Second Annual Get Your Rear In Gear Event

The second annual Philadelphia Get Your Rear In Gear will took  place at 7:30 a.m. on Martin Luther King Drive in Philadelphia, Sunday, March 21, 2010, during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  Both survivors and those lost to colorectal cancer were honored.  There was a 5K Race  and a 2 mile Remembrance Walk.

Results are available at

Below are pictures from the Kick-Off Meeting:

Ladies of Port Richmond Support Young KCC Investigators

(from left) John Pascal, Ph.D., Chenguang Wang, Ph.D., Agnieszka Witkiewicz, M.D., Kongming Wu, Ph.D., Mathew Casimiro, Ph.D, Tatiyana  Apanasovich, Ph.D. (not pictured)

Ladies of Port Richmond Young Investigators Awardees: (from left) John Pascal, Ph.D., Chenguang Wang, Ph.D., Agnieszka Witkiewicz, M.D., Kongming Wu, Ph.D., Mathew Casimiro, Ph.D, Tatiyana Apanasovich, Ph.D. (not pictured)

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Ladies of Port Richmond, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson has awarded six junior investigators with funding for the prevention and improved treatment of breast cancer. The titles of the supported submissions were:

John Pascal, Ph.D.
Novel Mechanisms For Inhibiting The Cellular Functions Of Parp1 For Cancer Treatment

Chenguang Wang, Ph.D.
Investigation Of The Functional Significance Of Cyclin D1 In Erα Signaling

Agnieszka Witkiewicz, Ph.D.
Molecular Profiling Of Basal Breast Carcinomas

Kongming Wu, Ph.D.
Molecular Mechanism Of A Novel Breast Tumor Suppressor Dach1

Mathew Casimiro, Ph.D.
Characterize The Effect Of Cyclin D1 On The Mitochondrial Proteome Using Electrospray Mass Spectrometry

Tatiyana Apanasovich, Ph.D.
Quantification Of Protein Biomarker Heterogeneity Within Breast Cancer For Improved Personalized Care

Prolactin Blocks Oncogene Associated with Poor Prognosis in Breast Cancer

Researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a mechanism by which a hormone responsible for milk production blocks an oncogene that makes breast cancer more aggressive.

Publishing in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers discovered that prolactin, a pituitary hormone that normally stimulates breast development and milk production, in fact reduces levels of an oncogene called BCL6. The BCL6 protein has previously been shown to play a role in poorly differentiated breast cancer, which carries a poorer prognosis.

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Inflammation Marker Related to Obesity is Elevated in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer

The levels of an inflammatory chemokine were significantly elevated in patients with pancreatic cancer who were extremely obese, according to research conducted by scientists at the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary and Related Cancers Center. They presented their data at the 5th Annual Academic Surgical Congress, held in San Antonio.

Studies have shown that obesity is correlated with inflammation. Similarly, studies have also shown that inflammation contributes to the tumor progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). This study looks at the role of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a marker of inflammation, in obese patients with pancreatic cancer.

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2009 Men’s Event Recap

On Tuesday, November, 17th 2009, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson held the First Annual Men’s Event at the Prime Rib Restaurant in Philadelphia. The Men’s Event was emceed by Comedian Joe Conklin. Special guests included, Mayor Michael Nutter, Don Tollefson, Jon Runyan and Neiman Marcus Models. Guests enjoyed a dinner, silent and live auction, and casino. The Lead Sponsor was Bill Frankel of Frankel Enterprises. This event raised $150,000 for prostate cancer!

Rock the Ribbon Black Tie Event, March 27th, 2010

Rock the Ribbon Official Flyer

CKC United will host the inaugural "Rock the Ribbon" black tie event. The event will be held on March 27th, 2010 at The Regal Ballroom in Philadelphia, PA. This black tie ball features a delicious four course meal, complimentary beverages, guest speakers, and top notch live music. The formation of CKC United stems from the development of Rock the Ribbon. All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. We are very excited about Rock the Ribbon and many other future CKC United fundraisers.

CKC United is a non-profit organization that spreads awareness and raises funds to assist in worth while causes. CKC United was created by a group of friends brought together by music and community. We all share a desire to help the less fortunate, and to make the world a better place to live. Ultimately our goal as a non-profit organization is to donate as much as we can to worthwhile causes.

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Edith Mitchell Receives American Cancer Society Cancer Control Award

Dr. Edith Mitchell

Dr. Edith Mitchell

Edith Mitchell, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, was honored with the Cancer Control Award, an award created by the American Cancer Society.

This award recognizes an individual who has made a major and unique contribution to cancer control in a non-research based activity in the region, which includes Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties. Dr Mitchell was honored at the 2009 American Cancer Society, Southeast Region’s Awards Celebration, which took place October 15.

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Dr. Renato V. Iozzo Receives Scientific Awards from the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies

Renato V. Iozzo, M.D., professor of Pathology and Cell Biology was awarded two plaques and honorary diplomas in recognition of his “Significant Contribution and Scientific Achievements in the fields of Pathobiology and Extracellular Matrices.” The awards were given by the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology together with the Hellenic Research Club for Connective Tissue and Matrix Biology, and from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. He received the awards in July 2009 at the FEBS-MSPT Conference, held at the University of Patras, Greece. Dr. Iozzo delivered two keynote talks on the roles of proteoglycans in cancer and angiogenesis.

Edith Mitchell receives National Medical Association Council on Concerns of Women Physicians Pfizer Research Award

Edith Mitchell, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, was honored with the 2009 National Medical Association Council on Concerns of Women Physicians Pfizer Research Award.

The award is given to a woman who has made outstanding contributions to clinical or academic medicine. It was presented at the Muriel Petioni, M.D. Awards Luncheon, which took place at the National Medical Association Convention in Las Vegas in July. Female physicians who strive to eliminate health care disparities and provide quality health care to minorities are honored.

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Celebration of Life 2009 Recap

On July 3rd, 2009, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson celebrated their 10th year Anniversary of their Annual Celebration of Life as well as the 10th year Anniversary of their Buddy Program which matches newly diagnosed cancer patients with a trained cancer survivor (Buddy). The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson is proud to join communities across the United States in celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day. This Celebration of Life honors and celebrates the lives of all cancer survivors and the people that care about them. Our celebration was attended by 240 cancer survivors, their family members, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

The celebration included an interactive health fair, exhibit of art and poetry, musical entertainment, food and inspirational talks. Along with the art exhibit was a Tree of Life which offered cancer survivors and caregivers the opportunity to place a leaf on the tree with their name and an inspirational message.

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Kimmel Cancer Center Inaugural Ball Recap

On Thursday, June 11, 2009, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson held an Inaugural Ball in Memorial Hall at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park. The Ball was hosted by Caroline & Sidney Kimmel and the lead Sponsor was Ed Snider Foundation and the Comcast-Spectacor Foundation. Honoring Senator Arlen Specter and The American Cancer Society, the event raised money for cancer research. Guests enjoyed a reception, dinner, and live entertainment.

The Endocrine Society awards KCC scientist

The Endocrine Society is pleased to announce the 2009 Laureate Awards established in 1944 to recognize the highest achievements in endocrinology including: science, leadership, teaching and service. This year’s Laureate Awards were presented at ENDO 09, the 91st Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society, being held June 10-13, in Washington, DC.

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Karen Knudsen, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology at the Kimmel Cancer Center received the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award. This annual award recognizes an exceptionally promising young clinical or basic investigator. Knudsen is recognized for scientific achievements in the study of androgen action in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, mentoring of students and fellows, and for her tremendous service to the scientific community.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology.  Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of more than 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Stromal Biomarker Predicts Advanced Prostate Cancer

The same biomarker was previously identified as a prognostic factor for breast cancer

The absence of a stromal protein called caveolin-1 appears to be a marker for advanced prostate cancer and metastasis, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and Harvard Medical School reported in Cell Cycle.

There was an abundance of stromal caveolin-1 in prostate tissue taken from patients with benign prostate hypertrophy. However, the level of stromal caveolin-1 was significantly decreased in the prostate tissue taken from patients with localized prostate cancer. Furthermore, all tumor tissue taken from patients with metastatic prostate cancer was completely negative for stromal caveolin-1.

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ACS-IRG Luncheon

The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson hosted the 2nd Annual ACS-IRG Luncheon on June 25, 2009. Representatives of the Southeast Region, Pennsylvania Division of the American Cancer Society had an opportunity to meet this year’s recipients of the Pilot Project Awards from the Kimmel Cancer Center’s American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, Richard G. Pestell MD., PhD Principal Investigator and Marja T. Nevalainen, MD, PhD, co-Principal Investigator. The Pilot Project recipients for 2009 are: Jonathan Brody, PhD of the Department of Surgery; Jun Li, PhD from the Department of Radiation Oncology; and Janice Walker, PhD of the Department of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology. Representing the American Cancer Society were Daneen Baird, Susan Graham, and Larry Slagle.

Philadelphia Komen Race for the Cure Recap

The Philadelphia Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the CURE held their annual Mother’s Day Race on Sunday, May 10th, 2009. The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson sponsored a booth and Team Jefferson also participated in the race. A few photos from the race below.

New Universal Breast Cancer Marker Predicts Recurrence

The marker appears to be widely applicable to all breast cancer patients, regardless of other established prognostic indicators

Dr. Michael Lisanti

Dr. Michael Lisanti

Reporting online in the American Journal of Pathology, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have implicated the loss of a stromal protein called caveolin-1 as a major new prognostic factor in patients with breast cancer, predicting early disease recurrence, metastasis and breast cancer patient survival.

The absence of caveolin-1 in the stroma also appeared to be a marker for drug resistance in patients receiving tamoxifen, according to Michael Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the departments of Cancer Biology, Medical Oncology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

According to Dr. Lisanti, who is also director of the Jefferson Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Center at the Kimmel Cancer Center, caveolin-1 is expressed by cells in the stroma called fibroblasts, which are present in the connective tissue surrounding cancer cells. When cancer cells arise, the fibroblasts stop making caveolin-1.

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Run 4 Your Life 5K Run/Walk

The Seventh Annual Run 4 Your Life Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Walk to benefit Prostate Cancer Research and Awareness will be happening this year on June 21st. Jefferson/KCC already have a team setup but have a long way to go to reach our goal of $1000. The standard registration fee is $25, but if you can’t attend think about supporting our team with an online donation here, or to the greater cause here.

Also: Check out our own Dr. Leonard Gomella on the “Ask the Doctor” page.

Thymoquinone Inhibits the Development of Pancreatic Cancer

An herb recently found to kill pancreatic cancer cells also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The data were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver. (Abstract #494)

Nigella sativa

Nigella sativa

Thymoquinone, the major constituent of the oil extract from a Middle Eastern herbal seed called Nigella sativa, exhibited anti-inflammatory properties that reduced the release of inflammatory mediators in pancreatic cancer cells, according to Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and a member of the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary & Related Cancers Center.

Nigella sativa seeds and oil are used in traditional medicine by many Middle Eastern and Asian countries. It helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders, Dr. Arafat said. Previous studies have also shown it to have anti-cancer effects on prostate and colon cancers.

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Melanoma Monday

May is Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, so accordingly this coming Monday is "Melanoma Monday". Although having an unfortunate name, the topic it raises is no laughing matter as skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer type with over 1 million new diagnosis in the United States each year and rising. So if you haven’t lately, take a little longer look in the mirror this weekend and use the resources below to find out more about self-examination. And if your needing a push to get out of the house and get screened, let free skin cancer screenings from Jefferson Dermatology Associates in the Philadelphia area on the 22nd (Friday) and the 27th (Wednesday) of this month be your motivation. Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW to make an appointment soon, as they are booking up quickly. For other locations, the American Academy of Dermatology has a location search on their website to find a free screening in you area.

Ladies of Port Richmond 5th Annual Breast Cancer Walk

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A reminder that The Ladies of Port Richmond will be holding their annual Breast Cancer Walk on Sunday, May 17th, 2009. Registration at the walk begins at 8:30 am while the walk starts at 10:00 am. So download the registration form and the pledge form and hit the streets “to increase Breast Cancer awareness through education; and help fund research to find a Breast Cancer cure in our lifetime.”