Conference Coverage

This category covers the hematology oncology conferences hosted by Binaytara Foundation.

Leaders in Health Equity Honored by the Binaytara Foundation

Announcing the 2024 Award Recipients for Humanitarianism, Distinguished Faculty, and Volunteer of the Year


Statement from Dr. Binay Shah


The Binaytara Foundation (BTF) is a global cancer non-profit dedicated to improving access to cancer care in the United States and abroad through education and innovative program models that break down barriers and advance best practices in hematology and oncology. The Binaytara Foundation’s major projects include hematology and oncology conferences and the establishment of a cancer hospital in Nepal. Donate here!


The Binaytara Foundation’s annual awards for Humanitarianism, Distinguished Faculty, and Volunteer of the Year will be presented at this year’s gala, to be held on April 27, 2024, from 6:00-8:30 PM, at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle, Washington. The event will include entertainment, live and silent auctions, dining, learning, friendship, and more – all in support of BTF’s mission. Purchase tickets here!


2024 Distinguished Faculty 

The Binaytara Foundation’s Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching and improving access to education for healthcare providers.

This year’s Distinguished Faculty Awards go to Dr. George Rodgers and Dr. Ulka Vaishampayan.

Dr. Vaishampayan and Dr. Rodgers have been valued members of the Binaytara Foundation Faculty Community, extensively contributing as distinguished speakers at national conferences. Their insights and presentations consistently receive high acclaim from both colleagues and participants. Thank you, Dr. Vaishampayam and Dr. Rodgers, for your vital role in advancing the Binaytara Foundation’s mission!



2024 Humanitarian Award

The Binaytara Foundation Humanitarian Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the foundation’s core values through their volunteer work, community engagement, and dedication to improving access to cancer care.

This year’s award will be presented to Dr. Ana María López, a trailblazer in health equity research, relentlessly advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine. Her leadership at the Binaytara Foundation’s Summits on Cancer Health Disparities has been pivotal in driving critical conversations and actions to address cancer health disparities. Congratulations, Dr. López, on your impactful work!




2024 Volunteer of the Year 

Dr. Anish Shah will be named the Binaytara Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year for 2024. Dr. Anish Shah, originally from Janakpur, Nepal, has played 

an instrumental role in implementing electronic medical records at the Binaytara Foundation Cancer Hospital in Nepal. We deeply appreciate Dr. Shah’s dedication and impactful contributions. Thank you, Dr. Shah!


Binaytara Foundation Announces 2024 Career Advancement Award Recipients

This week, the Binaytara Foundation (BTF) is proud to announce its 2024 Career Advancement Award recipients: Dr. Emmanuella Oyogoa (Oregon Health & Science University), Dr. Kelly Jasmin Meza-Capcha (Baylor College of Medicine), Dr. Ayo S. Falade (Mass General Brigham Salem), Dr. Álvaro Menéndez (Hartford HealthCare), and Dr. Cynthia Eleanya (National Institutes of Health). On April 26-28, the recipients will attend the annual Summit on Cancer Health Disparities (SCHD24) in Seattle, WA. The Summit will grant the awardees the opportunity to network with prominent leaders in the field of oncology through our Career Connections Workshop.


The award winners, all in early stages of their medical careers, have already begun working to alleviate healthcare disparities, and BTF wishes to shine a light on the potential that they show in their respective fields. Dr. Cynthia Eleanya wrote her abstract on “elucidating the barriers to Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplant for patients with Hematologic Malignancies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).” She wrote her abstract in an effort to begin her work on reducing disparities in cancer outcomes through both clinical research and patient care. 


When asked what inspires him to pursue equity in health care, award winner Dr. Ayo S. Falade said: “premature cancer death and unrealized potential stem from entrenched inequities based in socioeconomic status and geography. This status quo is unacceptable.” The Binaytara Career Advancement Award program’s ultimate aim is to connect underrepresented in medicine (URiM) hematology-oncology trainees and early-career physicians with some of the leading experts in cancer care. In this way, BTF hopes to improve mentorship and encourage collaboration between new and expert medical professionals, particularly those early-career physicians who have themselves seen and struggled with healthcare inequity. 


Award recipient Dr. Alvaro Menendez commented on the impact of the Summit, saying: “The opportunities for career advancement provided by the Binaytara Foundation potentiate our efforts to minimize healthcare disparities that exist in cancer care by providing mentoring opportunities from world experts.” Through such initiatives, BTF plays a pivotal role in nurturing the next generation of medical professionals and researchers. The impact of this program is expected to resonate far beyond SCHD24, as the recipients bring back valuable insights and connections to their respective institutions and communities to help continue advancing equity in healthcare.

Case Study: Behind the scenes of “streamlined” care 

By Joseph Rosales, MD 


This study presents the case of a 37-year-old woman diagnosed with tongue squamous cell carcinoma. The patient first noticed a feeling of fullness in her tongue in October 2022, which progressively worsened over the next couple of months. She presented to the Emergency Room in December 2022. An ENT evaluation revealed a large tumor on her tongue, originating from the left side and crossing the midline, involving the entire tongue. Additionally, a palpable mass measuring 2 x 3 cm was detected in her left neck, consistent with lymphadenopathy. A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of poorly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. A PET/CT scan in January 2023 identified increased uptake in a 4.1 cm mass occupying the entire tongue, along with necrotic-appearing left-neck level 1 and level 2 lymph nodes, up to 3cm in diameter. No distant metastases were detected. A tumor board recommended resection followed by adjuvant therapy. 


In March 2023, the patient underwent surgery which included a total glossectomy, tracheostomy, right and left modified radical neck dissection, and pharyngoplasty with an anterolateral thigh free flap. The pathology report classified the tumor as pT4aN3b. Following the surgery, the patient received adjuvant chemoradiation, which included radiation therapy of 66 Gy in 30 fractions with a boost to the tumor bed, ending in June 2023, and three cycles of Cisplatin every 21 days from May to June 2023. 


The patient had recently relocated to Seattle from the Marshall Islands. She and her husband were unemployed, on food stamps, and living with family in Des Moines, WA. She was covered by Medicaid under her maiden name and had no transportation. The patient missed an appointment in December 2023 and faced a denial for a CT scan in February 2023. In April 2023, she had a feeding tube inserted. Between May and June 2023, she missed multiple radiation therapy doses. The study highlights the complex interplay of medical and socio-economic factors in managing cancer treatment. 


INAVO120 trial


By Dr. Arya Mariam Roy
of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center


Development of endocrine resistance remains a challenge in the management of HR-positive HER2-negative breast cancer (HR+ HER2- BC). Alterations in PI3K signaling are one of the major factors of endocrine resistance, with mutations in PIK3CA occurring in approximately 40% of HR+ HER2- BC cases (1) . The prevention of endocrine resistance is possible through combination triplet therapy, including endocrine therapy, CDK 4/6 inhibitors, and PIK3CA inhibitors. Inavolisib, a highly potent and selective PI3Kα inhibitor, facilitates specific degradation of mutated PI3Kα, demonstrating anti-tumor activity alone and in combination with endocrine therapy and Palbociclib in preclinical models (NCT03006172) (2) . The INAVO120 trial, a phase III study, investigated the efficacy and safety of the combination of inavolisib with palbociclib and fulvestrant in metastatic PIK3CA mutant HR+ HER2- BC (NCT04191499). Dr. Komal Jhaveri presented the trial at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference (Jhaveri et al. Phase III study of inavolisib or placebo in combination with palbociclib and fulvestrant in patients with PIK3CA-mutant, hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer: INAVO120 primary analysis. SABCS 2023)


Patients with PIK3CA-mutated HR+ HER2- metastatic or advanced breast cancer experiencing progression during or within 12 months of completing adjuvant endocrine therapy were enrolled in the trial. Key eligibility criteria included fasting glucose < 126 mg/dL and HbA1c <6.0%. The trial randomized patients 1:1 to receive inavolisib + Palbociclib + fulvestrant (intervention arm) or placebo + Palbociclib + fulvestrant (control arm) (Total N= 325). Patients were followed up until progression or toxicity. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly higher in the intervention arm compared to placebo (15 vs 7.3 months, HR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.32 – 0.59, p<0.0001). The 18-month PFS was also higher in the inavolisib combination arm (46.2% vs 21.1%). PFS improvement was observed with the triplet therapy in both primary (11.4 vs 3.7 months, HR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.24 – 0.61) and secondary (18.2 vs 9.7 months, HR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.38 – 0.80) endocrine resistance. Overall survival (OS) data are not mature, but interim analysis shows an improved survival trend in the triplet arm (median OS: NR vs 31.1, HR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.43 – 0.97, p= 0.0338). Median follow-up was 21.3 months. The objective response rate (ORR) was higher in the inavolisib combination arm (ORR = 58.4% vs 25%). Stomatitis (51.2% vs 26.5%), hyperglycemia (58.6% vs 8.6%), diarrhea (48.1% vs 16%), rash (25.3% vs 17.3%) were common in the inavolisib combination arm. Grade 3-4 hyperglycemia was observed in 5.6% of patients in the inavolisib arm, and 6.2% discontinued inavolisib treatment in the combination arm due to adverse events.


The combination of inavolisib with palbociclib and fulvestrant demonstrated a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) with a manageable safety profile in patients with PIK3CA-mutant HR+ HER2-advanced breast cancer who experienced recurrence on or within 12 months of adjuvant endocrine therapy. This triplet combination may represent a new standard of care for this patient population. The enrolled study population primarily consisted of Asian patients, with minimal enrollment of African Americans, limiting the analysis of the drug combination in diverse racial and ethnic groups. The trial also had a higher percentage of patients who had received adjuvant tamoxifen, and this subgroup appeared to derive greater benefit from the triplet therapy. Although the drug was well-tolerated in the study population, it is worth noting that the population was carefully selected for a lower risk of hyperglycemia, which may not fully represent the real-world population. There is a need for increased inclusion of minorities, as well as pre-diabetic and type-II diabetic patients in future studies of this drug combinations.



1. Guerrero-Zotano A, Mayer IA, Arteaga CL. PI3K/AKT/mTOR: role in breast cancer
progression, drug resistance, and treatment. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2016;35(4):515-24.
2. Fuso P, Muratore M, D'Angelo T, Paris I, Carbognin L, Tiberi G, et al. PI3K Inhibitors in
Advanced Breast Cancer: The Past, The Present, New Challenges and Future Perspectives.
Cancers (Basel). 2022;14(9).

New Healthcare Technologies

Enhancing Innate Immunity for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer in Low Resource Settings Presenter: Dr. Corey Casper Author: Dr. Ronan Hsieh   Cancer is a global health challenge. While recently there


Enhancing Recruitment in Cancer Clinical Trials

In Dr. Henderson’s presentation titled “Utilizing Culturally-Tailored Edutainment Videos for Enhancing Recruitment and Decision-Making in Cancer Clinical Trials,” she addressed the multifaceted challenges anticipated to impede clinical trial enrollment, particularly prevalent among

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