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University Hospitals Case Medical Center experts present at ASCO Annual Meeting

CLEVELAND: In a Phase 2 study presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), clinical researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center developed a more effective way to treat gynecologic cancers, shortening radiation treatment time from five weeks to three days. The new method, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), has been used on other types of cancer, but University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the first treatment facility to apply it to gynecologic cancers.

"Unlike traditional radiation therapy, SBRT uses focused radiation beams and targets well-defined tumors," says Charles Kunos, MD, study co-author and Director of Gynecologic Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "The highly specific nature of the procedure not only shortens treatment time, it limits the effect of the radiation on healthy tissues."

Dr. Kunos will present the study's findings during a general poster session on gynecologic cancer at ASCO on Sunday, June 3 from 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

Researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine will present new research findings in 29 presentations at ASCO, taking place June 1-5 in Chicago.

"The breadth and depth of this innovative cancer research presented at ASCO is truly outstanding," says Stan Gerson, MD, Director of the Seidman Cancer Center at UH Case Medical Center and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. "Our faculty members are making tremendous advances in hematology and oncology which is reflected in their being chosen for oral and poster presentations."

Other presentations of note include:

Sunday, June 3
General Poster Session: Gynecologic Cancer
Association of smoking with pulmonary recurrences among women with intermediate- to high-risk early-stage endometrial adenocarcinoma.
Abstract #5089: 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Author(s): Lori Elizabeth Weinberg, Kristine M. Zanotti, Charles Kunos; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

In this study, researchers examined the influence of smoking on the risk of pulmonary recurrences in women with early stage intermediate to high-risk endometrioid uterine cancer (EC), and found that smoking is a significant and independent predictor of pulmonary recurrences among women with early stage EC. The researchers concluded that refining understanding of host factors that influence risk may allow future studies to identify those who may benefit most from adjuvant therapies as well as intensive surveillance.

Monday, June 4
Oral Presentation: Pediatric Oncology
Real time dynamic and sequential tracking of tumor propagation and associated immune responses in the CNS microenvironment
Abstract #9520: 12:30 12:45 p.m.
Author(s): Alex Yee-Chen Huang, Jay T. Myers, Youmna Othman, Deborah Sim Barkauskas, Justin Lathia, Jeremy Rich, Agne Petrosiute; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Ex vivo experimental systems are often unable to fully capture complex intercellular communication between tumor cells and surrounding tissues - a critical feature in understanding cancer development and immune evasion. Data from this study of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) provides the first direct functional evidence that self-renewing and tumorigenic GBM stem cells (GSCs) are responsible for tumor propagation in GBM, and represent an in vivo experimental platform to monitor immunotherapeutic interventions.

Tuesday, June 5
Poster Discussion Session: Health Services Research
Cancer patients' trade-offs for efficacy, toxicity and cost
Abstract #6021: 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Author(s): Yu-Ning Wong, Brian Egleston, Kush Sachdeva, Olivia Hamilton, Naa Eghan, Melanie Pirollo, Tammy K Stump, J Robert Beck, Neal J. Meropol; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Southern Onc/Hem Assoc, Vineland, NJ; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; South Jersey Healthcare, Vineland, NJ; University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

In this study, cancer patients were presented with hypothetical scenarios that asked them to choose between two treatments of varying levels of efficacy, toxicity and cost. Researchers found that socioeconomic status was predictive of treatment choice, with higher income patients more likely to focus on survival when making decisions and those with greater cost concerns more likely to avoid costly treatment regardless of survival or toxicity. Researchers concluded that this raises the possibility that health plans with greater cost-sharing may have the unintended consequence of increasing disparities in care.


Contact: George Stamatis
University Hospitals Case Medical Center

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