The inaugural Thomas C. Shea Clinical Cancer Symposium on Monday Sept. 18, featured talks by faculty from UNC Lineberger and institutions across the country on adoptive cellular therapy for lymphoid malignancies and novel approaches for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Held at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary with a capacity audience, the day-long symposium was established to honor Thomas C. Shea, MD, who retired from UNC School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2019.
“It’s a great honor to have an ongoing lecture series in my name, and it was a real treat to have several of the keynote speakers be long-time friends, colleagues, and leaders in the field of stem cell transplantation,” Shea said. “When combined with the support of Shelley Earp and Jon Serody, a great venue, superb organization, and standing room only attendance, I couldn’t have hoped for anything more.”
Widely respected for his clinical and research contributions that have advanced the bone marrow transplant field, Shea established the bone marrow and stem cell transplantation program at UNC in 1992. He served in several leadership posts at UNC, including medical co-director of the UNC Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, associate chief of the division of hematology and oncology and associate director for the UNC Lineberger Clinical Outreach Programs.
Shea also held numerous external leadership roles, including chair of the Center for International Bone Marrow Transplant Research and vice chair of the ALLIANCE Transplant and Leukemia Committees, as well as served on multiple advisory boards, review committees, and study sections for the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“We started the Shea Symposium to honor Tom by providing a venue to highlight the rapid pace of changes to standard-of-care therapy for patients with cancer,” said UNC Lineberger’s Jonathan Serody, MD, chief of the hematology division and the Elizabeth Thomas Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at UNC School of Medicine. “The symposium especially focuses on areas where less therapy may be optimal or improvements in the care of patients with relapsed/refractory cancer that could be helpful for community oncologists. It also serves as a wonderful vehicle to highlight the incredible clinical research being performed by clinical researchers at UNC Health and in particular investigators at UNC Medical Center.”