Oct. 10, 2019:

Investigators from Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) member institutions gathered at Big Ten Conference Headquarters in Chicago for the consortium’s annual summit, September 21. The 2019 Summit, hosted by the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, featured topics presented by Big Ten investigators and industry representatives, and opportunities to discuss current and potential collaborations.

Highlights included discussions on the Big Ten CRC Past, Present, and Future; open studies presented by Big Ten CRC working group co-chairs; industry updates presented by representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, AstraZeneca, and Calithera; and opportunities for population science research within the Big Ten CRC. The day concluded with a closed session for investigators to discuss new trial concepts.

“The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is a great avenue for collaboration on clinical and translational research, and it’s encouraging to see the enthusiasm among the group in uniting against cancer,” said Yousef Zakharia, MD, associate director, phase 1 program at the University of Iowa and co-chair of the 2019 Summit. “This year’s summit was well attended by colleagues across Big Ten CRC institutions as well as our industry collaborators.”

“It is exciting to see how the Big Ten CRC has grown and matured over the past few years,” said George Weiner, MD, director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. “It was particularly gratifying to see how collaborations among investigators from different Big Ten cancer centers are allowing us to do things together that we could not do individually.”

The 2019 Summit was the third consecutive summit held at Big Ten Conference Headquarters. Big Ten Commissioner-Elect Kevin Warren, who begins his tenure on Jan. 2, 2020, welcomed attendees and expressed the conference’s ongoing support for the work of the consortium.

In a first for the Big Ten CRC Summit, co-chairs of the Big Ten CRC’s Correlative Sciences Clinical Trial Working Group hosted a pre-summit meeting on Friday, Sept. 20. The meeting highlighted the work of Big Ten scientists in the areas of predictive biomarkers, tumor mutational burden, biomarkers in immunotherapy, proteomics, and liquid biopsies, and an exploration of resources available for multi-institutional collaboration.

“We were delighted by the interest of participants of our pre-summit meeting, which was designed to spur connections for collaborative work. Because of its success, we are planning on holding these as recurring meetings,” said Thomas G. Sors, PhD, assistant director, Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease (PI4D). “This year’s summit stimulated a great deal of discussion and ideas that improve the way we work together and empower us to deliver impactful results more efficiently.”

See more photos from the Big Ten CRC Summit on Facebook.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.