Patrick Ma, M.D., co-leader of the WVU Cancer Institute Sara Crile Allen & James Frederick Allen Comprehensive Lung Cancer Program and director of the Clinical Lung Cancer Program, and Xiaoliang Wu, M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Ma’s lab, were featured presenters at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Scientific Meeting this June.
In addition to serving in several leadership roles at the ASCO meeting, including member of the Educational Committee, tumor biology track leader of the Scientific Program Committee and session chair for the Tumor Biology Oral Abstract Session and an Education Session, Dr. Ma presented two talks – Linking Immune and Genomic Heterogeneity: Clinical and Biologic Implications and Novel Platforms and Clinical Applications for Noninvasive Molecular Testing. Both focused on topics at the forefront of modern cancer research – genomic profiling and immune repertoire profiling, and novel molecular diagnostic platforms, such as liquid biopsy and breath biopsy. His research titled PRC-2 epigenetic chromatin reprogramming in ALK-positive (ALK+) lung cancer initial emergence of precision drug resistance was also selected to be highlighted in a Poster Discussion Session during the meeting.
Dr. Wu won a 2018 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award based on his research presentation Mass spectrometry biomolecular omics profiling and imaging to dissect the initial emergence of molecular drug resistance in ALK-positive (ALK+) lung cancer, which was featured during a Poster Discussion Session. Using cutting-edge technology, he was able to pinpoint when drug resistance began at a molecular level in lung cancer cells that received precision therapy. His work identified tumor cell protein reprogramming as early as 7 days while the majority of tumor cells were being killed off by the precision therapy.
Dr. Wu also presented Whole exome sequencing (WES) to define the genomic landscape of young lung cancer patients during an Oral Abstract Session. In that research project he leveraged state-of-the-art, next-generation cancer genome sequencing technology to unravel the genomic mystery of why lung cancer occurs in young patients, under 45 years of age, often without any smoking history.
ASCO’s Annual Meeting brought together more than 40,000 oncology professionals from around the world to discuss state-of-the-art treatment modalities, new therapies, and ongoing controversies in the field.
Cervical cancer can be insidious. Changes to the cervix are often detected with a pap smear, but for those with limited access to health care, cervical and vaginal cancers can go unnoticed for years—silently growing, spreading and invading other organs—and by the time they’re detected, they may be so advanced that the patient’s prognosis is poor and her treatment options few. Valerie Galvan Turner, a gynecologic oncologist at the West Virginia University Cancer Institute, has opened a randomized clinical trial to assess whether a novel supplemental treatment can help chemotherapy and radiation fight these dangerous forms of cancer better.