Celebration of Life – 2010

Celebration Of Life

Celebration of Life

On Wednesday, June 9th, 2010, the Kimmel Cancer Center will hold it’s 11th annual Celebration of Life event. This Celebration of Life honors and celebrates the lives of all cancer survivors and the people that care about them. For more info about the Celebration of Life Event please see this page

Jefferson Commencement Honorees

Drs. Edward C. Bradley, Benjamin S. Carson and Raymond C. Grandon were awarded a Doctor of Science honorary degree from Thomas Jefferson University at the Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies and Jefferson School of Population Health Commencement ceremony on May 24, 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Carson was also the keynote speaker. From more information about the 2010 honorees please see this page


Dr Richard Pestell, Mrs. Nataliia Pestell, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Mrs. Candy Carson, Mr Kenneth Boone and Mrs. Penelope Boone

Reception to Celebrate Dr. Dicker’s Appointment as Chairman

A reception to celebrate Dr. Adam Dicker’s appointment as Chairman of Radiation Oncology was held in the Hamilton Building on Wednesday May 26, 2010. For more about Dr. Dicker’s appointment please go here


Reception Attendees

Erik Knudsen Appointed Chair of the NIH Tumor Cell Biology Study Section

Dr. Erk Knudsen

Dr. Erk Knudsen

Dr. Erik Knudsen, the KCC, Deputy Director for Research and Professor of Cancer Biology, has accepted the invitation to become the Chair of the Tumor Cell Biology Study Section of NIH. This is an important appointment in the realm of NIH funding for cancer research, and as the official letter from NIH states “The skill and leadership offered by the chairperson determine to a significant extent the effectiveness and efficiency of the review group.” The Kimmel Cancer Center is pleased to note the national recognition of Dr. Knudsen’s standing in the cancer research community that is implicit in being appointed as Chair of a key NIH study section.

Wellness Community of Phladelphia holds 12th Annual “Evening in the Park” Awards Dinner

Joy Soleiman, KCC Clinical Administrator and Oncology Social Workers, Katie Noble and Bonnie Crouthamel attended the Wellness Community of Philadelphia 12th annual “Evening in the Park: awards dinner. The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson was a supporting sponsor for the evening. To learn more about the The Wellness Community please visit http://www.twcp.org/ .

Chair of the Victorian Cancer Agency to Visit the Kimmel Cancer Center

Professor Robert Thomas

Professor Robert Thomas

Professor Robert Thomas, Chair of the Victorian Cancer Agency, will tour the Kimmel Cancer Center on June 11. 2010.

Professor Robert Thomas was appointed as the new Chair of the Victorian Cancer Agency by the Victorian Minister for Health, the Hon. Daniel Andrews.

Professor Thomas is the Chief Clinical Advisor for Cancer in the Department of Health, and has a strong track record of working with government in strategic planning for cancer control. As a practicing surgical oncologist and former Chair of the Clinical Services Working Group of the Ministerial Task Force for Cancer, Professor Thomas is uniquely qualified to assist in the achievement of the Agency’s goal of bridging the gap between research and clinical practice.

Professor Thomas will work with the Consultative Council of the Victorian Cancer Agency, supported by CEO Michael Wright and a dedicated team of project staff, to achieve the targets set out for the Agency in Victoria’s Cancer Action Plan, including increasing patient access to clinical trials, developing a cancer research strategy for Victoria and investing in translational research programs and workforce.

Scientists Find Protein Spurs Spread of Prostate Cancer

Dr. Marja Nevalainen, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Marja Nevalainen

Researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found that Stat5, a signaling protein previously found to be key to survival of prostate cancer, is also involved in metastasis.

Their study, published in the online edition of Endocrine-Related Cancer, demonstrates in both laboratory and animal models that nuclear Stat5 over-expression leads to a deadly spread of the cancer. They add that their work with mice was unique in that it was the first time Stat5 was associated with prostate cancer metastasis processes in an animal model.

Read more…

Adam P. Dicker Appointed Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University

Adam P. Dicker, M.D., Ph.D.

Adam P. Dicker, M.D., Ph.D.

Adam P. Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed chairman of the department of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Dicker is an international authority in radiation oncology, drug development, and the treatment of prostate cancer and brain tumors.

Dr. Dicker co-leads the Radiation Research and Translational Biology Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. In addition, he serves as director of the Christine Baxter Research Laboratory for Experimental Cancer Therapies at Jefferson Medical College. He has been a principal investigator of a significant number of “first in human” developmental therapeutic trials involving novel signal transduction agents and radiation therapy.

Read more…

The Ladies of Port Richmond Hold Their 6th Annual Port Richmond Breast Cancer Walk

Ladies Of  Port Richmopnd - Breast Cancer Walk
The Ladies of Port Richmond held their 6th Annual Port Richmond Breast Cancer Walk. The Walk was held at Monkiewicz Playground – Richmond St and Allegheny Ave. For more details about the Ladies of Port Richmond go to http://ladiesofportrichmond.com/

KCC Graduate Student Ethan Abel Receives Award From The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation

Dr. Andrew Aplin, Ethan Abel, Gary Safko and Dr. Richard Pestell

Dr. Andrew Aplin, Ethan Abel, Gary Safko and Dr. Richard Pestell

Graduate student Ethan Abel has been awarded a Research Scholar Award from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation. Twenty-four candidates were evaluated for the award.

Ethan Abel, a graduate student working with Andrew Aplin, PhD, in the Kimmel Cancer Center, has received a $10,000 Research Scholar Award from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.

The primary objective of the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is to give recognition and support to outstanding graduate students and their institutions that are actively involved in melanoma research. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Ethan’s research will focus on the mutations in a protein called BRAF. Mutant B-RAF alters the expression of other genes in melanocytes to promote uncontrolled growth, resistance to death, and spreading beyond the confines of the skin. One gene that is suppressed by mutant B-RAF is called FOXD3, which functions as a cellular switch by turning the expression of genes on and off as needed. Ethan’s research will seek to determine how FOXD3 induces a growth arrest in melanoma cells, how B-RAF suppresses FOXD3 expression, and what factors can induce its expression. A further understanding of the role and regulation of FOXD3 in melanoma may lead to novel therapies for treating the disease.

Also pictured: Gary Safko, President, Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation and Dr. Richard Pestell, Director, Kimmel Cancer Center

Learn more about the: Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation

Small RNA Molecules Block Breast Cancer from Spreading via Newly Identified Secreted Factor

The role of genes and proteins in cancer control is well known, but now researchers at Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center have found a cluster of microRNA (miRNA) molecules that act to suppress the invasive spread of breast cancer.

MiRNAs are non-coding small RNA molecules found in wide areas of the genome that, either singly or in clusters, regulates gene expression. Links between dysfunctional miRNA and human disease have only recently been made.

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Kimmel Cancer Center Director Awarded R. Douglas Wright Medallion at the University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Richard Pestell

Dr. Richard Pestell

Richard G. Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, FRACP, Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, was honored with the R. Douglas Wright Medallion and delivered the R. Douglas Wright Lecture at the University of Melbourne in Australia. The award is given in the areas of science, literature, economics and politics. Prior recipients include Sir James Tait, co-discoverer of aldosterone.

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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…

Jefferson Scientists Unlock Secret to Powerful Tumor Suppressor That Can Reverse Cancer Progression

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have discovered how a powerful tumor suppressor called DACH1 works – a finding that explains why restoring its lost function in cancer cells pushes them to become normal again.

In the March 29 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers say that DACH1 is a potent transcription factor whose protein binds to and forms a lock, of sorts, that stops more than 1,500 human genes from being activated. Some of these genes have been previously shown to promote cancer. When DACH1 isn’t around the expression levels of these genes increase because another well-known cancer promoting protein, forkhead, slots into the unlocked genes and turns them on.

Read more…

Ambassador Kim Beazley Joins KCC Board

Dr. Ricahrd Pestell and Ambassador Kim Beasley

Dr. Richard Pestell and Ambassador Kim Beazley

The Honorable Kim Beazley, Ambassador to United States of America, joins the Kimmel Cancer Center Board.

Mr Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the
electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007).

Mr Beazley was a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983-96) holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State. He was Deputy Prime Minister (1995-96) and Leader of the
Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-01 and 2005-06). Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

After his retirement from politics in 2007, Mr Beazley was appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. In July 2008 he was appointed Chancellor of the Australian National University, a position he held until December 2009.

In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.

Mr Beazley was born in Perth. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the University of Western Australia. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 1973 and completed a Master of Philosophy at Oxford University. He is married and has three daughters.

Dr. Gomella Appointed Chair-Elect of 2011 GU ASCO Symposium


Dr. Leonard G. Gomella

Leonard G. Gomella, MD, FACS have been appointed Chair-Elect for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

KCC American Cancer Society Research Symposium

The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson hosted the 2nd Annual American Cancer Society Research Symposium: Celebrating the ACS Institutional Research Grant at KCC on April 16, 2010. Dr. Pestell welcomed members of the KCC and TJU community and the American Cancer Society. Michael Lisanti, MD, PhD was the Keynote Speaker presenting “The Reverse Warburg Effect: Stromal-Epithelial Metabolic Coupling in Cancer”. After the Keynote Address Dr. Nevalainen introduced the IRG Pilot Project recipients for 2009 who presented the results of their research: Jonathan Brody, PhD of the Department of Surgery, “The HuR Protein Performs Well Under Stress: Implications for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer”; Jun Li, PhD from the Department of Radiation Oncology, “Ultrasound-encoded Optical Imaging” and Janice Walker, PhD of the Department of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology, “Lessons from Wound Healing for Understanding Mechanisms of Cancer Progression”. Representing the American Cancer Society were Daneen Baird, Wan Ling Hung, Kate Mastalski, and Larry Slagle.

Ladies of Port Richmond Annual Breakfast

The Ladies of Port Richmond held their annual Breakfast fund raiser on Sunday, April 11 2010 at St Adalbert’s School Hall (see the photo gallery). The “Breakfast” also served as a kick-off meeting for the 6th Annual Port Richmond Breast Cancer Walk. The Walk will be held on Sunday, May 16 2010 at 10:00 AM at Monkiewicz Playground – Richmond St and Allegheny Ave. For more details about the walk or to register for the walk please go to http://ladiesofportrichmond.com/6thannualreg.html


Cancer Programs Celebrate National Cancer Registrars Week to Emphasize Value of Cancer Registrars April 12-16, 2010

2010 National Cancer Registrars Week

Theme of “Cancer Registrars are Recording Artists” Spotlights the Key Role Cancer Registrars
play in enabling Cancer Research and Control

Cancer Registrars will join with their colleagues worldwide to observe the annual National Cancer Registrars Week, April 12th-16th. The 2010 theme “Cancer Registrars are Recording Artists” demonstrates Cancer Registrars as being the first link in capturing data on patients diagnosed with cancer, which leads to improved cancer control.

Our Cancer Registry works with physicians, administrators, researchers, and health care planners to provide support for cancer program development, ensure compliance with reporting standards, and serve as a valuable resource for cancer information with the ultimate goal of preventing and controlling cancer.

Clockwise from top left:  Ryan Fowler, Kevin Karns, Claire Hanson, Dina Pakstis, Gerard Harter, Fran Guiles, Kathleen D'Anna

Clockwise from top left: Ryan Fowler, Kevin Karns, Claire Hanson, Dina Pakstis, Gerard Harter, Fran Guiles, Kathleen D'Anna

According to the National Cancer Registrars Association, cancer research and control would virtually be nonexistent without the Cancer Registrar. These medical professionals are data management experts working in cancer treatment and research settings. They find, interpret and record a wide range of demographic and medical information on people with cancer. The information is submitted to state and national cancer databases for use in research, treatment and prevention initiatives. Cancer Programs are thus able to accurately determine cancer patient populations, measure outcomes of treatment and survival, and formulate plans for quality improvement.

Governor Ed Rendell’s Proclamationpdf

For more information contact:

Fran Guiles
The Oncology Data Services Department (Cancer Registry)
1015 Chestnut Street, Suite 608
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 955-0042

Dr. Leonard G. Gomella Studies the Effect of Dutasteride on the Risk of Prostate Cancer


Dr. Leonard G. Gomella

Dr. Leonard G. Gomella and colleagues conducted a landmark international
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group multi-center
clinical trial to determine whether dutasteride reduces the risk of incident
prostate cancer, as detected on biopsy, among men who are at increased risk for
the disease. Over the course of the 4-year study period, dutasteride reduced
the risk of incident prostate cancer detected on biopsy and improved the
outcomes related to benign prostatic hyperplasia. These results were published
in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 1, 2010 ( Pubmed Abstract ).