City of Hope oncologist George Somlo named director of pharmaceutical initiatives

October 16, 2017
Letisia Marquez
[email protected]

Inaugural role will advance translational research at City of Hope

DUARTE, Calif. — George Somlo, M.D., an internationally known breast cancer and hematology researcher at City of Hope, has been named director of pharmaceutical initiatives at the institution.

Currently, Somlo is a professor with joint appointments in the departments of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and holds key institutional functions as president of the medical staff and a member of the board of directors for City of Hope. In this new, additional role, he will cultivate relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology innovators and identify promising partnership opportunities for collaboration with City of Hope investigators, from relevant basic research projects to late-stage development programs.

“City of Hope is a comprehensive cancer center conducting over 500 clinical trials each year, and our relationships with the pharmaceutical industry enable us to accelerate the successful translation of research discoveries into novel treatments,” said Steven T. Rosen, M.D., Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair and City of Hope’s provost and chief scientific officer. “Dr. Somlo’s unique combination of expertise in both oncology and hematology, as well as his deep experience in translational research, will grow these relationships and guide collaborations that will ultimately best serve our patients.”

In addition to his responsibilities at City of Hope, Somlo is a longtime panel member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) breast cancer and multiple myeloma guideline committees. He has participated in a variety of American Society of Clinical Oncology committees focusing on breast cancer, and has been involved in guideline development for growth factors. He is a Multiple Myeloma Steering Committee Member in the BMT-Clinical Trial Network. He has been a member of grant review panels (Department of Defense (DOD), NCCN, Komen, National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the Netherlands and Singapore), and reviewer of many prestigious journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Clinical Cancer Research, Lancet Oncology and Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Somlo is particularly interested in collaborations focusing on triple negative breast cancer and overcoming breast cancer stem cell resistance in the preclinical and clinical settings. He is co-leader for the Breast Cancer Program of the NCI-contract-supported California Cancer Center Consortium (CCCP), a member of the leadership team in the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Breast Committee, principal or co-principal investigator for trials ranging from institutional phase 2 HER2-targeting and triple-negative breast cancer-focused neoadjuvant studies, and co-leader of a poly ADP ribose polymerase-inhibitor trial in breast cancer gene carriers in the NCI-contracted California Cancer Consortium. He is also the principal investigator of a phase 3 SWOG cooperative group trial aimed to define better therapies for patients with Stage 4 hormone-receptor positive breast cancer.

Somlo is also actively involved as principal or co-principal investigator in institutional, cooperative group, and industry-sponsored phase 1-3 trials in multiple myeloma, co-chairing a national trial focusing on the role of single vs. tandem autologous stem cell transplantation and novel regimens. He is leading an institutional trial incorporating total marrow irradiation into a transplant regimen, and testing novel – including immunotherapeutic – agents. Somlo has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and is funded by the NIH, DOD and was prior recipient of SWOG-Hope Foundation.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Semmelweis Medical School in Budapest, Hungary, Somlo completed his fellowship at the Department of Virus-Vaccine Control at the National Institute of Public Health and moved to California soon after. Following internal medicine training at the University of California, Irvine-Long Beach VA program, he completed fellowship training in medical oncology, hematology and bone marrow transplantation at City of Hope.

About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
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