Wilmot Cancer Institute scientists delivered nearly 15 percent of the oral presentations at the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) annual meeting in early November. The impressive showing demonstrates Wilmot’s leadership in the field, which includes one of the nation’s first specialized geriatric oncology clinics and research that has informed national guidelines.
Researchers produced studies in digital technology, patient advocacy, and data science, among others.
“We have very diverse interests among our faculty and trainees,” said Melissa Loh, B.Med.Sc., M.B.B.Ch., assistant professor of Hematology/Oncology and director of Geriatric Hematology and Mobile Health Research, who coordinated the SIOG presentations and gave the talk on digital health technology. “All of our presenters are being mentored by Wilmot senior faculty and we are proud of how effective our program has become.”
Other key presentations were by Erika Ramsdale, M.D., associate professor of Hematology/Oncology, clinical director of the Wilmot Informatics Group and a data scientist, on machine learning methods to conduct research; and by Allison Magnuson, D.O., assistant professor of Hematology/Oncology and director of Wilmot’s geriatric oncology clinic called SOCARE, who specializes in treating older adults with breast cancer. Her talk was about engaging patient advocates to work with researchers.
Many of the Wilmot research projects started with seed grants or funding from community donors, and then were later funded by the National Cancer Institute, Loh said. Research coordinators, hematology/oncology fellows, and other junior faculty all participated in gathering the data presented at SIOG, underscoring the notable pipeline of talent that’s been developed by the University of Rochester Medical Center’s geriatric oncology specialists and the UR Aging Institute.