Top GI Oncologists Share Excitement on 16th Annual ISGIO Conference | OncLive

Top GI Oncologists Share Excitement on 16th Annual ISGIO Conference

September 20, 2019

Gastrointestinal oncology experts highlight what they are most excited for at the upcoming International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology 16th Annual Gastrointestinal Oncology Conference.

The upcoming International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology (ISGIO) 16th Annual Gastrointestinal Oncology Conference will feature multidisciplinary updates in a number of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC), hepatobiliary cancers, esophageal and gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

The 2-day conference, which will take place October 10 to 11, 2019 at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, will now exist under the umbrella of MJH Life Sciences™, the largest privately held, independent, full-service medical media company in the United States, and the parent company of OncLive®.

We spoke with several of the key opinion leaders who will be giving presentations, moderating, or sharing case studies during this year’s ISGIO meeting. The GI oncology experts highlighted what they are most excited for and what sets this GI conference apart from other medical meetings taking place around the world.

Howard S. Hochster, MD

Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Rutgers-CINJ Associate Director, Clinical Research; Director Clinical Oncology Research, RWJ-B Health System

“This year’s ISGIO meeting will bring together a superb faculty of leaders in GI oncology to discuss the latest issues in this area. I look forward to meeting with my colleagues to parse the latest evidence-based medicine and discern how to put these findings into everyday practice. This is particularly a great meeting to meet GI leaders and network for our fellows who are highlighted with case presentations. The changes in GI oncology continue as we see new drug approvals—PARP inhibitors and PD-1—and combined targeted agents with immunotherapies. The next generation of more effective treatments is about to break through.”

Daniel G. Haller MD, FACP, FRCP

Daniel G. Haller MD, FACP, FRCP

Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Abramson Cancer Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

“[I am excited to be] meeting with the same international experts in GI cancer close to home and in an intimate and friendly environment. [We will discuss everything] from simple clinical [aspects], such as shorter adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, to breakthroughs in immuno-oncology and chemotherapy-free regimens for patients with BRAF-mutant colon cancer.”

Jonathan Strosberg, MD

Jonathan Strosberg, MD

Associate Professor, Moffitt Cancer Center

"[The ISGIO meeting] is probably the most valuable from an educational standpoint; it’s the top people in the field—top academic GI oncologists—and the focus is on education. It is not the place to go to for [new] high-impact abstracts, but if anyone is looking for the best annual review of what is new in GI oncology, I would say that is the ISGIO conference.

I’m chairing the NETs section for the conference and that has always been my peak interest. As far as the NETs section [goes], we have several talks and cases, one of which is on novel targeted agents. Another debate is a surgical debate on the value of dissecting off mesenteric tumors of the mesenteric vessel. We’re going to talk about lutetium-177 dotatate with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)…and we will talk about who should and should not be treated with PRRT. Those are the parts of the NETs section that I am most interested in.”

Michael J. Overman, MD

Michael J. Overman, MD

Professor, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

"The conference structure is very informal, so there is a lot of opportunity for dialogue between the faculty, panels, and audience, which generates very clinically relevant and good interaction. That is a nice structure that I look forward to at the ISGIO conference. The topics are picked to highlight recent advances and interesting areas, so it doesn’t try to be exhaustive—it tries to pick the unique areas that are evolving in GI cancer care.

I am overseeing a CRC session that we are having, and we’re going to be highlighting the new therapeutic options in the biomarker space. There are a lot of new biomarkers that have entered into practice for CRC, so we will have cases and discussion around those biomarkers that drive therapy. HER2 has some new [National Comprehensive Cancer Network] guidelines and recommendations, BRAF has the same [recommendations], and there are some data in both of those spaces.

In [microsatellite instability-high] CRC, data on how to incorporate immunotherapy in MSI-high cancers is going to be discussed and how early should we be using that therapy—that is the discussion people are having on the clinical side. [We will discuss] microsatellite stable CRC. Where do we stand there with current trial efforts, and what is the current trial future in that space, which still has been a challenge to getting immunotherapy to work?”

Pamela L. Kunz, MD

Pamela L. Kunz, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology), Stanford University Medical Center

“This is a small group, but there a lot of key experts in the field, so I am really excited to be at a small meeting, where I get the chance to think about other cancers outside of NETs. I will be co-chairing the NETs session, which is what I have been most involved with on its development. Some of [the NETs session] is highlighting the new therapies; there is a practical session on patient selection for PRRT.

It ends up being a really good opportunity for networking and hearing directly from experts on the state of the field. It is also clinically relevant, so there are no abstract presentations—it [comprises] cases and how clinical management should be taking place. The other thing is I am bringing one of my fellows—all of the cases are done with fellows helping to develop the cases with their mentor. It’s a really wonderful [opportunity] for fellows or junior faculty to meet some of these experts in the field.”

David H. Ilson, MD, PhD

David H. Ilson, MD, PhD

Attending Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

“[There are] quality speakers, up-to-the-minute updates, fellow mentoring, [and a] debate format. There will be an update on mixed data on immunotherapy agents in GI cancers, and updates on pancreatic cancer therapy in advanced disease and adjuvant therapy. [We will also discuss the role of radiation] in esophagogastric cancer management.”

Matthew H.G. Katz, MD

Matthew H.G. Katz, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

“I am very much looking forward to learning from my outstanding colleagues. As a surgeon, I am particularly interested in hearing about the role of novel chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy regimens in the treatment of patients with GI cancers, particularly when delivered in the preoperative setting.”

Michael J. Pishvaian, MD, PhD

Michael J. Pishvaian, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Co-director for Clinical Research, Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

“While there have been a lot of advances, there are still niche topics for which there is not clear guidance. ISGIO has a number of debates in which presenters present the data behind their ‘side.’ These presentations are very valuable in helping us to form our own judgements. [I am looking forward to] hearing about new advances in treatment options and new strategies for overcoming failures, such as the lack of success with immunotherapy in GI cancers.”


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