Kimmel Cancer Center “All Hands” Meeting

The Kimmel Cancer Center held it’s quarterly “All Hands” meeting on March 29, 2011. Dr. Richard Pestell, Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center, delivered his quarterly “State of the Cancer Center” address. Awards were presented in four  categories. The Nursing Award was presented to Carole Muto, RN, MSN, CPAN. The Clinical Award was presented to Andrew Chapman, DO. The Basic Science Award was presented to Marja Nevalainen, MD, PhD. The Administration Award was presented to Mildred Harden.

Carole Muto receives Nursing Award from Dr. Neal Flomenberg

Dr. Andrew Chapman receives Clinician Award from Dr. Neal Flomenberg

 



Dr. Marja Nevelainen receives Basic Science Award from Dr. Erik Knudsen

Mildred Harden receives Administration Award from Dr. Richard Davidson

 




Get Healthy Philadelphia Tobacco Policy and Control Speaker Series

Giridhar Mallya, MD, MSHP, Director of Policy and Planning, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Michelle S. Davis, PhD, Deputy Regional Health Administrator, Region III, DHHS, Office of Public Health and Science; Rosemarie Henson, MSSW, MPH, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health, DHHS; Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD, Director, Kimmel Cancer Center; Simon McNabb, Senior Policy Advisor, CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; Dalton G. Paxman, Ph.D. Regional Health Administrator, Region III, DHHS, Office of Public Health and Science

On March 25th, the Jefferson School of Population Health and Philadelphia Department of Health hosted a seminar featuring Rosemarie Henson, MSSW, MPH.

Ms. Henson is the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS). Prior to her position at DHHS, Ms. Henson directed multiple disease prevention and health promotion programs at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For many years Ms. Henson directed the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) where she launched the state-based National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines, which provided access to telephone counseling and follow-up for all US smokers. She also played a pivotal role in leading the CDC’s efforts to establish youth tobacco surveillance activities globally; she led the successful CDC tobacco-free campus initiative; and the national strategy for the release of two landmark Surgeon General’s reports.

As part of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Get Healthy Philly Tobacco Policy and Control Series, Ms. Henson will present on the National Tobacco Control Strategy of DHHS.



Dr. Edith Mitchell Honored By Philadelphia County Medical Society

Dr. Edith Mitchell

Edith Mitchell, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, will be honored by the Philadelphia County Medical Society (PCMS). Dr. Mitchell will be the recipient of the PCMS 2011 Practitioner of the Year Award. Dr. Mitchell will receive the award on June 11 at the PCMS President’s Ball.



NCI Highlights Recent Discovery By Dr. Lisanti

Michael Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D.

The work of Michael P. Lisanti, Professor and Chair of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine & Leader of the KCC Molecular  Biology & Genetics Program was recently highlighted on the NCI’s Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers Research News Website in an article entitled “Tumors Acts As Parasites, Sucking Energy From Surrounding Cells “  (article link). The article describes Dr. Lisanti’s recent publications on cancer cell metabolism and the “Reverse-Warburg Effect.”



Jefferson Clinical Trial: Can a Cholesterol Drug Prevent Colon Cancer?

Thomas Jefferson University has started recruiting patients for a new National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored clinical trial to test whether the cholesterol-reducing drug rosuvastatin is effective in the prevention of recurrent colon cancer.

Previous laboratory research and population studies have shown that patients taking statins, the class of drugs that lowers cholesterol, had fewer colon polyps, which can lead to cancer if left untreated. However, those findings come largely from retrospective, observational studies originally designed to investigate lipid-lowering or cardiovascular endpoints in the short term rather than tumor endpoints.

“The jury is still out, and we need to get definitive answers,” said Bruce Boman, M.D., Ph.D, professor of medical oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and principal investigator for the national clinical trial. “This prospective design comparing a statin against a placebo is what is needed to address the question: Are statins effective chemoprevention agents or not?”

This five-year, nationwide study will be the first randomized, prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the drug’s role in preventing colon cancer and will involve 1,740 patients in total.

Conducted by a network of cancer research professionals from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) at 400 medical centers across North America, including Jefferson, the study involves patients who have recently been diagnosed with early stage colon cancer, and who were not already taking statins for high cholesterol.  Those recruited have been surgically treated for stage I and II colon cancers previously.

Patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups.  Each group will take one pill a day for five years.  One group will receive rosuvastatin, while the other group will receive a placebo.

The cumulative incidence for developing colorectal adenomas three years after surgery/treatment for early stage colon cancer is 50 percent. Thus, the benefit/risk ratio for chemoprevention intervention is potentially very positive in this high-risk population.

“There will be an estimated 102,900 new cases of colon cancer in the United States this year,” said Norman Wolmark, M.D., NSABP’s chairman.  “In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country.   We hope this trial will be an important step in reducing these numbers.”

The principal investigator for the trial at Jefferson is Scott Goldstein, M.D, director of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University.

People recently diagnosed with a Stage I or II colon cancer and interested in the study should contact Vicki Squire of Thomas Jefferson University at  Vicki.Squire@jeffersonhospital.org or 215-503-5641.

A list of other sites in North America that are participating in the study may be found at http://www.nsabp.pitt.edu/P5_Sites.asp



Jefferson Researchers Unravel Protein’s Elusive Role in Embryo and Disease Development in Nature

Reporting in Nature, scientists from Thomas Jefferson University have determined that a single protein called FADD controls multiple cell death pathways, a discovery that could lead to better, more targeted autoimmune disease and cancer drugs.

Twelve years ago, internationally-known immunologistan associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Thomas Jefferson University, realized FADD, which stands for Fas-Associated protein with Death Domain, played an important role in embryonic development and the onset of some diseases, but he didn’t know exactly why until now.

In the paper published online March 2, Dr. Zhang and researchers show this protein regulates not one but two types of cell deaths pivotal for embryo and disease development. It is now known that FADD causes apoptosis, the “healthy” cell death, while keeping necrosis, the “toxic” one, at bay.

Understanding this pathway is instrumental in developing drugs with selectivity and fewer side effects, said Dr. Zhang, a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

Jianke Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and member of the KCC

“This work has direct impact on our understanding of diseases: cancer, autoimmune disease, immune-deficiency disease,” he said.  “This is the one gene that regulates these two processes in cells, so now we can find targeted drugs to control the cell death process.”

The research suggests that with the absence or variation in expression of this one protein, an embryo may not develop properly or a person may develop disease later in life.

“This breakthrough is a testimony to Dr. Zhang’s research acumen and dogged determination to solve a longstanding mystery regarding the regulation of cell death pathways,” said Tim Manser, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Jefferson. “It is gratifying to know that Thomas Jefferson University provides the research infrastructure that allows outstanding researchers like Dr. Zhang to make seminal discoveries, such as those reported in the Nature paper.”

FADD’s importance in embryogenesis and lymphocyte death response has been known, but the mechanism that underlies these functions in FADD has remained elusive.

Researchers found that mice that did not express FADD contained raised levels of RIP1, Receptor-Interacting Protein 1, an important protein that mediates necrosis and the apoptotic processes, and their embryonic development failed due to massive necrosis.

“When the FADD-mediated death process is deregulated, we will produce white bloods cells that will attack our own tissue, which is the cause of auto-immune diseases, such as arthritis and lupus,” said Dr. Zhang. “And without the necessary cell deaths that are required for tumor surveillance, humans could develop cancer.”

There are drugs currently under development today that activate TNF-a-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptor signaling, which induces apoptosis through FADD in cancer cells specifically, but its mechanisms are not well understood and the treatment not perfected. There are also tumor cells that are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis for unknown causes.

“The killing of these tumor cells is not efficient, and this paper actually figured out why,” said Dr. Zhang. “We now know that the FADD protein, while required for apoptotic death, is inhibiting necrotic death in tumor cells.”

Dr. Jianke Zhang’s research team in Microbiology and Immunology Department at Thomas Jefferson University includes Haibing Zhang, Ph.D., Research Associate and Jinghe Li, M.D.; Candidate for Ph.D. and are also affiliated with the Kimmel Cancer Center, and declare no conflicts of interest.



Radiation Oncology Announcements and Appointments

New faculty:

Thomas Jefferson University welcomes two new, seasoned clinicians and researchers to its Department of Radiation Oncology: Nicole Simone, M.D., from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Bo Lu, M.D., Ph.D, from Vanderbilt University.

Nicole Simone, M.D.

Dr. Simone is a board-certified Radiation Oncologist who has treated mostly patients with breast and head and neck cancers, while her research involves radiation’s effect on microRNAs in breast cancer and caloric restriction and radiation therapy—and the ability of both to delay breast cancer tumor growth.

“Dr. Simone is rapidly being recognized as one of the rising stars in the field,” said Adam Dicker, M.D, Ph.D, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “Her research cuts across a number of cutting edge fields, including breast and prostate cancer biology, metabolism, microRNAs and computational biology.  The connection between diet and cancer treatment is very relevant for patients.”

Bo Lu, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Bo Lu is also a board-certified Radiation Oncologist who comes to Jefferson from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he was an Ingram associate professor with tenure in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Cancer Biology of the University’s School of Medicine.  He was also an attending radiation oncologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, member of the Ingram Cancer Center, and director of the Translational Research Program and Lung Cancer Research Program.

“I am delighted that Dr. Lu has joined our faculty,” said Dr. Dicker. “He is internationally renowned for his work in clinical and translational radiation oncology, and I have received numerous congratulatory calls and emails from Chairs of Departments of Radiation Oncology around the world recognizing his numerous achievements.”

Dr. Lu’s focus is on radiation-induced cell death in lung patients, among other basic science areas. His clinical interests include the integration of novel targeted agents in the treatment of lung cancer, radiosurgery for lung cancer, and reductionof toxicities from thoracic radiation. More recently, Dr. Lu has looked at cancer stem cells for enhancing radiotherapy in a setting of lung cancer.

Appointments:

Congratulations to Maria Werner-Wasik, M.D., professor in the department of radiation oncology, and radiation oncology residency program director, who was elected as the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Vice-Chair for Publications. (www.rtog.org)

Maria Werner-Wasik, M.D.

Dr. Werner-Wasik is a member of the RTOG Lung Cancer Steering Committee.  She succeeds William Sause, M.D., of Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, who has served as the RTOG publications vice-chair since 1999.

Dr. Werner-Wasik will chair the RTOG Publications Committee which is responsible for the oversight ofpublication quality and timeliness of the results of the group’s trials.

Drs. Timothy Showalter and Robert Den have been selected as recipients of the American Brachytherapy Society sponsored High Dose Rate fellowship program (1 week) for 2011.




“Longevity” Protein SIRT1 May Ward Off Precursor to Prostate Cancer

Dr. Richard G. Pestell

Dr. Richard G. Pestell

Researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and two other institutions have discovered new evidence that suggests the “longevity” protein SIRT1, known for its life-spanning effects in different species, can inhibit the development of a known precursor to prostate cancer, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).

“Prostate cancer is one of the malignancies that has a very direct relationship to aging,” says Richard G. Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Kimmel Cancer Center and Chairman of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “And these results provide a direct link for the first time between the onset of prostate cancer and the Sirt1 gene that regulate aging.”

The findings were reported in the February 2011 edition of Cancer Research ( pubmed)  ( JeffNews )




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



Shifting a paradigm: A molecular approach to staging colorectal cancer

A quantitative, molecular analysis of lymph nodes in patients deemed colorectal cancer-free was found to be an effective predictor of recurrence, according to a study from researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and published online Feb 9. in Clinical Cancer Research.

Recurrence occurs in about 25 percent of node-negative patients (pN0), suggesting that occult metastases escaped detection, be it imaging modalities or histopathology.

To better predict recurrence and accurately stage these patients, Terry Hyslop, Ph.D. and Scott A. Waldman, M.D., Ph.D. of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics of Thomas Jefferson University and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, and colleagues explored a novel molecular approach, using the biomarker GUCY2C for metastatic colorectal cancer cells.

Using 291 colorectal cancer patients who were node-negative, the researchers analyzed lymph nodes by histopathology and GUCY2C quantitative qRT-PCR. They were followed for a median of 24 months and categorized as having either low, intermediate or high tumor burdens.

The researchers had previously concluded that expression of GUCY2C increased risk of recurrence. However, it is apparent that nodal metastases do not assure recurrence; rather they indicate risk.

The researchers found that patients with greater occult tumor burden have a greater risk of recurrence compared to patients with less burden. Thus, molecular tumor burden in lymph nodes are independently associated with time to recurrence and disease-free survival in patients with node-negative colorectal cancer.

“This approach can improve prognostic risk stratification and chemotherapeutic allocation in pN0 patients,” the authors write. “More generally, this study reveals a previously unappreciated paradigm to advance cancer staging, clinically translating emerging molecular platforms that complement histopathology, laboratory diagnostic, and imaging modalities.”



Researchers Say Stress Fuels Cancer Growth, Provide Genetic Evidence That Antioxidants Can Help Treat It

Researchers from Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center have genetic evidence suggesting the antioxidant drugs currently used to treat lung disease, malaria and even the common cold can also help prevent and treat cancers because they fight against mitochondrial oxidative stress—a culprit in driving tumor growth.

For the first time, the researchers show that loss of the tumor suppressor protein Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) induces mitochondrial oxidative stress in the stromal micro-environment, a process that fuels cancer cells in most common types of breast cancer.

“Now we have genetic proof that mitochondrial oxidative stress is important for driving tumor growth,” said lead researcher Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. “This means we need to make anti-cancer drugs that specially target this type of oxidative stress. And there are already antioxidant drugs out there on the market as dietary supplements, like N-acetyl cysteine.”

These findings were published in the online February 15 issue of Cancer Biology & Therapy.

Lisanti’s lab previously discovered Cav-1 as a biomarker that functions as a tumor suppressor and is the single strongest predictor of breast cancer patient outcome. For example, if a woman has triple negative breast cancer and is Cav-1 positive in the stroma,

her survival is greater than 75 percent at 12 years, versus less than 10 percent at 5 years if she doesn’t have the Cav-1 protein, according to Dr. Lisanti.

The researchers also established Cav-1’s role in oxidative stress and tumor growth; however, where that stress originates and its mechanism(s) were unclear.

To determine this, Jefferson researchers applied a genetically tractable model for human cancer associated fibroblasts in this study using a targeted sh-RNA knock-down approach. Without the Cav-1 protein, researchers found that oxidative stress in cancer associated fibroblasts leads to mitochondrial dysfunction in stromal fibroblasts.  In this context, oxidative stress and the resulting autophagy (producton of recycled nutrients) in the tumor-microenvironment function as metabolic energy or “food” to “fuel” tumor growth.

The researchers report that the loss of Cav-1 increases mitochondrial oxidative stress in the tumor stroma, increasing both tumor mass and tumor volume by four-fold, without any increase in tumor angiogenesis.

Michael Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D. of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

“Antioxidants have been associated with cancer reducing effects—beta carotene, for example—but the mechanisms, the genetic evidence, has been lacking,” Dr. Lisanti said. “This study provides the necessary genetic evidence that reducing oxidative stress in the body will decrease tumor growth.”

Currently, anti-cancer drugs targeting oxidative stress are not used because is it commonly thought they will reduce the effectiveness of certain chemotherapies, which increase oxidative stress.

“We are not taking advantage of the available drugs that reduce oxidative stress and autophagy, including metformin, chloroquine and N-acetyl cysteine,” Dr. Lisanti said. “Now that we have genetic proof that oxidative stress and resulting autophagy are important for driving tumor growth, we should re-consider using antioxidants and autophagy inhibitors as anti-cancer agents.”

The diabetic drug metformin and chloroquine, which is used for the prevention and treatment of malaria, prevent a loss of Cav-1 in cancer associated fibroblasts (which is due to oxidative stress), functionally cutting off the fuel supply to cancer cells.

This research also has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of triple negative and tamoxifen-resistance in ER-positive breast caner patients, as well as other epithelial cancers, such as prostate cancers.

“Undoubtedly, this new genetically tractable system for cancer associated fibroblasts will help identify other key genetic ‘factors’ that can block tumor growth,” Dr. Lisanti said.



New Tumor Tracking Technique for Radiotherapy Spares Healthy Tissue, Could Improve Cancer Treatment

Medical physicists at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center have demonstrated a new real-time tumor tracking technique that can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue in a patient—up to 50 percent less in some cases—and maximize the dose the tumor receives.

Respiratory and cardiac motions have been found to displace and deform tumors in the lung, pancreas, liver, breast, and other organs. Because of this, radiation oncologists must expand the margin during radiotherapy, and consequently a large volume of healthy tissue is irradiated, and critical organs adjacent to the tumor are sometimes difficult to spare.

In an effort to shrink that margin, Jefferson researchers developed a new 4D, robotic technique that better predicts and continuously tracks tumors during radiotherapy, preventing unnecessary amounts of radiation from being administered to unnecessary areas. Thus, critical organs and tissues are spared; cancer treatment is potentially improved; and side effects are decreased.

Published in the online February 1 issue of Physics in Medicine and Biology journal, the study was co-authored by Ivan Buzurovic, Ph.D., a medical physics resident and researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, and Yan Yu, Ph.D., director of Medical Physics at Thomas Jefferson University.

In this technique, the robotic system—programmed with the proposed algorithms developed by Jefferson researchers—is automatically adjusted so that the position of the tumor remains stationary during treatment.

“The advantage of this novel approach in radiation therapy is that the system is able to predict and track tumor motion in three-dimensional space,” said Dr. Buzurovic. The technique can compensate both tumor motion and residual errors during patient treatment, he added.

When active tracking was applied and tumor motion was up to 1.5 cm, irradiated planning target volume (PTV) was 20 to 30 percent less for medium size tumors and more than 50 percent for small size tumors. For tumor motion range up to 2.5 cm, irradiated PTV was two times smaller when tracking is applied.

“The proposed robotic system needs 2 seconds to start tracking with the high precision level. The tracking error was less than 0.5 mm for regular breathing patterns and less than 1 mm for highly irregular respiration,” said Dr. Buzurovic. “Prediction algorithms were developed to predict tumor motion and to compensate errors due to delay in the system response.”

The study findings suggest that the use of tumor tracking technology during radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer would result in significant reduction in dose to the healthy tissue, potentially decreasing the probability or severity of side effects, co-author Dr. Yu said.

With this new technique, radiation oncologists would be able to administer more radiation and faster to the tumor than conventional methods, said Adam P. Dicker, M.D, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University.

“If we shrink our margin by this new robotic technique, then we can bring larger doses to tumors,” Dr. Dicker said. “And a higher dose means a better cure in lung cancer, for instance.”

Researchers from Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., were also involved in the study.

The researchers’ method, demonstrated in extensive computer simulation, can be applied to two commercially available robotic treatment couches.



Dr. Eric Wickstrom Elected AAAS Fellow

Dr. Eric Wickstrom

Dr. Eric Wickstrom

Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., of Jefferson Medical College, Kimmel Cancer Center, recognized for creating new methods to see cancer gene activity from outside the body

Exemplary work in genetic imaging and therapy have earned  Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, recognition by his peers as a 2010 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS is honoring Dr. Wickstrom for his “distinguished contributions to genetic imaging and genetic therapy by design and application of modified oligonucleotides.”

Dr. Wickstrom will be recognized, along with the other 502 members elected, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 19.  A tradition that began in 1874, AAAS names Fellows every year for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

As part of the Jefferson Medical College and Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Wickstrom, along with his co-workers, create new methods to see cancer gene activity from outside the body, and to capture cancer cells flowing through the blood.

More specifically, his laboratory is developing cancer gene-specific oligonucleotides and siRNAs against cancer genes in the signal transduction pathway for use as diagnostics and therapeutics for cancers.

This year’s AAAS Fellows will also be announced in the AAAS “News & Notes” section of the journal Science on January 28, 2011.

AAAS Fellows elected in previous years include Charlene J. Williams, Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University

Media Only Contact: Steve Graff
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Phone: (215) 955-6300



Giovanni M. Pitari, M.D., Ph.D. receives award from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Giovanni M. Pitari, M.D., Ph.D., has received an award from the American Institute for Cancer Research to support his research project entitled ‘Therapeutic Synergy between Dietary Calcium and Bacterial Enterotoxins for the Prevention and Treatment of Colon Cancer’. The award provides research funding directed toward discovering innovative therapeutic modalities for cancer prevention and cure. Dr. Pitari is Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Laboratory of Investigative Medicine at TJU.



Local ACS Staff Visits KCC

Left to Right: Nancy Hodgson, RN, PhD, Kate Mastalski, Stefanie Washburn, Angie Smith, Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, Jan Blanas, Meredith Gavin, Betsy Harbison, Larry Slagle, Lauren McShea, Ruth Ann Dailey, ACS Regional Vice President, John Pascal, PhD, Jonathan Brody, PhD

Left to Right: Nancy Hodgson, RN, PhD, Kate Mastalski, Stefanie Washburn, Angie Smith, Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, Jan Blanas, Meredith Gavin, Betsy Harbison, Larry Slagle, Lauren McShea, Ruth Ann Dailey, ACS Regional Vice President, John Pascal, PhD, Jonathan Brody, PhD

The Philadelphia Office of the American Cancer Society held a ‘brown bag’ luncheon for its staff at KCC on December 14, 2010. Past and present recipients of Pilot Project Awards from the ACS Institutional Research Grant at TJU shared their research experiences with the ACS staff. After lunch the visitors enjoyed a tour of Dr. John Pascal’s laboratory.



2010 Men’s Event Recap

On Tuesday, November, 16th 2010, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson held the Second Annual Men’s Event at the Prime Rib Restaurant in Philadelphia. The Men’s Event was emceed by Comedian Joe Piscopo.

The inaugural Kimmel Cancer Center Men’s Event “Man of the Year Award”  was awarded to Mr. Kenneth Gamble, a world-renowned Grammy winning lyricist, composer, producer and one of the architects of what is referred to as “The Sound of Philadelphia”. Mr. Gamble was chosen for his humanitarian and civic efforts including his longstanding support of cancer research and his leadership in the African American community, a group that particularly is hard hit by prostate cancer. The Lead Sponsor (for the second year) was Bill Frankel of Frankel Enterprises.

EVENT CO-CHAIRS:
Kenneth Boone
Trustee, Thomas Jefferson University
Thomas Pappas
C.E.O., TNP Holdings, Inc.
Leonard Gomella, M.D.,
Chair, Dept. of Urology,
Thomas Jefferson University
Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D.,
Director, Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson
Don Marrandino
Eastern Division President,
Harrah’s Entertainment
Neal Rodin, Managing Director
International Finance Company
Peter Madden
Founder and President, AgileCat
Jon Runyan
Congressman-Elect
14-Year NFL Veteran
Mark Nicoletti
Principal, PSDC
Garth Weldon
Managing Partner, The Prime Rib



Loss of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor pushes prostate cancer into lethal stage, say Kimmel Cancer Center researchers

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Their study, the first to uncover a new role for this powerful gene, may lead to clinical “barcoding” of a patient’s prostate cancer to help direct therapy

(PHILADELPHIA) – The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (Rb), long thought to protect cells against cancer development, appears to play a very different role in prostate cancer, say scientists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University.  As reported today, disruption of this gene now appears to be a major factor contributing to therapeutic failure.

Read more…



2010 Breast Health International Breast Cancer Consensus Conference

Drs. Joseph A. Sparano, Lawrence J Solin, Juan A. Palazzo, Lajos Puztai, Jorge Reis-Filho, Andrew D. Seidman, Harry Bartelink, Roland Holland, Ian S. Fentiman, Emiel J.T. Rutgers, Shahla Masood, Peter J. Pressman, Blake Cady,  Gordon F. Schwartz,  Beryl McCormick, Harold J. Burstein, Luigi Cataliotti, Kevin Hughes

Drs. Joseph A. Sparano, Lawrence J Solin, Juan A. Palazzo, Lajos Puztai, Jorge Reis-Filho, Andrew D. Seidman, Harry Bartelink, Roland Holland, Ian S. Fentiman, Emiel J.T. Rutgers, Shahla Masood, Peter J. Pressman, Blake Cady, Gordon F. Schwartz, Beryl McCormick, Harold J. Burstein, Luigi Cataliotti, Kevin Hughes

On Friday, October 22 through Sunday, October 24, 2010, Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center co-sponsored with the Breast Health International  a Breast Cancer Consensus Conference.  The conference brought leading breast cancer experts from around the world together to discuss Adjuvant Therapy in Stage I carcinoma of the breast: the influence of multigene analyses and molecular phenotyping.



Ladies of Port Richmond Coninue Support Of The Kimmel Cancer Center

The Ladies of Port Richmond presented the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson with a check for $40,000. This is the sixth year in a row that the Ladies of Port Richmond have support breast cancer research at the Kimmel Cancer Center. The Ladies of Port Richmond work diligently to raise this money and a plaque was placed in their honor on the first floor of the Bluemle Life Science Building to recognize their efforts.



Breast Health International Held Annual Black Tie Gala

Several Thomas Jefferson University/KCC Faculty and Family Members Attended the Event.

Dr. and Mrs. Rodwige Desnoyers, Dr. Michael Ramirez, Dr. Rani Anne, Ms. Nora Homsi, Mr. Tim Pestell, Dr. & Mrs. Richard Pestell Mr. Joseph (Joh) Rosamilia(seated) and Dr. Sun Yong Lee (seated).

Breast Health International, a division of the Foundation for Breast & Prostate Health held it’s annual Black Tie Gala honoring Neiman Marcus and benefiting breast cancer research and development. The event was held on Friday, October 29. 2010 at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Downtown Philadelphia. Music was provided by the Eddie Bruce Band. A silent auction was held.

Want more info? View Website » http://www.fbph.com

Recap and Gallery Available Here at the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Philadelphia Website.