KCC Research: Cancer Cells Accelerate Aging & Inflammation in Body to Drive Tumor Growth

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have shed new light on the longstanding conundrum about what makes a tumor grow—and how to make it stop.  Interestingly, cancer cells accelerate the aging of nearby connective tissue cells to cause inflammation, which ultimately provides “fuel” for the tumor to grow and even metastasize.

Michael Lisanti, MD, PhD

This revealing symbiotic process, which is similar to how muscle and brain cells communicate with the body, could prove useful for developing new drugs to prevent and treat cancers.  In this simple model, our bodies provide nourishment for the cancer cells, via chronic inflammation.

“People think that inflammation drives cancer, but they never understood the mechanism,” said Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center. “What we found is that cancer cells are accelerating aging and inflammation, which is making high-energy nutrients to feed cancer cells.”

In normal aging, DNA is damaged and the body begins to deteriorate because of oxidative stress. “We are all slowly rusting, like the Tin-man in the Wizard of Oz,” Dr. Lisanti said. “And there is a very similar process going on in the tumor’s local environment.”  Interestingly, cancer cells induce “oxidative stress,” the rusting process, in normal connective tissue, in order to extract vital nutrients.

Dr. Lisanti and his team previously discovered that cancer cells induce this type of stress response (autophagy) in nearby cells, to feed themselves and grow. However, the mechanism by which the cancer cells induce this stress and, more importantly, the relationship between the connective tissue and how this “energy” is transferred was unclear.

“Nobody fully understands the link between aging and cancer,” said Dr. Lisanti, who used pre-clinical models, as well as tumors from breast cancer patients, to study these mechanisms.  “What we see now is that as you age, your whole body becomes more sensitive to this parasitic cancer mechanism, and the cancer cells selectively accelerate the aging process via inflammation in the connective tissue.”

This helps explain why cancers exist in people of all ages, but susceptibility increases as you age.  If aggressive enough, cancer cells can induce accelerated aging in the tumor, regardless of age, to speed up the process.

The researchers’ findings were published in the June 1 issue of Cell Cycle in three separate papers.

One paper analyzes the gene profiles of the laser-captured connective tissue, associated with lethal tumors, in human breast cancer patients.  In this paper, lethal cancers show the same gene expression pattern associated with normal aging, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.  In fact, these aging and Alzheimer’s disease signatures can identify which breast cancer patients will undergo metastasis. The researchers find that oxidative stress is a common “driver” for both dementia and cancer cell spreading.

In another study, the researchers explain that cancer cells initiate a “lactate shuttle” to move lactate—the “food”—from the connective tissue to the cancer cells. There’s a transporter that is “spilling” lactate from the connective tissue and a transporter that then “gobbles” it up in the cancer cells.”

The implication is that the fibroblasts in the connective tissue are feeding cancer cells directly via pumps, called MCT1 and MCT4, or mono-carboxylate transporters.  The researchers see that lactate is like “candy” for cancer cells.  And cancer cells are addicted to this supply of “candy.”

“We’ve essentially shown for the first time that there is lactate shuttle in human tumors,” said Dr. Lisanti. “It was first discovered nearly 100 years ago in muscles, 15 years ago in the brain, and now we’ve shown this shuttle also exists in human tumors.”

It’s all the same mechanism, where one cell type literally “feeds” the other.  The cancer cells are the “Queen Bees,” and the connective tissue cells are the “Worker Bees.” In this analogy, the “Queen Bees” use aging and inflammation as the signal to tell the “Worker Bees” to make more food.

Researchers also identified MCT4 as a biomarker for oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts, and inhibiting it could be a powerful new anti-cancer therapy.

“If lethal cancer is a disease of “accelerated aging” in the tumor’s connective tissue, then cancer patients may benefit from therapy with strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory drugs,” said Dr. Lisanti. “Antioxidant therapy will “cut off the fuel supply” for cancer cells.”  Antioxidants also have a natural anti-inflammatory action.



Highlights from KCC American Cancer Society Research Symposium

From left to right: Marja Nevalainen, MD, PhD – Department of Cancer Biology, co- Director of ACS Institutional Research Grant at KCC, Hushan Yang, PhD - Department of Medical Oncology, Pilot Project Recipient, Richard Pestell, M.B.B.S., M.D., Ph.D., M.D. (Hon. Causa), F.R.A.C.P., F.A.C.P. – Department of Cancer Biology, Director of ACS Institutional Research Grant at KCC, Larry Slagle – ACS, Distinguished Gifts Officer, Amy Leader, DrPh, MPH - Department of Medical Oncology, Pilot Project Recipient

The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson hosted the 3rd Annual American Cancer Society Research Symposium: Celebrating the ACS Institutional Research Grant at KCC on May 6, 2011.

Dr. Nevalainen welcomed members of the KCC and TJU community and the American Cancer Society.

Richard Pestell, MD, PhD gave the Keynote Address, “Cancer Invasion and Metastasis and a New Role for Junk DNA”.

Following this, the IRG Pilot Project recipients for 2010 presented the results of their research: Amy Leader, DrPh, MPH, of the Department of Medical Oncology, discussed “Factors Influencing Decision Making About Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Among African American Adolescent Males And Their Caregivers”; while Hushan Yang, PhD, also of the Department of Medical Oncology, presented “Genetic Variations in Inflammation-Related Genes And The Risk Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in HBV Patients”.

Larry Slagle represented the American Cancer Society.



Dr. Gomella Appointed to Editorial Council for Urology Times and Mid Atlantic Representative for Scociety for Urology Chairperson and Program Directors

Dr. Leonard Gomella

Dr. Leonard Gomella

Dr. Leonard Gomella, M.D., F.A.C.S., the Bernard W. Godwin, Jr. Professor of Prostate Cancer, associate director for Clinical Affairs at the Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) at Jefferson, and Chair of the Department of Urology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, has been appointed as a member of the Urology Times Editorial Council. He will represent the area of urologic cancer on the Editorial Council. “Dr. Gomella is an internationally recognized leader in the urologic cancer field,” said Richard R. Kerr, Urology Times editor-in-chief. “Dr. Gomella will be an excellent addition to our team of experts in urology.”

Dr. Gomella has also been elected the Mid Atlantic Section Representative to the Society for Urology Chairpersons and Program Directors. The mission of SCUCPD is to provide urology program chairpersons and program directors a forum for the discussion, review and implementation of issues critical to the conduct of urologic residency programs and academic practice for the purpose of advancing academic urology to the highest state of innovation resourcefulness and preparation in urologic practice and training of urologists of the future.

For this and more news from the Department of Urology at Thomas Jefferson University please see the 2010 edition of the newsletter



Marker Identifies Breast Cancer Patients Likely to Respond to Tamoxifen

Dr. Hallgeir Rui


ER positive breast cancer patients whose tumors have active protein Stat5 have increased likelihood of responding to anti-estrogen therapy

PHILADELPHIA—Cancer researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and an international team of collaborators have discovered a biomarker in breast cancer that may help identify which women will respond to anti-estrogen therapy.

The research appears in the May 16 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Anti-estrogen drugs, most notably tamoxifen, are widely used in patients diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.  However, as many as a third of the women given tamoxifen fail to respond.

In this new study, the investigators found that women whose tumors retain the active form of the protein biomarker Stat5 have an increased likelihood of responding to tamoxifen.  In contrast, women treated with tamoxifen whose tumors lacked active Stat5 had up to a 20-fold increased risk of dying from breast cancer after adjustment for effects of standard hormone receptor markers and other pathology data.

“Identification of predictive biomarkers present in breast cancer will lead to improved individualized therapies tailored specifically towards each woman’s cancer,” said Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D., professor of oncology, Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, and principal investigator of the study.  “Absence of the active form of Stat5 could help identify a group of patients unlikely to respond to tamoxifen so they may be offered alternative and more aggressive treatments.”
Read more…



Dr. Sato Recieves Generous Gift For Uveal Melanoma Research

Dr. Takami Sato, Mrs. Alison Weinzerl, Mr. Mark Weinzerl, Dr. Richard Pestell

Benefactors Mark and Alison Weinzierl pose with Kimmel Cancer Center Director Dr. Richard G. Pestell (R) and Dr. Takami Sato (L), Professor of Medical Oncology and director of the Uveal Melanoma research program at the KCC.  The Weinzierls (from the Dallas, Texas, area) are providing $1 million in support of Dr. Sato’s work.



Dr. Neal Flomenberg, Half-Match Transplant Procedure Featured in JNCI

Neal Flomenberg, M.D., chair of medical oncology at Thomas Jefferson University

Neal Flomenberg, M.D., chair of medical oncology at Jefferson, and Dolores Grosso, RN, CRNP, were featured in a news article on haploidentical bone marrow transplants in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute titled, “Half-Match Bone Marrow Transplants May Raise Odds for More Recipients.”

Dr. Flomenberg and Dolores Grosso devised a two-step, half-match procedure that begins with separating the T-cell component of the graft from the stem cell component by using a cell sorter.

Read the full story published here.



May is National Cancer Research Month

The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson is joining the American Association for Cancer Research to celebrate the month of May as National Cancer Research Month.

KCC—a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center—is home to internationally renowned cancer physicians and research scientists.

Our world-renowned research faculty is discovering cancer risk factors, designing effective prevention strategies, and learning how to detect cancers earlier. They are developing and testing the cancer treatments of tomorrow — targeted therapies that will improve both survival and quality of life. They are making progress toward the ultimate goal: to eradicate cancer.

KCC’s Director, Dr. Richard Pestell, is an internationally renowned expert in oncology and endocrinology, and a highly respected researcher and clinician whose current work is focused on developing new cancer therapies that specifically target tumors, and reduce the side effects that are associated with commonly used cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Dr. Pestell’s research is focused on identifying molecular markers of pre-malignant disease to develop preventive approaches to cancer. He has made significant contributions to our understanding of cell cycle regulation and the disturbances that can lead to the malignant transformation of cells. Dr. Pestell has particular expertise in hormonally-responsive tumors, such as those of the breast and prostate, and his work is directed toward the eventual discovery of novel therapies for these cancers.

Some other examples of groundbreaking research taking place at the Kimmel Cancer Center:

“Jefferson Researchers Unlock Key to Personalized Cancer Medicine Using Tumor Metabolism”

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

“Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel protein’s elusive role in embryo and disease development”



KCC American Cancer Society Research Symposium

The 3rd Annual Kimmel Cancer Center American Cancer Society Research Symposium will be held today at 2 p.m. in 101 BLSB.

KCC Director Richard Pestell, M.D, Ph.D, will present the keynote address and 2010 American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grant Award recipients.

Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, and Hushan Yang, Ph.D, will discuss their research. A reception will follow.

This event celebrates the ACS Institutional Research Grant at Thomas Jefferson University, which provides support for junior faculty members performing cancer research.



Philly Magazine Tags 3 Jefferson Medical Oncologists In Top 100

The Kimmel Cancer Center and the Department of Medical Oncology are happy to announce that Drs. Rita Axelrod, Matthew Carbasi and Neal Flomenberg were names in the “Philly Magazine” top 100 Medical Oncologists listing.



Dr. Pestell Discusses KCC With Prime Minister of Australia

Dr. Richard Pestell and Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Dr. Richard Pestell and Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Dr. Pestell seen here at dinner with the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, discussing Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center at the Prime Ministerial visit to the USA on March 9, 2011 in New York City.



KCC Team to Walk for Bladder Cancer

It is estimated that more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in 2010, making it the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.

Please join Dr. Jean Hoffman-Censits, of the Department of Medical Oncology, Solid Tumor Division, and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Team in raising awareness of the disease by walking the Radnor Trail, in Wayne, Pa., on Saturday May 7 at 9:00 a.m.

The walk is taking place on the Radnor Trail off Route 30 in Wayne, Pa. Meet at 9 a.m. behind the parking lot of the VIST Financial Bank, 600 West Lancaster Avenue (at the intersection of Sugartown Road and Old Eagle Road) near the sign for the entrance to the trail.

For more information or to join our Jefferson Team, please contact Teresa Bryant at 215-503-5455 or visit  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/thomasjefferson/walkforbladdercancer to sign up for the walk or make a donation.

For more information regarding the Bladder Cancer network visit, WWW.bcan.ORG

Learn more  by watching BCAN’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Video.



Dr. Edith Mitchell attends National Summit on Health Disparities, Hon. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid honored

Edith Mitchell, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, attended the 8th Annual National Summit on Health Disparities Meeting & Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., on April 11 and 12.

Dr. Edith Mitchell and Hon. Nancy Pelosi at the National Summit on Health Disparities. Photo Courtesy of Don Baker/NMQF

The summit, organized by The National Minority Quality Forum and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, in collaboration with the CBC Health Braintrust, brings together members of congress, senior healthcare executives, clinicians, payers, and allied members of the healthcare industry to discuss solutions to disease disparities.

Four consummate Americans were honored for their deep commitment and contributions in the area of health care, including Senator Harry Reid and Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who both received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Mitchell moderated the “Cancer Biomarkers, Clinical Trials, & New Treatment Options” session, which included Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Joseph Sparano, M.D., Associate Chairman, Department of Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center.

Francis Collins, M.D., PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health, also gave a special address.

The National Minority Quality Forum is a non-profit healthcare research and educational organization dedicated to the elimination of health disparities.



Jefferson Researchers Unlock Key to Personalized Cancer Medicine Using Tumor Metabolism

Identifying gene mutations in cancer patients to predict clinical outcome has been the cornerstone of cancer research for nearly three decades, but now researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have invented a new approach that instead links cancer cell metabolism with poor clinical outcome. This approach can now be applied to virtually any type of human cancer cell.

Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

The researchers demonstrate that recurrence, metastasis, and poor clinical outcome in breast cancer patients can be identified by simply gene profiling cancer cells that are using ketones and lactate as a food supply.

These findings are reported in the April 15th online issue of Cell Cycle. The investigators are calling this new approach to personalized cancer medicine “Metabolo-Genomics.”

High-energy metabolites have long been suspected to “fuel” aggressive tumor cell behavior. The researchers used this premise to generate a gene expression signature from genetically identical cancer cells, but one cell group was fed a diet of high-energy metabolites. These lactate- and ketone-induced “gene signatures” then predicted recurrence, metastasis, and poor survival.

So, it appears that what cancer cells are eating determines clinical outcome, not necessarily new gene mutations.

Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, together with other researchers,  found that treatment of human breast cancer cells with high-energy metabolites increases the expression of genes associated with normal stem cells,  including genes upregulated in embryonic and neural stem cells.

What’s more, lactate and ketones were found to promote the growth of normal stem cells, which has critical applications for stem cell transplantation and for a host of different human diseases.  It appears that these metabolites increase “stemness” in cancer cells, which drives poorer outcomes.

“Tumors that are using the body’s own nutrients (lactate and ketones) as “fuel” have a poorer outcome for patient survival, a behavior that now can be used to predict if a patient is at a high-risk for recurrence or metastasis,” Dr. Lisanti said. “This is getting to the heart of personalized cancer medicine. Now, we have identified a panel of biomarkers that directly links cancer metabolism with targeted cancer therapy.”

These findings suggest, according to the authors, that high-risk cancer patients (those whose cancer cells use high-energy metabolites) can be treated with new therapeutics that target oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, such as the antioxidant metformin, a drug that is also used to treat diabetes.

“Knowing the gene signatures of patients whose cancer cells are “eating” these metabolites for fuel is a pivotal piece of new information that we can use to diagnose and treat cancer patients,” said Martinez-Outschoorn, M.D., of the department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, and the lead author of the paper. “It’s not just that we know those patients will have poor survival; we know that those patients are using mitochondrial metabolism, which is the type of energy metabolism that we should be targeting with new anti-cancer drugs.”

The researchers propose that this new approach to diagnosis and subsequent treatment be called “Metabolo-Genomics” since it incorporates both cell metabolism and gene transcriptional profiling. This strategy could now be used to direct which patients receive a particular “tailored” anti-metabolic therapy.

Genetic markers, like expression of the mutationally activated HER2 gene, provide biomarkers that can be used to identify breast cancer patients at high-risk for recurrence or metastasis, and to modify their subsequent treatment with targeted therapies (i.e., herceptin, a drug used in aggressive breast cancers).  But with “Metabolo-Genomics,” it is now about using “global” cancer cell metabolism for these predictions.

“Just by feeding cancer cells a particular energy-rich diet, it changes their character, without introducing mutations or altering their genetic profile,” Dr. Lisanti said.  “We’ve only fed them high energy nutrients that help them to use their mitochondria, and this changes their transcriptional profile.  It’s a new biomarker for “lethal” cancers that we can now treat with the right drugs, such as the antioxidant metformin.

Dr. Lisanti and his colleagues believe that tumor metabolism is the new big picture for understanding how cancers undergo recurrence and metastasis.



Laura Doyle to speak at American Brachytherapy Society Annual Meeting

Several researchers from Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Radiation Oncology will participate in this year’s American Brachytherapy Society Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Laura Doyle, M.S., a medical physicist at the Bodine Center for Cancer Treatment, will be moderating a session called “Clinical Advancements in Microbrachytherapy” on Friday, April 15 from 4:30 to 5:00 pm

Laura Doyle, M.S., Medical Physicist at Thomas Jefferson University

Three abstracts have also been accepted for the moderated and general poster sessions:

1. “Usage of mixed seed technique for permanent seed implants: a feasibility study”

Ivan Buzurovic, Tarun Podder, K. Huang, and Yan Yu.

2. “Can the number of leftover seeds be reduced?  A study of prostate volume, nomogram, and delivered activity for ultrasound-guided I-125 prostate seed implant”

Yunfeng Cui, Laura Doyle, Tarun Podder, Timothy N. Showalter, Adam Dicker, Ying Xiao,

Yan Yu, Haisong Liu

3. “Intraoperative planning increases feasibility of prostate seed implantation for small (<20cc) and large (>500cc) glands”

Laura A. Doyle, Katherine L. Chapman, Yan Yu, Adam Dicker, Timothy N. Showalter



Jefferson Doctors Strengthen Case for High-Dose Radiotherapy Technique After Radical Prostatectomy

A widely-available yet expensive radiotherapy technique used to treat prostate cancer patients after surgery has promising benefits—higher dose and less damage to the rectum and bladder—compared to a less precise technique, Thomas Jefferson University researchers document for the first time in a new study published in Practical Radiation Oncology.

A team of radiation oncologists and medical physicists, including lead author Amy Harrison, M.S., the medical physics clinical supervisor at Jefferson, show that intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) allows a higher dose to be delivered to the area after their glands have been removed while maintaining the same dose to the rectum and bladder compared to 3D conformal radiation therapy.

Higher doses to the prostate bed have been shown to be more effective in that setting for controlling prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

Timothy Showalter, M.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University

IMRT is currently being used at some centers in the United States, including the Kimmel Cancer Center, to treat men after they’ve had their prostate glands removed, but detailed data are limited evaluating the advantages of this approach compared to 3D conformal radiation therapy. In other words, documented justification for the approach was lacking.

“This is the first contemporary study to look at IMRT versus 3D radiation therapy for post-op patients using consensus guidelines,” said Timothy Showalter, M.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, and an expert in image-guided therapy of prostate cancer. “This is also filling a gap for information that no one supplied before to show that this radiotherapy is beneficial in the postoperative setting, similar to its role in non-surgical approaches.”

“The reason that it’s more and more relevant now is that there are emerging data to support doing adjuvant radiation therapy after prostatectomy for high risk patients,” he added.

There a variety of toxicities associated with radiation therapy after a prostatectomy, including late gastrointestinal bleeds, loose stools and painful bowel moments, but IMRT can minimize damage that can lead to such side effects.

“The biggest benefit for our patients who have a PSA failure after radical prostatectomy is to be able to deliver high dose radiation while sparing normal tissue,” said Dr. Showalter.

Future studies, the researchers report, should determine whether these advantages translate into improved clinical outcomes for prostate cancer patients.



Celebrating National Cancer Registrars Week

Cancer Registrars throughout the United States and abroad will join their colleagues, community leaders, and other medical professionals to observe the 15th annual National Cancer Registrars Week, April 11th-15th. Quality cancer data is central to the nation’s fight against cancer, and cancer registrars are the first link in capturing these data.

Our Cancer Registry works with physicians, administrators, researchers, and health care planners.  We manage a wide range of demographic and medical data on those with cancer.   The information is both submitted and utilized by state and national cancer registries to enable cancer programs to accurately determine cancer patient populations, measure outcomes of treatment, survival, and formulate plans for improvement.

According to the National Cancer Registrars Association, cancer treatment is improving-saving lives and extending survival for cancer patients.   This demonstrates the important work carried out by Cancer Registrars has resulted in better information that is being used to manage a wide variety of cancers.   Cancer Registrars pave the way to a cure!

“It is my distinct honor to recognize and give my support to Pennsylvania Cancer Registrars during Cancer Registrars Week, April 11-15, 2011,” said Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement. “As more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with cancer this year and nearly 29,000 will lose their lives due to cancer, it is vitally important that data are available on which to base cancer research and prevention programs. By providing some of this key information, Cancer Registrars are helping to make a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease.”

For more information, contact Fran Guiles at 215-955-0042 or fran.guiles@jeffersonhospital.org. TJUH’s Oncology Data Services Department (Cancer Registry) is located at 1015 Chestnut Street – Suite 608.



Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson breast cancer symposium features latest in research, treatment

The latest advances in both breast cancer treatment and research – including innovations in diagnostic, surgical, chemotherapy and radiation approaches – will be discussed Friday, April 8, 2011, at a breast cancer symposium at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia.

Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

The all-day, breast cancer symposium, part of an annual series at the Kimmel Cancer Center, will be held at the Bluemle Life Sciences Building, 233 S. 10th Street, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

“Treating breast cancer is a multidisciplinary effort, with input from a variety of specialists, such as pathologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists, who make decisions about patient treatment and care,” says Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and professor and chair of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

“This symposium is an opportunity for those players to come together and highlight the innovative discoveries we believe will be important for the next generation of therapeutics in breast cancer patients,” he adds.

A range of topics will be covered by top experts here at Jefferson and other institutions in the United States.

Michael Lisanti, M.D., professor of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College, will discuss his recent work with new models for cancer, “The Reverse Warburg Effect” and “The Autophagic Tumor Stroma Model of Cancer.” His studies have shown how mitochondrial oxidative stress plays a role in cancer development and how cancer metabolism can be used to predict clinical outcomes.

“High-risk breast cancer patients—those whose cancer cells use high-energy metabolites—can be treated with new therapeutics that target oxidative mitochondrial metabolism,” Dr. Lisanti said. “We should re-consider using antioxidants and autophagy inhibitors as anti-cancer agents.”

There will also be presentations by Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D, also of the department of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College, who will discuss therapy-relevant stratification of breast cancer, and Paula Ryan, M.D., Ph.D., of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s department of medical oncology, who will present a clinical update on patients with triple negative breast cancer, a high-risk disease that is characterized as more aggressive and less responsive to standard treatment.

Hyman B. Muss, M.D., of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, will lead a session titled “Geriatrics: Treating the Elderly with Breast Cancer.”

Sixty percent of cancer in the United States occurs in persons aged 65 and older.  At the same time, senior patients may have acute or chronic diseases that make treating their cancer challenging.  That’s why the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson established the new, multidisciplinary Senior Adult Oncology Center to provide a comprehensive consultation for senior patients in order to meet those special challenges.



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.