Dr. Varun Monga, Clinical Assistant Professor of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, presented at the Connective Tissue Oncology Society meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, last month. His poster details the results of a Phase I clinical trial combining an oncolytic herpes virus with radiation therapy in patients with localized sarcomas. This neoadjuvant approach, is meant to increase tumor necrosis thereby reducing the chance of distant metastases post-surgery. The results of the 14-week study, as detailed on Dr. Monga’s poster, reveal that the drug, Talimogene laherparepvec, was safe and well-tolerated by the patients involved. Nearly half of the patients planned for the Phase II trials have already been enrolled. Congratulations to Dr. Monga and the 16 other named researchers and clinicians who contributed to this study.
Dr. Monga had a second poster to which he contributed on display at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference last week. This was produced in collaboration with Dr. Amber Xu (former Iowa Internal Medicine Resident) of Washington University, St. Louis, and Dr. Pablo Leone, Clinical Assistant Professor of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation. Dr. Alex Thomas, Visiting Professor of Internal Medicine, also collaborated on these findings. This poster details the search for a connection between ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common non-invasive form of breast cancer, and invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common form of all breast cancers. Congratulations to these researchers on this ongoing work and for their opportunity to reunite to celebrate (now) inter-institutional research.