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News & Events

Gbolahan receives Fisher Young Investigator Award

Hoosier Cancer Research Network, formerly known as Hoosier Oncology Group, recently honored Olumide Gbolahan, MD, as the 2016 recipient of the George and Sarah Jane Fisher Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Gbolahan grew up in Nigeria where his interest in medicine took root in high school. “My aptitude was really more toward the health sciences, biology core sciences,” he said. “I found myself moving in the direction of medicine. Once I found myself in medicine, I did not see that I could do anything else.” Read More

HCRN chairman and donors team up to advance research

This spring, Hoosier Cancer Research Network Chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD, invited friends and colleagues to join him in a unique challenge called Reps for Research. For the third consecutive year, Fausel added value to his participation in the Arnold Sports Festival’s 5K Pump and Run event, held March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, by inviting pledges in support of HCRN for every bench press repetition he completed.

Twenty-eight donors answered the challenge, contributing a total of $3,315 as Fausel successfully completed 30 repetitions during the event. Since 2015, Reps for Research has raised more than $8,000 toward innovative cancer research. This funding strengthens HCRN’s ability to support investigator-initiated clinical trials and correlative research that can lead to direct clinical benefit.

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Study tests safety, efficacy of pembrolizumab and Y90 in locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma is an aggressive cancer that is often difficult to treat due to the typical accompanying diagnosis of cirrhosis. For patients who qualify for curative treatment, surgery and liver transplant may be considered. However, most patients are not eligible for curative therapy, and instead may be offered liver-directed or systemic therapies that may extend overall survival, but outcomes remain poor for these patients.

A new Hoosier Cancer Research Network study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will help determine whether adding an immunotherapy drug to standard local radiation therapy for patients with high-risk hepatocellular carcinoma could lead to further improvements in overall survival.

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Loehrer to receive ASCO visionary leader award

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will honor Hoosier Cancer Research Network co-founder Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD, FASCO, with the inaugural Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture during the ASCO annual meeting, June 2-6 in Chicago. ASCO created the award in 2016 to recognize members who have transformed the oncology field or significantly advanced the mission of ASCO, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, or CancerLinQ, LLC, through their leadership, vision, and ability to inspire.

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HCRN meetings at ASCO

Hoosier Cancer Research Network will host meetings for Clinical Trial Working Groups during ASCO 2017.

HCRN ASCO MeetingsThe following meetings will be at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North, 350 West Mart Center Drive, Chicago, Ill. See map.

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Results from three HCRN studies presented at GU ASCO

Three Hoosier Cancer Research Network studies were featured in poster sessions during the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Feb. 16-18 in Orlando.

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Ellis honored for commitment and compassion

Serving others has been a lifetime calling for Cara Ellis. As a child, her parents taught her to appreciate what she had and to make the most of every opportunity. “I remember my father saying that he would love for his children to do some type of work where we are helping others,” Ellis recalls.

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) recently honored Ellis, a clinical research coordinator at IU Health Central Indiana Cancer Centers, with the Sandra Turner Excellence in Clinical Research Award.

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Ansari reflects on success and change in community oncology

In 1984, a small group of community-based oncologists and faculty members at the Indiana University Cancer Center came together with a shared mission: bring academic and community physicians together to develop cancer trials tailored to community needs. Thus, the Hoosier Cancer Research Network (formerly Hoosier Oncology Group) was founded.

Meet Rafat H. Ansari, M.D., F.A.C.P., a medical oncologist/hematologist at Michiana Hematology Oncology and one of the six founding members of Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN). Before HCRN had ever set out into “infinite possibilities,” Ansari was there, laying the foundations of the future through the insight and resolve that are characteristic of the group.

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HCRN chairman launches third “Reps” challenge

For the third consecutive year, Hoosier Cancer Research Network chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD, is combining his passion for investigator-initiated research with his annual participation in the Arnold Sports Festival Pump & Run 5K in Columbus, Ohio.

Fausel has participated in the annual strength and endurance event for several years, and is inviting pledges in support of Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) for every bench press “rep” he completes (maximum of 30) during the event on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Read More

Study compares docetaxel with or without nivolumab in advanced non-small cell lung cancer

A new study led by researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center may help answer questions about the role of immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy in treating lung cancer patients whose disease worsened after initial response to immunotherapy.

The randomized phase II study, known as HCRN LUN15-233, involves docetaxel (also known as Taxotere®) with or without nivolumab (also known as Opdivo®).

The study is now open to accrual at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Additional sites will open the study in the near future. Nasser Hanna, MD, (pictured) is leading the study, along with co-investigators Laura Lourdes, MD; Shadia Jalal, MD; and Lawrence Einhorn, MD. Read More

Fisher honored for lifetime of service

For more than four decades, William B. Fisher, MD, a medical oncologist at the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, has served cancer patients, their families, and the community of East Central Indiana. Dr. Fisher was one of six oncologists who founded Hoosier Cancer Research Network (known then as the Hoosier Oncology Group) in the mid 1980s, and served as its founding vice chair. He has remained a strong supporter of the vision for collaborative research to expand patient access to clinical trials throughout the state of Indiana and beyond. In honor of his longstanding commitment, HCRN recently presented Dr. Fisher with the organization’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award during an event in Indianapolis. Read More

OncoGenex announces positive survival results for GU12-160 study

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced positive survival results from the final analysis of the Phase 2 Borealis-2™ trial of apatorsen in combination with docetaxel treatment that enrolled 200 patients with metastatic bladder cancer whose disease had progressed following first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. The trial, also known as HCRN GU12-160, was conducted by the Hoosier Cancer Research Network at 28 sites across the United States.

Patients who received apatorsen treatment experienced a 20 percent reduction in risk of death, compared to patients receiving docetaxel alone (HR=.80; 80% CI: 0.65-0.98; p=0.078). The primary analysis was a superiority test of overall survival, performed at a one-sided 0.10 significance level using a stratified log-rank test.

Read more at oncogenex.com. Read More

Wayne joins HCRN Board of Directors

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN), a nonprofit cancer research organization in Indianapolis, recently welcomed Chris Wayne, vice president of oncology at Community Health Network, as a member of its Board of Directors.

A native Hoosier, Chris has about 25 years of experience in healthcare administration, mostly in oncology operations and strategic planning.

“I’ve been fortunate as an administrator to be responsible for mostly oncology throughout my career,” Wayne said. “My role as an administrator is to support our physicians, our nurses, and all those who are along the continuum of care.” Read More

HCRN study tests efficacy of supportive therapy with ginseng for patients receiving regorafenib

A new Hoosier Cancer Research Network study is evaluating whether ginseng can help lessen fatigue in patients treated with regorafenib.

The study, known as GI14-191, builds on earlier research that showed daily use of American ginseng significantly decreased the level of fatigue experienced by cancer patients undergoing treatment. GI14-191 focuses on patients receiving regorafenib for colorectal cancer. The study is currently open to accrual at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., with additional sites expected to open in the near future. Read More

Research Advocacy Network: the patient advocate’s advocate

The word “advocate” comes from the Latin “ad” meaning “to” and “vocare” meaning “voice”: “to voice.” In the fight against cancer, patient advocates are those who act as a voice on behalf of cancer patients. “Advocates channel the passion they have for making a difference for cancer patients,” according to the Research Advocacy Network.

The Research Advocacy Network (RAN) is a nonprofit organization that advances patient-focused cancer research by fostering interaction among advocates, researchers, and related organizations. RAN embodies a simple yet paradigm-changing perspective. “Focus research on the patient and the patient’s needs, not on the research and the researcher’s needs.” RAN co-founder Mary Lou Smith said. “It’s all about hearing the patient’s voice.”

Since 2003, RAN has been “bringing the voice of the patient to research for better cancer care.” RAN advances genuinely patient-centered research by developing a network of advocates and researchers who influence cancer research – from initial concept to patient care delivery – through collaboration, education, and mutual support. RAN is quintessentially the patient advocate’s advocate. Read More

Mantravadi reflects on innovation, collaboration in radiation oncology

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (formerly Hoosier Oncology Group) was founded in 1984 by a small group of community-based oncologists and faculty members at the Indiana University Cancer Center. Together, our founders had a vision to bring academic and community physicians together to develop cancer trials tailored to community needs.

R. Prasad Mantravadi, MD, FACR, FACRO, a radiation oncologist based in Fort Wayne, Ind., was among this group of visionaries. His unique perspective, professional journey, and character are an important part of the organization’s history. For Dr. Mantravadi, the story begins in India. Read More

Courage to Climb benefit concert brings community together

Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., will host the 2016 Courage to Climb concert on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school’s Erne Auditorium.

The annual benefit concert, now in its seventh year, honors Columbus North choir director and cancer survivor Janie Gordon. Tickets are $15 at the door. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Hoosier Cancer Research Network, a nonprofit clinical research organization in Indianapolis.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Gordon broke the news to her students during rehearsal for their summer musical production. Despite their shock, three students wanted to do something to help. They secretly planned a concert in honor of Gordon and named the event “Courage to Climb,” based on a motto Gordon had adopted for her battle against cancer.

Gordon was just beginning chemotherapy when the concert was held. She recalls her initial reaction when she walked in and saw the auditorium decorated in pink. Read More

HCRN study combines bone-targeting drug with androgen deprivation therapy for metastatic prostate cancer

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) announces the launch of a cancer clinical trial for subjects with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer with bone metastases.

The study, known as GU13-170, will compare the good and bad effects of adding Radium-223 dichloride, a bone-targeted drug, to androgen deprivation therapy, the usual treatment for this type of cancer.

The study is now open to accrual at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Subjects who enroll on this study will be randomized by chance to one of two groups. The first group, called Arm A, will receive androgen deprivation therapy with bicalutamide. This is the usual treatment. The second group, called Arm B, will receive androgen deprivation therapy with bicalutamide plus the study drug, Radium-223 dichloride. Read More

New study evaluates efficacy of immunotherapy drug in treatment of incurable germ cell tumors

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) recently launched a cancer clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of the PDL-1 inhibiting drug pembrolizumab in the treatment of patients with incurable platinum refractory germ cell tumors.

The study, known as HCRN GU14-206, is now open to accrual at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. This is a single arm study in which all subjects will receive the study drug, pembrolizumab.

Men and women age 18 and older who have incurable platinum refractory germ cell tumors (testicular or ovarian) may be eligible for this study. Other criteria must be met to fulfill eligibility requirements. Read More

Four HCRN studies accepted to ASCO 2016

Abstracts from four Hoosier Cancer Research Network studies were accepted to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Annual Meeting, June 3-7 at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The studies include GU12-157 (poster session), GU14-188 (poster session), GU14-202 (poster session), and LUN14-179 (publication-only abstract). Read More

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