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News & Events

HCRN investigators present four studies during ASCO 2022 Annual Meeting

Four Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) investigator-initiated clinical trials were highlighted during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
HCRN investigators presented one poster and three trials in progress posters during the 2022 ASCO annual meeting. Read More

HCRN internship program creates a community and environment for students to grow

Four years ago, I left home to pursue higher education. Today, I feel a similar sense of nostalgia as this is my final day as an Intern at Hoosier Cancer Research Network. HCRN was not only a key to my financial stability in college, but it became a home consisting of the warmth only family could show you. Read More

A letter from Cyndi Burkhardt, RN

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to let you know my plans to retire as Executive Director of Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) this year, once a successor is chosen and acclimated to the position. An executive search is currently underway.

8/1/22 update: Watch for an announcement soon introducing HCRN’s new executive director.

I joined this organization more than 16 years ago when we were known as Hoosier Oncology Group (“the HOG”), and have marveled as we have grown and strengthened over the years. As a nurse who has has worked in oncology and research for years, this company has given me so many opportunities I would never have imagined. It has been my great honor and personal joy to see our dedicated staff find similar avenues for professional development at HCRN. I love working alongside our staff and leadership team: they are second to none. Read More

HCRN publishes 2021 Annual Report

These last two years have presented challenges for all organizations, but I want to express my utmost admiration to Cyndi Burkhardt and the entire team at Hoosier Cancer Research Network as we endured another year of challenges. The growth I have seen of Hoosier Cancer Research Network throughout my almost decade as chairman has been a product of Cyndi’s leadership. We would not have our highly qualified team, our reach as a network, and our strong collaborations if not for her leadership and guidance. Read More

Investigator Spotlight: Petros Grivas, MD, PhD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network highlights University of Washington (UW) / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, a board-certified medical oncologist with expertise and experience in treating genitourinary (GU) cancers. In 2018, Dr. Grivas joined UW School of Medicine as an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Clinical Director of the Genitourinary Cancers Program at UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Read More

HCRN GU16-260 investigators present findings at 2022 GU Cancer Symposium

Hoosier Cancer Research Network investigators will present their findings from the HCRN GU16-260 study during the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancer Symposium meeting on Saturday, February 19. Investigators of HCRN GU16-260 will present the abstract titled, Phase II study of nivolumab and salvage nivolumab + ipilimumab in treatment-naïve patients with advanced clear cell renal cell (HCRN GU16-260-Cohort A): Final report. Read More

Investigators present hepatocellular carcinoma study at 2022 GI Cancers Symposium


Hoosier Cancer Research Network investigators recently presented an abstract during the 2022 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The abstract included an online poster session featuring HCRN GI15-225, led by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read More

Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium abstract presented at two national meetings

A Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) study was presented at both the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2021 Annual meeting. TBCRC044 is led by Hope S. Rugo, MD of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California San Francisco.

The TBCRC044 study, a randomized phase II study of pembrolizumab in combination with carboplatin compared to carboplatin, is a multicenter study including breast cancer patients with chest wall disease that is hormone resistant or triple negative. Read More

HCRN BRE12-158 research findings published in Journal of Clinical Oncology

Reposted with permission by the Indiana University School of Medicine

Indiana University School of Medicine physician scientist Bryan Schneider, MD is the principal investigator of clinical trial HCRN BRE12-158, a randomized clinical study published in the prominent Journal of Clinical Oncology the primary goal of which was to compare survival in women with high-risk (those who did not fully respond to chemotherapy prior to surgery) triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) with a genomically directed therapy versus standard of care.

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Investigator Spotlight: Rana R. McKay, MD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network highlights Rana R. McKay, MD, a medical oncologist and researcher at UC San Diego Health. Dr. McKay specializes in treating people with urogenital cancers, including bladder, kidney, prostate, and testicular cancers, and leads a multi-disciplinary prostate cancer clinic. As an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. McKay instructs medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. She is a co-chair of HCRN’s Genitourinary Clinical Trial Working Group. Read More

Investigator Spotlight: Mylin Torres, MD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network highlights Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Mylin Torres, MD, professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Torres serves as co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Winship Cancer Institute while also serving as a radiation oncologist at the cancer center.

She is a member of HCRN’s Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Working Group and sponsor-investigator of HCRN BRE19-433, a multi-institutional Phase II study to evaluate efficacy and safety of TAlazoparib, Radiotherapy and Atezolizumab in gBRCA 1/2 negative Patients with PD-L1+ Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TARA). Read More

Investigator Spotlight: Andrew Poklepovic, MD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network features Andrew S. Poklepovic, MD, in our investigator spotlight. Dr. Poklepovic serves as assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU Massey Cancer Center and is a Harrison Endowed Scholar at the VCU School of Medicine. He is also the medical director for the Massey Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office and an associate member of the Massey Cancer Center Developmental Therapeutics Program for the Department of Internal Medicine.

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Schneider leads new study to develop personalized therapies in triple negative breast cancer

Reposted with permission by the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Indiana University School of Medicine researcher Bryan P. Schneider, MD, is leading a novel nationwide study to better understand how to treat patients with triple-negative breast cancer based on their own unique genetic data.

PERSEVERE, also known as HCRN BRE18-334, is a phase 2 clinical trial with the goal of studying personalized cancer treatment combinations when compared to standard cancer treatment.

“There is a tremendous need for successful triple-negative breast cancer treatments,” said Schneider, who is the Vera Bradley Professor of Oncology at IU School of Medicine and a physician-scientist at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research. “Recurrence and death rates are still too high, and novel strategies to improve that are markedly needed. We feel PERSEVERE is an innovative trial to try to help meet those needs.” Read More

Investigator Spotlight: Ruth O’Regan MD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network features our member institution University of Rochester Medical Center – Wilmot Cancer Institute and Ruth O’Regan, MD, the Charles A. Dewey Professor and Chair of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. O’Regan is a medical oncologist with more than 25 years of experience in academic medicine. Her research interests are significantly focused on identifying mechanisms of resistance to breast cancer therapies, specifically endocrine-resistant and triple-negative breast cancers.

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Phase II study for non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutation tests osimertinib with or without ramucirumab

A phase II randomized open-label study for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation, will test the EGFR inhibitor osimertinib with or without ramucirumab.

The study, HCRN LUN18-335, is now open to accrual at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC; Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center in Indianapolis; Moffitt Cancer Center in Miami; New York University Cancer Institute in New York; Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago; Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Summit Health Cancer Center in Florham Park, New Jersey; and the University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Read More

Study tests induction durvalumab followed by chemoradiation and consolidation durvalumab in stage III NSCLC

A multi-institutional single-arm study led by Rachel Sanborn, MD, of the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute, is testing the immunotherapy drug durvalumab followed by chemoradiation and consolidation durvalumab for adults with previously untreated stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The study, HCRN LUN18-357, is currently enrolling participants at Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon; HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis; Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Summit Health Cancer Center in Florham Park, New Jersey; and Cancer Center of Kansas in Wichita.

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Tan joins Kudchadkar, Kuzel in leading HCRN melanoma working group

Hoosier Cancer Research Network’s Melanoma Clinical Trial Working Group recently appointed a new co-chair, Alan Tan, MD, director of GU Medical Oncology and assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy at Rush Medical College.

Dr. Tan (pictured left) joins current co-chairs Ragini R. Kudchadkar, MD, of Emory University and Timothy Kuzel, MD, FACP, also of Rush University, in this leadership role. His research interests are in designing and implementing novel immunotherapies and targeted therapies in melanoma and genitourinary cancers.

Prior to joining Rush University, Dr. Tan served as clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, where he worked on phase I, II, and III clinical trials. He received his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Read More

McConkey, Gupta named HCRN Correlative Sciences co-chairs

David J. McConkey, PhD (pictured left), professor of urology and oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Gaorav P. Gupta, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology, biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, were recently appointed as co-chairs of Hoosier Cancer Research Network’s Correlative Sciences Clinical Trial Working Group. The group includes investigators from several HCRN member institutions who advise investigators on correlative research objectives for HCRN studies that are in development.

Dr. Gupta, a radiation oncologist specializing in breast cancer at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, received his MD, PhD, from the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program offered by Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He completed his residency training in radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as chief resident his during his final year. His expertise in breast cancer began at Sloan Kettering Institute, where he studied the mechanisms of tissue-specific metastasis in breast cancer and the critical role of the DNA damage sensor protein Mre11 in breast cancer prevention. Read More

Investigator Spotlight: Coral Omene, MD, PhD

This month, Hoosier Cancer Research Network features our member institution Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Coral Omene, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Research Interests and Expertise:

Dr. Omene is a medical oncologist with a passion for women’s health who is dedicated to the care of treating and managing a diverse pool of breast cancer patients. She has devoted much of her research toward translating novel laboratory observations into discoveries to better care for breast cancer patients, with a particular focus on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is known to be among the most aggressive breast cancers, with a poor prognosis, especially among African American women.

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HCRN investigators publish results of advanced colorectal cancer study GI14-186

Researchers participating in GI14-186, a Hoosier Cancer Research Network study for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), recently reported their findings in the journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy.

The single-arm phase Ib study, led by researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, tested the hypothesis that the addition of pembrolizumab to modified FOLFOX6 (mFOLFOX6), an established therapy for mCRC, could safely and effectively improve patient outcomes. The main purpose of the study was to determine median progression free survival (mPFS). Secondary objectives included disease assessments for objective response rate, disease control rate, and delayed response rate; disease assessment per immune related response criteria; overall survival (OS); and safety and tolerability.

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