Therapy students in the doctoral program.
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Paula J.B. Stewart, MD, MS, CLT-LANA
Siskin Physician Rehab Group, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

TREATMENT & INCIDENCE OF CANCER RELATED LYMPHEDEMA

Melody Swartz, PhD
University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

The Yin and Yang of Tumor-Associated Lymphatics in Metastasis and Immunotherapy

Swartz's research focuses on how lymphatic vessels, and their transport functions, contribute to adaptive immunity. Biomedical scientists currently regard the fluid-drainage function of the lymphatic system as mostly important for maintaining tissue fluid balance. The cell transport functions, which regulate immunity, are considered separately. She is trying to build a new picture of the lymphatic function -- namely, that not only are fluid and cell transport functions of the lymphatic vessels strongly coupled, but that the fluid transport functions are very important in regulating immune responses. Swartz's team also is trying to target lymphatic vessels for improved cancer immunotherapy because this is one aspect of the tumor microenvironment that seems to contribute to therapeutic failure.
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Swartz LabView Research Papers on PubMed
Saskia R.J. Thiadens, RN
California Pacific Medical Center Cancer Center, San Francisco, USA

Secondary Lymphedema from Cancer Therapy, Introduction, and Co-Cair of the Lymphedema Patient Summit

Saskia Thiadens is RN Coordinator Lymphedema Services at California Pacific Medical Center Cancer Center. Saskia’s most impactful contributions include opening the first lymphedema clinic in the United States in 1987; founding the National Lymphedema Network (NLN) in 1988, and servicing as its President and Executive Director for more than 27 years; organizing 12 International Lymphedema Conferences; and establishing Lymphedema Awareness Day which is now recognized globally as World Lymphedema Day. Saskia’s boundless energy and extraordinary leadership has profoundly impacted patients and professionals alike and her influence will be felt for generations to come.
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Alexander C.J. van Akkooi, MD, PhD
Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL)

Spectrum of Micrometastasis in Melanoma Sentinel Lymph Nodes

Board Certified Surgical Oncologist, specialized in Melanoma and Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Started working as Staff Surgeon at Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL) from the 1st of January 2015. Obtained my PhD (cum laude) on the topic of "Sentinel Node (SN) Tumor Load Assessment in Melanoma: Dilemmas and Clinical Management" on January 19th 2011. Secretary of the EORTC Melanoma Group per 1-1-2015, Early Career Oncologist Member of EORTC Board per 01-2016. Principal Investigator of the EORTC 1208 (Minitub study). National coordinator of the EORTC 1325 - Keynote 054 (Adjuvant Pembrolizumab vs. Placebo) Study. Scientific interest mainly now in neo-adjuvant and adjuvant studies for stage III Melanoma (i.e. sub-investigator of OPACIN, OPACIN-NEO and REDUCTOR studies). Also very much involved in setting up and improving ILP and T-VEC programs. Keywords: Melanoma, Sarcoma, Sentinel Node, SN, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, SLNB, Sentinel Node Procedure, SNP, Sentinel Node Biopsy, SNB, Tumor Burden, Lymph Node Dissection (LND), Completion Lymph Node Dissection (CLND), Surgical Oncology
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Danny R. Welch, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, USA

Mitochondrial polymorphisms as contributors to metastasis

More than 90% of the morbidity and mortality associated with cancer is directly or indirectly due to metastasis - the spread of tumor cells to distant organs where they establish secondary colonies. Metastasis is the ultimate step in a tumor cell's progression toward autonomy from the host. Our goal is to determine the mechanisms by which tumor cells acquire the ability to metastasize. Two genetic changes have been discovered: turning on "metastasis promoters" and turning off "metastasis suppressors". Our laboratory has focused on metastasis suppressors and we have cloned six of them KISS1, BRMS1, TXNIP, CRSP3 and two microRNA. When metastatic cancer cells are engineered to re-express metastasis suppressors, metastasis is suppressed without blocking tumor formation. The current focus of the lab is to understand the mechanisms by which these molecules block metastasis. Based upon differential growth of tumor cells at orthotopic sites (i.e., mammary fat pad for breast cancers; intradermal for melanoma, etc.) compared to the sites of metastatic colonization, it is clear that metastasis suppressors alter how tumor cells interact with the surrounding microenvironment. They can do this at multiple cellular levels. BRMS1 (breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1) acts at the level of gene transcription by contributing to chromatin structure. BRMS1 interacts with members of several histone deacetylase complexes to affect cellular communication via the phosphoinositide, Akt and NfkappaB signaling pathways. BRMS1 also selectively regulates expression of several microRNA. Similarly, CRSP3 and TXNIP participate in transcriptional regulation of metastasis-associated genes. KISS1 was discovered in melanomas, but has subsequently been implicated in breast cancer. The mechanism of by which KISS1 suppresses metastasis is unusual - cells expressing KISS1 complete all of the early steps of the metastatic process, but fail to colonize tissues once they have seeded them. This finding opens a new avenue for anti-metastatic therapies, a new and exciting direction of research in our lab. Current projects include: understanding how KISS1 causes dormancy in a paracrine manner; defining the processing of nascent KISS1 protein into active polypeptides (termed kisspeptins); characterizing how KISS1 reverts cancer cell metabolism to a more normal state (i.e., reverses the so-called Warburg Effect); and disco very of KISS1/kisspeptin mimetics. Another project, in collaboration with Scott Ballinger at UAB, has developed a new mouse and cell model to study nuclear-mitochondrial interactions, termed MNX (mitochondria-nuclear exchange) mice. Using this model, we have collected data showing that mitochondrial haplotypes exert 'dominant' effects on tumorigenicity and metastasis, among other diseases. The common thread connecting metastasis suppressors is that they regulate tumor cell interactions with the various microenvironments in which tumor cells find themselves. Although the lab has focused on breast cancers, we have studies on-going in melanoma, pancreatic cancer, and ovarian cancer. This lab offers the opportunity for self-motivated and self-reliant scientists to study tumor cell biology from the DNA level through the in vivo level. We use molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, cell culture and animals to address the issues raised above. The laboratory environment is highly interactive, team oriented, translationally minded and collaborative. We have ongoing collaborations with other research groups from UAB, U. Chicago, Penn State, National Cancer Institute, UCLA, and Washington State University as well as other institutes around the world. In short, we believe that these research projects will lead to a more complete understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying tumor progression. Moreover, novel, effective treatments will result from this research.
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Marlys H. Witte, MD
University of Arizona, Tuscon, USA

Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Spread via the Lymphatic versus the Vascular Channels Session Co-chair and Commentary

As Professor of Surgery and Director of Student Research, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Secretary-General of the 42-nation International Society of Lymphology, Dr. Witte is engaged in intense activities in clinical and basic lymphology – the study of lymphatics, lymph, lymphocytes, and lymph nodes in health and disease. Her translational interests and contributions have ranged from blood/lymphatic vascular endothelial cell biology and pathobiology in vitro and in vivo, hepatosplanchnic lymphatic/microcirculatory physiology, small animal models, in vivo lymphatic imaging, thoracic duct lymph drainage, lymphogenous cancer spread, and genomics/proteomics of lymphedema-angiodysplasia syndromes in man, mice, and other animal models, including defects, deficiency, and overexpression of lymphangiogenesis genes VEGFR3 and FOXC2 (human) and Vegfc, Angiopoietin 2, and prox-1 (mouse) and their syndromic/phenotypic manifestations. Collaborative research has touched upon HIV encephalopathy, blood-brain barrier, CNS fluid dynamics, and ocular development/ disorders. She continues to work with a variety of infectious diseases and immune disorders (e.g., AIDS, Kaposi sarcoma, tuberculosis, Whipple disease, inflammatory bowel disease, congenital/hereditary lymphatic system syndromes, opportunistic infections/neoplasms) and direct an internationally recognized Lymphedema-Angiodysplasia clinic. Author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, recipient of numerous international honors and the UA College of Medicine's Gold-Headed Cane, Founders Day, and Virginia Furrow Education and Innovation Awards, Dr. Witte has received continuous funding from NIH (as well as other government, AMA, and non-profit agency grants) since she was a medical resident. Dr. Witte has also served as Program Director of UA’s only NIH General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and is a member of the UA Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sarver Heart Center, and Viper Institute and have mentored hundreds of students supported by a continuous sequence of NIH multi-institute training grants she has acquired since 1982, with a special interest in teaching "medical ignorance" – "what we know we don't know, don't know we don't know, and think we know but don't".
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Russell S. Witte, PhD
University of Arizona, Tuscon, USA

Frontiers of cancer imaging and guided therapy using ultrasound, light, and microwaves

Russell Witte is Associate Professor Medical Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, Optical Sciences Sarver Heart Center, and Member Arizona Cancer Center, the School of Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and University of Arizona Bio-Science Research Lab (BSRL). We develop cutting-edge imaging technology, integrating light, ultrasound and electricity, to diagnose and treat diseases ranging from epilepsy to breast cancer. Novel sources for ultrasound contrast include optical absorption, mechanical strain, and electrical current. We visualize electrical brain “stormsˮ during uncontrollable seizures and envision “smartˮ photoacoustic agents that seek-and-destroy deadly tumors.
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Isaac P. Witz, PhD
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Cancer Proliferation Within the Cancer Microenvironment

Isaac P. Witz obtained a Master's (1959) and Ph.D. (1965) degree (Cancer Immunology) from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1965 to 1968 he was a post-doctoral fellow at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, buffalo N.Y. in 1968 he formed his own lab at Tel Aviv University promoting to Professor of Immunology in 1975. Isaac Witz held visiting faculty positions at: University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA, Dept. of Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology, Newark, NJ, USA. Lab. of Tumor Cancer Biology, Div. of Cancer Treatment, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA, USA. Institute for Cancer Research, University of Vienna, Austria, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.. At Tel Aviv University he served as member of the Board of Governors, Department Chair of Microbiolgy, Dean of the faculty of Life Sciences, Vice President for Research & Development. He was Founding chair of the Tel Aviv University Cancer Biology Research Center, the Department of Cell Research & Immunolgy and The Ela Kodesz Institute for Research on Cancer Development and Prevention. Isaac Witz served as Council Member of the European Association of Cancer Research, President, Israel Immunological Society, Council Member of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) and President - Israel Association for Cancer Research. At present he serves on the Steerring Committee of the German-Israeli Cooperation in Cancer research, as Scientific Adviser - Dan David Prize, Tel Aviv University and as President, International Cancer Microenvironment Society. Witz received several awards including Fogarty Scholar in Residence, NIH, Membership of the World Academy of Art and Science, The Jacqueline Seroussi Award for Cancer Research (with Judah Folkman), Life Time Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions, The Institute of Human Virology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The scientific activities of Witz focus on the inter-relationships between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment. He studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of site specific metastasis as it relates to melanoma brain metastasis and lung metastasis in neuroblastoma. He aims to characterize molecules that guide tumor cells to site specific organ sites; molecules that sustain tumor cells and promote their propagation in the metastatic microenvironment and molecules that regulate, positively or negatively, the progression of dormant micro-metastatic cells to overt metastasis.
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Max C. Wu, MD, PhD
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, USA

Imaging of the Lymphatic Systeme and Sentinel Lymph Nodes

r. Wu is a diagnostic radiologist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, CA and is the division chief of nuclear medicine. Dr. Wu specializes in nuclear medicine and PET-CT. He graduated from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and completed residency and fellowship training at the University of California San Francisco in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. Dr. Wu also has a PhD in bioengineering from a joint program between UCSF and UC Berkeley with an emphasis in the physics of radiology and nuclear medicine.
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Lucy Yates, MD, PhD
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

The genomic evolution of breast cancer metastasis

Dr Lucy Yates is a Specialist Registrar in Clinical Oncology at The Royal Marsden, London, UK and a fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists, UK. In addition to her clinical duties that focus on individual patient care she conducts scientific research into the genomic basis of cancer evolution and is a member of the ESMO Translational Research and Personalised Medicine Working Group. Dr Yates performed her undergraduate medical training at The University of Cambridge and Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London, UK. Following an NIHR funded academic clinical fellowship in clinical oncology she completed a Wellcome Trust Funded PhD in the study of the Evolution of the Breast Cancer Genome while working within Dr Peter Campbell and Sir Mike Stratton’s group (The Cancer Genome Project) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge. Ongoing research interests include using computational analysis of ‘big data’ including whole genome sequence data, to define the genomic basis of and mutational processes shaping cancer evolution and metastasis and identifying potential therapeutic targets.
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Jianda Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Merck Research Labs, Kenilworth, USA

Cancer Neoantigens: Potential Targets for Immunotherapy

Senior Director, Translational Oncology, Early Clinical Oncology Development, Merck Research Labs
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Jonathan S. Zager, MD
Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, USA

Intransit metastatic melanoma, biology and treatment

Jonathan S. Zager, MD, FACS is Professor of Surgery in the Cutaneous Oncology and Sarcoma Departments at the Moffitt Cancer Center, and a senior member at Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr Zager is also the Chair of Graduate Medical Education and serves on the Moffitt Cancer Center Medical Executive Committee. His research interests include treating cutaneous melanoma as well as nonmelanoma skin cancers and soft tissue sarcomas, in particular regionally metastatic disease and arterial perfusion based therapies as well as local intralesional injections. Dr Zager has extensive experience in the field of regional perfusions and percutaneous hepatic perfusion both in the phase 3 clinical trial, and in performing isolated limb infusions for in-transit melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and unresectable soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. Dr. Zager currently serves on the committees of numerous national and international working groups and societies, such as the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation. He is a member of the editorial board for the World Journal of Surgical Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology, and has published more than 130 articles, and presented over 200 talks, often as session chair or moderator, at both national and international surgical and oncology meetings.
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