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AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship

The AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship represents an effort to encourage and support postdoctoral or clinical research fellows to conduct gastric cancer research and to establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and may focus on any form of gastric cancer.

2018 Grantee

Steven Maron, MD

Steven Maron, MD

Oncology Fellow
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Intra-patient tumor heterogeneity and checkpoint blockade resistance

Scientific Statement of Research
Gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA) is a genomically and immunologically heterogeneous disease – both inter-patient and intra-patient. While we know that ~20% of GEA patients respond to programmed death-1 (PD-1) inhibitors, predictive biomarkers remain lacking. Using a T cell-inflamed (TCI) RNA signature, we can identify TCI and non-TCI disease sites amongst paired samples from ~200 pts including those with paired primary/metastatic, metastatic/metastatic sites and pre/post chemotherapy and/or anti-PD-1 therapy. By identifying temporospatial immune heterogeneity within a patient, we can identify genomic heterogeneity that may confer primary or secondary resistance to immunotherapy using transcriptome and exome sequencing.

Dr. Maron is a gastrointestinal oncologist and Coggeshall research fellow at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed an internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital before his hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. He recently graduated with a Master of Science in biomedical informatics from the University of Chicago. His research efforts are directed towards improving patient selection for targeted and immunotherapies in gastroesophageal cancer under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Catenacci.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am honored to receive the AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship. This opportunity supports a project aimed at understanding the impact of intra-patient heterogeneity on therapy, and will hopefully translate into improving our understanding of therapeutic resistance in gastroesophageal cancer.