Professionals from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will share original research and expertise at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. The meeting will be held June 4–8, at McCormick Place in Chicago and include online lectures.
ASCO is the premier professional society for clinical oncology, representing nearly 45,000 individuals dedicated to cancer care.
Amar Gajjar, M.D., Department of Pediatric Medicine and Department of Oncology chair, will receive the 2022 ASCO Pediatric Oncology Award. Gajjar has been honored with this year’s award for his work leading clinical trials developing novel treatments for pediatric brain tumors. He will accept the award in person and have a pre-recorded lecture available on-demand, online. He is the seventh investigator from St. Jude to receive the honor. The award presentation is 9:30 a.m. CST, Saturday, June 4 in N Hall B1.
Neuroblastoma is a rare pediatric cancer that develops in neuroblasts, cells which develop into nerve cells. High-risk neuroblastoma has a survival rate of about 50%. In a pilot study, St. Jude researchers worked with the clinical trials organization Children’s Oncology Group. Together, they found that adding the chemoimmunotherapy dinutuximab to the treatment of pediatric patients with recurrent or refractory neuroblastoma produced a response rate of 86.8%.
Sara Federico, M.D., St. Jude Department of Oncology, will present the results in her talk "A Pilot Induction Regimen Incorporating Dinutuximab and Sargramostim for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed High-risk Neuroblastoma: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group.” Federico’s talk complements other research about disparities in high-risk neuroblastoma survival that is being presented at the meeting. Federico’s talk is 3:36 p.m. CST, Monday, June 6, in room S406, as part of the Pediatric Oncology session.
Two St. Jude researchers are included in the ticketed session, “Meet the Professors: Improving Childhood Cancer Outcomes Worldwide.” Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D., St. Jude Global Pediatric Medicine chair, will present “Life During Wartime: SAFER Ukraine.” Catherine Lam, M.D., Global Pediatric Medicine, will report on “Improving Worldwide Outcomes in Pediatric Oncology: The World Health Organization Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer.” The session begins at 4:45 p.m. CST, Saturday, June 4, in room E253b.
Paul Northcott, Ph.D., St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology, will present “The Genetics and Epigenetics of Medulloblastoma: Implications for Risk Stratification.” His talk is part of the “Medulloblastoma: Molecular Classification, Risk Stratification, and Therapeutic Implications” educational session. It is at 11:30 a.m. CST, Sunday, June 5, in room S504.
Three St. Jude researchers will receive Conquer Cancer awards from the ASCO foundation at the annual meeting. Dylan Graetz, M.D., Department of Global Pediatric Medicine, will receive a Career Development Award, which provides three years of research funding to promising early career investigators developing their own clinical cancer research program. Caitlyn Duffy, M.D., Department of Oncology, and Marta Salek, M.D., Department of Oncology, will both receive Global Oncology Young Investigator Awards. This award funds early-career investigators tackling global health needs.
Scientists from St. Jude will present original research on a variety of topics at poster sessions throughout the conference. The primary focus of these posters will be pediatric oncology, including neurocognitive or cardiac function post-treatment. The posters also assess new cancer therapies and connect nutrition with treatment-induced disease.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.