Newswise — NEW YORK (May 29, 2014) – Investigators from the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, the clinical partner of the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center in New York, will present several abstracts at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Presentations include discovery of a new gene alteration that can aid in detection and treatment of certain lung cancers, insights into lung cancer patient populations impacted by HIV and evaluation of breast cancer treatments. ASCO is being held May 30 – June 3 in Chicago.

Haiying Cheng, M.D., medical oncologist, Montefiore and assistant professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lead-author, identified amplification of RICTOR, a key component of the mTOR protein complex that regulates cell proliferation and cytoskeleton organization, as a new genomic alteration in an 18-year-old lung cancer patient who never smoked. That initial finding was further explored in a next generation sequencing database of lung cancer patients and RICTOR amplification was found in 8.2 percent (92/1,128) of cases. In 11 percent (10/92) of those cases, RICTOR amplification was the only potentially actionable target. Based on these data, RICTOR amplification may identify a new subgroup of lung cancer patients responsive to molecularly targeted therapy. The poster will be presented Tuesday, June 3 at 8:00 a.m. at E354b, Lung Cancer – Non-small Cell Metastatic section.

“The discovery of the amplification of RICTOR is important as nearly half of lung cancers do not have a known oncogenic driver,” said Roman Perez-Soler, M.D., chairman and chief, Department of Medical Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, chief, Division of Oncology and professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology) at Einstein, deputy director of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and study co-author. “RICTOR signaling also has been suggested to play a critical role in regulating cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis in breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Consequently, we see great potential for new diagnosis and treatment opportunities and look forward to continuing our research in this area.”

Investigators will also present their findings on the molecular characterization of lung cancer, lymphomas that occur in HIV-positive patients and breast cancer stem cells. A comprehensive list of abstracts can be found by visiting the ASCO section of the Montefiore website. Onsite, conference attendees can view a video about cutting-edge research and patient care being delivered at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care at booth # 20112.

In addition to data presentations, numerous Montefiore fellows will be recognized by ASCO for their cancer research efforts. Rafi Kabarriti, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore, will receive a 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Grant for new therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer. Marina Shcherba, D.O., Division of Hematology, Montefiore, will receive a 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award for her study on lung cancer screening amongst HIV-positive patients. She will present her findings at poster #351 on Sunday, June 1 at 8:00 a.m. at S Hall A2, Cancer Prevention/Epidemiology section.

Montefiore-Einstein investigators are available to speak with media about their studies as well as topics related to the ASCO meeting.

About Montefiore Medical Center As the University Hospital and academic medical center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is renowned for its clinical excellence, scientific discovery and commitment to its community. Recognized among the top hospitals nationally and regionally by U.S. News & World Report, Montefiore provides compassionate, patient- and family-centered care and educates the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore is consistently named in U.S. News' "America's Best Children's Hospitals." With four hospitals, 1,512 beds and more than 84,000 annual admissions, Montefiore is an integrated health system seamlessly linked by advanced technology. State-of-the-art primary and specialty care is provided through a network of more than 150 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. Montefiore's partnership with Einstein advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. The medical center derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community, and continues to be on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care. For more information please visit and Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTube.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Einstein is home to 734 M.D. students, 236 Ph.D. students, 106 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 353 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 2,000 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2013, Einstein received more than $155 million in awards from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Through its extensive affiliation network involving Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center –Einstein’s founding hospital, and five other hospital systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Brooklyn, Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States. For more information, please visit, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube.