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NCI at AACR Virtual Meeting I

Thank you for joining us for the first AACR Annual Virtual Meeting. You can access all presentations—including those featuring NCI speakers—from AACR Annual Virtual Meeting I on-demand. Creating an account is required, but is free and open to the public.

NCI Leadership Presentation

NCI Deputy Director Speaks about Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research

Dr. Dinah S. Singer, NCI Deputy Director

Credit: National Cancer Institute

Dr. Singer presented about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on NCI and the extramural community. She gave an overview of NCI’s efforts to contribute to the COVID-19 crisis by pivoting some cancer research activities to focus on SARS-CoV-2 as well as highlighting examples of how NCI continues to make progress in cancer research. Dr. Singer also provided some details on how NCI, working with NIH, has implemented new flexibilities for the cancer research community during this crisis.  

Some of these flexibilities include: 

  • Extended deadlines for applications
  • Use of NCI grant funds for salaries and stipends
  • Flexibility on extensions of projects and reporting requirements
  • Extensions for early stage investigators and trainees

A comprehensive list of COVID-related resources from NCI is available at COVID-19 Information for Cancer Researchers.

Due to the timeliness of the presentation provided by Dr. Singer, NCI is also providing direct access to the slides and video below: 

View slides in PDF

NCI Activities: COVID-19 and Cancer Research

Presentations and Poster Sessions Featuring NCI Staff

Presentation Title and Time NCI Participant(s)

Advancing Cancer Research through an International Registry; AACR Project GENIE Use Cases

Harmonization standards from the Variant Interpretation for Cancer

Learn about the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium efforts on harmonized meta-knowledgebase of clinical interpretations of somatic genomic variants in cancer. This presentation will also examine how the AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE) was utilized for evaluating meta-knowledgebase value.

Dmitriy Sonkin

Translational Prevention Studies 

This minisymposium presents a multidisciplinary program of state-of-the-art laboratory, clinical, and translational research addressing multiple aspects of prevention research. Abstracts describing epidemiologic studies, animal model development, biomarker identification, and chemoprevention studies will be presented.

Eva Szabo 
Altaf Mohammed 
Shizuko Sei 
Robert Shoemaker
Mark Miller

Adoptive Cell Transfer Therapy 

Safety and efficacy of CD19/CD22 CAR T cells in children and young adults with relapsed/refractory ALL

Learn how this trial tested novel, humanized bispecific CD19/CD22 CAR T cells, developed to overcome resistance with approved CAR T-cell therapies, in patients with relapsed/refractory acute B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. Eight of 11 patients who received the treatment had objective responses, with four minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative complete responses and four partial responses. The treatment was well tolerated, with best responses in patients who did not receive prior CAR T-cell therapy.

Haneen Shalabi
Bonnie Yates 
Shilpa Shahani 
Haiying Qin 
Leah Hoffman 
Lauren Little 
Katherine Graap 
Nirali N. Shah 
Immunotherapy Clinical Trials 2

A multicenter randomized phase 2 trial of atezolizumab as monotherapy or in combination with cobimetinib in biliary tract cancers (BTCs): A NCI Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN) study

This presentation discusses a randomized trial of atezolizumab versus atezolizumab and cobimetinib in patients with cholangiocarcinoma. This trial is based on preclinical data suggesting that MEK inhibition may potentiate the efficacy of immunotherapy. The trial demonstrated a modest but statistically significant increase in the progression free survival on the combination arm. Correlative studies are underway and may provide guidance for development of this or other combination regimens for patients afflicted by this horrible disease.

Elad Sharon 
Helen Chen 
Novel Targets and Therapies


This session showcases the identification of new drug targets using small molecules and the exploration of novel cell surface receptor using a proprietary chemotherapy delivery platform.

Naoko Takebe (session co-chair)
Predictive Biomarkers for Immunotherapeutics

Alignment of TMB measured on clinical samples: Phase IIB of the Friends of Cancer Research TMB Harmonization Project

As more gene panel-based assays are developed to estimate tumor mutation burden (TMB), harmonization is emerging as an unmet need and is a key goal of the Friends of Cancer Research TMB Harmonization Project. The investigators report on Phase 2B of their study, which aims to characterize variability in TMB measurements in clinical samples and to establish best practices for estimating and aligning TMB in order to improve consistency across panels.  

Laura M. Yee
Mickey Williams
Lisa McShane 

Evaluating Cancer Genomics from Normal Tissues through
Evolution to Metastatic Disease

Oncologic therapy shapes the fitness landscape of clonal hematopoiesis

Utilizing targeted, deep coverage next-generation sequencing data (MSK-IMPACT) to identify clonal hematopoiesis-related mutations, we show that patients previously treated with oncologic therapy have increased rates of clonal hematopoiesis, with increased mutation frequency in DNA damage response-related genes. Improved understanding of clonal hematopoiesis-related mutational features could impact clinical practice for early detection and treatment decisions in patients at high risk of progressing to therapy-related myeloid neoplasia.

A standard operating procedure for the interpretation of oncogenicity/pathogenicity of somatic mutations 

Learn about the development of the SOP for the interpretation of oncogenicity of somatic mutations. The discussion will include the rationale, intended scope and key features of the SOP.

Choonsik Lee 
Montserrat Garcia-Closas 
Lindsay Morton 
Dmitriy Sonkin 
Targeted Therapy

Binimetinib in patients with tumors with NRAS mutations: NCI-MATCH ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group subprotocol EAY131-Z1A 

Preclinical and clinical data have suggested that downstream inhibition with a MEK inhibitor, such as binimetinib, might be efficacious for NRAS-mutated cancers. In the NCI-MATCH Precision Medicine study, Z1A patients with refractory solid tumors harboring codon 12, 13, or 61 NRAS-mutations were enrolled on a single arm study of binimetinib 45 mg twice daily. While the trial did not meet the primary endpoint (RR=2.1%), it was noted that patients whose tumors harbored the codon 61 mutation had a significantly longer OS (p=0.04) and PFS (p=0.006) than those with tumors harboring codon 12 or 13 NRAS-mutations. Further study of binimetinib in tumors with codon 61 mutations may be warranted.

James Zwiebel
Lisa McShane 
Lyndsay Harris
Helen X Chen 
Mickey Williams 
Barbara Conley 
Alice Chen 
Larry Rubinstein 
David Patton
Poster Sessions
Title NCI Participant(s)
Naproxen chemoprevention promotes immune activation in Lynch syndrome colorectal mucosa Shizuko Sei 
Robert H. Shoemaker
Eva Szabo 
Ellen Richmond 
Asad Umar 
Marjorie Perloff 
Pharmacokinetic analysis of navitoclax in combination with sorafenib in patients with relapsed or refractory solid organ tumors Naoko Takebe 
Characterization of PEN-866, a Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) binding conjugate of SN-38, in patient plasma and tumors from the first in human study Anish Thomas 
Christophe Redon 
A phase 1b study of nivolumab in patients with autoimmune disorders and advanced malignancies (AIM-NIVO) Elad Sharon 
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