University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Developments in Cancer Research and Care, from Prostate Cancer to Breast Cancer to Immunotherapy

Highlights of UCSF presentations at the ASCO Annual Meeting

By Elizabeth Fernandez | | June 1, 2016

Developments in Cancer Research and Care, from Prostate Cancer to Breast Cancer to Immunotherapy

Cancer specialists from UC San Francisco will share information on advances in research during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the world’s most prestigious gatherings of oncology professionals.

The meeting, which will be held June 3-7 in Chicago, is expected to draw more than 30,000 cancer experts focusing on ground-breaking research and advances in cancer. The theme of this year’s meeting is Collective Wisdom: The Future of Patient-Centered Care and Research.

More than 5,200 scientific abstracts were accepted for the meeting.

The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center in 1999, is home to many of the world’s top scientists and clinicians engaged in clinical oncology research and treatment. It consistently ranks among the top U.S. biomedical research organizations in cancer-specific federal funding – last year, UCSF received more than $85 million from the National Cancer Institute.

Numerous UCSF cancer experts are participating at ASCO this year, including the following:

Friday, June 3, 1 p.m. (CDT): Hope S. Rugo, MD, director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at UCSF, will present data on a phase 3 trial comparing the safety and efficacy of a trastuzumab biosimilar against Herceptin in women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Rugo is a medical oncologist and hematologist who specializes in breast cancer research and treatment. (Abstract LBA503)

Saturday, June 4, 8-11:30 a.m. (CDT): Emily K. Bergsland, MD, is discussing genomic profiling -- in a session on gastrointestinal (noncolorectal) cancer -- involving a study that examined genomic alterations arising in different sites. Bergsland’s research is focused on the development and testing of novel, biologically based therapies for gastrointestinal malignancies, with an emphasis on neuroendocrine tumors. (Abstract 4020)

Saturday, June 4, 1-4:30 p.m. (CDT): Charles Ryan, MD, will present findings from a phase 2, multicenter study that evaluated abiraterone acetate plus low dose prednisone in patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. There were 131 patients enrolled at the time of the database cutoff, with a median age of 72. Clinical program leader for genitourinary medical oncology at UCSF, Ryan’s practice focuses on advanced prostate cancer as well as germ cell tumors and other malignancies of the genitourinary tract. (Abstract 5061)

Sunday, June 5, 8-11 a.m. (CDT): Alan P. Venook, MD, will present results from a large national study – the largest to date centering on tumor location in colorectal cancer – which found that patients with metastatic colon cancer that develops on the left side of the colon survive significantly longer than those with cancer that develops on the right side. The results suggest that colon cancer is not one but a number of different diseases, and that colon cancer originating on the right side should be treated differently than colon cancer occurring on the left side. Venook is the Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology at UCSF and Translational Research and the Shorenstein Associate Director for Program Development. (Abstract 3504)

Sunday, June 5, 9:45-12:45 p.m. (CDT): James L. Rubenstein, MD, PhD, will present results from a trial evaluating lenalidomide maintenance in relapsed CNS lymphoma. A blood disorders specialist, Rubenstein specializes in treating patients with neurologic complications from cancer, in particular patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma involving the brain, as well as patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other parts of the body. (Abstract 7502)

Monday, June 6, 8-11 a.m. (CDT): Pamela N. Munster, MD, is the lead scientist on a first-in-human study of an inhibitor drug, cc-115, on people with relapsed and refractory advanced solid and hematologic cancers. The researchers found that the drug was well tolerated compared to approved mTOR inhibitors. Munster, who researches early phase clinical trials of novel compounds and alternative strategies for the treatment and prevention of cancer, is the program leader for developmental therapeutics at UCSF. (Abstract 2505)

Monday, June 6, 1:15-4:15 p.m. (CDT): Katy K. Tsai, MD, will present the results of a multicenter trial investigating PD-1 pathway inhibitors in advanced cutaneous melanoma. Tsai is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers. (Abstract 9507)

Additionally, Chloe E. Atreya, MD, PhD, who specializes in gastrointestinal cancer particularly colorectal cancer, will discuss “genes vs t-cells” on June 4, 1:51-2:03 p.m.; Lawrence Fong, MD, co-leader of the cancer immunotherapy program at UCSF, will discuss the development of a road map to guide immunotherapy on June 4, 2:51-3:03 p.m.; and Michelle E. Melisko, MD, a specialist in breast cancer treatment and research, will present an education session on reducing risks through lifestyle modifications on June 6, 8:15-8:30 a.m. 

View a summary of UCSF presentations at