CARG at SIOG 2022

CARG Travels to 2022 SIOG Annual Conference in Switzerland

The Cancer and Aging Research Group was at the forefront of this year’s International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) Annual Conference. With “Celebrating Resilience” as the theme, the conference took place over three days of action-packed days across October 28th-30th, in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Conference Centre.

More than four hundred practitioners traveled from all over the world to attend the conference–including delegations from Europe, Asia, and the Americas–representing a diverse array of perspectives on geriatric oncology care models. Attendees also came from a wide range of professions, from both research and clinical backgrounds, with pharmacists, advanced practice providers, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, all finding themselves together in Geneva for the world’s biggest conference on geriatric oncology.

The North American delegation at SIOG, with many familiar faces from CARG

Throughout the meeting, CARG members received prestigious awards, presented cutting-edge research and practice findings, and overall made significant contributions to the advancement of geriatric oncology globally. CARG’s significant presence at 2022 SIOG Annual Conference demonstrates and forecasts the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations.

Here are a few highlights.

SIOG Public Policy Meeting
A pivotal moment for CARG at the SIOG Annual Conference was the Public Policy Meeting, at the United Nations premises in Geneva. With World Health Organization, United States Food and Drug Administration, and European Union Parliament members in the audience, the meeting was aimed at building supportive national programs and international collaborations on care, treatment, and research for older patients with cancer. Many CARG members were invited to speak at the event. Dr. Supriya Mohile, CARG Co-Leader, moderated the session on “Improving Recruitment of Older Patients in Clinical Trials.” Dr. William Dale, CARG Co-Leader, represented CARG as part of the “Multi-Stakeholder Experiences from the Field: Catalysts for Change” session. His remarks pointed to the growing importance of geriatric oncology on the world scale.

Dr. Dale cited the late CARG founder Dr. Arti Hurria’s words as a cornerstone for the vision for geriatric oncology strives: “One day, all older adults with cancer will receive personalized cancer care, utilizing evidence-based medicine with a multidisciplinary approach.”

Addressing the next steps for the field’s development, Dr. Dale discussed the five P’s for moving geriatric oncology forward: Process, Practical, People, Policies and Payment. In describing the community and collaboration within CARG as a model for the field’s growth, Dr. Dale ended his talk with a quote from Idowu Koyenikan: “There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”

Drs. William Dale and Supriya Mohile at the UN premises where Dr. Dale gave his keynote presentation

Dr. Dale’s slide from his keynote remarks on the steps for advancing geriatric oncology

Dr. Dale’s slide at his Public Policy Meeting remarks shouting out CARG, at the UN premises

Committed patient advocate and CARG SCOREBoard member Beverly Canin spoke at the meeting as well, emphasizing the importance of the patient at the center of cancer care.

Beverly Canin, SCOREboard member, on the right with Dr. Martine Extermann, SIOG Board member

Young SIOG & CARG Junior Faculty Board
Another key area of ongoing collaboration between CARG and SIOG were the convenings of early career investigators who count themselves a member of both Young SIOG and CARG’s Junior Faculty Board, including Drs. Melissa Loh, Nikesha Gilmore, Shakira Grant, Shelley Blumenthal, and Mohammed Al-Jumayli. The 2022 SIOG Annual Conference hosted a number of events for members of Young SIOG, including a workshop on geriatric assessment, a social gathering, and a poster walk. The career development of early career investigators and practitioners has been a shared goal of both organizations, an area of collaboration that will certainly continue long after this meeting, especially with the appointment of Dr. Loh, CARG Junior Faculty Board member, to the SIOG 2022-24 Board of Directors.

The Young SIOG Geriatric Assessment workshop, led by Sukeshi Arora, MD, and Martine Puts, RN, PhD

Young SIOG social event

Notably, CARG member Sophie Pilleron, NDPH, won the distinction of the 2022 SIOG Young Investigator Award, an annual award dedicated to promoting research in the field of geriatric oncology and supporting the career development of the new generation of experts.

Sophie Pilleron, NDPH, on the left, having received her 2022 SIOG Young Investigator Award

Presentations and Awards:
Many CARG members presented at the SIOG Annual Conference, covering a variety of topics from age-related disparities in relative survival for 10 common cancer types in the US to the influence of a patient’s race in patient-centered communication among older patients.

  • The epidemiology of preexisting geriatric and palliative condition in older adults with poor prognosis cancers []. Mazie Tsang MD, MAS, MS, Siqi Gan MPH,W. John Boscardin PhD, Melisa L. Wong MD, MAS, Louise C. Walter MD, Alexander K. Smith MD, MPH, MS
  • Age-related disparities in cancer survival in the US []. Sophie Pilleron, NDPH, Melisa Wong, MD, MAS, Brian Nicholson, Eva Morris, PhD, Diana Withrow, PhD, MSc.
  • Geriatric assessment of older adults with cancer during acute hospitalizations: Challenges and opportunities. Joana Marinho, MD, PhD; Helena Guedes, Sandra Custódio, MD, Agripino Oliveira, MD, Rafaela Verissímo, MD.

    The poster “Geriatric assessment of older adults with cancer during acute hospitalizations” presenting research findings of several CARG Members from Portugal
  • Patient-Centered Communication among Older Patients with Advanced Cancer and Oncologists: The Influence of Patient’s Race. Nikesha Gilmore, PhD, Lee Kehoe, PhD, Kiran Morthi, MS, Bianca Hall, BS, Thandolwethu Shabangu, Jihane Jean, Jane Jijun Liu, MD, Natalia Melnyk, MD, Brian Burnette, MD, Valerie Targia, Supriya Mohile, MD, Allison Magnuson, DO. Bonus photo: Dr. Gilmore’s daughter helping her mom with the poster presentation!
  • Nikesha Gilmore, PhD, also spoke on a panel featuring speakers across the world on various biological biomarkers to evaluate aging, with informative, dynamic slides to accompany her remarks.

    Nikesha Gilmore, PhD, presenting on biomarkers of aging on a global panel at SIOG
  • Resiliency among Older Adults Receiving Lung Cancer Treatment: The feasibility of a novel supportive care intervention with collection of longitudinal gut microbiome specimens and activity tracking during the COVID 19 Pandemic: Carolyn Presley, MD, MHS

    Carolyn Presley, MD, MHS, presenting her poster “Resiliency among Older Adults Receiving Lung Cancer Treatment”
  • Trajectory of functional decline and loss of independence in activities of daily living in older adults with advanced cancer receiving treatment [] Eva Culakova, PhD
  • CARG member and incoming SIOG President Nicolò Battisti, MD, presented on the increasing burden of cancer on older patients in the coming decades, and the importance of geriatric oncology as a field to address these demographic changes.

    Nicolò Battisti, MD, presenting on the increasing burden of cancer on older patients in the coming decades, a panel at SIOG.
  • Ashley Rosko, MD, discussed older adults and transplants in myeloma at a panel titled “Cellular Therapies in Past and Future – Where Do We Stand?”

    Ashley Rosko, MD, in the center, on the panel “Cellular Therapies in Past and Future – Where Do We Stand?”, co-chaired by Nina Neuendorff, MD, (far right) and Raul Córdoba, MD, PhD (second from right).
  • Development and Feasibility of a Supportive Care Intervention for Older Caregivers of Older Adults with Advanced Cancer [] Sindhuja Kadambi, MD, Supriya Mohile, MD, MS, Sally Norton, PhD, RN, Lisa Stupia, Terri Lloyd, Lee Kehoe, PhD, Yingzi Zhang, PhD, RN, Anna Job, and Allison Magnuson, MD, MS.

Looking Ahead
Next year’s SIOG Annual Conference is slated to be held in Valencia, Spain, from November 9-11, 2023, so be sure to mark your calendars. Until then, CARG will certainly continue to be hard at work advancing the international field of geriatric oncology at large.


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