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Not settling for average: Kratz seeks personalized treatments for GI cancers

December 7, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium highlights UW Carbone Cancer Center and Jeremy Kratz, MD, a medical oncologist and researcher at the cancer center. Dr. Kratz is a member of the Big Ten CRC’s Gastrointestinal Clinical Trial Working Group.

For Dr. Kratz, pushing cancer care and research forward is much more than an academic pursuit. It’s personal. Read More

Member Feature: University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

November 7, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium features our member institution University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and medical oncologist Margaret Byrne, MD, MS, clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine-Hematology, Oncology, and Blood and Marrow Transplantation at the Carver College of Medicine.

Dr. Byrne’s research interests include early-phase clinical trials of adjunctive therapies to enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with head, neck, and lung cancers. Her clinical expertise includes thoracic malignancies and head and neck cancer. Read More

Shields, Sors lead Big Ten CRC Steering Committee

November 2, 2021:

Since its founding in 2013, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) has experienced steady growth, guided by a Steering Committee whose members consist of one representative from each institution. Collectively, the group meets regularly to oversee the activities of the consortium and to decide matters of policy. Each year, the committee appoints a chair and a vice-chair.

Peter G. Shields, MD (pictured left), of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) currently serves as Steering Committee chair, and Thomas G. Sors, PhD, of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease (PI4D), is vice-chair, representing the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research.

Dr. Shields, a thoracic medical oncologist, oversees the scientific research programs and research infrastructure of the OSUCCC-James, which includes more than 330 cancer researchers and their teams from 11 of Ohio State’s 15 colleges. Through his experience, Dr. Shields understands the importance of multi-institution collaboration to meet the needs of cancer patients as well as investigators, many of whom are early in their careers. Read More

Omene appointed co-chair of Big Ten CRC breast cancer committee
Coral Omene, MD, PhD

October 28, 2021:

Coral Omene, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was recently appointed as a co-chair of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium’s Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Working Group. She joins Sneha Phadke, DO, a medical oncologist at the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, in leading the working group.

Dr. Omene serves as assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her research focuses on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is among the most aggressive breast cancers, especially among African American women.

A native New Yorker, Dr. Omene received her MD and PhD degrees from Columbia University and completed her residency at New York Presbyterian – Columbia. She also completed a fellowship at New York University School of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Read More

Across the Consortium: October 2021
Featured Investigators

October 15, 2021:

In this month’s Across the Consortium, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium highlights several investigators involved in detecting, decoding, and understanding genetic abnormalities as well as a potential drug target for treating aggressive pancreatic cancer and a tumor cell that may potentially stop tumor cell seeding and block cancer progression in breast cancer. We also feature a married couple at Penn State Cancer Institute that are building a research program using the MRIdian LINAC by Viewray, a Magnetic Res Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-guided linear accelerator, one of only 18 units currently open in the U.S. Learn about recent appointments, news grants, and more across our member institutions.

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Furqan presents featured poster during World Conference on Lung Cancer
Drs. Furqan and Feldman

October 13, 2021:

Muhammad Furqan, MD, a medical oncologist and researcher at the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, presented a featured poster highlighting the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium study BTCRC-LUN15-017 during the IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer, held virtually Sept. 8-14.

Investigators of the single arm phase Ib/II study of pembrolizumab and Imprime PGG for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after progression on first line therapy, found the combination to be safe in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC.

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Member Feature: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Neha Gothe, PhD, MS

October 4, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium features our member institution The Cancer Center at Illinois at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Neha Gothe, MA, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who serves as director of the university’s Exercise Psychology Lab.

She is taking her expertise in kinesiology and behavioral psychology to explore the benefits of non-traditional forms of movement, such as yoga, in cancer survivors.

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Across the Consortium: September 2021
Featured Investigators

September 16, 2021:

In this month’s Across the Consortium, we share exciting innovations developed by cancer researchers at our member institutions, including a wearable temperature sensor that can detect dangerous complications in hospitalized cancer patients and new dual-mechanism estrogen receptor inhibitors that could support the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive and metastatic breast cancers. We also share recent appointments and publications highlighting faculty at member institutions. See what’s new in this issue of Across the Consortium.

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Member Feature: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Coral Omene, MD, PhD

September 1, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium features our member institution Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Coral Omene, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Research Interests and Expertise:

Dr. Omene is a medical oncologist with a passion for women’s health who is dedicated to the care of treating and managing a diverse pool of breast cancer patients. She has devoted much of her research toward translating novel laboratory observations into discoveries to better care for breast cancer patients, with a particular focus on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is known to be among the most aggressive breast cancers, with a poor prognosis, especially among African American women.

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Kristen Spencer, DO, MPH, discusses innovative hepatocellular carcinoma study
Kristen Spencer, DO, MPH

September 1, 2021:

While the world continues to focus on the ever-challenging worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, groundbreaking research into potentially practice-changing novel therapies for oncology patients has continued. This year has been one of innovation in unprecedented times, and the field of gastrointestinal cancers has kept pace.

As an early phase clinical investigator at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, my research focuses on developing novel combinations to treat advanced biliary tract, hepatic, and pancreatic cancers. Unfortunately, the rising incidence of hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers, coupled with poor outcomes for these patients, continues to be a pressing reminder of our mission as researchers.

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University of Iowa

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Michigan State

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University of Minnesota

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University of Nebraska

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Northwestern University

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Penn State University

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Purdue University

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Rutgers State University

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University of Wisconsin

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University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

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