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News & Highlights

2021 Q1

ROCRO Newsletter 2021 - Q1

Jessica M. and Nathan Bibliowicz Award 2020 Recipient


Holman Pathwath Acceptance


Silverman Fellopwship Acceptance


Treating Radiation Oncology patients as individuals | Dr. Nicholas Sanfilippo | Weill Cornell

Dr. Nicholas Sanfilippo covers about treating Radiation Oncology patients as individuals. 

The most powerful word in the English language | Dr. John NG | Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. John Ng recalls the power powerful word in the English language. 

2017 International Conference Attendee Breakdown & Survey Results

Attendees From Around The Globe

States represented

Attendee background

Post Conference Survey Results

Feedback regarding the speakers overall:

  • Great speakers/excellent content and presentations
  • It is expected that there are differences between speakers, but some speakers were very engaging and making their presentations amenable.
  • Outstanding
  • Sandra Demaria put together an excellent program of speakers
  • Some lectures could benefit from either more time of delivery or more focus.
  • Terrific mix of experts in Radiot-biology-therapy and other disciplines that interface with "radio-immune-therapy"
  • Their talent and professionalism exuded through presentation and questions
  • Don't try to put too much information in a 30 minute talk, but give the audience the time to understand the information provided on the slide
  • Very good range of speakers including clinical and pre-clinical experts, I don't think outcomes are available for many clinical trials of immunother/RT combinations apart from PACIFIC but if they are this would be an added bonus, and ideally would include presentation of both toxicity and efficacy outcomes. Debate lots of fun, suggest this is repeated for more specific topics.

Comments regarding the time of year for future conferences:

  • Even a few weeks later into the Fall would be nice in terms of climate
  • I missed the entire first day because it was on the Jewish Holiday
  • It will be difficult with international travel. What about videoconferencing?
  • Keep the same
  • Move away from ASTRO times.
  • Same date should be good
  • Spring
  • There is overlap with the ASTRO Conference
  • Too close to ASTRO and RRS meetings

Recommendations for how future ICIRC programs could be improved:

  • A bit more focus on clinical application of immune therapy please
  • A social event including all attendees was missing in this conference.
  • A warmer room! (reduce air conditioning...)
  • auditorium was excessively cold, and now I am sick.
  • Don't suggest the Bentley Hotel as the place to stay.
  • Avoid duplicated speakers.
  • Greater PR and visibility to increase the size of the audience
  • Have a pair of sessions that explain basic radiotherapy to immunologists and immunology to radiation oncologists
  • It'd be nice to include a second panel type discussion of areas of future research in radiation oncology/immunology for graduate students and/or post docs.
  • larger conference room - perhaps with table set up
  • more clinical emphasis, ideas for clinical trials
  • More social events to intermingle More protocol opportunities. Alternative locations. Allow for social events
  • More social time with reviewing topics and posters from different institutions, a walk of posters with common topics or storyline....
  • NYC and Paris are very attractive but expensive to stay.
  • Social media coverage
  • The auditorium was too strep to go up and down
  • The debate could address a more specific topic, for example high dose versus low dose or single dose versus fractionated dose to induce tumor immunogenicity
  • Include primer on RT, many attendees don't know radiation physics/biology.
  • The room was uncomfortably cold. Other than that I think everything was very well taken care of.
  • More clinical slant to the meeting.

Comments regarding the program overall:

  • Best meeting I attended all year
  • everything was perfect
  • Excellent
  • excellent and enthusiastic group
  • Excellent composition and though provoking.
  • Excellent, very information, good speaker, reasonable registration fee,
  • Great job! Excellent curriculum.
  • Great program
  • I have no suggestions for improvement. The conference was outstanding.
  • It was very well organized
  • It'd be nice to have a digital portal to access some of the presentation materials really nice like this
  • The conference was well done.
  • The poster session was a good part of the meeting, but speakers in general were little interested in talking with poster presenters.
  • I particularly liked the "debate" part. We should consider this in future conferences.
  • Very good program, current, informative, stimulates thinking.
  • very nice workshop!
  • Great job! Hard to see how it could be better
  • Excellent meetings, very good refreshments, exciting location

2017 Thank you for joining us!

Thank you for joining us!
(Photo Left: Silvia Formenti, M.D.; Center: Eric Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.; Right: Sandra Demaria, M.D.)
Thank you for joining us in New York for the International Conference on Immunotherapy Radiotherapy Combinations.  It was great to have you with us at Weill Cornell Medicine.
To assist with future programs in Paris and New York, your time to complete a brief evaluation would be most appreciated. Click HERE to access the ICIRC Overall Survey, or follow the below link
On completion, you will receive a CONFIRMATION pop up. To assist with planning for Paris 2018 feedback is requested by October 15, 2017. 
PDF versions of presentations with permissions will be emailed by Friday, September 30 to all confirmed attendees. 
Should you require a receipt for your accounting department to evidence your registration payment please send an email to with the subject INVOICE.
Should you require a certificate of attendance to evidence your participation at the 2017 Conference, please reply to this email ( with the subject CERTIFICATE. 
The certificate of attendance is separate from CME credit. If you completed a CME evaluation for the 8:15 am-12:00 pm Primer on Thursday, September 21 a certificate for credit will be emailed to you directly from PIM within 4-6 weeks. If you did not complete a CME evaluation onsite and wish to receive credit, please send an email to with the subject CME. 
Once again, thank you for your participation in New York and time to provide valuable feedback.
Save the date for Paris September 20-22, 2018!
The 2017 ICIRC Planning Committee

click here for more information

International Conference Sell out

As of 9/12/17 at 3 pm Eastern time, the conference has sold out. If you are interested in being notified of registration cancellations, please contact Jane Yuen at

Conference Program

International Conference program is now available. PDF icon international_conference_2017.pdf

International Conference Abstract submission

Please submit your abstracts of 500 words to Elizabeth Hammerschmidt at eah2006@med.cornell.eduThe presenter will be notified about acceptance and presentation requirements by July 31st.  Final submission date is July 28th. 

International Conference Registration now open

Early registration is now open for the 2nd Annual International Immunotherapy Radiotherapy Combination being held in New York, NY on September 21 - 23, 2017. Click here to register directly. We look forward to seeing you in the Fall. 

International Conference - September 2017

Immunotherapy Radiotherapy Combinations

The Institute Gustave Roussy and Weill Cornell Medicine have partnered to address this exciting challenge by establishing a joint yearly conference for leading international experts to present cutting edge findings spanning from basic to translational and clinical research on the subject of “Immunotherapy and Radiotherapy Combinations”. Alternating the meeting location between Paris and New York City best promotes the field by facilitating international interactions and collaborations. The first meeting took place at Gustave Roussy last year , with more than 300 participants attending. Topics discussed ranged from basic to clinical-translational research. The meeting is an ideal covenant for multidisciplinary exchanges on radiotherapy and immunotherapy and enables direct interaction of industry with academia.

Building on this initial success, the next meeting is scheduled to take place at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City from the 21st- 23rd of September 2017. 

Please contact Elizabeth Hammerschmidt with any questions or inquiries at or 212-746-3933.

Please check back for continual updates and online registration.

2017 Junior Faculty Fellowship Awarded to Dr. Vanpouille-Box

The Junior Faculty Fellowship Fund, which provides $50,000 in research support to exceptional junior faculty who are juggling basic or clinical research with childcare responsibilities, recently made awards to five Weill Cornell Medicine scientists and physicians.

Now in its second year, the grant was established in 2015 with a $1.25 million gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. The goal is to provide junior faculty with funding so that they can establish a scientific track record, succeed in research, and ultimately, be promoted to a higher rank while raising their children. While both men and women are eligible for the fellowship, women are disproportionately underrepresented in senior positions in academic medicine, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges.

“We have so many talented women coming into the pipeline at either the instructor or assistant professor level, but we know there’s a big drop-off after that,” said Dr. Randi Silver, associate dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, who runs the program.


2020 Q4

ROCRO 2019 Q 4

ROCRO 2020 Q 3

2020 Q1

Telling patients they're cancer free | Dr. Himanshu Nagar | Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Himanshu Nagar feelings on telling patients they're cancer free. 

Improving the care for generations to come | Dr. Jonathan Knisely | Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Jonathan Knisely on improving the can for generations to come.  

2017 International Conference Hightlights & Photo Galleries

Abstract Winners

(Photo Left: Roger Sun, M.D., Ph.Dc.; Right: Linda Hammerich, Ph.D.)


(Photo Left: Sandra Demaria, M.D.; Right: Linda Hammerich, Ph.D.)

Basic Science Research - Linda Hammerich, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

  •  In situ vaccination improves efficacy of PD-1 blockade in unresponsive lymphoma tumors through induction of a highly efficient cross-presenting dendritic cell subset expressing TLR3

(Photo Left: Silvia Formenti, M.D.; Right: Roger Sun, M.D., Ph.Dc.)

Clinical Research - Roger Sun, M.D., Ph.Dc., Gustave Roussy

  • Monitoring spatial heterogeneity and temporal evolution of tumor immune infiltrate and clinical outcomes using a radiomics-based imaging tool in cancer patients treated by anti‑PD‑1/PD‑L1

Photo Galleries

9/21, 9/22, 9/23 Presentations - Uris Auditorium

9/21 Poster Session - Belfer 

New PTEN Role Identified in Mitosis

Scientists have identified a critical function of a protein that is a frequent indicator of cancer when the protein is in its mutated state. The protein, PTEN, protects the process by which cells divide, a finding that could help lead to therapies that prevent tumor growth.

Dr. Wen Shen
Photo credit: Carlos Rene Perez

"We've identified a biomarker for cancer patients, especially for patients who carry PTEN mutations," said lead author Dr. Wen Shen, an assistant professor of cell biology in radiation oncology and member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. "By studying the fundamental process of how genes are passed from parental cells to daughter cells, we can better understand the altered signaling pathways that may cause tumor development. We hope that our study can serve to develop a strategy to prevent therapeutic resistance."

The study, published Aug. 5 in Nature Communications, examines what happens to the human genome when PTEN (Phosphatase and tensin homolog) in cells is lost. During the genomic segregation process known as mitosis, chromosomes containing duplicated genetic information separate equally into two daughter cells.


We Are Weill Cornell Medicine: Dr. Silvia Formenti

We Are Weill Cornell Medicine : Dr. Silvia Formenti from Weill Cornell Medicine on Vimeo.

Oncologist Dr. Silvia Formenti has spent her career in medicine fighting for those with incurable diseases. At Weill Cornell Medicine, she leads a team of daring, passionate scientists, who are relentless in their search for a cure for cancer.


Commentary: More Evidence Needed in Using Radiotherapy with Immunotherapy

Despite very promising pre-clinical results and some clinical success, there is still much need to generate solid evidence demonstrating the efficacy of combining radiation with immunotherapy, a therapeutic approach that uses patients' own immune system to fight cancer, Weill Cornell Medicine investigators argue in a new commentary.

Dr. Sandra Demaria

Without rigorous research to determine how best to use these treatments, the medical community "may fail to truly exploit the emerging new paradigms, which could impair further development of the field," the investigators write in the commentary, published June 14 in Trends in Cancer.

"We need to strike a synergy between radiation and immunotherapy," said Dr. Sandra Demaria, recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine as a professor of radiation oncology and of pathology and laboratory medicine, who authored the commentary with Dr. Silvia Formenti, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and radiation oncologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. C. Norman Coleman from the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research and Radiation Research Program. "That’s why I think we have to reconcile the evidence and say, ‘Wait a second, we really need to find out how the radiation should be given.’ It may just not work the standard way you give it."


Transforming Cancer Care

Weill Cornell Medicine scientists are coaxing the immune system to fight back against tumors
By Anne Machalinski

When Ty Williams was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer in June 2011, he responded well enough to treatment that he could continue managing a corporate banking group without having to slow down or tell many of his colleagues that he was sick. But about two years later, that changed, as his once-stable disease started progressing rapidly. "When we looked at my scans, my wife and I were shocked," says Williams, now 60. "It was obvious that the cancer had gotten much worse, and that we needed to do something really aggressive if I wanted to live."

Williams's oncologist, Dr. Scott Tagawa, M.S. '10, the Richard A. Stratton Associate Professor in Hematology and Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine, enrolled him in a clinical trial, which involved combining chemotherapy with an experimental method of delivering a toxic payload "directly into the tumor cells, regardless of where they are," says Dr. Tagawa, a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. For this to be possible, scientists had to harness a mechanism used by the immune system to find and suppress pathogens. They reprogrammed a protein that typically locates and neutralizes viruses or bacteria to instead seek out prostate cancer cells. They then attached a radioactive agent to it, which would be delivered directly into the cancer cells after the protein attached to its target, says Dr. Tagawa, an oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. For Williams, this cancer-seeking poison arrow, called a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, "completely turned things around." Today, while he continues to see Dr. Tagawa once a month and regularly undergo treatment, his disease is more controlled — and chronic — than terminal, he says. "When I tell people I have cancer, it's the last thing they would ever believe," Williams says. "Even my family forgets I'm sick sometimes."

Read More..

Weill Cornell Medicine Announces Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation to Investigate New Cancer Treatments in Preclinical Models

Weill Cornell Medicine has formed a strategic, preclinical research alliance with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to develop new treatment approaches for certain types of cancer, the institution announced today.

Dr. Silvia Formenti Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medicine Art and Photography

Led by Dr. Silvia C. Formenti, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and radiation oncologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, investigators will study the preclinical efficacy of combining external-beam radiotherapy with Janssen's immuno-oncology drugs with the ultimate goal of translating findings into clinical trials to benefit patients with various types of solid tumors, including prostate and lung cancers. A renowned expert in external-beam radiotherapy, a well-established and highly effective, non-invasive treatment for solid tumors and lymphomas, Dr. Formenti has pioneered a treatment strategy that combines localized radiotherapy with immunotherapy to control cancer cell growth, and potentially vaccinate patients against their own tumors.

"This collaboration will allow us to continue our work and collect important pre-clinical data using the sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment in our department's new radiation biology lab, including a dedicated small animal irradiator (NCI# 1S10 RR0267619-01+ Formenti SC, P.I.)," Dr. Formenti said. "The information generated in tumor models has the potential to inform the design of clinical trials that combine radiotherapy with immunotherapy."

This research alliance was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. As Weill Cornell Medicine investigators conduct this translational research, Janssen and Weill Cornell Medicine's Office of Biopharma Alliances and Research Collaborations will look for ways to advance this promising work for testing in clinical trials and development of commercial applications. The end goal is to get this potentially life-saving treatment approach to patients as soon as possible.

The mission of Weill Cornell Medicine's Office of Biopharma Alliances and Research Collaborations is to proactively generate, structure and market translational research alliances with industry in order to advance promising research projects that have commercial potential. For more information, contact Larry Schlossman at or at 212-746-6909.

Dr. Silvia Formenti is the Chair of Newly Established Department of Radiation Oncology Effective April 15, 2015

Dr. Formentis

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Silvia Formenti, an international expert in the use of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer, is appointed Chair of the newly established Department of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Radiation Oncologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, effective April 15. She has also been named Associate Director of Radiation Oncology at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell. Dr. Formenti was Chair of Radiation Oncology at New York University Langone Medical Center.

In her new roles, Dr. Formenti will expand and enhance the existing radiation oncology program, building upon its reputation of excellence in translational research to better investigate, target and treat individual patients’ unique cancers. Faculty in the department will investigate precision medicine approaches to radiation oncology, focusing on combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy and other modifiers of the tumor microenvironment to design advanced treatments and therapies that are tailored to each patient’s individual tumor.

A recognized leader in radiation oncology and breast cancer research, Dr. Formenti’s groundbreaking work has transformed the paradigm in radiation biology, demonstrating the efficacy of combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy to control cancer cell growth in solid tumors. She has published more than 170 scholarly papers in high-impact journals such as JAMA and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Formenti received her medical degree in Italy from the University of Milan, where she attained board certification in medical oncology, radiology and radiation oncology. She was awarded a competitive grant from the Italian National Research Council (Comitato Nazionale Ricerca or CNR) to work in human monoclonal antibodies against colorectal cancer at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. A recipient of an Audrey Meyer Mars career development award from the American Cancer Society, she performed AIDS and lymphoma research, and then completed her residency and attained board certification in radiation oncology.

Leonard A. Farber, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Clinical Director of Radiation Oncology

The Division of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College Is pleased to announce the appointment of Leonard A. Farber, M.D. as Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Clinical Director of Radiation Oncology at 21 West Broadway.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. Our doctors encourage all to learn about the disease, and the factors believe greater the risk for developing breast cancer. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go.  

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center honors Dr. Nori with the “Distinguished Service Award”

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center honored Dr. Nori with the “Distinguished Service Award” for his outstanding contributions to Memorial as Chief of the Brachytherapy Service. Dr. Nori introduced many innovative cancer treatment programs for lung, gynecologic and genitourinary cancers which have become the standard of care currently.

Dr. Nori also participated as Principal Investigator in many National Cancer Institute Brachytherapy studies to standardize brachytherapy practice across the U.S. He has trained over 200 residents who have become leaders in various academic centers in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Nori is currently Professor and Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology at New York Hospital Queens and Professor and Executive Vice-Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell

Breast Cancer Symposium Displays Range of Breast Health Care, Developments at Weill Cornell

Breast Cancer Symposium Displays Range of Breast Health Care, Developments at Weill Cornell.    At Weill Cornell's seventh annual Breast Cancer Symposium, experts from several Medical College departments spoke to a general audience about the latest breakthroughs, treatments and therapies for breast cancer, presenting the full range of comprehensive care at the Weill Cornell Breast Center.

Dr. Akkama Ravi, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, spoke about the next advancement in radiation therapy. The new techniques concentrate irradiation to the tumor area and away from the normal tissue.

Dr. Nori honored with the highest civilian award in the U.S., the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor”

Dr. Nori was honored with the highest civilian award in the U.S., the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” for his exemplifying and outstanding quality in both his personal and professional life and for making enduring contributions to the U.S. and the world.  Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate recognize this Ellis Island Medal of Honor and these honorees are listed in the Congressional Record.

ASTRO Abstract Acceptances

A record number of resident abstracts from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College have been accepted to this year’s annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting that will be held in San Francisco, CA. Among the group of 6 residents, 2 oral presentations and 7 poster presentations will be featured. Dr. Alex Stessin’s oral presentation is entitled “MAP Kinase Signaling Differences between Neural Stem Cells and Glioma Cells Provide a Mechanism for Selective Neuroprotection during Cranial Irradiation” and Dr. Alex Herskovic’s oral presentation will discuss the “Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery Versus Radiation (+/- Chemotherapy) for Locally Advanced Tonsillar Cancer”.

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