CARG Brings Aging to Cancer Care at ASCO

Geriatric oncology was front and center at this year’s American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)’s Annual Conference, and in no small part due to CARG’s marked presence at the conference. The conference took place over five action-packed days across June 3-6, in Chicago, IL, at the McCormick Place Convention Center and virtually.

As the ASCO Annual Conference is the biggest cancer meeting in the field, it is an enormous step forward to have aging in the spotlight. “It wasn’t always the case, from my training days,” says Supriya Mohile, MD, MS, who attended this year’s ASCO Conference, “that aging would be centered in mainstream discussions around cancer.” Indeed, ASCO was CARG’s latest opportunity to show the cancer care field the importance of centering older adults in conversations around oncology.

With CARG members receiving awards, connecting at social events, and giving over a dozen presentations, the Cancer and Aging Research Group certainly made a splash at ASCO. Here are a few highlights.

Awards and Nominations
Melissa Loh, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, was awarded the Career Development Award from Conquer Cancer Foundation-Walther Cancer Foundation at the ASCO conference. As part of this award, Dr. Loh has received $200,000 to pilot a randomized clinical trial evaluating communication and shared decision-making between doctors and older patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Additionally, one of Dr. Loh’s mentees, Marissa LoCastro, a third-year University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry student, received the ASCO Annual Meeting Research Award in recognition of her abstract on advanced care planning for older adults with blood cancer. The award supports trainees from underrepresented backgrounds to attend the event.

Read more about both Dr. Melissa Loh and Marissa LoCastro’s awards.

Dr. Melissa Loh with her mentor Dr. Supriya Mohile receiving the Career Development Award.

Marissa LoCastro with her mentor Dr. Melissa Loh receiving the ASCO Research Award.

Below are a few other notable awards received by CARG members:

Social Meet-Ups
In addition, CARG also hosted a number of social meet-ups at the ASCO conference for some long overdue in-person networking and connecting for the CARG community.

Several members of the CARG Junior Investigator Board convened at a coffee meet-up. They represented a diverse group of young researchers and faculty, leading the charge for aging and cancer care. “Honored to attend this coffee meeting with junior investigators of CARG at this year’s ASCO Conference” tweeted Dr. Shakira Grant, who said that the participants all left with “lots of wonderful ideas that we look forward to implementing” at their home sites.

Members of the CARG Junior Faculty convening at ASCO, including [from left to right]: Drs. Shelley Bluethmann, Melissa Loh, Daniel Richardson, Mohammed Al-Jumayli, Jingran Ji, Shakira Grant, Nikesha Gilmore, Sindhu Kadambi, and Shobha Shahani.

The CARG social gathering event took place at the Carnivale Restaurant in Chicago, which gathered dozens of CARG members. “It was such an honor to speak on behalf of the Cancer and Aging Research Group dinner gathering. I am merely the spokesperson for the whole team and the two leaders beside me, Drs. Supriya Mohile and Heidi Klepin,” recounted Dr. William Dale. “We are   pursuing Dr. Arti Hurria’s dream to bring high quality cancer and aging care to every older adult who needs it. ‘We honor the dream by doing the work.” With that spirit of dedication, compassion, and innovation, it was a whirlwind meet-up of CARG’s extraordinary community.

Drs. Heidi Klepin, William Dale, and Supriya Mohile giving remarks at the CARG Social Gathering

Drs. William Dale and Ishwaria Subbiah at the CARG Social Gathering

Drs. Ishwaria Subbiah, Grant Williams, Enrique Soto, Tracey O’Connor, Mackenzie Pergolotti, Supriya Mohile, and Carolyn Presley at the Social Gathering

Presentations:
More than 13 CARG members presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting. Covering topics ranging from the social justice perspective of including older adults in the conversation around cancer care; to global applications of geriatric assessment in countries like Brazil, Mexico, and India, check out some highlights below!

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