Fellow chosen to attend leadership program for women in oncology
The 5th annual Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Network Leadership Institute will explore a variety of topics that benefit female scientists as emerging leaders in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
By Carol McPhail
A physician in training at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute has been selected to participate in a national leadership program for women in oncology hosted by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Daisy Escobar, M.D., a third-year hematology and oncology fellow, will attend the 5th annual Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Network (WIN) Leadership Institute Sept. 28-29 in Chicago. The institute brings together emerging female leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field for a two-day professional development program.
“I’m looking forward to networking and having the opportunity to meet women in the various stages of their oncology careers,” said Escobar, who will be one of 65 participants in the national program.
The event will explore a variety of topics that benefit female scientists as emerging leaders in the field of cancer immunotherapy. It also seeks to develop and enhance leadership skills and explore topics around diversity and inclusivity.
Escobar said she became interested in oncology and immunotherapy between medical school and residency when she worked in clinical trials at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. During her stint there, she screened cancer patients and enrolled eligible participants in research studies such as the DART trial, a federally funded trial that tested a combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors against a wide range of cancers.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy that works by releasing a natural “brake” on your immune system so that immune cells called T-cells recognize and attack cancer.
“We are seeing patients doing really well in immunotherapy,” she said. “It has come a long way from where we were just two or three years ago. Immunotherapy is where most of our treatments are headed now.”
Escobar said that cancer patients treated with immunotherapy have fewer side effects, and the side effects they experience are usually treatable. “Patients are able to tolerate immunotherapy better,” she said. “They can have a higher quality of life.”
Escobar is a fellow in the three-year ACGME-accredited Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship program at USA Health and the Mitchell Cancer Institute. A native of Sun Valley, Calif., she attended medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina Guadalajara in Mexico City. She completed residency in internal medicine at USA Health/Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine.