Sarah Cannon
May 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 21, 2015 – Sarah Cannon Research Institute announced today it will present cancer research insights through 91 presentations selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO®) at the 51st annual meeting. Hosted in Chicago May 29 - June 2, it is the world’s largest conference for cancer experts to review research data that is helping to better identify and treat various types of cancers.

Sarah Cannon research leaders have abstracts accepted for presentation in four clinical science symposiums, 11 oral presentation sessions, 17 poster discussion sessions and 55 general posters, and are also presenting in three educational sessions and one community-based research forum. For full details on Sarah Cannon Research Institute's presence at the meeting, visit

“We look forward to sharing our research progress at this year’s meeting, which includes 48 phase I abstracts and represents our collaborations with 46 pharmaceutical and biotech partners,” said Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director, Sarah Cannon Research Institute’s Drug Development Program, Howard A. Burris III, MD. “From immunotherapies to agents that target genetic mutations, we continue to gain knowledge about which therapies are helping patients more effectively fight their cancer.”

Highlights of Sarah Cannon Research Institute’s research at the ASCO® Annual Meeting include a clinical science symposium presentation by David R. Spigel, MD, Director, Lung Cancer Research Program at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, related to the recently approved immunotherapy drug, nivolumab. Nivolumab was investigated in a phase III study compared against the chemotherapy drug, docetaxel for relapsed patients with advanced stage squamous cell lung cancer.

“As the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., lung cancer continues to be a vital research area where more treatment options are needed,” Spigel said. “We are encouraged to see an immunotherapy, which has improved survival rates and fewer side effects than chemotherapy, become a new standard of care for this population of patients.”

Several Sarah Cannon Research Institute investigators are presenting noteworthy studies in oral sessions, which include:

  • Professor Paul Ellis, MD, FRACP, Principal Investigator from Sarah Cannon Research - United Kingdom, will present primary results of the MARIANNE study. The study investigated three HER-2 targeted regimens trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab, trastuzumab emtansine alone, and trastuzumab plus taxane chemotherapy in those with previously untreated (first line) advanced HER2-positive breast cancer.
  • Denise A. Yardley, MD, Senior Investigator, Breast Cancer Research Program, will be discussing data from the phase III TITAN clinical trial, which studied the combination chemotherapy treatment regimen of agents doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by either ixabepilone or paclitaxel for patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer.
  • Jesus G. Berdeja, MD, Senior Investigator and Director, Myeloma Research Program, will present an update on a phase I/II study using the drug panobinostat, which gained accelerated approval in February 2015 for the treatment of multiple myeloma, in combination with the approved targeted inhibitor, carfilzomib, for patients with relapsed or relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.
  • Jeffrey R. Infante, MD, Principal Investigator and Director, Drug Development Program, will present findings on the dose escalation stage of a first-in-class phase I study testing BVD-523, a new targeted drug designed to inhibit ERK kinase, a member of a signaling pathway that can lead to tumor development.

Additional research investigators presenting for Sarah Cannon Research Institute at the conference include: Peter Acs, MD, Hendrik-Tobias Arkenau, MD, PhD, FRCP, Todd M. Bauer, MD, Johanna C. Bendell, MD, Gerald Falchook, MD, Ian W. Flinn, MD, PhD, John D. Hainsworth, MD, Erika P. Hamilton, MD, Lowell Hart, MD, William Harwin, MD, Melissa Johnson, MD, Andrew S. Kennedy, MD, Carla Kurkjian, MD, Suzanne F. Jones, PharmD, Scott McMeekin, MD, Kathleen Moore, MD, Ray Page, DO, PhD, Shubham Pant, MD, Manish Patel, MD, Saeed Rafii, MD, PhD, MRCP, MRCP, CCT, Kent C. Shih, MD, and David Waterhouse, MD.

The researchers represent Sarah Cannon Research Institute’s global network of strategic sites: SCRI at Tennessee Oncology, SCRI at HealthONE, SCRI - United Kingdom, Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders - Ft. Worth, SCRI at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Leaders in Oncology Care (The LOC in London), The Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma and Oncology Hematology Care, Inc.

About Sarah Cannon Research Institute

Sarah Cannon Research Institute is the research arm of HCA’s global cancer institute, Sarah Cannon. Focused on advancing therapies for patients, it is one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials in oncology, cardiology and orthopedics through affiliations with a network of more than 1,000 physicians across the United States and United Kingdom. Sarah Cannon Research Institute has led more than 170 first-in-man clinical trials since its inception in 1993, and has been a clinical trial leader in nearly 80 percent of approved cancer therapies in the last 10 years. Additionally, Sarah Cannon Research Institute offers management, regulatory, and other research support services for drug development and industry sponsors as well as strategic investigator sites through its contract research organization (CRO), SCRI Development Innovations. For more information, visit