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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesMarch 2009
The AACI is dedicated to promoting the common interests of the nation’s leading academic cancer centers that are focused on the eradication of cancer through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program of cancer research, treatment, patient care, prevention, education, and community outreach.
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Headlines

AACI Welcomes Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as Newest Member

AACI is pleased to welcome Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as its 95th member. Headquartered on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in New York City, the Center is headed by Dr. Harold Varmus, former Director of the National Institutes of Health and co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer.

Founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital by a group that included John J. Astor and his wife, Charlotte, MSKCC is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center.

The hospital began its move to its present location in 1936 when John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated the land upon which, in 1939, Memorial Hospital was constructed. A new Memorial Hospital was built between 1970 and 1973. more...

Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., MD, Named Yale Director

Thomas J. Lynch
After an extensive national search, Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., MD, has been named director of Yale Cancer Center and physician-in-chief of the new Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, which will open in October 2009. His appointment is effective April 1, 2009. Dr. Lynch, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, is chief of hematology/oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center. A lung cancer expert, he is director of the Center for Thoracic Cancers at MGH and director of medical oncology at the MGH Thoracic Oncology Center. more...

Remembering Stephen D. Williams, MD
Stephen Douglass Williams, MD, 62, a research physician who became the founding director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in 1992, died of cancer on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009.

When presented with Indiana University’s highest faculty honor, the President’s Medal for Excellence, at the August 2008 dedication of the expanded IU Simon Cancer Center, Dr. Williams reflected upon his own rigorous cancer treatment and pledged to redouble the center’s research efforts in cancer prevention. more...

Stephen Williams

Public Issues Update

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on February 17. Under the economic recovery package, the NIH will receive approximately $10.4 billion for use in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Of those funds, $8.2 billion is specifically tagged for research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will receive approximately $1.26 billion. The total funding for cancer research could increase if NCI grantees successfully compete for challenge grants, funding for comparative effectiveness research, and other infrastructure funds administered by the NIH Office of the Director and the National Center for Research Resources. NCI is in the process of creating a spending plan for the stimulus funds and is awaiting further guidance from the acting NIH Director, Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD. more...

AACI/CCAF 2009 Annual Meeting Program Planning Underway
Planning has begun for the 2009 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting which will take place in Washington, DC, October 18-20, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street, N.W. The 2009 Annual Meeting program committee, chaired by Stanford Cancer Center Director Beverly Mitchell, MD, is charged with identifying topics and speakers for this yearly assembly of approximately 300 senior leaders from the nation’s cancer centers. As in previous years, AACI will seek Continuing Medical Education accreditation for the program. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Chief Medical Officer Elected as Master of the American College of Physicians
City of Hope
Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., chief medical officer of City of Hope and an internationally known expert in lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and AIDS-related malignancies, has been elected to the prestigious level of Master of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation’s largest medical specialty organization. Mastership is the highest level of ACP membership and involves a highly competitive nomination process. Levine was one of only 48 physicians selected this year from across the nation. Masters comprise a small of group of distinguished physicians recognized for their practice or research, honored positions or significant contributions to medical science. The honor will be conferred on April 23 during the ACP’s Internal Medicine Conference in Philadelphia. more...
Carlson Elected to Executive Board for Cancer Control
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jennifer Carlson, director of government relations at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, has been elected to the executive board of Ohio Partners for Cancer Control. Carlson’s two-year term on the board extends through 2010. This statewide consortium was formed in 2000 to reduce the cancer burden in Ohio through a collaborative and comprehensive approach, bringing together representatives of organizations that have cancer prevention and control as a focus of their mission, including hospitals, universities, cancer centers, and government agencies. more...
Five Organizations Selected for National Demonstration Project to Improve Community Engagement in Cancer Clinical Trials
Communities as Partners in Cancer Clinical Trials
Communities as Partners in Cancer Clinical Trials is pleased to announce that it has awarded grants to five cancer research organizations to improve cancer clinical trial participation through innovative community engagement strategies. The five organizations, known as “implementation partners,” were selected from a nationwide pool of 43 applicants seeking to implement recommendations from the recently released national report, Communities as Partners in Cancer Clinical Trials: Changing Research, Practice and Policy (available at www.communitiesaspartners.org ). The five selected Implementation Partners are the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Community Network, Chapel Hill, NC; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; Grand Rapids Clinical Oncology Program, Grand Rapids, MI; Columbia St. Mary’s Health System, Milwaukee, WI; and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG), Durham, NC. more...
Fox Chase Receives Magnet Status for the Third Time in a Row
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center, the first acute care hospital in Pennsylvania and specialty hospital in the country to receive Magnet status, has been designated for the third time in a row — now making it the first hospital in Pennsylvania to have achieved two successful Magnet renewals. This designation is the nation’s highest form of recognition for nursing excellence and is one of the benchmarks used to measure the quality of care patients receive. more...
Oncology Nursing Society Honors Pair of Influential Nursing Research Leaders
City of Hope
Two of the nation’s most respected and influential research nurses — City of Hope’s Marcia Grant and Rose Virani, both in the Division of Nursing Research and Education — have been honored by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). more...
Grants & Gifts
Levin Family Endowed Chair established at Arizona
Arizona Cancer Center
A $1 million gift from the Alan and Janice Levin family to The University of Arizona Foundation will fund the Alan and Janice Levin Family Endowed Chair for Excellence in Cancer Research at the Arizona Cancer Center. Clara Curiel, MD, director of the Pigmented Lesion Clinic and the Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program at the Arizona Cancer Center’s Skin Cancer Institute, and assistant professor of dermatology at The University of Arizona College of Medicine, has been appointed to fill the Levin Family Endowed Chair. more...
New Imaging Center to Help Make Better Diagnoses, Evaluate Drug Effectiveness
Moores UCSD Cancer Center
Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego are taking advantage of a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and sophisticated imaging technologies at the newly established In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC) – one of only eight in the country – to develop new ways to detect early cancers that require treatment and monitor the effectiveness of new molecular-based cancer therapies. more...
Roswell Park Awarded $10.2 Million for Pioneering Studies in Photodynamic Therapy
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a five-year, $10.2 million grant to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in support of its pioneering studies in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Roswell Park is known around the world for the development of PDT, which uses red laser light to trigger a photosensitizing drug that collects in tumor cells. When activated by the laser, the drug kills the cancer cells. RPCI has received uninterrupted NCI funding for its PDT program since 1992 - a remarkable achievement. more...
Gerdau Ameristeel Puts Support Behind Moffitt Cancer Survivors and Research
Moffitt Cancer Center
Cancer patients participating in the Survivor Celebration at the 2009 Florida Bank Miles for Moffitt have an ally in a Tampa-based international steel producer and recycler. Gerdau Ameristeel has become the official sponsor of the 2009 Survivor Celebration, an event that caps off this community race held annually on the campus of the University of South Florida. Since its inception in 2006, Miles for Moffitt has raised more than $230,000 for cancer research programs at Moffitt Cancer Center. more...
Powerful New CT Scanner Quickly Produces High-Resolution Images, Reduces Radiation Exposure
University of Chicago Medical Center
The shift from earlier 4- 8- or 16-slice scanners to 64-slice scanners, introduced in 2005, changed the way radiologists look at CT scans. In the past, they examined individual slices. They now generate two- three- and four-dimensional views. Speed and precision not only improve image quality, but also show dynamic processes. About sixty percent of CT scans at the Medical Center are for cancer patients. “Instead of just monitoring changes in tumor size, we can watch the perfusion of a contrast agent as it moves toward, around, and through a tumor,” said Dr. Vannier. “This can provide an early view of how a patient is responding to therapy. It helps us measure and predict, rather than simply describe responses to treatment.” more...
Cryoelectron Microscope Finds Home at Northwestern
Northwestern University
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Northwestern University a $1.9 million grant to purchase a 300 kV (kilovolt) cryoelectron microscope. The JEOL 3200FS field-emission electron microscope will be one of less than a dozen of its kind in the United States. more...
Leadership Transitions
Two Investigators Bolster Vanderbilt-Ingram Research Team
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., has accepted a new post as associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Cancer Biology and Pathology. He also has been named assistant director of Personalized Cancer Medicine and an Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research. William Tansey, Ph.D., joins VICC as professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and co-leader of the Genome Maintenance Program. more...
Breast Cancer Specialist Joins Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Vandana Gupta Abramson, M.D., has joined Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as an assistant professor of Medicine. Abramson will be opening a practice for breast cancer patients in addition to her research in clinical and translational studies of novel agents in the treatment of breast cancer. Abramson comes to Vanderbilt-Ingram from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an instructor in Hematology/Oncology. more...
Roswell Park Appoints Chair of Surgery
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
William G. Cance, MD, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology and Surgeon-In-Chief at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). “We welcome Dr. Cance, a nationally respected oncologist whose leadership and vision will further strengthen the clinical, research and teaching capabilities of Roswell Park. These strengths will expand our multidisciplinary programs in each of these areas which are so critical to Roswell Park’s mission,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, President & CEO, RPCI. At RPCI, Dr. Cance will lead the Department of Surgical Oncology and provide administrative oversight for the operating room and surgical services. He also will serve as RPCI’s principal investigator of a training grant in surgical oncology. more...
Ohio State Cancer Researchers Selected For New Posts
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield has accepted an invitation to serve as the American Society of Clinical Oncology representative on the Scientific Committee for the 2009 and 2010 Annual Meetings on Molecular Markers in Cancer. Patrick Green, director of the Center for Retrovirus Research and co-leader of the Viral Oncology Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Electra Paskett, associate director of Population Sciences at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, has been elected chair of the American Public Health Association’s newly formed Cancer Forum. more...
Karmanos Announces Staff Promotions
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center announced that Antoinette Wozniak, M.D., has been named Associate Center Director for Education. This newly created position will provide oversight to the Graduate Medical Education Program for residents and fellows, as well as provide oversight to the various medical and graduate student educational programs at Karmanos and Wayne State University School of Medicine. This ensures that the clinical and scientific activities of the Karmanos Cancer Center are enhanced by ongoing medical education opportunities. Dr. Wozniak has extensive experience in educational programming, having served as the leader of Karmanos’ Medical Oncology Fellowship Program for many years. She is also the current president of Karmanos’ Medical Staff and a professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Due to her new position, Dr. Wozniak will step down as leader of the Thoracic Multidisciplinary Team. Replacing Dr. Wozniak as the Thoracic team leader is Shirish Gadgeel, M.D. more...
Torres Joins Emory Radiation Oncology
Emory Winship Cancer Institute
Mylin Torres, MD, has joined the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology as assistant professor specializing in the treatment of breast cancer. “Dr. Torres brings a patient-centered approach to care as well as excellent experience as a collaborative investigator to our department,” says Walter Curran, MD, chairman of Radiation Oncology and medical director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. “We are delighted to have recruited a physician of her caliber to Emory.” more...
U of M College of Veterinary Medicine, Masonic Cancer Center Introduce Collaborative Cancer Program
U of M and Masonic Cancer Institute
The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, in conjunction with the University’s Masonic Cancer Center, is has established a new Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program. This collaboration is unique in the United States because it incorporates the ACCR program into the Masonic Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. more...
GUMC Young Scientist Selected Postdoc Fellow at National Space Biomedical Research Institute
The National Space Biomedical Research Institute
The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) has selected Daniela Trani, PhD, of Georgetown University Medical Center as one of four young investigators in the nation for its 2008-2010 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Trani is a postdoctoral fellow in Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology. In the NSBRI, the Fellows’ research projects address areas of interest to exploration missions and include investigating methods to maintain bone health and stimulate bone rebuilding. Additionally, the Fellows examine the acute effects of space radiation exposure to determine whether there are adverse as well as radioprotective changes in cells following proton exposure. more...
Nationally Recognized Medical Oncologist Joins Roswell Park Faculty
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Nationally recognized medical oncologist Roberto Pili, MD has been appointed Professor of Oncology, Chief of the Genitourinary Section and Co-Leader of the Genitourinary Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). Dr. Pili comes to RPCI from The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, where he served as Associate Professor of Oncology and Urology. more...
City of Hope Adds Spinal Surgery Specialist to Division of Neurosurgery
City of Hope
Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., has been named section head of the spine program in City of Hope’s Division of Neurosurgery. He manages the neurological treatment of brain and spine cancers, focusing on the removal of tumors along the spine and reconstruction of the affected area. Primary tumors in and around the spine are rare, but cells from metastasized cancers elsewhere can often establish new tumors in that area. Jandial will also conduct research into neural stem cells and their role as possible origins of brain tumors. more...
Research Highlights
Nearly 1 in 5 Women Do Not Receive Recommended Radiation after Mastectomy
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
One-fifth of women who should receive radiation after a mastectomy are not getting this potentially lifesaving treatment, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study looked at 396 women who were treated with a mastectomy for breast cancer. The researchers found that 19 percent of women who fell clearly within guidelines recommending radiation treatment after the mastectomy did not receive that treatment. more...
UC San Diego First in Region to Offer Microwave Technology to Destroy Liver Tumors
Moores USCD Cancer Center
A new minimally-invasive option for treating liver tumors, called microwave ablation, is now available at UC San Diego Medical Center and Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the only hospitals in the region to offer this technology to patients. “A liver tumor can be removed in many ways,” said Marquis Hart, MD, transplant surgeon at UC San Diego Medical Center. “Now, patients at UC San Diego have a new option called ‘microwave ablation.’ Simply put, we zap and destroy liver tumors with heat derived from microwave energy. This is an important alternative, especially since the majority of liver cancers cannot be partially removed and not all patients are transplant candidates.” more...
Marijuana Use Linked to Increased Risk of Testicular Cancer
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Frequent and/or long-term marijuana use may significantly increase a man’s risk of developing the most aggressive type of testicular cancer, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The study results were published in the journal Cancer. The researchers found that being a marijuana smoker at the time of diagnosis was associated with a 70 percent increased risk of testicular cancer. The risk was particularly elevated (about twice that of those who never smoked marijuana) for those who used marijuana at least weekly and/or who had long-term exposure to the substance beginning in adolescence. more...
Automated Screening May Limit Additional Breast Cancer Surgeries
Moores UCSD Cancer Center
A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have developed a rapid, automated image screening process to distinguish breast cancer cells from normal cells. The technique, which is based on the density of cells seen on a microscope slide, may eventually lead to better ways for surgeons to determine if they have removed all of the cancer during breast-conserving cancer surgery and cut down on the number of needed second operations. more...
Physics, Math Provide Clues to Unraveling Cancer
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Biology exists in a physical world. That’s a fact cancer researchers are beginning to recognize as they look to include concepts of physics and mathematics in their efforts to understand how cancer develops -- and how to stop it. The movement, led by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, has come to a head with a new section in one of the top cancer research journals and a new grant program from the National Cancer Institute. more...
Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cancer Clinic Advances Personalized Care
The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Patients with pancreatic cancer can now see all their physicians and receive the results of tests on the same day in the same place with the recent opening of the multidisciplinary clinic at the Elkins Pancreas Center in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "Pancreatic cancer is a very complex disease. There are a lot of medical issues and decisions that come with the diagnosis," said Dr. William E. Fisher, director of the Elkins Pancreas Center and associate professor of surgery at BCM. "Do you administer the chemotherapy and radiation first, then have surgery to remove the tumor, or do you have surgery first and then chemotherapy and radiation? Physicians who work as a group to treat these patients need to discuss, plan and work together in order to provide the best possible treatment for each individual patient." more...
Worm May Provide Clues about How Cancer Cells Resist Oxygen Deprivation
Siteman Cancer Center
Neurobiologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified pathways that allow microscopic worms to survive in a low-oxygen, or hypoxic, environment. They believe the finding could have implications for conditions such as stroke, heart attack and cancer. Sensitivity to low oxygen helps determine how damaging those medical conditions can be. The researchers reported their findings in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Science. more...
Regular Physical Activity Linked with Better Quality of Life in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Survivors
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Survivors of early-stage lung cancer who take part in regular physical activity have a better quality of life, according to a study in the February issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, available online now. Patients who are more physically active report better mood, more vigor, and greater physical functioning, the study shows. more...
Robotic, Laparoscopic Surgery Compared in Uterine Cancer
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patients with endometrial cancer who have minimally invasive robotic-assisted hysterectomies tend to have quicker surgeries and shorter hospital stays compared with patients who have similar laparoscopic surgical procedures, according to new research from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Until now, little data existed to confirm the benefit of minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery for patients with endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer. The findings are published online in the journal Gynecologic Oncology, and also will be presented during a national meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Feb. 5-8 in San Antonio, Texas. more...
Study: Postmenopausal Womens Cancer Risk or Heart Disease Not Affected by Multivitamins
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The largest study of its kind concludes that long-term multivitamin use has no impact on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or overall mortality in postmenopausal women. The results of the Women’s Health Initiative study, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. more...
Physician-Scientist Creates Less Toxic Cancer Therapy for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Nevada Cancer Institute
Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) researcher and oncologist Kenneth A. Foon, M.D., had a paper published in the Feb. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology regarding a new, highly effective novel therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dr. Foon, heads NVCI’s leukemia section. As a clinical investigator, Dr. Foon brings the latest therapies from the lab to the patient. more...
Can Stem Cell Memories Of DNA Damage Delay Cancer And Age-related Conditions?
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
A tactic that sidelines stem cells with damaged DNA, holding them as backup until later in life, may yield new ideas for cancer therapy and prevention. Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researcher Steven C. Pruitt, PhD, suggests that the somatic stem cells repairing and maintaining our tissues may remember injuries to their own DNA. DNA damage response memory (DDRM) would explain why lifelong genetic wear-and-tear seldom causes problems until middle age. more...
New Genomic Test Can Personalize Breast Cancer Treatment
Siteman Cancer Center
A set of 50 genes can be used to reliably identify the four known types of breast cancer, according to research conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and collaborating institutions. Using this 50-gene set, oncologists can potentially predict the most effective therapy for each breast tumor type and thereby personalize breast cancer treatment for all patients. "Unlike a widely used genomic test that applies only to lymph-node negative, estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, this new genomic test is broadly applicable for all women diagnosed with breast cancer," says breast cancer specialist Matthew Ellis, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. more...
Surgeons Remove Cancerous Kidney with Single Incision, California First
Moores UCSD Cancer Center
On Thursday, Feb. 5, surgeons at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center removed a patient’s diseased kidney through one incision hidden in the belly button. No other incisions were used. This groundbreaking procedure is the 15th in a series of single-incision clinical trial surgeries performed by the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery. "The successful removal of a kidney containing a seven centimeter tumor, with a single incision, is a pivotal advancement in cancer care," said Ithaar H. Derweesh, MD, associate professor of surgery for the Division of Urology and urologic oncologist at UC San Diego Medical Center and Moores UCSD Cancer Center. more...
Clinicians Override Most Electronic Medication Safety Alerts
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Computer-based systems that allow clinicians to prescribe drugs electronically are designed to automatically warn of potential medication errors, but a new study reveals clinicians often override the alerts and rely instead on their own judgment. The study, led by investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), suggests that most clinicians find the current medication alerts more of an annoyance than a valuable tool. The authors conclude that if electronic prescribing is to effectively enhance patient safety, significant improvements are necessary. The study’s findings appear in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. more...
Study Examines Needs of Cancer Survivors When They No Longer Require Specialized Care
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
According to the National Cancer Policy Board, it is estimated that by the year 2050 there will be more cancer survivors in the United States than those newly diagnosed with the disease. That is why researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) are taking a closer look at the specific needs of cancer survivors as they transition from specialty care back to their primary care provider. CINJ is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. more...
Effects of Circadian Rhythms in Shift Workers to Prevent Breast and Prostate Cancers Studied
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Does shift work predispose you to cancer by altering the body’s response to hormones? And if so, can a dietary supplement help? Those are the questions researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) hope to answer through a new study, which recently received $600,000 in funding from The V Foundation for Cancer Research. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. more...
Male Sexual Function Returns Faster With New Surgical Procedure
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
A new robotic surgical technique developed at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) for the removal of all or part of the prostate gland is showing what investigators call a “dramatic improvement” in a male’s sexual potency rate. The results were recently presented at the 26th World Congress Endourology meeting in Shanghai, China. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and has also developed a Center of Excellence for robotic surgery. more...
Vanderbilt Investigators Identify Potential New Cancer Drug Compounds
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators has developed a group of chemical compounds that could represent a new class of drugs for treating cancer. The compounds are the first selective inhibitors of the protein phospholipase D (PLD), an enzyme that has been implicated in multiple human cancers including breast, renal, gastric and colorectal. The new inhibitors, reported in the February issue of Nature Chemical Biology, block the invasive migration of breast cancer cells, supporting their further development as antimetastatic agents. They will also be useful tools for understanding the complex roles of PLD in cellular physiology, said H. Alex Brown, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and one of the team leaders. more...
People Who Exercise Lower Their Risk of Colon Cancer
Siteman Cancer Center
An ambitious new study has added considerable weight to the claim that exercise can lower the risk for colon cancer. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University combined and analyzed several decades worth of data from past studies on how exercise affects colon cancer risk. They found that people who exercised the most were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who exercised the least. "What’s really compelling is that we see the association between exercise and lower colon cancer risk regardless of how physical activity was measured in the studies," says lead study author Kathleen Y. Wolin, Sc.D., a cancer prevention and control expert with the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. more...
Ohio State to Host International Leukemia Researchers
Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Physicians, veterinarians and other scientists from around the world will gather at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Oct. 15-16 for the biennial meeting of The International Association for Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases, which promotes research to improve outcomes in leukemia and related diseases worldwide. “Symposium XXIV: Molecular Approaches to Leukemia in the 21st Century: Biology, Outcome Prediction and Personalized Therapy” will feature lectures by a distinguished group of internationally renowned scientists and is expected to attract hundreds of participants. An accompanying mini-symposium on “Comparative Animal Models of Leukemia” will be held Oct. 14 at Ohio State. more...
U of M College of Veterinary Medicine, Masonic Cancer Center Introduce Collaborative Program
Masonic Cancer Center
The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, in conjunction with the University’s Masonic Cancer Center, has established a new Animal Cancer Care and Research (ACCR) program. This collaboration is unique in the United States because it incorporates the ACCR program into the Masonic Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. more...
Sylvester Researcher Uncovers Potential Therapeutic Target for Prostate Cancer
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new discovery by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine points the way to critically important treatment possibilities for patients with advanced prostate cancer in whom chemotherapy and hormone therapy have failed. Patients with advanced prostate cancer who do not respond to hormone therapy, or in whom it stops working altogether, are commonly treated with docetaxel. However, that therapy commonly loses its effectiveness six to eight months into treatment, and in a significant number of patients, never works at all. Rakesh Singal, M.D., associate professor of medicine and member of the Prostate, Bladder and Kidney Cancers Site Disease Group at Sylvester, led the study and is conducting the only clinical trial surrounding the discovery. Dr. Singal has been studying methylation-mediated transcriptional regulation in prostate and other cancers. In many cancers, malignant cells are able to proliferate by shutting down the body’s natural defenses, which include apoptosis or cell death and DNA repair. Repression of genes involved in ‘apoptotic’ or ‘cell death’ pathway may result from ’DNA methylation’. DNA methylation refers to a modification of DNA without a change to the original DNA sequence, resulting in alteration in gene expression. more...
Biomarker Predicts Disease Recurrence in Colorectal Cancer
Kimmel Cancer Center
Findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University show that the presence of a biomarker in regional lymph nodes is an independent predictor of disease recurrence in patients with colorectal cancer. Detection of the biomarker, guanylyl cyclase 2C (GUCY2C), indicates the presence of occult metastases in lymph nodes that may not have been identified by current cancer staging methods, according to Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. According to Dr. Waldman, who is also the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Professor of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, colorectal cancer that has metastasized, or spread, to the regional lymph nodes carries a worse prognosis and a higher risk for recurrence. However, these metastases are often missed, and the cancer is understaged. more...
Scientists Uncover Indicator that Warns of Leukemia Progression
Moores UCSD Cancer Center
Scientists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, Stanford University School of Medicine and other centers have identified a mechanism by which a chronic form of leukemia can progress into a deadlier stage of the disease. The findings may provide physicians with an indicator of when this type of cancer - chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) - is progressing, enabling them to make more accurate prognoses for the disease and improved treatment choices. "If we can predict when a patient is moving from the chronic phase in CML to the blast crisis stage, then we can hopefully intervene before it’s too late," said Catriona H.M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Director for Stem Cell Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. more...
Teens With Cancer Present Unique Psychological Issues
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
A diagnosis of cancer is devastating at any age, but for teens it occurs at a time of critical physical, individual and interpersonal development and other often anxiety-provoking changes. “Teens are at the threshold of life, increasingly separating from parents, developing close peer and romantic relationships, and thinking about the future -- about thing like college and jobs. But when confronted with a life threatening diagnosis, along with that diagnosis comes the often need to surrender a growing independence and rely upon their parents once again,” said Melissa Carpentier, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and associate member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. more...
Source of Cancer Stem Cells’ Radiation Resistance Discovered
City of Hope
Much to the dismay of patients and physicians, cancer stem cells—tiny powerhouses that generate and maintain tumor growth in many types of cancers—are relatively resistant to the ionizing radiation often used as therapy for these conditions. Part of the reason, say researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and City of Hope National Medical Center, is the presence of a protective pathway meant to shield normal stem cells from DNA damage. When the researchers blocked this pathway, the cells became more susceptible to radiation. more...
Stem Cells and Leukemia Battle for Marrow Microenvironment
University of Chicago Medical Center
Learning how leukemia takes over privileged "niches" within the bone marrow is helping researchers develop treatment strategies that could protect healthy blood-forming stem cells and improve the outcomes of bone marrow transplantation for leukemia and other types of cancer. In a paper in the journal Science, available early online Dec. 19, 2008, researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center show that by blocking one of the chemical signals that leukemic cells release, they could help prevent the cells that mature to become red and white blood cells from being shut down by the cancerous invader. more...
Study: Postmenopausal Women’s Cancer Risk Not Affected by Multivitamins
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
The largest study of its kind concludes that long-term multivitamin use has no impact on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or overall mortality in postmenopausal women. The results of the Women’s Health Initiative study, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. more...
Can Stem Cell "Memories" Of DNA Damage Delay Cancer And Age-related Conditions?
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
A tactic that sidelines stem cells with damaged DNA, holding them as backup until later in life, may yield new ideas for cancer therapy and prevention. Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researcher Steven C. Pruitt, PhD, suggests that the somatic stem cells repairing and maintaining our tissues may "remember" injuries to their own DNA. DNA damage response memory (DDRM) would explain why lifelong genetic wear-and-tear seldom causes problems until middle age. more...
Researchers Explore Effects of Circadian Rhythms in Shift Workers to Prevent Breast and Prostate Cancers
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Does shift work predispose you to cancer by altering the body’s response to hormones? And if so, can a dietary supplement help? Those are the questions researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) hope to answer through a new study, which recently received $600,000 in funding from The V Foundation for Cancer Research. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. more...
Male Sexual Function Comes Back Faster With New Surgical Procedure Developed at CINJ
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
A new robotic surgical technique developed at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) for the removal of all or part of the prostate gland is showing what investigators call a “dramatic improvement” in a male’s sexual potency rate. The results were recently presented at the 26th World Congress Endourology meeting in Shanghai, China. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and has also developed a Center of Excellence for robotic surgery. more...
Older Adults at High Risk for Drug Interactions
University of Chicago Medical Center
At least one in 25 older adults, about 2.2 million people in the United States, take multiple drugs in combinations that can produce a harmful drug-drug interaction, and half of these interactions involve a non-prescription medication, researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center report in the Dec. 24/31, 2008, issue of JAMA. more...
UCLA Stem Cell Scientists Make Active Motor Neurons from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
UCLA
Stem cells scientists at UCLA showed for the first time that human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be differentiated into electrically active motor neurons, a discovery that may aid in studying and treating neurological disorders. Additionally, the motor neurons derived from the iPS cells appeared to be similar in function and efficiency to those derived from human embryonic stem cells, although further testing needs to be done to confirm that. If the similarities are confirmed, the discovery may open the door for new treatments for neurological disorders using patient-specific cells. more...
Roswell Park Analyzes Quality of Life for Bladder Cancer Patients after Robot-Assisted Surgery
Roswell Park Cancer Center
Bladder cancer patients treated with state-of-the-art robot-assisted surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) report that their quality of life returned to normal within six months, according to a study conducted by Khurshid A. Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery at RPCI, and published in the current issue of the British Journal of Urology International. Pioneered at Roswell Park, robot-assisted cystectomy (removal of the bladder) provides patients with a less-invasive treatment option that has several potential advantages over traditional open surgery, including less post-operative pain and fewer days in the hospital. This prospective study is the first to examine the quality-of-life benefits of this surgical technique. more...
Experts in Government, Public Health, Public Policy and Science Outline Blueprint for Reducing Death and Disease from Tobacco in the United States
Masonic Cancer Center
To further the goal of eliminating smoking as the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., twenty six of the nation’s leading tobacco control researchers and policy experts today called for regulatory control of all tobacco products. They also called for policies that encourage current tobacco users to reduce their health risks by switching from the most to the least harmful nicotine-containing products. more...
Roswell Park Examines 50 years of Cancer in an American Indian Population
Roswell Park Cancer Center
In the most extensive review of cancer patterns among an American Indian tribal group, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers analyzed cancer patterns within the Seneca Nation of Indians for the period from 1955 through 2004. The study, led by Arthur Michalek, PhD, FACE, Senior Vice President for Educational Affairs, and Martin C. Mahoney, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Departments of Medicine and Health Behavior, RPCI, was published in a recent issue of The Cancer Journal. more...
Roadkill Study Could Speed Detection of Kidney Cancer
University of Chicago Medical Center
Large-scale data mining of gene networks in fruit flies has led researchers to a sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarker for human renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. In the journal Science, published early online January 22, a team based at the University of Chicago shows that the biomarker known as SPOP is produced by 99 percent of clear cell renal cell carcinomas but not by normal kidney tissue. more...
Media Advisory: Ohio Insurance Director to Address OSU Cancer Researchers
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Mary Jo Hudson, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, will address more than 800 cancer researchers during a scientific meeting sponsored by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Hudson is scheduled to speak at 12:15 p.m. Friday (2/20) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Hudson will discuss funding opportunities available through the federal economic stimulus package, including additional support for health information technology and greater coverage for patients involved in translational research. Reporters are invited to attend the event, which is closed to the public. more...
Brain Cells’ Hidden Differences Linked to Potential Cancer Risk
Washington University School of Medicine
Brain cells long lumped into the same category have hidden differences that may contribute to the formation of tumors, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Scientists showed that brain cells known as astrocytes make use of different genes depending on what region of the mouse brain they came from. These differences are too subtle to overtly mark them as distinct cell types, but substantial enough to make it easier for the cells to multiply more in response to genetic changes that increase cancer risk. more...
New Laparoscopic Technique Uses Only One Incision
Vanderbilt Medical Center
The umbilical cord is the gateway for nourishment to babies in the womb. Now the remnants of that gateway can serve as a convenient exit ramp for unwanted tumors and organs. S. Duke Herrell, M.D., associate professor of Urologic Surgery, has performed Vanderbilt Medical Center’s first kidney removal through a single laparoscopic incision in a patient’s navel. more...
Scientists Identify Human Monoclonal Antibodies Effective Against Bird and Seasonal Flu Viruses
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber), Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported the identification of human monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that neutralize an unprecedented range of influenza A viruses, including avian influenza A (H5N1) virus, previous pandemic influenza viruses, and some seasonal influenza viruses. more...
Roswell Park Appoints Chair of Department of Surgery
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
William G. Cance, MD, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology and Surgeon-In-Chief at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). “We welcome Dr. Cance, a nationally respected oncologist whose leadership and vision will further strengthen the clinical, research and teaching capabilities of Roswell Park. These strengths will expand our multidisciplinary programs in each of these areas which are so critical to Roswell Park’s mission,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, President & CEO, RPCI. more...
Nanoscopic Changes To Pancreatic Cells Reveal Cancer
Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem
A team of researchers in Chicago has developed a way to examine cell biopsies and detect never-before-seen signs of early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to a new paper in the journal Optics Letters. Though the new technique has not yet proven effective in double-blind clinical trials, it may one day help diagnose cancers of the pancreas and, potentially, other organs at their earliest and most treatable stages, before they spread. more...
New Treatment for Metastatic Kidney Cancer Proves Safe and Effective
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center investigators reported that a two-drug blockade of mTOR signaling appears safe in metastatic kidney cancer in a phase I trial. Early data suggests that a combination of temsirolimus and bryostatin may be active in patients with rare forms of renal cell cancer, which are less likely to respond to other targeted therapies. Elizabeth Plimack, M.D., M.S., a medical oncologist and attending physician at Fox Chase will report the trial results on Sunday, May 31 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando, FL. “We have certainly seen sustained responses with this combination which are encouraging,” Plimack says. more...
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