Susan Mayne Named C-E.A. Winslow Professor of Epidemiology
I am delighted to congratulate Susan Mayne, PhD on her recent appointment by the Yale Corporation to the C.-E.A. Winslow Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Susan is a wonderful colleague and friend and a close advisor to the Cancer Center in her role as Associate Director for Population Sciences. Her mentorship to members of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program over the past 20 years has resulted in countless cancer research projects. Susan is also P.I. of the Yale University - National Cancer Institute joint training program in cancer epidemiology and genetics, and she previously served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute.
In addition, Hongyu Zhao, PhD was named the Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics and Tongzhang Zheng, DSc was appointed the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Environmental Health Sciences. Both Dr. Zhao and Dr. Zheng are members of Yale Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program. Congratulations to both Dr. Zhao and Dr. Zheng on their well-deserved appointments.
Peter Schulam Appointed at Yale
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Peter G. Schulam, MD, PhD, has been appointed chief of the Department of Urology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and chair of the department at Yale School of Medicine. Urology, previously a section within the Department of Surgery, has recently been elevated to departmental status. In addition, Dr. Schulam will lead the Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital and will be a member of Yale Cancer Center's Executive Committee.
Dr. Schulam joins us from the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was vice chair of urology, chief of the division of endourology and minimally invasive surgery, and director of both the kidney stone treatment center and the surgical living kidney donor program. Dr. Schulam was also a professor of urology and founder and co-director of the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology.
Dr. Schulam has longstanding clinical interests in adrenal disorders; bladder, prostate, and kidney cancer; donor nephrectomy; and kidney stones and kidney reconstruction; and he is nationally known for his expertise in minimally invasive surgery and laparoscopic techniques.
Clinical Trial Participation Improving
I would like to recognize the hard work and effort everyone has made with respect to clinical trials at Yale Cancer Center over the last year. We opened 65 new clinical trials for our patients in the 2011 calendar year and 32% more patients were on a clinical trial for their care than in 2010.
While the total number of patients on a clinical trial in 2011 was 315, the rate over the last 6 months was almost 400 per year. We expect to see continued acceleration in our clinical trial numbers as new studies become available for our patients and as we incorporate our physician and research colleagues from the former MOH group.
Valentina Greco, PhD, Assistant Professor of Genetics, is the recipient of a 2012 Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to support her projectStem Cell Deregulation During Tumor Regression. She will receive $720,000 per year for four years to study and understand stem cell dynamics during tumor regression using a squamous cell carcinoma as a model system.
Leslie Blatt, APRN, was awarded the 2011 Safe Passage Award for Outstanding Clinical Care from the Connecticut Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care at their annual meeting. The award is presented to a clinician in recognition of outstanding clinical contributions to the field of end-of-life care.
Janet Brandsma, PhD, Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine, and Malini Harigopal, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, received a $50,000 grant from the American Society of Cytology Foundation to study HPV16 DNA Methylation Frequency for the Improved Triage of ASCUS.
Kadisha Recalde joined Yale Cancer Center as an administrative assistant in the Business Office. Kadisha will be supporting Business Office functions, administration, and the faculty of the Smilow Care Centers.
Jeremy Rubenstein was hired at Yale Cancer Center as a financial assistant in the Business Office supporting the needs related to the CCSG, CTO, and Smilow among other activities.
In Memoriam: Dr. Mel Goldstein
Dr. Mel Goldstein, a longtime patient and wonderful supporter of Yale Cancer Center, passed away on Wednesday, January 18 at the age of 66. Dr. Mel and his wife Arlene hosted Cancer Survivors Day at Yale for the last 12 years. Dr. Mel's strength and spirit inspired countless patients in Connecticut over the years.
Dr. Mel was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 16 years ago and worked tirelessly with his care team to find new clinical trials and therapies. With the help of Dr. Dennis Cooper and Dr. Vincent DeVita, he was one of the first patients in the country to use thalidomide in 1998. He continued to research and seek out the newest and best possible treatments for his disease.
The staff and members of Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital will miss Dr. Mel's smiling face and amazing positive attitude. Our thoughts are with Arlene and their daughters and grandson.
Dr. Mel's funeral will be held at 10:30 AM today at the Robert E. Shure funeral home on George Street in New Haven.
Employee Profile: Maura Harrigan
The Employee Profile recognizes the diverse contributions made by Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital staff have to meet our patient care, research, education, and outreach goals. 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 Emily Fenton.
Once patients have completed treatment for their cancer diagnosis they are often left with the question, "What's next?" That is where Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, registered dietitian for the Adult Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center, comes in. She meets with patients upon completion of their treatment and helps devise a plan for moving forward with their wellness. Maura is also a Research Associate at the Yale School of Public Health where she is currently serving as a Project Director for the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study.
Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, is the Principal Investigator for the LEAN Study, which is funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research. The study is for women that have been treated for breast cancer, and will examine if a dietary-induced weight loss program and moderate-intensity exercise leads to weight loss and improves serum markers associated with breast cancer.
"We refer eligible and interested patients to the LEAN Study through the Survivorship Clinic. Being able to refer and encourage survivors to participate in research studies is a valuable resource of the Clinic," Maura said. "Cancer survivors have fought hard to get well, and now they want the tools to stay well." Maura also addresses late effects and long term effects of treatment with survivors such as increased risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Dr. Irwin commented, "Maura understands the importance of clinical trials in moving the field forward and how to translate the most current scientific evidence on nutrition and cancer to the patients and the community. She possesses an innate ability to motivate individuals to change their lifestyles for the better. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with and learn from Maura on a daily basis."
Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Grants
Applications are being accepted for the 2012 Grants from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Yale Cancer Center can send one application for review. If interested, please send a copy of your CV and a two-page description of your proposed project by email to Jan Zulkeski in Dr. Daniel DiMaio's office by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 24.
PCF-Honorable A. David Mazzone Special Challenge Award Research Program 2012
Proposals must be from teams capable of providing unique scientific expertise to the solution of a significant problem in prostate cancer research. A team may be assembled from one institution, or several institutions, from across the globe. These awards focus on funding Treatment Sciences: Investigations of new ideas in man or laboratory support of a high impact clinical investigation.
Treatment Sciences research with a high probability of near-term patient benefit is required in the following topic areas:
1) Translational research in metabolism/adiposity/nutrition/survivorship
2) Molecular imaging in both primary and metastatic disease
3) Co-targeting tumor microenvironment
4) First-in-field research on new targets in metastatic disease systemic treatment
5) Mechanisms of resistance to new treatments for advanced prostate cancer
6) Diagnostics and biomarkers that differentiate indolent from metastatic prostate cancer
Langerhans cells facilitate epithelial DNA damage and squamous cell carcinoma.
Modi BG, Neustadter J, Binda E, Lewis J, Filler RB, Roberts SJ, Kwong BY, Reddy S, Overton JD, Galan A, Tigelaar R, Cai L, Fu P, Shlomchik M, Kaplan DH, Hayday A, Girardi M.
Science. 2012 Jan 6;335(6064):104-8.
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Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma.
Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Dec 8.
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Host Phenotype Characteristics and MC1R in Relation to Early-Onset Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Gordon PB, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST.
J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Dec 8.
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Myxoid leiomyosarcoma of the uterus.
Burch DM, Tavassoli FA.
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Insular thyroid cancer: A population-level analysis of patient characteristics and predictors of survival.
Kazaure HS, Roman SA, Sosa JA.
Cancer. 2012 Jan 17.
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ACR Appropriateness Criteria(®) Ductal Carcinoma in Situ.
Moran MS, Bai HX, Harris EE, Arthur DW, Bailey L, Bellon JR, Carey L, Goyal S, Halyard MY, Horst KC, Macdonald SM, Haffty BG.
Breast J. 2012 Jan;18(1):8-15.
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Clinical utility of vandetanib in the treatment of patients with advanced medullary thyroid cancer.