Nov 10, 2020 12:00 PM

Author: Carley Lehauli

Photo of Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD
Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD

Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD, a gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine tumor medical oncologist and researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah, received two awards from external organizations honoring her contributions to the field of cancer. Soares was named an Advocacy Champion by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Soares also received the 2020 North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) Theranostics Investigator Grant.

ASCO Advocacy Champions are volunteers who make contributions to promote policies that ensure all cancer patients have access to high-quality, equitable cancer care. As an Advocacy Champion, Soares will work with federal and state lawmakers to discuss ways to improve access to cancer care.

“I am passionate about working with all communities to advocate for the needs of cancer patients because I am a strong believer that together we can make a difference,” said Soares. “The more attention we get to the issues related to cancer care, the more we get done as a team.”

The NANETS Theranostics Investigator Grant recognizes researchers early in their careers who are making promising advances in the study of theranostics and neuroendocrine tumors. Theranostics combines diagnosis and therapy, either at the same time or one right after the other. This creates a quicker, more personalized way to receive treatments. Soares will study the effects of combining HDAC inhibitor, a substance that stops tumor cells from dividing, and a type of radiation therapy for neuroendocrine tumors.

“This is an important study to evaluate whether this particular combination strategy might have the potential to improve the outcomes of patients with neuroendocrine tumors,” said Soares.

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About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. The campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital and two buildings dedicated to cancer research. Huntsman Cancer Institute provides patient care, cancer screening, and education at community clinics and affiliate hospitals throughout the Mountain West. It is consistently recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The region’s first proton therapy center opened in 2021 and a major hospital expansion is underway. Huntsman Cancer Institute is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for staff, students, patients, and communities. Advancing cancer research discoveries and treatments to meet the needs of patients who live far away from a major medical center is a unique focus. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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