Exercise, Her2+ are topics UAB cancer specialists will cover at ASCO meeting

UAB faculty will give 25 presentations at ASCO scientific meeting; topics also include ovarian and breast cancers and AML, or acute myeloid leukemia.

University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty will present the latest cancer research to more than 25,000 oncology professionals during the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting that begins June 1, 2012, in Chicago. UAB experts also will be available to comment on news being presented.


An invited speaker for the educational session, Cancer Prevention for Cancer Survivors, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., will examine “The Impact of Behavioral, Environmental and Other Shared Risk Factors (Including Age, Smoking and Obesity) That Contribute to Second Cancers” from 2:20 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Friday in E353. Demark-Wahnefried is a professor in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences and associate director for the Cancer Prevention and Control program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Demark-Wahnefried also will discuss the ways exercise improves cancer-related fatigue and these how improvements may be mediated, in part, by improvements in cardiopulmonary function and strength in the presentation “EXCAP exercise to improve fatigue, cardiopulmonary function, and strength: A phase II RCT among older prostate cancer patients receiving radiation and androgen deprivation therapy.” This presentation is 3:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Saturday during the clinical science symposium, Staying Bold While Old, in S 100bc.

Other presentations UAB faculty will make during the scientific sessions include:

  • “Use of an optimized primary ovarian cancer xenograft model to mimic patient tumor biology and heterogeneity” (Abstract No. 5036). Charles Landen, M.D., and his research team, will discuss how a xenograft model may be more accurate for in-vivo pre-clinical studies as compared to current models for patients with ovarian cancer from 4:30-5:30 p.m. June 1 in E354a.
  • “Susceptibility of Her2+ breast cancer cells to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition independent of an inherent DNA repair defect” (Abstract No. 621). Eddy Shih-Hsin Yang, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss the unexpected, exquisite susceptibility of certain breast cancer cells to PARP inhibitors as a single agent despite being able to repair damaged DNA from 8 a.m. to noon June 2 in S Hall A2.
  • “Albumin as prognostic factor for overall survival in newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)” (Abstract No. 6586).  Awais Khan, M.D., will discuss the prognostic value of serum albumin level prior to induction chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia from 1:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m. June 4 in S Hall A2.

UAB experts available on site during the scientific sessions include:
  • Boris Pasche, M.D. Ph.D., is a contributing editor to the Journal of the American Medical Association and director of the UAB Division Hematology & Oncology.  A internationally recognized specialist in breast and colon cancer genetics, he revealed one of the first genetic links between obesity and colon cancer.   He also discovered that a decreased expression of certain gene is a major cause of colorectal cancer.
  • Andres Forero, M.D., professor in the UAB Division of Hematology & Oncology and senior scientist in the Experimental Therapeutics program in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He has been heavily involved with research on the combination of hormonal therapy and anti-angiogenic agents in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, and the development of a death receptor antibody in breast-cancer therapy with emphasis in triple-negative cancer.

To arrange an interview with a UAB expert at ASCO, contact Beena Thannickal at 205-777-8419 or beena.thannickal@ccc.uab.edu.