Abstracts Authored by TOI Physicians Accepted to ASCO

Earlier this month, three abstracts co-authored by TOI physicians were accepted to ASCO. TOI Physicians are committed to advancing cancer research and contributing to the development of cutting-edge cancer treatments. Both clinical trials included in these abstracts have the potential to positively impact patient lives.

Dr. Michael Chung contributed to a Phase 3 clinical trial treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This drug is a possible treatment for patients who have exhausted many other treatment options and are ineligible for an autologous stem cell transplant.

Dr. Merrill Shum participated in a trial for a drug that targets a new mutation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer patients. The trial is expanding to 200+ patient participants in 20 counties, and TOI will serve as one of the host sites.

Dr. Omkar Marathe served as a PI for a trial of a topical ointment treatment for Hand-Foot Skin Reaction (HFSR). Currently, there is no FDA approved treatment for HFSR, which leads to decrease in quality of life for patients and interruptions in dosing.

With more than 130 clinical trials offered at TOI, we bring leading-edge therapies to our patients while contributing to the advancement of cancer treatment for patients around the word. Congratulations to Drs. Chung and Shum on this accomplishment!

You can read more about Dr. Chung’s abstract and Dr. Shum’s abstract and Dr. Marathe’s abstract on the ASCO website.

TOI To Go Public

Earlier today, The Oncology Institute announced that it entered into a business combination agreement with DFP Healthcare Acquisition Corp., which is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Upon the closing of this transaction, TOI will be listed as a public company under the ticker TOI on NASDAQ.

The Oncology Institute is leading the shift to value-based oncology care by utilizing a highly scalable and replicable operating model to disrupt the $200 billion U.S. oncology market.  Believing that every patient deserves access to world-class care close to home, The Oncology Institute currently manages over 50 community-based practice locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. TOI serves approximately 1.3 million lives under value-based contracts and treats over 46,000 patients each year through relationships with leading payors and at-risk physician groups.

The Oncology Institute’s CEO, Brad Hively, stated, “we are committed to applying the principles of value-based care to simultaneously enhance quality and manage costs. For more than 14 years, The Oncology Institute has played a significant role in the lives of cancer patients by providing accessible, high-quality medical care. Our proposed combination with DFP brings us significantly closer to expanding our presence across the United States and advancing our efforts to rebuild the nation’s healthcare system.”


To read the complete press release, click here.

3 Important Cancer Screenings Men Should Get & When

June is Men’s Health Month and The Oncology Institute wants to remind you to get screened for cancer regularly. You may have many questions about screenings. Read on to learn more about screenings for 3 different types of cancer.


Lung cancer screenings have been found to decrease the risk of death by 20%.1 Get screened annually if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • Are between 50 and 80
  • Have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (pack-year is 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year
  • Currently smoke or quit smoking in the last 15 years


When to get screened for colon & rectal cancer and how often depends on your age according to the American Cancer Society.2

  • If you’re in good health and between the ages of 45 and 75, get screened annually
  • If you’re between the ages of 76 and 85, talk to your doctor about your options
  • If you’re 85+, you should no longer get screened


Prostate cancer screenings are best determined by the individual and their physician.3 Consult with your doctor about screening for prostate cancer if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • Are between the ages of 55 and 69
  • Have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Are African-American
  • Have other medical conditions that may make it difficult for you to be treated for prostate cancer

As always, consult with your physician to help determine which screenings are right for you based on your personal health history.

  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-cancers-causing-death-in-men-2248874
  2. https://cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/basic_info/get-screened.htm

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

Summer starts now! More sun means more outdoor activities and more exposure to harmful UV rays. Even if you protect yourself, it is still a good idea to check for possible signs of melanoma. An easy-to-remember way of doing this is to remember the ABCDE’s of Melanoma1. These are the characteristics that doctors use to diagnose and classify melanomas. Check out the video below to learn what ABCDE stands for.

A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer.3 So ensure you check your skin regularly and remember that melanomas can occasionally occur in places other than your skin, like under a fingernail or inside the mouth. If you observe new or changing spots, show them to your doctor.


1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html

2 https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/find/at-risk/abcdes

3 https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/symptoms.htm

5 Fast Facts: Lung Cancer

  1. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in men, causing more than the next three leading causes – prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer – combined.1
  1. Risk factors for lung cancer include:
  • Smoking
  • Breathing in secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals like radon and asbestos
  • Family history
  • Being exposed to outdoor air pollution
  1. Lung cancer is often asymptomatic, if symptoms do present themselves they often include, but not limited to:
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Coughing Up Blood
  • Persistent Cough
  1. The best ways to reduce the risk of lung cancer include:
  • Not smoking (or quitting smoking)
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Avoiding exposure to asbestos, radon, and chemicals common in some manufacturing jobs.2
  1. As with most cancers, early detection will improve your prognosis. Get screened especially if you’re over 50, have a history of smoking 20+ packs annually, or you currently smoke or have quit smoking in the last 15 years.
  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-cancers-causing-death-in-men-2248874
  2. https://siteman.wustl.edu/prevention/preventing-cancer/12-preventable-cancers/

Diet & Exercise: Tips to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Getting a cancer diagnosis is scary, there are several things you can do as part of your every day routine to help mitigate the risk of developing cancer. Healthy eating and staying active are two of the simplest ways you can help reduce your risk of cancer.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight: Keeping your body weight within a healthy range reduces the risk of some types of cancer. If you are currently overweight or obese, losing a few pounds can be beneficial in reducing your risk of cancer. Talk to your doctor to help determine your healthy weight and create goals to help you get to or maintain that weight.1
  1. Sit less: Move your body as often as you can. Avoid staying stationary, sitting or lying down, for long periods of time. Simply standing up and stretching periodically is a great starting point to develop a more active lifestyle. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, but don’t stop there, the more exercise the better!
  1. Healthy eating: Seems pretty obvious, unfortunately obesity is at an all-time high across the country. Reduce consumption of red meats, processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods. Increase consumption of leafy greens and colorful fruits and vegetables. Keep an eye on our blog for more healthy eating tips!
  1. Alcohol – less is more: Less alcohol means more healthy living. Ideally avoiding alcohol is best, if you do partake in alcohol consumption, have no more than 1 – 2 drinks per day (12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces distilled spirits).

Cancers Affected2

COLON x x x


  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-ways-to-prevent-cancer-513787
  2. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/diet-and-physical-activity-patient-fact-sheet.pdf