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Silicon Valley  

Monthly Lunch with Distinguished Alumna Quynh-Thu Le (BS '89)

Thursday, May 19, 2016
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm

Bay Café
1875 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA

$20 (pay at door)

Featured Speaker

Quynh-Thu Le (BS '89)

Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor; Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University; Caltech Distinguished Alumna 2015

An Overview of Head and Neck Cancer Treatment: Current Strategies and Future Directions

Head and neck cancers (HNC) are those arising from the mucosa of the upper aero digestive track. Known causes of HNC include tobacco, alcohol use and poor dental hygiene. Recently the human papilloma virus (HPV, known to cause cervical cancer in women) has also been implicated in the development of certain HNC, especially those arising from the tonsils and base of tongue in non- or light-smokers. The incidence of HPV-related HNC is rising in developing countries. Treatment modalities for HNC include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and often a combination of these treatments is used. Within the last few decades, there has been improvement in imaging, surgery, radiation therapy, systemic therapy, leading to improving survival and quality of life in HNC survivors. Genomic studies have also identified targetable mutations in these tumors, leading to the development of novel therapies. Immunotherapy, which has been approved in melanoma and lung cancer also show promise in HNC. Current research strategies aim to integrate past knowledge and present innovations to increase personalization and precision in the management of these tumors with the overall goal of improving survival and mitigating late toxicity in long-term survivors.


About the Speaker

Quynh-Thu Le, MD received her B.S. from Caltech, and her medical school and radiation oncology training at University of California, San Francisco. In 1997, she joined Stanford where she holds the Katharine Dexter McCormick & Stanley Memorial Professorship and is Chair of the Radiation Oncology Department.

Her research focuses on translating laboratory findings to the clinic and vice versa in head and neck cancer (HNC), specifically in tumor hypoxia, galactic-1, and salivary gland stem cells. Clinically, she has led multicenter phase II and III clinical trials, testing the addition of novel drugs as radiosensitizer or radioprotector with chemoradiotherapy in HNC. She has received grant support from ASCO, the ASTRO Education & Development Award, and R01 and R21 grants from the NIH. She was inducted into the Fellowship of the American College of Radiology (FACR), Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Fellow of American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (FASTRO). She was also honored with the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

Administratively, she is Co-Director of the Radiation Biology Program at the Stanford Cancer Institute, Chair of the NRG HNC Committee, ARS President-elect as well as an ASTRO Nominating Committee member. She also serves on the editorial board of several cancer related journals.

In 2015, Le received Caltech's Distinguished Alumni Award. Read more about Le and see her address to Caltech here.


Additional Details

  • Price: $20.00, including lunch, tax and gratuity
  • Please RSVP before 5/17.
  • We look forward to seeing you. 

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Silicon Valley: Monthly Lunch with Distinguished Alumna Quynh-Thu Le (BS '89)