City of Hope experts available to comment on studies being presented at ASCO on new cancer research

Letisia Marquez
City of Hope experts are available to comment on research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology May 31 – June 4 in Chicago.
Breast Cancer
Mina S. Sedrak, M.D., M.S., an assistant professor specializing in breast oncology, has dedicated his research and career to improving the treatment of older adults, who are one of the most disproportionately vulnerable and least studied cancer patients. Sedrak’s research focuses on examining the barriers to clinical trial participation among older adults with cancer. His work aims to inform the development of interventions to increase research participation of older adults and improve the evidence base to guide cancer therapy for this population. He is also interested in studying opportunities and challenges related to social media use for clinical trial accrual. Sedrak serves on various academic and institutional committees and has written several peer-reviewed publications and abstracts. Expertise: Breast oncology, cancer and aging, social media and digital health.
Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., an associate clinical professor specializing in breast oncology in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics, conducts research on novel therapeutics for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). She currently leads multiple clinical trials for metastatic TNBC including such targeted therapies as immune checkpoint inhibitors, androgen receptor targeted therapy and PIK3CA pathway inhibition. She was awarded a STOP CANCER Career Development Award supporting translational research in TNBC tumor evolution and a NIH R03 grant studying biomarkers predicting chemotherapy toxicity in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Yuan is experienced in preclinical, translational and clinical application of novel combination therapies, and has also studied the longitudinal genomic mutation profiling of paired metastatic breast cancer. Expertise: Breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer.
Cancer Genetics
Stacy Gray, M.D., serves on the ASCO Cancer Research Committee, and holds multiple leadership roles in a National Institutes of Health research consortium. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally, and has published in such journals as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Oncology Practice and Genetics in Medicine. Expertise: Cancer genetics and medical oncology.
Jeffrey Weitzel, M.D., a leading genetic researcher and the Dr. Norman & Melinda Payson Professor in Medical Oncology, has devoted his career to helping people and populations at increased risk for developing cancer because of family history or personal risk factors. He led a groundbreaking study that revealed that BRCA mutations may be present in 25 percent of U.S. Hispanic women, leading to calls for increased genetic testing and counseling. Weitzel is at the forefront of developing low-cost genetic screening materials, as well as training doctors and nurses for underserved populations in Peru, Colombia and Mexico. Expertise: Cancer genetics and BRCA mutations.
Gastrointestinal Cancers/Colorectal Cancer
Marwan G. Fakih, M.D., co-director of City of Hope’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, and professor of medical oncology and therapeutics research, has authored dozens of papers and led numerous clinical trials, many of which focus on new treatments for advanced colorectal cancer. At ASCO, he will present an oral abstract on a phase 1 study evaluating the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of AMG 510, a novel small molecule KRASG12C inhibitor, in advanced solid tumors on Monday, June 3. Expertise: Colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal cancers.
Daneng Li, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, specializes in geriatric oncology and treating gastrointestinal cancers. Li is also currently the co-director of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at City of Hope and also leads the liver tumors program. Expertise: Gastrointestinal cancers, neuroendocrine tumors, liver tumors, bile duct cancer, gallbladder cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Geriatric Oncology
William Dale, M.D., Ph.D., is a widely published expert on the care of older adults with cancer and originator of the GeriOnc hashtag. He is the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine and co-chaired the panel that developed the ASCO Guideline for Geriatric Oncology. He serves on the ASCO Cancer Communications Committee. Expertise: Palliative medicine and geriatrics.
Michael Caligiuri, M.D., the Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair of City of Hope and president of City of Hope National Medical Center, is a world-renowned physician, scientist, builder, innovator, leader and visionary. He is dedicated to developing the next generation of leading-edge cancer therapies, rapidly delivering them to patients and ultimately curing the disease. His research has focused on natural killer cells for the past 25-plus years. His research in natural killer cells and other topics led the American Association for Cancer Research Academy to induct Caligiuri as a fellow last year to recognize his significant scientific contributions that have propelled consequential innovation and progress against cancer. Expertise: Natural killer cells, Epstein-Barr virus' involvement in tumorigenesis, lymphoma and leukemia
Alex Herrera, M.D., focuses on immunotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in lymphoma patients. He leads several clinical trials evaluating immune checkpoint inhibitors and other novel agents for the treatment of relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma or classical Hodgkin lymphoma and in lymphoma patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Herrera also studies biomarkers of response and outcome in lymphoma patients treated with immunotherapies or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, including immunohistochemical and cytogenetic biomarkers and sequencing-based circulating tumor DNA detection, as well as gene expression, mutational profiling, and quantitative spatial immunofluorescence of tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment to identify biomarkers predictive of response to a treatment. Expertise: Lymphoma and hematology.
Amrita Krishnan, M.D., director of the Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research, can discuss myeloma, multiple myeloma, bone marrow/stem cell transplantation. Krishnan was instrumental in bringing successful transplant therapy to HIV patients with lymphoma when many believed such patients were too weak to tolerate the procedure. She directs the Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research, which seeks to make gains in one of the most rapidly changing areas in cancer research. Expertise: Multiple myeloma.
Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., who is the Dr. Michael Friedman Professor in Translational Medicine at City of Hope, director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, and deputy director of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute, leads one of the biggest and most successful lymphoma treatment centers in the nation. He is a world-renowned physician and scientist who has pioneered breakthrough innovations in immunology and cancer vaccines. TIME magazine named him one of the "100 Most Influential People" in 2010. Expertise: Lymphoma, immunology and cancer vaccines.
Leslie L. Popplewell, M.D., associate clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, can discuss lymphoma and hematology/oncology. A clinician and professor at City of Hope’s Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, Popplewell is the principal investigator for a number of clinical trials examining new lymphoma therapies, including CAR T cell trials. She is also working on advanced transplant techniques for patients whose lymphoma has recurred. Expertise: Lymphoma and hematology.
Tanya Siddiqi, M.D., is an accomplished hematologist-oncologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating blood cancers, particularly leukemia and lymphoma. She is also a supervising physician at City of Hope's anticoagulation clinic, which treats patients with blood clotting disorders due to their diseases or treatments.
In addition to her clinical practice, Siddiqi is also principal investigator on a number of clinical trials evaluating the role of targeted therapies, including gene therapy (CAR T cell therapy), and other novel agents primarily in diseases like chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. At ASCO, she will present an oral abstract on minimal residual disease negative responses after treatment with lisocabtagene maraleucel, a CD19-directed CAR T cell product, in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma on Tuesday, June 4. Expertise: Leukemia, lymphoma and hematology.
Jasmine Zain, M.D., is an associate clinical professor in City of Hope's Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Additionally, she is director of the T cell Lymphoma Program at the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center at City of Hope. Triple board-certified in hematology, oncology and internal medicine, Zain is an active member of several professional associations, and has published more than 78 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and book chapters. She served as an associate editor for two journals in her field — Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma and Clinical Cancer Research — and has been invited to speak both nationally and internationally. At ASCO, Zain will discuss four abstracts on non-Hodgkin lymphoma subsets on Tuesday, June 4. Expertise:  Lymphoma and T-cell lymphoma.
Lung Cancer
Ravi Salgia, M.D., Ph.D., is the Arthur & Rosalie Kaplan Chair in Medical Oncology and the associate director for clinical sciences at City of Hope's comprehensive cancer center. Board-certified in medical oncology, Salgia serves on various panels for the National Cancer Institute. He has consistently received research grants from the National Institutes of Health for his research work, and has been awarded several invention discoveries and patents related to his work. He is the co-chief editor for the Journal of Carcinogenesis. Salgia also serves on the editorial advisory board of four additional journals. He has authored over 375 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and editorials, one book and over 30 book chapters. Expertise: Lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic malignancies and bronchial carcinoids.
Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., co-director of City of Hope’s Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program and a professor of medical oncology and therapeutics research, leads clinical trials aimed at finding new and better treatments for lung cancer, especially in the most advanced and difficult-to-treat cases. She also led a study demonstrating the significant benefits of immunotherapy. At ASCO, she will be part of a plenary session and discuss three abstracts examining new treatments and resistant disease in nonsmall cell metastatic lung cancer on Monday, June 3. Expertise: Lung cancer and thoracic oncology.
Kim A. Margolin, M.D., is a clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, specializing in melanoma. She is an active member of several foundation and federal grant review committees, including the Melanoma Research Alliance, Department of Defense and Melanoma Research Foundation. Among her 180 peer-reviewed articles, 60 invited reviews or editorials, and 16 book chapters, her most recent work has been in the area of melanoma metastatic to the brain and immunotherapy strategies for melanoma and other skin cancers. Margolin is frequently invited to present her work at national and international conferences and symposia. Expertise: Melanoma.
Urology/Urologic Oncology
Sumanta Pal, M.D., is an associate clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research. Pal’s research is focused on finding ways to better understand how cancers develop and metastasize, better predict cancer recurrence and improve treatments with fewer negative side effects. He has also found that using checkpoint inhibitors, which harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer, shows a lot of promise for patients with bladder cancer. He is the chair of the ASCO Cancer Communications Committee. Expertise: Urology, bladder, kidney and prostate cancers, and immunotherapy.
Pancreatic Cancer
Vincent Chung, M.D., associate clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, was voted one of “America's Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly in 2013. He leads clinical trials examining new drugs to treat advanced solid tumors, as well as a new PET scan protocol for gastric cancer and immunotherapy options for inoperable pancreatic cancer. Expertise: Pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers.
Prostate Cancer
Tanya Dorff, M.D., is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and serves as head of City of Hope’s Genitourinary Cancers Program. She is an internationally recognized leader in prostate cancer, and is renowned for her work in other genitourinary tumor types, including kidney, bladder and penile cancer. Dorff’s research interests in prostate cancer are wide ranging. In the area of clinical trials, she has been heavily involved in the design and conduct of trials related to PSA-recurrent prostate cancer, referring to the setting in which local therapies (e.g., surgery and radiation) fail and blood-based markers (namely PSA) continue to rise. Dorff will be the clinical principal investigator of a prostate cancer CAR T trial that will open soon at City of Hope. At ASCO, she will discuss a study on overall survival results of a phase 3 randomized trial of standard-of-care therapy with or without enzalutamide for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer on Sunday, June 2.
For interviews with these City of Hope experts, please email or call media relations manager Letisia Marquez,, 626-476-7593.
About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked one of America's "Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTube or Instagram.