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.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand™ Foundation for Childhood Cancer Upcoming Events in Philadelphia

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex’s Lemonade Stand™ Foundation for Childhood Cancer has some upcoming events in the Philadelphia area. The 6th Annual Lemonade Days June 12-14th, The 4th Annual Great Chef’s Event (featuring a number of notable Philly chefs) Wednesday, June 17th, & The Childhood Cancer Symposium on Saturday, June 27th. Also, Kenny Herriot will be pedaling across the country April 27th through June 7th in The Great Lemon Ride. It isn’t to late to hold your own lemonade stand during this years Lemonade Days, or join in “fighting childhood cancer, one cup at a time”.

For those of you who don’t know about the amazing Alex Scott or her lemonade stand…

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Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy Beneficial as Salvage Therapy for Recurrent Low-Grade Glioma

Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy was well-tolerated and improved symptoms in patients with recurrent low-grade glioma, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The data were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009. (Abstract #3617)

In a subgroup of patients who also received chemotherapy with their hypofractionated sterotactic radiotherapy (H-SRT) the median survival time was more than three times longer than patients who only received H-SRT alone according to Shannon Fogh, M.D., a resident in Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The study included 22 patients with evidence of glioma recurrence. All patients were given H-SRT as salvage therapy, and nine of the patients also received chemotherapy. The most common regimen was temozolomide (Temodar).

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Vitamin K and Sorafenib Combination Demonstrated Anti-Tumor Effects in Pancreas Cancer and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Dr. Brian Carr

Dr. Brian Carr

A combination of Sorafenib and Vitamin K had an effect in vitro on both human pancreas cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. Data from the two studies were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver. (Abstract #5470 and #5483)

Vitamin K1 or Vitamin K2, plus Sorafenib (Nexavar) each have shown activity against the growth of human cancer cells by inhibiting the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway according to Brian Carr, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of Medical Oncology at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. ERK plays a major role in cell growth of cancers.

Although Sorafenib has demonstrated success at extending survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, or primary liver cancer), hand-foot syndrome is a common adverse effect that affects approximately 20 percent of patients who receive the drug. It typically manifests as painful sores on the soles of patients’ feet that can prevent the patients from walking, Dr. Carr said. Profound tiredness and weight loss is also seen in at least 30 percent of patients.

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Jefferson Awarded Highest Honor for Nursing Excellence

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Center City Campus, has been granted MAGNET® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) MAGNET Recognition Program®. ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.

Less than five percent of the hospitals in the nation have achieved the sought-after MAGNET recognition which honors superior patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Highly regarded as the “gold standard” of nursing excellence, MAGNET recognition provides a benchmark by which consumers and patients can measure the quality of care they can expect to receive at a hospital.  Hospitals that achieve MAGNET recognition are associated with improved patient care outcomes as well as attracting top notch physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals.

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Therapeutic Effect of Imatinib Improved with Addition of Chloroquine

Dr. Bruno Calabretta

Dr. Bruno Calabretta

The therapeutic effects of the blockbuster leukemia drug imatinib may be enhanced when given along with a drug that inhibits a cell process called autophagy, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The cell-death effect of imatinib (Gleevec) was potentiated when chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, was given with imatinib for the in vitro treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells including the CML stem cells, according to Bruno Calabretta, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

Autophagy is a process that allows cells to adapt to environmental stresses, and enables drug-treated CML cells to escape cell death. Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that suppresses proliferation and induces death of the malignant cells that cause CML. However, additional effects of the drug have not been studied in detail, according to Dr. Calabretta.

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New Therapeutic Target for Melanoma Identified

Dr. Andrew Aplin

Dr. Andrew Aplin

A protein called Mcl-1 plays a critical role in melanoma cell resistance to a form of apoptosis called anoikis, according to research published this week in Molecular Cancer Research.

The presence of Mcl-1 causes cell resistance to anoikis. This resistance to anoikis enables the melanoma cells to metastasize and survive at sites distant from the primary tumor, according to Andrew Aplin, Ph.D., an associate professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The research was conducted at Albany Medical College in New York by Dr. Aplin and colleagues.

Mcl-1 is part of the Bcl-2 protein family, and is regulated by B-RAF proteins, which are mutated in approximately 60 percent of all human melanomas.  The Bcl-2 family includes several prosurvival proteins that are associated with the resistance of cancer cells to apoptosis, or cell death. Dr. Aplin and colleagues analyzed three candidate Bcl-2 proteins: Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL.

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