Please join me in welcoming Shari Damast, MD to the department of therapeutic radiology at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Damast will care for patients with gynecologic malignancies in the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital. Her research interests include quality of life and sexual health outcomes of patients with gynecologic cancers. Before joining Yale Cancer Center, Dr. Damast was the Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Suzanne Evans, MD and Joseph Contessa, MD, both Assistant Professors of Therapeutic Radiology, have also started seeing patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital. New to Yale in 2010, Suzanne has been caring for patients at Bridgeport Hospital and Joe has been at Norwalk Hospital for the last year. Suzanne will care for patients with breast cancer and gynecological cancers and Joe will provide care through the Brain Tumor Program and Gamma Knife Services.
Join Team MedOnc to Ride Closer to Free
I hope you will join me and other members of Yale Cancer Center in the Closer to Free bike ride on Saturday, September 10 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.
Julie Ann Sosa, MD has been named to the Medical Advisory Council for ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. Council members provide valuable counsel and support ThyCa's goals in education, treatment, and research.
Eileen Dehm, RN, nurse coordinator for the Melanoma Program, and Matthew Burke, APRN, will present a poster at the Second Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference in September based on their accepted abstract, "From Clinical Trials to Commercial Use: A Nurse Navigation Strategy to Promote Early Intervention and Consistent Management of Adverse Reactions in the Outpatient Setting."
Dan-Avi Landau, MD
, is the recipient of a $50,000 American Society of Hematology Research Training Award for Fellows.
Updates from Smilow
Digital 3D Mammography Now Available at Smilow
Digital Breast Imaging, or 3D Mammography, is now available in the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital. This new technology just recently obtained FDA approval in February 2011. It is the first unit to be installed in Connecticut, and one of only a handful so far in the entire country. It is hoped this new imaging technique will improve upon routine digital mammography. Imaging in 3D allows the radiologists to look through the breast tissue in thin slices rather than as a whole. This will hopefully permit more lesions to be detected, particularly in dense tissue, and also reduce many unnecessary recalls or 'false alarms' due to superimposed tissues. The radiation dose for this imaging is the same as for regular digital mammography and the dose from the combination of 2D and 3D is similar to film mammography used in the past. The imaging takes the same amount of time as routine mammography and there is no increased cost for the procedure.
Dr. Stuart Seropian Receives Gift from The Arthur Sekerak Charitable Trust
Dr. Stuart Seropian recently received a $200,000 gift from The Arthur Sekerak Charitable Trust to fund his research program at YCC. Arthur Sekerak was a 1955 graduate of Yale College and a lifelong resident of Connecticut. Clayton Friedberg of Redding, one of two trustees of the Trust, made the gift in gratitude for the care he received from Dr. Seropian over the past few years. In a letter announcing the gift, Mr. Friedberg explained, "I specifically want to mention that this gift has been initiated as a thank you for the treatment received personally by me as a cancer patient ... over the past several years due to an occurrence of lymphoma and meningitis. I was specifically greatly helped by Dr. Seropian and of course many of the wonderful staff." After Mr. Friedberg approached him about making a gift, Dr. Seropian contacted Peter Lamothe, YCC Director of Development, and they worked together to secure the funding.
Employee Profile: Kathy Antos
The Clinical Trials Office (CTO) at Yale Cancer Center
provides both clinical and administrative support to investigators for therapeutic trials conducted at Yale Cancer Center. Kathy Antos, Senior Administrative Assistant, is one of the 'behind the scenes' employees at the office that is constantly working to make sure things are running smoothly.
Kathy's primary role is to provide operational support to Hank Durivage, Associate Director for Regulatory Affairs, and Kathy Uscinski, Associate Director for Clinical Trials Operations. Kathy performs a variety of different tasks on a daily basis that range anywhere from coordinating meetings to, more recently, web editing, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
"We are a department that is constantly growing and therefore my job description keeps expanding as well. I interact with a variety of people on a daily basis and it keeps me very busy, but that is one of things I like about my job," said Kathy. The staff of the CTO has doubled in size since Kathy started just over a year ago, and since she is responsible for setting up interviews for job openings, her hands have been full lately managing that. She also helps new hires get settled once they have arrived.
As part of a team that helps to support patient care for cancer patients, Kathy's job offers her a personal sense of fulfillment as well. Her sister is a two time cancer survivor and she knows all too well how cancer can affect a family. For the past three years Kathy has volunteered at the CT Challenge Bike Ride to raise money to support cancer survivors, and at other events around the state.
The Clinical Trials Office at Yale Cancer recently launched OnCore, an electronic clinical trials management system, and will be launching a website called
Yale Cancer Center Connecticut Clinical Trials in the near future, which Kathy will be in charge of updating. There is always something new and exciting happening in the CTO, and Kathy enjoys being a part of that environment.
"I enjoy the non-stop pace of working in a department that is changing and growing, and that has a long term impact on patient care. The results of these clinical trials may help to find a cure for cancer, and there is nothing more exciting than that."
Kathy Uscinski and Hank Durivage, Kathy's managers, commented, "
Kathy has been a great asset since she joined the CTO. Her productivity and ability to accomplish a wide range of tasks has made her an invaluable member of the team. Without her hard work and dedication a lot of the things we have accomplished recently would not have been possible."
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
Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT)
ACGT funds research aimed at furthering the development of cell and gene therapy approaches to the treatment of cancer. To this end, ACGT funds a Young Investigator Award to qualified applicants in a tenured track assistant professor level.
Lustgarten Foundation Basic Research Innovator Awards
The Lustgarten Foundation is announcing its "Innovator Awards Program" to fund proposals aimed at supporting novel, "out of the box" research proposals in the area of basic pancreatic cancer research. Innovator awards will be funded in the amount of $100,000 for one year. These grants may be renewable for an additional year of funding at the $100,000 level provided the first year demonstrates achievement of significant deliverables and milestones and there is evidence that additional funding will lead to meaningful breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of pancreatic cancers.
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.
Physical activity and breast cancer survival: an epigenetic link through reduced methylation of a tumor suppressor gene L3MBTL1.
Zeng H, Irwin ML, Lu L, Risch H, Mayne S, Mu L, Deng Q, Scarampi L, Mitidieri M, Katsaros D, Yu H.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug 12.
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Assessing the Impact of Screening Colonoscopy on Mortality in the Medicare Population.
Gross CP, Soulos PR, Ross JS, Cramer LD, Guerrero C, Tinetti ME, Braithwaite RS.
J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Aug 13.
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B-Myb, Cancer, Senescence, and MicroRNAs.
Martinez I, Dimaio D.
Cancer Res. 2011 Aug 15;71(16):5370-3.
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Impact of insulin-sensitizing agents on risk for liver cancer and liver-related death in diabetic patients with compensated hepatitis C cirrhosis.
Popov VB, Lim JK.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;96(8):2398-400.
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Pre- and postfortification intake of folate and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States.
Gibson TM, Weinstein SJ, Pfeiffer RM, Hollenbeck AR, Subar AF, Schatzkin A, Mayne ST, Stolzenberg-Solomon R.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 3.
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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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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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Countdown to the CCSG Submission
until our CCSG
grant is due on
September 25, 2012.