Physicians and researchers from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center presented multiple abstracts at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 3-7 in Chicago.

USC Norris’ presence at the meeting included 22 poster sessions four poster discussion sessions, one oral presentation and an educational symposium. USC Norris also was involved in numerous other studies completed in collaboration with other institutions, including academic medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and private-sector research organizations.

“As one of the 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, our research comprehensively touches every aspect of oncology,” said Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, director of USC Norris. “From epidemiology, prevention, targeted therapies and even patient care, our faculty works tirelessly to better understand and treat this disease.”

Abstracts presented by USC Norris covered lung, gastrointestinal, prostate and breast cancer, tumor biology, genomics and genetic testing and epidemiology.

Three researchers earned an ASCO MERIT award, which is given for high-quality abstracts of strong scientific merit: Martin D. Berger, MD, postdoctoral scholar visiting fellow from Switzerland; Marta Schirripa, MD, postdoctoral scholar visiting fellow from Italy; and Mitsukuni Suenaga, MD, postdoctoral scholar visiting fellow from Japan. As a testament to the quality of their research, all three MERIT award winners, who work under Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, PhD, associate director of clinical research and section head of Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology at USC Norris, had a second poster presentation at ASCO in addition to the abstract that earned a MERIT award.

“I am very proud of our international postdocs who are representing cutting edge translational research from the USC GI Oncology program at ASCO this year, and particularly proud that our research is recognized by three merit award for postdocs from my laboratory,” Lenz said. “Our laboratory has global collaborations, which allows us to make a global impact in gastrointestinal oncology.”

The ASCO annual meeting, one of the largest cancer-related scientific meetings worldwide, brings together oncology professionals from all over the world to share new findings on cutting-edge treatments, clinical trials, patient care and many other areas in order to define treatment guidelines and continue the progression towards curing and eradicating cancer.

This year, more than 35,000 people attended, setting a new record for conference attendance. Among them was U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, who gave the keynote address about the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which aims to increase cancer prevention, detection and research.