Dr. Gomella, Associate Director for Clinical Affairs Appointed to NCI Genitourinary Cancers Steering Committee

Dr. Leonard Gomella

Dr. Leonard Gomella

Dr. Leonard Gomella, Chairman of the Department of Urology and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer at Jefferson has been appointed to serve on the NCI Genitourinary Cancers Steering Committee (GUSC). The GUSC is one of sixteen steering committees formed to leverage current NCI-supported NCTN Groups, Consortia, SPOREs and Cancer Center structures to design and prioritize national cancer related clinical trials. The GUSC charge is to prioritize and review concepts for phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials and provide a forum for critical review of concepts for new trials by a broad spectrum of experts from across the NCI-supported clinical trials enterprise and from international partners.

Dr. Gomella, one of the founding members of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, also serves as Clinical Director for the Jefferson Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network and as Urology Chair for NRG, formerly the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. In addition to being recognized as an outstanding clinician in regional and national “Top Doctor” listings, he is involved in translational basic science and clinical research in the development of new diagnostic techniques and treatments for prostate, bladder and kidney cancer.



Dr. Jeannie Hoffman-Censits leads Walk for Bladder Cancer

On Saturday, May 5, 2012 Jeannie Hoffman-Censits, M.D. led Team Jefferson from the Kimmel Cancer Center‘s Bluemle Life Sciences Building to Independence Hall. Dr. Hoffman-Censits teamed up with “the first national advocacy organization devoted to bladder cancer,” the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, to help raise public awareness of bladder cancer and much needed funding.

Team Jefferson will be walking again on May 4, 2013. For more information, please contact Jessica Soens at Jessica.Soens@JeffersonHospital.org or call 215-955-2054.



Leading the Way to a Cure

It is estimated that more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in 2011, making it the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.

Please join Team Jefferson and Dr. Jean Hoffman-Censits of the Department of Medical Oncology, Solid Tumor Division and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in raising awareness of the disease.

This year’s walk will begin at the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Bluemle Life Sciences Building. Walk with us to Independence Hall, where we will have a tent and table with refreshments and information about bladder cancer and treatment options at Jefferson.

Can’t make it to the walk? Please consider donating to the team. All proceeds will benefit the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, host of the annual Bladder Think Tank – the only national scientific meeting focusing solely on bladder cancer. For more information, visit www.bcan.org.

Date and Time: May 5, 2012 at 10 a.m

Location:

Bluemle Life Sciences Building
233 South 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Registration Info:

Registration is free and fundraising is optional. Preregister for the event online or contact Teresa Bryant at 215-503-5455 or teresa.bryant@jefferson.edu.



Dr. Gomella Talks To 6 ABC About New Light Cystscopy To Better Detect Bladder Cancer

Each year, approximately 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer. In the past, detecting tumors on the bladder wall has been a challenge but a new procedure at Jefferson, blue light cystoscopy, allows doctors to better see where the tumors are located.

In an interview with 6 ABC, Dr. Leonard Gomella, chair of Jefferson’s Department of Urology, explains, “About 20 to 30% of the time, it will find high-grade, or more aggressive cancer that we will miss with the naked eye.”

He adds, ”I think this is going to make a tremendous difference to many patients.”

Read “Healthcheck: New cancer detecting tool” on 6abc.com.



Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Celebrates 20 Years of Patient Care and Cancer Discovery

October 2011 marks 20 years of exceptional cancer care and research at KCC

From October forward, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson (KCC), a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, is celebrating 20 years of service to the community and the groundbreaking cancer research from the scientists and physicians who’ve provided an invaluable contribution to medical science and healthcare.

“This is truly a milestone for the Kimmel Cancer Center—it’s two decades of caring and collaborating to beat cancer,” says Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the KCC and Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University.

“With our multidisciplinary approach, KCC’s team of clinicians and researchers has continued to put their best feet forward to provide excellent, stand-out personalized care for cancer patients in the Philadelphia region and beyond and uncover new pathways to better prevent, diagnose and treat the disease,” he added.

Today, the KCC offers up an experienced team of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, urologists, neurosurgeons, nurses and other specialists for patients as they fight against cancer. With the Jefferson Breast Care Center, the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy, the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, and Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary Tract and Related Cancer Center, to name a few, patients have access to the best facilities, providers and technologies for cancer screening and treatment.

It was October 1991 when the Jefferson Cancer Institute opened, with the dedication of the Bluemle Life Science Building on the Thomas Jefferson University campus. Four years later, with the awarding of a Cancer Center Support Grant, the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute (NCI) officially recognized it as one of only 54 NCI-designated cancer centers in the U.S. at the time. The institute took its current name in 1996 when businessman and philanthropist Sidney Kimmel made a generous donation to the institute to expand its research activities.

The donation to Jefferson is not a “gift,” but “an investment for humanity,” Mr. Kimmel told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1996. “I really believe we’re going to have a breakthrough” in cancer research.

Living up to his expectations, KCC cancer researchers have made significant contributions over the last two decades, including better care in prostate cancer (Leonard Gomella, M.D.); new targets and diagnostics for prostate and breast cancer (Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Pestell); discoveries in colon cancer (Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D); pioneering discoveries in cancer metabolism and stem cells (Michael Lisanti, M.D. Ph.D., Dr. Pestell); better bone marrow transplants (Neal Flomenberg, M.D.); more selective radiation treatment (Adam Dicker, M.D.); and new areas of the human genome to treat (Isidore Rigoutsos, Ph.D., and  Paolo M. Fortina, M.D., Ph.D.).

Dr. Pestell, who became director in 2005, has made significant contributions to understanding cell cycle regulation and the aberrations that can lead to cells turning cancerous. His work identified new molecular markers, and new targets for cancer treatment. An internationally renowned expert in oncology and endocrinology, Dr. Pestell’s record of research funding is outstanding, securing substantial National Institutes of Health grants for the KCC.

Today, KCC’s well-funded basic science programs include cell biology, immunology and structural biology, developmental therapeutics, melanoma, leukemia/lymphoma, prostate and breast cancers, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers. KCC also conducts numerous cancer clinical trials each year aimed at prevention and treatment of cancer.

Two recent clinical trials have resulted in the addition of new procedures at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  For example, in the Department of Urology, under chairman Leonard Gomella, M.D, a bladder cancer diagnostic tool using an imaging agent and blue light technology is now helping physicians better detect tumors along the bladder lining. Also, a new, two-step approach to half-match bone marrow transplants (where a patient can use a sibling or parent as a donor) developed by Chair of Medical Oncology Neal Flomenberg, M.D., is proving to be a success for blood cancer patients whose options were otherwise limited.  Jefferson is the only hospital in the region performing half-match procedures.

Since being appointed as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in 2010, Adam Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., has led extensive clinic renovations and the ongoing addition of new technologies. That includes Bodine’s recently acquired radiation therapy equipment for head and neck and prostate cancer patients and an upcoming radiosurgey instrument designed to deliver higher doses of radiation to smaller areas. Bodine’s state-of-the-art brachytherapy suite is also set to open in early 2012.

Last year, Charles J. Yeo, M.D., Chair of Surgery, performed his 1,000th Whipple procedure.  The Whipple procedure is a major surgical operation involving removal of portions of the pancreas, bile duct and duodenum, and is typically performed to treat malignant tumors involving the pancreas, common bile duct or duodenum.  Jefferson’s surgery department treats more pancreatic cases than anywhere in the region.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is consistently ranked in the top 50 best hospitals for treating cancer in America (#31 in 2011) in U.S. News and World Report. What’s more, the hospital has moved up more than 20 places in the past five years for cancer.



KCC Team to Walk for Bladder Cancer

It is estimated that more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in 2010, making it the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.

Please join Dr. Jean Hoffman-Censits, of the Department of Medical Oncology, Solid Tumor Division, and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Team in raising awareness of the disease by walking the Radnor Trail, in Wayne, Pa., on Saturday May 7 at 9:00 a.m.

The walk is taking place on the Radnor Trail off Route 30 in Wayne, Pa. Meet at 9 a.m. behind the parking lot of the VIST Financial Bank, 600 West Lancaster Avenue (at the intersection of Sugartown Road and Old Eagle Road) near the sign for the entrance to the trail.

For more information or to join our Jefferson Team, please contact Teresa Bryant at 215-503-5455 or visit  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/thomasjefferson/walkforbladdercancer to sign up for the walk or make a donation.

For more information regarding the Bladder Cancer network visit, WWW.bcan.ORG

Learn more  by watching BCAN’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Video.



Dr. Leonard Gomella co-chairs ASCO GU in Orlando

Dr. Leonard G. Gomella, chair of the Department of Urology and director of Clinical Affairs at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, co-chaired the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2011 Genitourinary (GU) Cancers Symposium meeting in Orlando on Feb. 17 though Feb. 19.

The “2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium: An Evidence-based Multidisciplinary Approach,” was a three-day Symposium that offered educational sessions and oral and poster abstract presentations focused on genitourinary cancers of the prostate, penis, urethra, testis, bladder and kidney.

Over 1,800 physicians, researchers, care givers and survivors attended the meeting sponsored by ASCO, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO).

Orlando, FL – 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium – Dr. Leonard G Gomella, co-chair the 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (GU) meeting at the Marriott World Center on Thursday, February 17, 2011. Photo by © Todd Buchanan

Dr. Gomella’s talk during the opening remarks was titled “Decision Making Based on Predictors of Clinical Progression.”

To learn more about this symposium, visit http://gucasymposium.org/Home.aspx



Clue to Switch of Bladder Cancer from Locally Contained to Invasive Found by Jefferson Scientists

Dr. Andrea Morrione

Dr. Andrea Morrione

Bladder cancer often becomes aggressive and spreads in patients despite treatment, but now researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have identified a protein they believe is involved in pushing tumors to become invasive – and deadly.

“We have found that IGF-IR is a critical regulator of motility and invasion of bladder cancer cells, and this could offer us a novel molecular target to treat patients with this cancer in order to prevent metastasis,” says the lead investigator, Andrea Morrione, Ph.D., a research associate professor of Urology at Jefferson Medical College, and director of Urology Research, Kimmel Cancer Center.

Read more…