Speakers

Sanjiv Agarwala, Michael Atkins, Arjun Balar, Robert Ferris, Isabella Glitza Oliva, Brent Hanks, Jason Luke, Jose Lutzky, Sandip Patel, Naiyer Rizvi

Sanjiv Agarwala, MD

Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
Chief, Oncology and Hematology
St. Luke’s Cancer Center
Easton, PA

Dr. Agarwala is the Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology at St. Luke’s Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in the research and treatment of melanoma and immunotherapy of cancer and has presented and led numerous conferences and meetings across the globe.

Dr. Agarwala received his undergraduate education and Medical Degree from Bombay University. He completed his medical training through residencies and fellowships at the University of Bombay in India, Otago University in New Zealand, and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Agarwala has written and contributed to over 150 publications and book chapters on melanoma and other research areas. He is Board Certified in Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine, as well as an active member of several professional and scientific societies, such as the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Society of Medical Oncology, and the Society for Melanoma Research.

Dr. Agarwala has been the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials involving immunotherapy and targeted therapy for melanoma and other malignancies, as he has special interest and expertise in immunotherapy for cancer. As a result of his dedication to melanoma and immunotherapy research, Dr. Agarwala has received several honors, including listings as one of America’s top doctors for cancer and best doctors in the United States.

Dr. Agarwala has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.

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Michael Atkins, MD

Professor of Oncology and Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)
School of Medicine
Georgetown University
Deputy Director
Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Washington, DC

Dr. Atkins is Deputy Director of the Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor of Oncology and Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. He also leads the Melanoma Disease Group within the Medstar Georgetown Cancer Network and the joint Immunotherapy Initiative between Georgetown-Lombardi and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Prior to his move to Georgetown, Dr. Atkins was Deputy Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office, Director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program, and Director of the Biologic Therapy Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In addition, he was the leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He served as Director of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant and co–principal investigator of the DF/HCC Skin Cancer SPORE since their inceptions in 2003 and 2001, respectively.

Dr. Atkins completed his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine, and postgraduate training as a resident and chief resident in the Department of Medicine and fellow in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts New England Medical Center (Tufts-NEMC). He was on staff in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts-NEMC from 1987 until joining the staff at BIDMC in 1997.

Dr. Atkins’ major research interests are cancer immunotherapy, treatment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, predictive markers for response to biologic therapy, and antiangiogenic and targeted therapies. His research work has been funded continuously by the National Cancer Institute, various foundations, and several pharmaceutical companies since 1987.

Dr. Atkins is considered an international authority on melanoma, kidney cancer and cancer immunotherapy. He has been on the editorial boards of several journals, including Cancer, Journal of Translational Medicine, Kidney Cancer Journal, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and is Associate Editor to Journal of Immunotherapy. Dr. Atkins has authored over 350 peer reviewed original research articles, book chapters, review articles and editorials and has edited three books. He also edits the melanoma and kidney cancer sections of UpToDate: a digital medical textbook.

Dr. Atkins serves on the advisory boards of the Melanoma Research Foundation and the Kidney Cancer Association, is a member of the NCI Recombinant DNA Advisory Counsel and the CTEP Immunotherapy Task Force and is past president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Dr. Atkins has disclosed that he is a consultant for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Merck, Necktar, Novartis, and Pfizer.

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Arjun Balar, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program
NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center
New York, NY

Dr. Balar is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.

Dr. Balar received his medical degree from the University of South Florida – College of Medicine in Tampa, FL as a member of the Alpha-Omega-Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed his internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY and went on to complete a fellowship in medical Oncology and Hematology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY where he focused his research efforts entirely on novel therapies in muscle-invasive and metastatic bladder cancer.

Dr. Balar has focused primarily on cisplatin-ineligible patients with the goal of identifying better tolerated and more effective therapies in advanced and invasive/high-grade urothelial cancer, with a particular focus on novel immunotherapies and combinations.

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Robert Ferris, MD, PhD

UPMC Endowed Professor and Chief
Division of Head and Neck Surgery
Associate Director for Translational Research
Co-Leader, Cancer Immunology Program
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Ferris completed his training at Johns Hopkins University, focused on head and neck oncologic surgery and cancer immunology. He moved to the University of Pittsburgh, where he is currently the UPMC Endowed Professor, Vice-Chair and Chief of Head and Neck Surgery, and Fellowship Director in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery. At the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, he is Co-Leader of the Cancer Immunology Program and Associate Director for Translational Research. Dr. Ferris serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research and Section Editor for Cancer. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. Dr. Ferris has published over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and in 2015 was elected Co-chair of the NCI Head and Neck Steering committee to facilitate prospective clinical trials. He has authored numerous book chapters and co- edited two textbooks, Salivary Gland Disorders and Master Techniques in Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr. Ferris’ NIH-funded laboratory is focused on reversal of immune escape and immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies and cellular vaccines, leading randomized phase II-III trials of anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 immunotherapy. He currently chairs the NIH tumor Microenvironment study section. He is Principal Investigator (PI) of several prospective randomized trials, including ECOG 3311, testing radiation dose-deintensification after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer, as well as ECOG-ACRIN 3132, using p53 mutational testing in HPV- cancer, to predict response to radiation versus chemoradiation. He is a PI of the University of Pittsburgh Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for translational head and neck research, and a T32 training grant, “Training of Head and Neck Oncologists,” both funded by the National Cancer Institute until 2020.

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Isabella Glitza Oliva, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology
Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Dr. Oliva is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She completed her degree at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, TX. She completed her clinical fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX , her clinical residency and clinical internship at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Oliva joined the Melanoma Medical Oncology Department as an Assistant Professor and immediately took on the leadership of their unique intrathecal immunotherapy program for metastatic melanoma patients with Leptomeningeal Disease (LMD). Since then, she has focused on the treatment of brain metastasis and LMD. Dr. Oliva has published a case report describing the use of IT tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, which was the basis for a clinical trial using the same treatment that recently opened at MD Anderson. In addition, she summarized long-term experience and outcomes with IT IL-2.

Over the last two years, Dr. Oliva has established a cerebrospinal fluid banking program which will allow for close monitoring of treatment efficacy and advance the field in finding improved l treatment options for LMD patients. She has built the largest melanoma LMD database in the world including clinical information on over 400 melanoma LMD patients, which is an excellent resource for future trials, and a preliminary analysis of 178 metastatic melanoma patients with LMD that have been treated at her institution will be reported at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society for Melanoma Research.

Dr. Oliva recently presented current clinical treatment options for LMD during institutional Grand Rounds, and at the World Congress of Melanoma/ Society of Melanoma Research (SMR) at Brisbane, Australia. She was appointed as the Director of the melanoma LMD research program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She received the ASCO Young Investigator Award in 2013.

Dr. Oliva has presented at the Society of Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting, and the first Melanoma Brain Metastasis Research Symposium held in Philadelphia, PA. She has participated as co-author on a white paper about melanoma CNS metastasis research that has recently been published. Dr. Oliva has become a lead investigator for LMD and CNS disease, focused on clinical development of new therapeutic strategies, as well as novel methods for prediction and evaluation of treatment effect driven by solid background scientific data, thus contributing to the advancement of personalized cancer therapy.

Dr. Oliva holds board certifications for the American Board of Oncology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is currently the SITC course director, SITC Cancer, Houston, TX, and the director of the Leptomeningeal Disease Research Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

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Brent Hanks, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Tumor Immunology/Immunotherapy
Division of Medical Oncology
Department of Internal Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC

Dr. Hanks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and division of Medical Oncology at Duke University with a dual appointment with the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC. He completed his medical degree along with a PhD in tumor immunology while in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Dr. Hanks went on to complete his internal medicine residency training and his hematology and oncology fellowship training at Duke University in Durham, NC.

In addition to managing patients with advanced skin cancers, including melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, Dr. Hanks now manages a NIH-funded basic and translational research lab focusing on understanding biochemical mechanisms of tumor-mediated immune evasion and immunotherapy resistance in cancer.

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Jason Luke, MD, FACP

Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Dr. Luke is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago where he specializes in the management of patients with melanoma and early phase drug development (particularly novel immunotherapeutics and biomarkers of immunotherapy activity). He received his MD from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. Dr. Luke then pursued internship and residency at the Boston University Medical Center followed by Medicine and Medical Oncology fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Following fellowship, he was a tenure-track, Type 1 Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Staff Physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Dr. Luke is actively involved in several professional societies including the Society for Melanoma Research, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has served as the chair of the education committee and as a member of the scientific committee for the melanoma track of the ASCO annual meeting. Dr. Luke has received several awards including a Paul Calabresi Career Development in Clinical Oncology Award (K12), an ASCO Merit Award as well as Young Investigator Awards from the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Cancer Research Foundation, and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO. His research has been supported by ASCO, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the National Cancer Institute.

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Jose Lutzky, MD, FACP

Chair, Cancer Research Committee
Director, Melanoma Program
Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center
Miami Beach, FL

Dr. Lutzky is Chair, Cancer Research Committee and Director, Melanoma Program at Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Dr. Lutzky graduated from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Medical School, Brazil in 1980. After his residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, he completed a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Columbia University, remaining on the faculty until he joined the University of California, Irvine, for several years. In 1994, he relocated to his present position. His main current interest is the development of new treatments for malignant melanoma.

Dr. Lutzky has disclosed that he is a member of the speakers; bureaus for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Novartis.

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Sandip Patel, MD

Assistant Professor
Deputy Director, San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy
Assistant Director, Clinical Trials Office
Cancer Immunotherapy Program,
Experimental Therapeutics, Thoracic Oncology
Division of Hematology & Oncology
Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
La Jolla, CA

Dr. Patel is a Medical Oncologist focused on early development of novel immunotherapy, in particular early phase clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy and thoracic oncology immunotherapy trials. His research focus is on predictive biomarkers for immunotherapeutic response and generation of personalized cancer immunotherapy regimens.

Dr. Patel is the Assistant Director of the Clinical Trials Office at UCSD Moores Cancer Center in LaJolla, CA. He is a member of the Cancer Immunotherapy, Experimental Therapeutics (Phase 1), and Thoracic Oncology Programs. He is the Deputy Director for the Center for Precision Immunotherapy at UC San Diego.

Dr. Patel earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine while performing research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Patel completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He is a triple board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology.

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Naiyer Rizvi, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Thoracic Oncology and Immunotherapeutics
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY

Dr. Rizvi is the Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and the Director of Thoracic Oncology Phase I Immunotherapeutics for the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY. He also holds the Price Chair in Clinical Translational Research.

Dr. Rizvi is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of lung cancer and immunotherapy drug development. Prior to joining Columbia University Medical Center, his clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer played a significant role in the FDA approval path of a new class of immunotherapies, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, for melanoma and lung cancer.

Dr. Rizvi’s research focus is studying mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to immunotherapy. Through genetic testing of tumors, he has been able to improve the understanding of why immune checkpoint inhibitors work in certain patients. This work has been partially supported by Stand Up to Cancer – Cancer Research Institute Immunology funding.

In his research, he also is studying why certain cancers do not respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors, so we can find better ways to harness the immune system to attack cancer cells. He oversees phase 1 immunotherapy research in solid tumors at Columbia University Medical Center and is conducting key clinical studies of novel immunotherapy drugs and immunotherapy combinations to help more patients in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Rizvi has disclosed that he is a consultant for AstraZeneca, Merck, Novartis, and Roche. He is also a shareholder/co-founder of Gritstone Oncology.

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