I hope you will join me and other members of Yale Cancer Center in the Closer to Free bike ride on Saturday, September 10th to benefit Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Riders can choose from 25 or 100 miles. Please consider joining or supporting Team MedOnc or another one of the teams from Yale Cancer Center.
, a member of the Yale Cancer Center Radiobiology and Radiotherapy Research Program, received the 2011 American Society for Radiation Oncology's Junior Faculty Career Research Training Award. The two-year award, of $100,000 per year, is presented annually to a board-eligible physician, physicist in radiation oncology, or radiobiologist who is within their first three years of their junior faculty appointment.
Dr. Maysa Abu-Khalaf and Dr. Scott Gettinger were recently promotioned to Associate Professors of Medical Oncology. Maysa has played an important role in the clinical research and patient care efforts of the Breast Cancer Program. Scott is a leader in accruing patients to clinical trials and is the principal investigator on several trials available at Yale. Both Maysa and Scott are to be commended for their continued commitment to the success of our clinical research programs and their exceptional care of their patients in the Breast Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Programs.
Several Yale Cancer Center members received funding from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee to support their research. Rong Fan, PhD, a member of the Yale Cancer Center Signal Transduction Research Program, received $195,251 in funding to support his project, Single Cell Molecular Signatures for Hematopoietic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Haifan Lin, PhD
, a member of the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Research Program, received $500,000 to support the Continued Operation and Expansion of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core Facilities at the Yale Stem Cell Center.
Sandra Wolin, MD, PhD, a member of the Radiobiology and Radiotherapy Research Program, received $750,000 to support her project, Mechanisms of RNA Surveillance in Human Embryonic Stem Cells.
The Yale Cancer for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) has chosen several Yale Cancer Center members as 2011 Clinical Scholars. Sandy Chang, MD, PhD will receive $263,211 to study the
Impact of Multimorbidity on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
, Don Nguyen, PhD, has been awarded $50,000 for his project Discovering Lineage Specific Biomarkers for Metastatic Stem Cells in Lung Adenocarcinoma, and Qin Yan, PhD, will receive $50,000 to study Targeting Histone Demethylase PLU1 in Breast Cancer.
Danielle Campfield Bonadies, MS, CGC has been promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Cancer Genetic Counseling. Ms. Bonadies has been a full-time member of the program for seven years, and interned in the program before going to graduate school. As the Assistant Director, Ms. Bonadies will play a pivotal role in the expansion of the program and will help to oversee the administrative responsibilities.
has been hired as the CCSG Program Coordinator to support the Research Administration efforts for Yale Cancer Center, including collaborative efforts of YCC members, as well as our research programs and shared resources. Previously Christine was a research associate in the department of psychiatry where she directed several research projects. Her background includes expertise in project management, research study implementation, protocol and grant writing, and data management and analysis.
Updates from Smilow
Dr. Charles Cha performed the first robotic adrenalectomy done at Yale last week for a patient with metastatic lung cancer isolated to the adrenal gland. The DaVinci robotic system is a surgical robot where the surgeon sits at a console separate from the patient and conducts the operation with 3D vision as well as more flexibility than with a traditional laparoscopic approach. The procedure was done with the assistance of Tobias Carling, MD an endocrine surgeon here at Yale. The patient did well and went home 3 days postoperatively.
Hixon Family Pancreatic Research Fund
With a gift of $750,000 to Yale Cancer Center, Yale '11 parents Diana and Anthony Hixon have established The Augusta C. Hixon Family Pancreatic Research Fund, under the direction of Howard S. Hochster, MD, Associate Director for Clinical Research at Yale Cancer Center and Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital.
The Hixon Fund will support novel research projects that increase our understanding of the genetic mutations underlying pancreatic neoplasia and the behavior of pancreatic cancer, particularly with respect to the genetic drivers of malignant growth. The focus will be on the K-ras gene pathway and the mechanisms for blocking/activating mutations in K-ras, which are present in approximately 90% of advanced pancreatic cancers. The Hixon Fund will also help catalyze scientific research into the mechanisms by which K-ras gene mutations lead to overt cancer and pharmacologic approaches to blockage of the pathways "downstream" of K-ras.
Employee Profile: Nicole Scott
When a patient comes to the Multispecialty Clinic on the 4th floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital, it may be for several reasons; a follow-up with their doctor, a biopsy, or to hear the results of a recent test. Whatever the reason, Medical Assistant, Nicole Scott, will be there to ensure that they are comfortable and taken care of.
Nicole began her career 15 years ago and has worked her way up to where she is today. She has been in her current position since December 2010. In her role she interacts with patients all day, showing them to their rooms, performing clinical tasks such as EKGs and taking vitals, and assisting doctors during procedures. Most importantly, she is an advocate for patients.
"We try to provide a family atmosphere for our patients here," explained Nicole. "We are the first impression people get when they come in before they meet with their doctor. There are a lot of clinical tasks that we perform, but also a lot of hand-holding, listening, and overall emotional support."
Every Friday Nicole and her colleagues wear 'cancer colors' to show their support of their patients. One day they will all wear orange in support of kidney cancer, and another day purple for pancreatic cancer. Nicole commented that it gives patients a sense that they are not only being cared for, but cared about as well.
Nicole is constantly aware of the reason why patients come to see her each day; they are dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, and sometimes it is life threatening. Even though Nicole deals with death on a daily basis, she loves what she does. "I followed my dream and today I am not doing what I like to do, but what I love to do, and to me that's the most important thing." If anyone around her is having a bad day, she reminds them of the day in a life of a cancer patient, having to come in for treatments, or to find out if their cancer has spread, and the reward that Nicole gets from her job is simple; a smile. To her a smile from a cancer patient means that she is doing something right and reminds her of the strength that each patient has.
Michelle Wilson,MHSA, FACHE, Nicole's manager at Smilow, commented on Nicole's ability to provide patients with a sense of calm during a difficult time in their lives. "She loves caring for patients, and physicians and advanced practice providers enjoy working with her because she keeps clinic flow moving with efficiency and a sense of humor. Nicole advances the patient-centered mission of Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital each and every day, and for that she is to be commended."
The Employee Profile section is a new segment of DirectConnect included to recognize the diverse contributions made by Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital staff have to meet our patient care, research, education, and outreach goals. Each issue will highlight a staff member, giving us the opportunity to learn about the people in our Cancer Center's community and how they contribute to our mission. The staff profiled are examples of the great work being done here, and the dedication and values we possess. To suggest someone to be profiled, please contact
Funding and Award Opportunities
Avon Breast Health Outreach Program Grant (BHOP) The Avon BHOP plans to award one-year grants covering the funding period from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. Approximately $5 million in competitive grant funds will be awarded to about 125 community-based programs and/or health care agencies. The majority of the grants will range from $30,000 to $60,000 per year, with most grants averaging $45,000 per year.
Application Deadline: August 26, 2011
The Komen Career Catalyst Grant Career Catalyst Research (CCR) Grants are intended to foster increased research independence of promising breast cancer researchers who are in the early stages of their faculty careers. These Grants provide support for research projects that have significant potential to advance our understanding of breast cancer and lead to reductions in breast cancer incidence and/or mortality within the next decade.
PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards The PhRMA Foundation supports young scientists working in emerging, new, and traditional disciplines to pursue careers in research and education in areas essential to drug discovery.
Concern Foundation, Conquer Cancer Now Award Since 1968, the Concern Foundation has funded well over 550 pediatric and adult cancer researchers worldwide studying many forms of cancer, primarily in the areas of immunology, immunotherapy, and the genetics of cancer. The Foundation specifically funds researchers who lack financial support for their first major research project and provides critically needed start up funds for promising projects. Application Deadline: September 8, 2011
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's 2011 "A" Award The Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's 'A' Award is a three-year grant designed for young scientists who want to jump-start their career in pediatric oncology research. The goal of this award program is to encourage the best and brightest young researchers to build a lifelong career and become a leader in the pediatric cancer field, as well as to further research that will lead to cures or impact children with cancer. The ideal candidate has an original project that is not currently being funded. Demonstration of outstanding mentorship and a future commitment to pediatric cancer investigation are critical components of a successful application.
Application Deadline:September 15, 2011
ASCO Leadership Development Program Designed to provide an orientation to ASCO as well as leadership training skills to newer members of the Society, the Leadership Development Program will provide participants with extensive exposure to the roles and mission of ASCO, our Leadership, and the Societies' powerful place in developing the future of cancer care.
Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research
Objectives:The sponsor provides an award to recognize outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research.
Eligibility: Candidacy is open to all cancer researchers who are affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine or cancer-related biomedical science anywhere in the world. Such institutions include those in academia, industry or government. The award will be presented to an individual investigator. Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.
Funding: The winner of the 17th Annual AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research will give a 50-minute lecture during the AACR 103rd Annual Meeting 2012, receive an honorarium of $10,000, and be given support for the winner and a guest to attend the Annual Meeting.
Loss of the retinoblastoma binding protein 2 (RBP2) histone demethylase suppresses tumorigenesis in mice lacking Rb1 or Men1. Lin W, Cao J, Liu J, Beshiri ML, Fujiwara Y, Francis J, Cherniack AD, Geisen C, Blair LP, Zou MR, Shen X, Kawamori D, Liu Z, Grisanzio C, Watanabe H, Minamishima YA, Zhang Q, Kulkarni RN, Signoretti S, Rodig SJ, Bronson RT, Orkin SH, Tuck DP, Benevolenskaya EV, Meyerson M, Kaelin WG Jr, Yan Q.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 25.
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Cutting Edge: A Monoclonal Antibody Specific for the Programmed Death-1 Homolog Prevents Graft-versus-Host Disease in Mouse Models. Flies DB, Wang S, Xu H, Chen L.
J Immunol. 2011 Jul 18.
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The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein regulates gene expression and tumor growth through histone demethylase JARID1C. Niu X, Zhang T, Liao L, Zhou L, Lindner DJ, Zhou M, Rini B, Yan Q, Yang H.
Oncogene. 2011 Jul 4. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.266.
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Association between KRAS rs61764370 and triple-negative breast cancer-a false positive? - Authors' reply. Weidhaas J, Slack F, Miller N, Harris L, Tuck D, Zhu Y, Zelterman D, Kerin M, Paranjape T, Heneghan H, Lindner R, Keane F, Dorairaj J, Geyda K, Pelletier C, Nallur S.
Lancet Oncol. 2011 Aug;12(8):724.
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Anesthesiologist Involvement in Screening Colonoscopy: Temporal Trends and Cost Implications in the Medicare Population. Khiani VS, Soulos P, Gancayco J, Gross CP.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Jul 20.
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Family and personal medical history and risk of meningioma. Claus EB, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M.
J Neurosurg. 2011 Jul 22.
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The impact of prostate edema on cell survival and tumor control after permanent interstitial brachytherapy for early stage prostate cancers. Chen ZJ, Roberts K, Decker R, Pathare P, Rockwell S, Nath R.
Phys Med Biol. 2011 Aug 7;56(15):4895-912.
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Graft-versus-Leukemia (GVL) against Mouse Blast-Crisis Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (BC-CML) and Chronic-Phase Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CP-CML): Shared Mechanisms of T Cell Killing, but Programmed Death Ligands Render CP-CML and Not BC-CML GVL Resistant. Matte-Martone C, Venkatesan S, Tan HS, Athanasiadis I, Chang J, Pavisic J, Shlomchik WD.
J Immunol. 2011 Jul 18.
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The role of epigenetic alterations in papillary thyroid carcinogenesis. Eze OP, Starker LF, Carling T.
J Thyroid Res. 2011;2011:895470.
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A unified framework for joint segmentation, nonrigid registration and tumor detection: application to MR-guided radiotherapy. Lu C, Chelikani S, Duncan JS.
Inf Process Med Imaging. 2011;22:525-37.