PRIMO and Cancer Action Now, Inc. Honors Women in Oncology

The Practical Recommendations in Immuno and Molecular Oncology (PRIMO) meeting sponsored by Cancer Action Now, Inc. announces that Suzanne Topalian, MD from Johns Hopkins University and Ranjana Tavorath, MD from Novartis have been honored with the meetings first ever Women in Oncology award.

Maui, HI, January 18, 2016 --( The PRIMO meeting Chairs, Julie Vose, MD and Julie Brahmer, MD, wanted to identify and honor women who have made significant contributions to the care of patients faced with a cancer diagnosis. The nominees for this award were from academia, industry, or advocates who have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of cancer patients. “We were overwhelmed with the quality of the submissions for this award and are proud to select and recognize the contributions that both Dr. Suzanne Topalian and Dr. Ranjana Tavorath have made to their respective fields,” said Julie Vose, MD.

Dr. Topalian received her medical degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She was a research fellow and then a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute, NIH. She joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006 to direct the Melanoma Program in the Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Topalian is a physician-scientist whose studies of human anti-tumor immunity have provided a foundation for the clinical development of cancer vaccines, adoptive T cell transfer, and immune-modulating monoclonal antibodies. Her current research focuses on manipulating “immune checkpoints” such as PD-1 in cancer therapy and discovering biomarkers predicting clinical outcomes. Dr. Topalian was named one of Nature’s 10 in 2014, and received the Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2015. Her work has opened new avenues of scientific investigation in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and has established this treatment approach as a pillar of oncology. “It is a pleasure for us to honor Dr. Suzanne Topalian. She is one of the pioneers in immuno oncology and her contributions have been instrumental in changing the treatment landscape for a disease that was previously considered nearly untreatable,” remarked Julie Brahmer, MD.

Dr. Tavorath is a medical oncologist with over 20 years of post-fellowship experience in academic, clinical, and industry roles in oncology. After completing her training at Memorial Sloan Kettering and 9 years in clinical practice, she joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals where her industry experience in clinical development and medical affairs roles related to early and late phase development programs, including, Tasigna, Sandostatin, Pasireotide, Afinitor, Votrient, Tykerb, Mek/BRAF, PI3K and cdk inhibitors across various solid tumor, heme and endocrine indications. She currently is in a senior leadership position in Novartis Oncology Clinical Development and Medical Affairs as senior Franchise head responsible for medical affairs portfolio disease strategy for breast cancer, renal cell cancer and sarcoma. “Dr. Tavorath’s work over the years has had a tremendous impact on the lives of cancer patients by bringing high quality medicines to the market with exceptional science,” commented Dr. Julie Vose. “We are pleased to honor Ranjana as she is a model for how those in industry are making tremendous contributions to cancer care. As the first woman from industry being honored by PRIMO, she sets a wonderful benchmark for future candidates of this honor.”

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About Practical Recommendations in Immuno and Molecular Oncology (PRIMO)
As the science of cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment advance at a pace unlike we have ever seen before, community physicians are often challenged to stay up to date on the important advances that have a significant impact on clinical practice. PRIMO has been engineered to help summarize and distill many of the recent key developments so that the physicians, advanced practitioners, and nurses have clear and simple to understand recommendations from leading experts on how to integrate biomarker testing, targeted agents and immuno oncology agents across a wide range of malignancies into their clinical practice.

PRIMO Media Contact:
Sue Hadley
Sue Hadley