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Letter from the Editors

Dr Erlinda Maria Gordon, Dr Sant P. Chawla
ASCO 2019
“Caring for every cancer patient & learning from every cancer patient” — a far-reaching theme of the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting — inspires both clinical oncologists and physician/scientists to value the importance of each cancer patient encounter. While Phase 3 clinical trials are vital to the evidence-based FDA-approval process, it is the oncologist at the bedside who makes the ultimate decisions on how, and with precisely what drugs, an individual patient will be treated. Thus, contemporary oncologists assume responsibilities for continuing education and clinical research in this Age of Precision Medicine and Tumour-Targeted Cancer Gene Therapy. The ASCO annual meetings are valuable in this regard; for it is within these topical meetings that medical oncologists gather from around the world to share clinical experiences, exchange clinical insights, and introduce innovative therapies. In such networking, medical and scientific visions are broadly shared and ultimately translated into the safe and effective medicines of the future. Indeed, the promise of Precision Medicine has come of age with the development of tumour-targeted viral vectors, genetic profiling, next generation sequencing, and complementary biomarkers.


Dr Erlinda M. Gordon and Dr Sant P. Chawla

Dr Erlinda Maria Gordon, MD

Dr Gordon is Director of Biological and Immunological Therapies at the Cancer Centre of Southern California and Chair of the Aveni Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica CA, whose mission is to rapidly develop gene targeted therapies for cancer. Dr Gordon is the FDA Sponsor of a planned Phase 2 multicentre study of DeltaRex-G, a targeted genetic medicine for advanced pancreatic cancer, and a collaborator in a program grant entitled “Cell Cycle Checkpoint Inhibitors for Pancreatic Cancer Gene Therapy”. Dr Gordon is also principal investigator of an on-going Phase 2 study using Trabectedin, Ipilimumab and Nivolumab as first line therapy for soft tissue sarcoma funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and co-investigator of over 20 cancer clinical trials. Dr Gordon completed her residency and post-doctoral fellowship in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology at CWRU University Hospitals of Cleveland. She was a tenured Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the USC Keck School of Medicine for 24 years. Dr Gordon is founder of 3 biotech companies and co-inventor of > 200 patents. She was recipient of the Thomas Award for Excellence in Medical Research in 2016 from the University of Santo Tomas School of Medicine, Philippines, where she received her medical degree.

Conflict of Interest: Dr Gordon is PI of an Investigator Initiated Research study funded by BMS.

Dr Sant P. Chawla, MD, FRACP

Dr Chawla is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine/Medical Oncology and Director of the Sarcoma Oncology Centre in Santa Monica, CA. His research has led to his recognition as one of the world’s leading authorities in bone and soft-tissue sarcomas and sarcoma therapy. He has authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals. He is a frequent speaker/presenter at national and international conferences such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Connective Tissue Oncology Society. Dr Chawla maintains strong academic affiliations as Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas/M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre, as clinical faculty of the Medical Centre of UCLA, USC Keck School of Medicine, John Wayne Cancer Institute and Cedar-Sinai Medical Centre. Dr Chawla received his Medical Degree at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. He then specialized in medical oncology at the Auckland Hospital, New Zealand, following which he completed his post-doctoral fellowship in medical oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston TX.

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