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City of Hope Oncology Researchers Recognized for Leadership

Steven T. Rosen, MD, was inducted into the 2021 class of "Giants of Cancer Care." This award aims to honor legends in the cancer space who have demonstrated excellence in oncology research and clinical practice. Rosen, who is a true legend, was awarded for his work in lymphoma, a disease to which he has dedicated over 3 decades of his career. He has conducted groundbreaking basic and clinical research to advance biologic and immunological therapies that has contributed to treatments for cutaneous T-cell lymphomas and other cancers.


William Dale, MD, PhD, has been awarded the Paul Calabresi Award by the International Society of Geriatric Oncology, one of geriatric oncology's highest honors. He has devoted his career to the care of older adults with cancer. In 2006, he established the Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly Clinic, which offers interdisciplinary, individualized, and integrated treatment to optimize quality of life for older cancer patients. Dale is also Director of the Center for Cancer and Aging at City of Hope, which has attracted international researchers in the field and facilitated explosive growth in this sometimes understudied population.

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Steven T. Rosen, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowSteven T. Rosen, MD. Steven T. Rosen, MD

Betty Ferrell, MSN, PhD, was honored with the "Living Legend" Award by the American Academy of Nursing. She was recognized for her 44 years of dedication and research to the fields of palliative care, pain management, and quality of life. She is principal investigator of a research project funded by the National Cancer Institute on Palliative Care for Patients with Solid Tumors on Phase 1 Clinical Trials, and is principal investigator for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project. Since its inception, the ELNEC program has trained more than 1 million nurses and other clinicians in 100 countries and all 50 states on palliative and end-of-life care.

William Dale, MD, Ph... - Click to enlarge in new windowWilliam Dale, MD, PhD. William Dale, MD, PhD

Stacy Gray, MD, has been inducted into the Carol Emmott Fellowship's class of 2022. This fellowship is a prestigious, 14-month experience for women leaders who are making an impact in their communities and institutions. It comes as no surprise that Gray was inducted into this fellowship as she has shown great leadership throughout her career. Gray has served on the ASCO Cancer Research Committee, holds multiple leadership roles in an National Institutes of Health research consortium, and has presented her research both nationally and internationally.

Betty Ferrell, MSN, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowBetty Ferrell, MSN, PhD. Betty Ferrell, MSN, PhD

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Honored With Public Service Award

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) congratulates Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), on her recognition by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) with its 2021 Tara Withington Public Service Award.


The award "honors an individual or group that has made substantial contributions to fostering and enhancing the field of cancer immunotherapy through increasing public understanding and awareness, research efforts, and/or funding for cancer immunotherapy," according to SITC.

Margaret Foti, PhD, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMargaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc). Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)

"I am deeply honored to receive this very special recognition from SITC, the organization that has championed immunotherapy as one of the effective pillars of cancer care," Foti said. "Different forms of immunotherapy have had extraordinary success against several types of cancer. Thus, the AACR is very proud to support the continued development of this powerful new treatment modality for saving lives from cancer."


After beginning her AACR career in an editorial position with the journal Cancer Research, Foti progressed through several key editorial and management roles in scientific publishing before becoming Chief Executive Officer of the association. During her tenure she has launched nine major peer-reviewed scientific journals: Blood Cancer Discovery; Cancer Discovery; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Cancer Immunology Research; Cancer Prevention Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; and, most recently, an open access journal, Cancer Research Communications.


Under her leadership, the AACR also launched Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors, and their families and caregivers, as well as Leading Discoveries, a publication that highlights the members, programs, and philanthropic initiatives of the AACR.


A graduate of Temple University, Foti is one of the most influential voices in advancing the field of cancer research, both in the United States and abroad. She was elected president of three professional societies in the fields of scholarly publishing and in cancer research. She has also served as a board member, committee member, and consultant to a number of other nonprofit organizations. The careers of many women researchers, minority scientists, and investigators-in-training have been advanced as a result of her mentorship and support.


Under Foti's leadership, the AACR has served with distinction as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). In this capacity, Foti and the AACR staff have brought significant expertise to their work with SU2C, especially in the scientific peer review of projects, scientific project management, grants administration, communications, and science policy.


Foti was instrumental in the production of two landmark annual reports that educate the public about the value of cancer research and highlight the critical need for increased annual federal funding for the government entities that fuel progress against cancer. These include the AACR Cancer Progress Report, which was first published in 2011 and celebrates the advances in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research that have had a major impact on therapeutic development and improved patient care; and the AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report, which was launched in 2020 with the overarching goal of increasing public understanding of cancer health disparities and the vital importance of cancer health disparities research to saving lives.


In 2007, the AACR established the first AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, which is given annually in her name. Her visionary leadership, combined with her steadfast focus on the AACR's mission, continues to drive the field forward toward the vital goal of preventing and curing all cancers.


Emese Zsiros, MD, PhD, to Lead Gynecologic Oncology Program

Following a national search, Emese Zsiros, MD, PhD, FACOG, has been promoted to lead the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. On staff at Roswell Park since 2014 as an accomplished physician-researcher, she will also hold The Shashi Lele, MD, Endowed Chair in Gynecologic Oncology.


Zsiros has driven many important initiatives in her 7 years on the Roswell Park team, changing standard practices not only within Roswell Park, but across the globe.

Emese Zsiros, MD, Ph... - Click to enlarge in new windowEmese Zsiros, MD, PhD, FACOG. Emese Zsiros, MD, PhD, FACOG

"Dr. Zsiros' pioneering work in devising, implementing, and documenting a new approach to pain management for patients undergoing surgery has been broadly adopted by surgery programs both inside and outside oncology, with pronounced advantages for patients and the communities they live in," said Candace S. Johnson, PhD, President, CEO, and M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership at Roswell Park. "And it was also Dr. Zsiros who proposed a novel treatment combination for patients with late-stage ovarian cancer, a strategy shown to generate long-term clinical benefits for patients with this notoriously hard-to-treat cancer type."


Zsiros is known as a dedicated mentor to fellows and junior faculty, and is a highly sought-after scientific collaborator with expertise in areas including immunotherapy and minimally invasive surgery. In addition to her clinical and academic roles at Roswell Park, she most recently served as Director of Research and Associate Director of Fellowships within Gynecologic Oncology. She has also been closely attuned in her clinical practice and her research to the impacts of cancer and cancer treatment on patients' quality of life and overall well-being.


"I have seen Dr. Zsiros set and achieve ambitious goals, and her successes have positioned her for great accomplishments as Chair," noted Johnson. "She is uniquely equipped to shape a new vision in gynecologic oncology, and I look forward to watching the department reach new heights under her leadership."


The new endowed chair Zsiros holds is named for her colleague and mentor, Shashikant Lele, MD, FACOG, a longtime faculty member and former Chair of Gynecologic Oncology.


"Whether it's in the operating room, the clinic or diving headfirst into research, Dr. Zsiros is deeply passionate about her patients and it shows," said Lele. "She has made an indelible impression our center, and I am proud to call her my friend."


A board-certified OB/GYN, gynecologic oncologist and a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Zsiros earned her medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center in Hungary. She completed her residency at Northwestern University and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.


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Pop Up "Hubs" Provide Cancer Care Lifeline to Underserved Communities

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation, in partnership with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, established Lazarex Cancer Wellness HUBs, providing cancer-related outreach and engagement within diverse and underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. The goal is to bring vital information about cancer prevention, screening, clinical trials, and cancer support services directly to communities most impacted by cancer.


"The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to once again partner with Lazarex in this innovative and significant collaboration for the diverse communities of Los Angeles" said Caryn Lerman, PhD, Director of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.


The HUBs are located within the communities they serve. USC Norris staff has partnered closely with the foundation to establish the HUBs in the areas of greatest need within the Los Angeles area. Through leveraging their local connections and hiring from within the communities, the HUBs will provide culturally and linguistically tailored programs for the people they are meant to serve.


Dana Dornsife, CEO and Founder of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, who developed the concept of the HUBs, noted it's an essential way to reach patients where they are. "Through this unique 'pop-up' model we go into underserved communities to reach patients where they live and remove barriers so that patient access to care doesn't rely solely on socioeconomic status."


The Lazarex Cancer Wellness HUBs will make use of existing facilities within the community like YMCA, churches, schools, community centers, and health clinics. Services include conversations with cancer health care providers, cancer education workshops, cancer support groups, survivorship toolkits, plus information on how to reduce cancer risk, engage in cancer screening, and participate in clinical trials.


Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH, Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at USC Norris will lead the program along with Marya Shegog, PhD, MPH, CHES, Health Equity and Diversity Coordinator at Lazarex Cancer Foundation.


"In LA, we are partnering with local community organizations on the HUBs so that culturally specific cancer information and resources can be available in multiple languages, in a resident's own neighborhood, without having to go far to be connected to what they need," Baezconde-Garbanati stated.


With funding provided by Lazarex Cancer Foundation, USC Norris will also employ Cancer Care Companions from local medical and community organizations to provide information and support for members of the community. Neighborhood Health Ambassadors serve as a bridge from the local neighborhoods to the HUBs. These facilities empower communities, according to Marya Shegog, "Employing members of each community supports prevention, early identification, and treatment of cancer through collective action."