The Value of Biomarker Testing: Case Studies

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Case Studies Across Multiple Institutions

Understanding the role of mutations and biomarker testing in GIST is one of most important things that GIST patients need to learn. Knowing the driving force behind each individual’s tumors is not just important, it is critical. In this webinar, you will hear case study presentations from three top sarcoma institutions that demonstrate the value of biomarker testing. A Question & Answer session will follow the presentations.


Dr. Prapassorn Thirasastr Biomarker Case Studies jan 6Prapassorn Thirasastr, MD, MSc
Post doctorate Fellow
Sarcoma Medical Oncology Department
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas

Dr. Thirasastr graduated from faculty of medicine, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She had trained at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand for 6 years and received board certification in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. Also, she had awarded a Higher Graduate Diploma of Clinical Sciences and Master of Sciences degree from Chulalongkorn University in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Dr. Thirasastr had practiced as a medical oncologist in Thailand for 2 years before joining post-doctoral research program in MD Anderson Cancer Center under Dr. Neeta Somaiah, an Associate Professor of Sarcoma Medical Oncology and Deputy Chair in Division of Cancer Medicine at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as her Mentor.Currently her researches focus on sarcoma, especially liposarcoma, and GISTs and she has engaged in both clinical and basic science research projects.

Dr. Steven Bialick Biomarker Case Studies January 6Steven Bialick, DO
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami

Steve Bialick, DO is a second-year hematology/oncology fellow at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, FL.  He completed his internal medicine residency within the University of Pennsylvania Health System before working as a hematologic malignancy hospitalist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  He is now completing his oncology training with a focus on solid tumor malignancies, specifically soft tissue and bone sarcomas.  His research interests include hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes, circulating tumor DNA and its role in guiding targeted therapies, and the role of DNA damage repair pathways in sarcomas.

Dr. Dixon Durand Biomarker Case Studies January 6Dr. Dixon Dorand, MD, PhD
Clinical Fellow
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. R. Dixon Dorand, Jr., MD, PhD completed his graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. His research with Dr. Alex Huang, MD, PhD at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital focused on understanding the mechanisms regulating immune therapy in adolescent and young adult cancers. Specifically, he investigated the signaling pathways that alter gene expression involved in regulating responses to immune checkpoint therapy as well as the role of nanoparticles for drug delivery. After graduation, he enrolled in the Physician Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he completed his internal medicine residency training.  

Dr. Dorand is currently completing his medical oncology fellowship in the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer program at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). He works in the laboratory of Dr. Ben H. Park, MD, PhD where he uses a basic science approach to interrogate how mutations that regulate genetic machinery can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit. He also uses genetic profiling to determine which tumor mutations contribute to chemotherapy resistance in sarcomas. Clinically, he collaborates with Dr. Elizabeth Davis, MD & Dr. Vicki Keedy, MD at VICC to characterize mutations in patient tumor samples in GIST and other sarcoma types that may provide new therapeutic targets. He hopes to pursue a career focused on GIST and other soft tissue & bone sarcomas once he completes his formal training. 

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