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Montefiore in the News

June 25, 2012

American Society of Clinical Oncology Recognizes Sanjay Goel, MD, MS, and Shaad Abdullah, MD, for Outstanding Promise in Field of Cancer Care

Sanjay Goel, MD, MS Shaad Abdullah, MD

New York City, NY (June 25, 2012) – Two physicians from the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care were recognized at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for their promise as future leaders in cancer treatment and research. ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer.

Sanjay Goel, MD, MS, medical oncologist and researcher, of Syosset, NY, was one of 12 physicians from across the country selected for the ASCO Leadership Development Program, which is designed to identify and nurture the organization’s future leaders. A member of ASCO since 2000, Dr. Goel is an attending physician at Montefiore whose research interests include cancer drug development and phase I oncology clinical trials. He is Director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. During the year-long Leadership Development Program, Dr. Goel and fellow participants will learn to build their leadership skills through the ASCO curriculum and by interacting with faculty and each other. They will also have opportunities to network with and receive mentoring from ASCO leadership, gain exposure to ASCO committees and government research agencies, enhance their leadership skills through interactive sessions, and receive first-hand advocacy experience on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Goel was previously recognized by ASCO in 2010, when he received the ASCO Cancer Foundation’s Advanced Clinical Research Award for his unique, patient-oriented approach to colorectal cancer research. He was one of three physicians to win the award that year, receiving a total of $450,000 in funding over three years to support his research.

Shaad Abdullah, MD, chief oncology fellow, hematology/oncology, of the Bronx, was a recipient of the 2012 Young Investigator Award (YIA), presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO. He is among 35 oncology professionals from around the world who were selected to receive the award, which is given to promising young cancer researchers.

Recipients of YIAs are investigators at the beginning of their careers who are transitioning from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment and who are engaged in clinical and translational research. Oncologists in any subspecialty practicing in any part of the world are eligible to receive the YIA.  Recipients are given a 1-year grant totaling $50,000 to support costs directly related to the research project.

Dr. Abdullah was selected based on his investigation of immune mechanisms of the skin toxicity secondary to EGFR inhibitors, research he has undertaken with guidance from mentor Roman Perez-Soler, MD, Chairman, Department of Oncology, Montefiore and Chief, Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Einstein.  Recently antibodies and small targeted drugs have been developed and shown to be effective against various cancers. Some of these medications, also known as EGFR inhibitors, cause a skin rash in about two thirds of the patients, and the patients who develop this rash have been found to actually live longer in many studies.

Through his research Dr. Abdullah hopes to determine if this is because these patients have a better immune system at baseline, and can therefore fight the cancer better, or because these medications stimulate the immune system and boost the body’s ability to attack the cancer as an unexpected benefit. The ASCO grant will allow him to continue this important line of research.