GW Cancer Center Participates in the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018

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WASHINGTON (April 13, 2018) - Researchers from the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center will be participating at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting held April 14-18, 2018 in Chicago. At the meeting, Eduardo Sotomayor, MD, director of the GW Cancer Center, will speak at the AACR-MICR Distinguished Lectureship on "Finding a niche to develop a Translational Program: Mantle cell lymphoma as a model for translational science." Post-meeting, he will also begin his role as a new member of the AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee.

GW Cancer Center researchers Cath Bollard, MD, and Kieron Dunleavy, MD, will also be presenting. Bollard will chair Session ED45, "New insights into the biology and treatment of virus-associated malignancies" and present, "Virus directed T cell therapies for virus-associated cancers." Dunleavy will also present during Session ED45 on "Recent advances in the biology and management of EBV-associated lymphomas." Jie Chen, PhD from Sotomayor's laboratory will be presenting in Session 4967, on "HDAC11 function as a transcriptional regulator in immature myeloid cells to myeloid-derived suppressor cells transition."

GW Cancer Center researchers are presenting the following posters:
498/28 - Dual functions of miR-200b in triple-negative breast cancer metastasis and chemoimmuno-resistance
X. Tan, S. Ren, W. Lee, X. Wu, K. Rezaei, Y-g. Man, P. Latham, R. S. Siegel, R. F. Brem, Z. Li, X. Chang, S. W. Fu
Poster Session: PO.MCB10.01 - MicroRNA Regulation in Cancer Biology
April 15, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that is negative for estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Elevated expression of immune-related genes in TNBC suggests that immunotherapy strategies may provide new therapeutic options for TNBC. (Read more)
506/6 - miR-203a-3p may play a tumor suppressor role in esophageal cancer by targeting GATA Binding Protein 6
C. Yin, X. Tan, Q. Tan, J. Wang, J. Zhang, X. Wu, T. Chen, H. Jiao, S. W. Fu
Poster Session: PO.MCB10.02 - Noncoding RNAs as Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors
April 15, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small 19-22nt non-coding single-strand RNAs that regulate diverse cellular processes and are dysregulated in a variety of cancers including esophageal cancer (EC). Our bioinformatics analysis showed that GATA6 is a potential target of miR-203a-3p. Therefore, we hypothesize that miR-203a-3p functions as a tumor suppressor miRNA in EC by targeting GATA6. (Read more)
5126/7 - Modulation of lactate in the tumor microenvironment with lactate transporter inhibitor in a melanoma syngeneic mouse model
S. R. Noonepalle, J. Kim, M. Hadley, E. Palmer, D. Banik, T. Knox, S. Ephrame, P. Vembu, S. Rudish, S. Moufarrij, J. Escobedo, V. Sandanayaka, A. Villagra
Poster Session: PO.TB06.06 - Metabolism and the Microbiome: Defining the Greater Microenvironment
April 18, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Solid tumors often have altered metabolism that depend on aerobic glycolysis for energy and macromolecules for cell survival thereby generating lactate as a metabolic byproduct. In this study, we used a MCT inhibitor NGY-A to determine the effect of suppressing lactate levels in the TME and restoring the anti-tumor immunity. (Read more)
48/28 - Targeting HDAC6 to reduce the aggressiveness of metastatic breast cancer in immunotherapy
D. Banik, M. Hadley, E. Palmer, V. Gallub, E. Sotomayor, A. Kozikowski, A. Villagra
Poster Session: PO.TB04.01 - Breast Cancer Metastasis
April 15, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
While both of the standalone treatments showed a certain degree of success in reducing tumor growth, we demonstrated that HDAC6i improves anti-tumor immune responses when combined with immune check-point blockade mediated by anti PD1 antibody. (Read more)
1395/19 - HDAC6 and DNMT inhibition affect immunogenicity of ovarian cancer cells: A rationale for combining epigenetic and immune therapy in ovarian cancer
A. P. Srivastava, S. M. Moufarrij, M. Hadley, S. Chisholm, M. Lopez-Acevedo, A. Villagra, K. B. Chiappinelli
Poster Session: PO.MCB05.02 - Epigenetic Therapy
April 16, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The aim of our study is to test if the combination of epigenetic modulators Nexturastat A (Next A), a selective HDAC6i, and 5-azacytidine (AZA), a DNMTi, can be safely used to increase an immune response in ovarian cancer. We hypothesize that these drugs will enhance tumor immunity alone and when combined with immune checkpoint blockades targeting PD-1. (Read more)
4967 - HDAC11 function as a transcriptional regulator in immature myeloid cells to myeloid-derived suppressor cells transition
J. Chen, F. Cheng, E. Sahakian, J. Powers, Z. Wang, A. Villagra, J. Pinilla-Ibarz, E. M. Sotomayor
Poster Session: MS.IM01.01 - Epigenetic and Metabolic Regulation of Cancer Immunity
April 17, 4:20 PM - 4:35 PM
In prior studies, we found that MDSCs from HDAC11 KO mice displayed an increased T-cell suppressive activity that was associated with a more aggressive tumor growth as compared to MDSCs from wild type control mice. The transfer of HDAC11KO MDSCs was able to eliminate, at least partially, the anti-tumor effect elicited by the adoptive transfer of HDAC11KO T cells. (Read more)
LB-373/1 - Comprehensive analysis of cancer stemness
T. M. Malta, A. Sokolov, A. J. Gentles, T. Burzykowski, L. Poisson, J. Weinstein, B. Kamińska, J. Huelsken, L. Omberg, O. Gevaert, A. Colaprico, P. Czerwińska, S. Mazurek, L. Mishra, H. Heyn, A. Krasnitz, A. K. Godwin, A. J. Lazar, The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, J. M. Stuart, K. Hoadley, P. W. Laird, H. Noushmehr, M. Wiznerowicz
Poster Session: LBPO.MCB03 - Late-Breaking Research: Molecular and Cellular Biology / Genetics 3
April 18, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Abstract embargoed at this time. (Read more)
5459/18 - Regulation of IGF2 by TGF-β signaling in liver cancers and stem cell homeostasis
S. Rao, S. Zaidi, K. Ohshiro, J. Chen, S. Gu, W. Jogunoori, J. White, B. Mishra, S. Li, R. Akbani, L. Mishra
Poster Session: PO.MCB01.07 - Signaling and Therapy
April 18, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which remains lethal, is associated with alterations in multiple factors including the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway. Here, we took an integrated approach to identify and validate effects of changes in this pathway in HCC and identify potential therapeutic targets such as IGF2. (Read more)
2226/8 - TGF-β and CEACAMs regulated biomarkers detect early colorectal cancer
S. Zaidi, A. Korkut, W. Jogunoori, J. Chen, S. Gu, S. Rao, K. Ohshiro, R. Akbani, C. Deng, B. Mishra, L. Mishra
Poster Session: PO.PR01.03 - Biomarkers, Intervention, and Early Detection for Cancer Prevention
April 16, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Development of colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with alterations in key driving pathways, which include Wnt (APC-βcatenin), TGF-β members, p53 and pathways that regulate Ras activity. Here, we took an integrated approach to extend and validate these potential markers for early detection of CRC. (Read more)
3338/5 - BP1 induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells by modulating the Twist/IL6 pathway
F. Vesuna, B-J. Hwang, J. Rheey, M. Giri, M. Gill, S. W. Fu, A. Irving, A. Lisok, Y. Bergman, V. Raman, P. E. Berg
Poster Session: PO.MCB04.03 - Exploring Oncogenic Transcription Factors
April 17, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
BP1 (Beta Protein 1) belongs to the Distal-less family of homeobox genes. We have demonstrated that BP1 is activated in over 80% of invasive ductal breast tumors, where it is associated with breast cancer progression. We hypothesized that BP1 might promote cancer metastasis and invasiveness mediated though Twist and the EMT. (Read more)
1703/28 - The HDAC6 inhibitor Nexturastat A improves in vivo PD-1 immune blockade
T. Knox, E. Sahakian, D. Banik, M. Hadley, E. Palmer, J. Kim, J. Powers, S. Shah, A. Lowe, J. Pinilla, E. Sotomayor, N. Lee, A. Kozikowski, A. V. Villagra
Poster Session: PO.IM02.01 - Immune Checkpoints 1
April 16, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The role of HDACs in cell biology, initially limited to their effects upon histones, now encompasses more complex regulatory functions that vary with their tissue expression, cellular compartmentalization and stage of cellular differentiation. Our group has focused on HDAC6, and shown that both the genetic abrogation and pharmacological inhibition of this HDAC modulates the expression of a variety of immune-regulatory proteins in the tumor microenvironment, including PD-L1, PD-L2, MHC class I, B7-H4 and TRAIL-R1. (Read more)


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The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center is a collaboration of the George Washington University, the GW Hospital and the GW Medical Faculty Associates to expand GW’s efforts in the fight against cancer. The GW Cancer Center also incorporates all existing cancer-related activities at GW, with a vision to create a cancer-free world through groundbreaking research, innovative education and equitable care for all. Learn more about the GW Cancer Center at

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