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Montefiore in the News

June 8, 2010
Dr. Goel Recognized for Unique Approach to Colorectal Cancer Research

Bronx, NY (June 7, 2010) -- Sanjay Goel, MD, MS, medical oncologist and researcher at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has been presented with The American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Foundation's (TACF) Advanced Clinical Research Award for his unique, patient-oriented approach to colorectal cancer research. Dr. Goel received the award at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

TACF grants and awards provide vital research funding and career-developing support, illustrating the Foundation's commitment to supporting both clinicians and cutting-edge research in oncology practice. Dr. Goel is one of three recipients of the TACF's Advanced Clinical Research Award, which is presented annually to physicians who have 5 to 10 years of experience and are full-time faculty members in a clinical setting at an academic medical center. Each winner receives a 3-year award totaling $450,000 to support original research that is currently not funded.

Dr. Goel received the award for his research project entitled, "A Novel Pharmacogenomic Based Therapeutic Approach for Patients with KRAS Mutant Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Using an Oncolytic Reovirus". Colorectal cancer is responsible for 50,000 deaths annually, with the median survival of patients with metastatic disease of 24 months. The most common treatment for mCRC incorporates oxaliplatin (chemotherapy) and bevacizumab (monoclonal antibody) as a frontline therapy, and irinotecan (chemotherapy), either alone or in combination with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies as a second line therapy.  However, these antibodies are ineffective in patients whose tumors test positive for a genetic variation known as KRAS mutation.

Dr. Goel's research focuses on the anti-cancer activity of reovirus serotype-3 in combination with irinotecan for the treatment of patients with KRAS mutant mCRC. Reovirus, a common community-acquired virus that causes mild flu-like gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms, can also infect and cause degenerative changes in cancer cells. "Patients with KRAS mutant colorectal cancer are an ‘orphan group' with limited therapeutic options, and any advance in their therapy can lead to significant benefits," Dr. Goel said.

"I am delighted that the ASCO Foundation has recognized and decided to support the innovative talent of one of our most promising young clinical investigators for work that expands the treatment options for patients with colorectal cancer," said Roman Perez-Soler, MD, Chairman of Medical Oncology at Montefiore, Director of the Division of Medical Oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and an Associate Director for Clinical Research at Albert Einstein Cancer Center.

Dr. Goel is a medical oncologist at Montefiore and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research interests include cancer drug development and phase I oncology clinical trials. He received his medical degree from Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, where he also completed an internship.  He obtained his residency in internal medicine at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center and completed fellowships in hematology and oncology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at Denver, and the Montefiore/Albert Einstein program. Dr. Goel is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.

An ASCO member since 2000, Dr. Goel plans to continue focusing on clinical and translational research. "The best format for drug development is laboratory medicine with a patient focus that can be quickly translated to the bedside," he said. "I believe that good clinical care forms the basis for clinical research and I will continue to promote good bedside and clinical care combined with clinical research."