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Sarah Cannon Research Institute to Present Latest Cancer Research Data at National Clinical Oncology Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 27, 2009 - Researchers from the Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) will present the results of 27 clinical trials at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The meeting, which takes place May 29-June 2 in Orlando, Fla., attracts more than 30,000 cancer specialists and is considered the premier oncology research conference in the world.

Of the 40 abstracts SCRI submitted, ASCO selected three for oral abstract presentation sessions, indicating that these research studies are among the best at the conference. SCRI researchers will present 20 abstracts at general poster sessions and four in poster discussions.

“It is a remarkable achievement to have such a strong presence at ASCO, because the accepted abstracts represent answers to important questions in cancer care,” said Dee Anna Smith, SCRI's chief executive officer. “The clinical trials our researchers conduct are advancing therapies for patients.”

SCRI Chief Medical Officer Howard A. Burris III, M.D. co-authors two of the oral presentations. One is a quantitative assessment of HER 2 status and correlation with efficacy for patients with metastatic breast cancer in a Phase II study of T-DM1. The other is a Phase Ib/II trial of anti-cancer agent carfilzomib in patients with relapsed solid tumors.

Ian W. Flinn, M.D., Ph.D., SCRI's director of hematologic malignancy research, co-authors the third oral presentation on a Phase I/II study of TRU-016, a novel targeted therapy, in patients with previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Additionally, Dr. Flinn will lead a discussion session on the durability of rituximab responses in indolent lymphoma.

Director of Lung Cancer Research David R. Spigel, M.D., who is a track leader on the ASCO Clinical Trials Committee, will give an educational session titled, “Crossing the 3% Barrier: Improving Accrual and Access to Clinical Trials.”

Johanna C. Bendell, M.D., SCRI's director of GI cancer research and associate director of drug development, will also lead an educational session that will review the latest data and practice implications on upper gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Bendell is a track leader on the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancer – Non-colorectal Committee.

The remaining studies focus on the efficacy of new combinations of medications and radiation in the treatment of breast, lung, colorectal and head and neck cancers, melanoma, solid tumors, hematologic malignancies and cancers of unknown primary site.

Other SCRI principal investigators who authored accepted abstracts include John D. Hainsworth, M.D.; F. Anthony Greco, M.D.; Denise A. Yardley, M.D.; M.D.; Jeffrey R. Infante, M.D. and Suzanne Jones, Pharm.D. The study findings were completed through the collaborative effort of physician researchers across SCRI's community-based network in 25 states.

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About ASCO

The ASCO annual meeting is an international gathering of physicians, academicians, clinical researchers and other healthcare professionals involved in multidisciplinary clinical cancer care. ASCO's objectives are to advance the education of physicians and other professionals caring for patients with cancer, to support the development of clinical cancer researchers and to facilitate the delivery of high-quality healthcare to patients with cancer.

About SCRI

SCRI is one of the largest clinical research programs in the nation, conducting community-based clinical trials in oncology and other therapeutic areas through affiliations with a network of nearly 600 physicians in 25 states. Additionally, SCRI offers management, regulatory and other research support services to drug development sponsors and strategic investigator sites across the country.

Contact: Sarah Cannon Research Institute
Anna Walker, 615-329-7216

Posted: May 2009