This issue, CARG shines a spotlight on Dr. Sukeshi Arora and Dr. Efrat Dotan. Dr. Arora, mentee, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Dotan, mentor, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Paired in 2017, the two researchers quickly bonded over their mutual interest in the interaction between Geriatric Oncology and gastrointestinal cancers. Their relationship has deepened with time. “Over the years,” Dr. Arora notes, “Dr. Dotan has become an invaluable mentor for me and positively influenced my career trajectory.”
For Dr. Arora, without formal training in geriatrics, her membership in CARG has been invaluable with respect to learning from thought leaders like Dr. Dotan, as well as connecting with relatively junior peers. These relationships have resulted in collaborative SIOG publications, such as a review of hepatocellular carcinoma in older adults (Hepatocellular carcinoma in older adults: A comprehensive review by Young International Society of Geriatric Oncology – PubMed (nih.gov)).
With respect to research, their partnership has been a fruitful one. The two researchers have collaborated on a number of fronts––from developing projects to writing reviews to designing clinical trials (Characterizing Disease Biology, Treatment and Toxicity in Older Adults With Hepatocellular Carcinoma – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov). For example, they are formulating intention-to-treat (ITT) proposals to study newer agents in liver cancer in older adults with geriatric endpoints. They also co-authored a comprehensive review on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in older adults in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology.
Their relationship has persisted, notwithstanding the distance between them and the disruption of Covid-19. “Despite being in two different institutions, far apart,” reflects Dr. Dotan, “we were able to connect virtually, and face-to-face at national meetings to keep in touch and move initiatives forward.”
Reflecting on her mentorship from Dr. Dotan and her membership in both Junior CARG and CARG, Dr. Arora observes, “CARG is one of the most inclusive research groups I have been a part of, and CARG is very welcoming to new researchers in the field.” She adds, “I am so grateful [to CARG] because I met my mentor… and have also developed so many friendships that I know will last a lifetime.”