Stephenson Cancer Center Physicians Present Research at World’s Largest Oncology Meeting

Physician-scientists at the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Health recently gave 30 presentations about their cutting-edge cancer research at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the largest oncology meeting in the world.

Their presentations focused on the results of clinical trials and research studies for new cancer therapies being developed and evaluated at the Stephenson Cancer Center. This is a record-setting number of presentations for Stephenson Cancer Center investigators and represents the commitment of the cancer center to clinical research and improving lives for Oklahoma patients.

“With more than 6,400 presentations submitted annually for consideration, ASCO is the premier oncology conference in the world,” said Robert Mannel, M.D., Rainbolt Family Endowed Chair in Cancer and director of the Stephenson Cancer Center. “To have 30 abstracts selected for presentation reflects the outstanding clinical research being conducted at the Stephenson Cancer Center and how our investigators are helping to move cancer medicine forward.”

Stephenson Cancer Center physician-scientists are bringing the latest therapies to Oklahoma through important clinical trials, many of which were developed within and supported by the National Cancer Institute. They include a large study that establishes the standard of care in uterine carcinosarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of uterus cancer; a study that adds a novel oral therapy called a PARP inhibitor to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer; and addition of immunotherapy to radiation and chemotherapy for head and neck cancers. Results involved several types of cancer, including ovarian, uterine, cervical, urothelial, head and neck, pancreatic, lung, leukemia, pediatric leukemia, skin and pediatric sarcoma.

Several presentations focused on the results of early phase clinical trials being conducted at the Oklahoma TSET Phase I Program. Early phase trials provide patients with first access to the newest targeted therapies for cancer. The TSET Phase I Program at the Stephenson Cancer Center is ranked among the top 10 nationally for the number of patients participating in these cutting-edge research trials.

“I am incredibly proud of the research being done at the Stephenson Cancer Center. We have an amazing team of clinician and translational scientists who work together internally and collaborate externally within the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical companies and with other NCI cancer centers to drive research forward and advance therapies,” said Kathleen Moore, M.D., associate director for clinical research at the Stephenson Cancer Center. “Presenting at ASCO means the work we are doing is high-quality, meaningful and not only benefits our patients in Oklahoma, but cancer patients throughout the world.”

The Stephenson Cancer Center earned National Cancer Institute designation in May 2018. NCI centers represent the top 2 percent of cancer centers in the United States. The Stephenson is the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma TSET Phase I Program is named in recognition of the support provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) for cancer research at the Stephenson Cancer Center. TSET is an endowment created by voters in 2000 to improve the health of Oklahomans.