Thank you to the faculty and staff who were able to join us for our semi-annual Town Hall meeting earlier this week. This forum is important and allows Abe Lopman, Cathy Lyons, and myself to give you updates on patient care in Smilow Cancer Hospital and at our six Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers. We are seeing over 7,000 patient visits per month in Smilow Cancer Hospital and our Care Centers treat over 4,500 patients per month.
We were pleased to have Anne Chiang, Medical Director of the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers, join us to provide an overview of the transition of the former Medical Oncology & Hematology, PC (MOH) practices in January. This integration successfully expanded our clinical footprint in the region and included 6 sites, 18 physicians, 121 staff members, 6 pharmacists, and 6 pharmacy technicians. Anne is also leading our EPIC transition to a single electronic medical record system for all of our patients, which will be in place in the Spring of 2013. Learn more about these initiatives through the links below. In the next issue of DirectConnect, the Press Ganey overview that Cathy Lyons gave during the Town Hall will be featured.
Members of our senior leadership team participated in a Pre-application meeting with the Office of the Cancer Centers yesterday at the National Cancer Institute. The purpose of the meeting was to present an overview of the latest achievements and priorities from Yale Cancer Center and to review questions related to our Cancer Center Core Grant (CCSG) application, which is due to the NCI on September 25. Questions were addressed related to the research programs, shared resources, and clinical research initiatives at Yale Cancer Center. The responses from the leadership of the Office of the Cancer Centers will now assist us in the final preparation of our CCSG application. Our site visit will be planned for the Spring of 2013.
The Yale-Gilead Proposal for Research Support
On behalf of Yossi Schlessinger, Rick Lifton, and myself, members of the Steering Committee that manages the Yale-Gilead collaboration, I am pleased to invite you to propose research ideas for consideration for funding under the Yale-Gilead collaboration.
We would like to invite transformative ideas in the following areas of cancer biology:
- Identification of new targets in cancer therapy based on sequencing of tumor DNA
- Novel siRNA screening for cancer 'driver' genes
- Synthetic lethal analysis
- Other transformative ideas
Applicants must provide a one-paragraph description of the proposed study. Ideas that align with the mission of the collaboration will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal with a budget.
I hope you will join my family and me at this year's Closer to Free Bike Ride on September 8, 2012. Riders will have the option of a 25, 65, or 100 mile route - all starting and ending at the Yale Bowl. Last year's event was a lot of fun, and we hope to make this year's even bigger and better. The fundraising commitment is $500.
There is a registration kick off party that ANYONE can attend - anyone who is thinking about riding or volunteering or just learning more about how to help. It will take place on March 6th from 5:00 - 7:30 PM at Kelly's at 196 Crown Street in New Haven. Gifts will be given to all those who register to participate during the party.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Overused in Some Older Patients
Treatment is not always warranted for older men with prostate cancer and a short life expectancy, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Treatment can do more harm than good in some instances," said senior author on the study Cary Gross, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and a member of the Yale Cancer Center Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program. "Among men who are older and have less aggressive forms of prostate cancer, their cancer is unlikely to progress or cause them harm in their remaining years."
Gross and his team analyzed nine years of Medicare data and found that over the past decade, there has been a trend towards higher use of curative treatment for prostate cancer among men with certain types of tumors and a short life expectancy. The study included 39,270 patients between the ages of 67 and older.
has been trying to cure brain tumors for decades. Time after time, he hit a common roadblock: A delivery device that works is too toxic, but a good treatment doesn't work if it's not in the right place.
It's a kind of Holy Grail for the people who have made fighting cancer their life's work-getting potentially life-saving treatment to the part of the brain where it's most likely to save a patient.
Now, Saltzman, a Yale professor, and his colleagues may have found a way to hit the sweet spot, using an ultra-tiny tool as their chief weapon: a new nanoparticle that could have benefits for treating a variety of diseases.
How Red Blood Cells Get So Big - and the Bad Things That Happen When They Don't
Yale researchers have discovered how megakaryocytes - giant blood cells that produce wound-healing platelets - manage to grow 10 to 15 times larger than other blood cells.
The findings, to be published March 13 in the journal Developmental Cell, also hint at how a malfunction in this process may cause a form of leukemia.
"A failure of these cells to grow might be an initial trigger for megakaryoblastic leukemias," said Diane Krause, senior author of the paper, who is a member of Yale Cancer Center; professor of laboratory medicine, cell biology, and pathology; and associate director of the Yale Stem Cell Center.
Megakaryocytes grow so large because the DNA within the cell duplicates many times - but without the cell undergoing cell division: a process called endomitosis. A megakaryoblastic can shelter more than 120 sets of nuclear DNA before it eventually becomes the biological equivalent of a supernova, undergoing profound changes to break apart into thousands of platelets needed for normal blood clotting.
A committee of medical peers has named Richard L. Edelson, MD, Chair and Aaron and Marguerite Lerner Professor of Dermatology, one of three National Physicians of the Year. The committee, assembled by the firm Castle Connolly Medical, chose Edelson from among 150 nominees for the award. He will receive the Clinical Excellence Award during a ceremony on Monday, March 26. James Munro, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Walther Mothes, has received a grant from the Cancer Research Institute to utilize state-of-the-art imaging technologies to visualize HIV envelope protein (Env) molecules-the primary target for anti-HIV antibodies generated by the immune system. His goal is to elucidate how Env is capable of escaping the activity of the vast majority of anti-HIV antibodies. These insights will assist the development of an HIV vaccine. The grant is for three years of support, for a total of $160,000.
Srini Koduru, a postdoc in the laboratory of Madhav Dhodopkar, has received a Scholar-in-Training award from the American Association for Cancer Research for his abstract, "Induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) by dendritic cells leads to genomic instability in human myeloma." He will be presented with the award at this year's annual meeting in April
Several faculty from Yale Cancer Center participated in the 12th Annual Targeted Therapies of Lung Cancer Meeting organized by Roy Herbst and Paul Bunn (Colorado), and sponsored by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
Tom Lynch gave the Keynote lecture, Adventures in Molecular Medicine: EGFR Mutations Year 8, and Roy Herbst chaired sessions and gave a presentation. In addition, several Yale Cancer Center members, Julie Boyer, Roy Decker, Scott Gettinger, Peter Koo, Daniel Morgensztern, and Katie Politi gave lectures and chaired sessions.
Employee Profile: Marion Miller
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.
Marion Miller's job as Administrative Assistant for Yale Cancer Center exposes her to many different departments, and various tasks throughout the Center. She is responsible for a wide range of duties, including sorting and distributing mail and faxes to the correct individual or department. If any supplies need to be ordered, or equipment maintained, Marion makes sure this is taken care of as well.
Another large part of Marion's job is to coordinate and schedule the relocation of personnel and equipment in a timely fashion. If someone needs to move offices, Marion arranges for everything to be done ahead of time so that there are no complications. She has assisted in moving whole departments and makes sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Marion also works directly with key staff members to make sure that the Yale Cancer Center Grand Rounds and Tumor Board records are up-to-date.
"My job focuses on people and projects which are important to them. I realize how vital it is to accurately schedule a move so that the involved personnel can do their job without a hitch. I get a special glow when I know the person is counting on a particular move/event to go smoothly and I've contributed to it," said Marion.
In the twelve years that Marion has spent with Yale Cancer Center, she has had the opportunity to gain knowledge and uses that knowledge to provide support to her own family that has been touched by cancer. Her supervisor, Kathy Antos, Assistant Administrator at Yale Cancer Center, commented, "Whether she is screening incoming calls, directing visitors, or handling numerous administrative tasks, Marion demonstrates her superior customer service and organizational skills daily. She goes the extra mile to make sure the needs of the department are met. Marion is a well-respected team player who is ready and willing to help when anyone on the staff needs her assistance. She is someone you can always count on and is truly a pleasure to work with!"
James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Research Awards in Brain Cancer Research
21st Century Research Awards are designed to support research projects with a high probability of generating new knowledge and insights. Projects submitted for funding consideration should be at an early, even preliminary stage of development, and should be intended to break new ground or to revisit commonly-held assumptions. Projects submitted should be sufficiently cross-disciplinary or heterodox to have a strong likelihood of influencing the development of new ways of thinking about important problems.
The James S. McDonnell Foundation is particularly interested in supporting novel research that will generate new knowledge leading to increased rates of survival and improve functional recovery for individuals with brain cancer.
Please note that LOIs are due no later than April 2.
Safety Net Program/Access to Diagnostics and Care
The Avon Foundation Safety Net Program supports community hospitals to enable medically underserved women to access post-screening diagnostics and care.
In 2012 there will be a two-stage process requiring all applicants to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Following LOI review, a small subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.
Receipt dates are determined by the institution's geographic location and are the dates by which the electronic copies must be received in the online grant submission system.
Breast Cancer Alliance Young Investigator Grant Program
The Breast Cancer Alliance invites clinical doctors and research scientists who have been appointed to a position equivalent to Assistant Professor within three years of the appointment, and whose primary focus is breast cancer research, to apply for funding for the Young Investigator Grant.
Grant applications will be available on the BCA website on May 4, 2012.
Breast Cancer Alliance Education/Outreach Grant Program
The Breast Cancer Alliance offers grants to support programs directly related to outreach and case managerial breast cancer services, including education, counseling and mammograms for the uninsured/underserved. The programs must be located in mid to southern Connecticut and/or Westchester County, New York.
Grant applications will be available on the BCA website on May 4, 2012. Application Deadline: July 31, 2012