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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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


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 ).

Karen Knudsen receives Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Dr. Karen Knudsen

Karen Knudsen, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology and Urology at the Kimmel Cancer Center received the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award from the Endocrine Society. This annual Laureate Awards 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. 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.

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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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