Jun 23

Duke Research Program Ready To Strike Out For Sarcoma

Sarcoma_Banner_2015_v4The Duke Multidisciplinary Sarcoma Research Program will host its annual Strike Out for Sarcoma 5K and Family Fun Walk at its new location, WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, on Sunday, Sept. 11.
In addition to the 5K and fun walk, Strike Out for Sarcoma features post-race refreshments and fun-filled activities.
Sarcomas are a diverse but rare form of cancer that develops in cartilage, fat, muscle, fibrous tissue, blood vessels and other connective or supportive tissues of the body. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were about 12,000 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,000 cases of bone sarcomas diagnosed in 2014.

Individuals interested in participating in Strike Out for Sarcoma are encouraged to form teams and raise funds. Awards will be given for both individual and team participation. Pre-event registration is $30. Event-day registration is $35. Entry includes technical race tee-shirt, timing chip and post-race refreshments. Children 12 and under are $10 per person. Entry includes Kid’s Dash, event tee-shirt and bounce house.
Organizers hope to raise more than $50,000. Proceeds benefit the Duke Multidisciplinary Sarcoma Research Program. WakeMed Soccer Park is located at 201 Soccer Park Drive in Cary. Event-day registration and participant check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. The 5K run starts 9 a.m. Strike Out For Sarcoma also features 100-yard dash for children slated for 10 a.m. The family fun run begins at 10:15 a.m. For more information, to donate or to register, visit Strike Out For Sarcoma.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6419

Jun 23

Hyslop Honored As New ASA Fellow


Terry Hyslop, PhD

Terry Hyslop, PhD, has been named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society.

Honorees are recognized for outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science. The 2016 fellows will be presented certificates Aug. 2 at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Chicago.

“I congratulate Dr. Hyslop on being honored as a new ASA Fellow,” said Jessica Utts, ASA president. “Her accomplishments have contributed greatly to the advancement of statistical science and have rightfully earned her the respect and admiration of her ASA peers.”

Hyslop, professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics and director of biostatistics for Duke Cancer Institute, received her PhD in 2001 from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has been affiliated with Duke for more than two years. Her methodological interests include the measurement of biomarkers and models of initiation and prognosis of cancer, particularly in how they can be utilized to assess health disparities. Hyslop’s collaborative work in breast cancer includes multi-center biomarker studies, clinical trials and correlative studies in clinical trials at Duke and also at the national level. Her research interests include breast, colorectal and lung neoplasms.

The designation of ASA Fellow has been a significant honor for nearly 100 years. Under ASA bylaws, the Committee on Fellows can elect up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership as fellows each year. Candidates are nominated by ASA peers. To be honored, nominees must have an established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science. The Committee on Fellows evaluates each candidate’s contributions to the advancement of statistical science and places due weight to published works, the position held with their employer, ASA activities, membership and accomplishments in other societies and other professional activities.

“I am humbled to receive this honor from my discipline, and thankful to those who nominated and supported me for this fellow designation,” Hyslop said. “I join the ranks of the leaders in statistics and biostatistics, and so appreciate what others have done to bring continued recognition to our work and the impact it can have on society. I passionately pursue solutions to problems in cancer research, and hope that my methodological work will continue to have an impact for patients.”

The American Statistical Association is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the second-oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the ASA website at www.amstat.org.


Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6349

Jun 23

Lace Up & Step Out For 2016 Ovarian Cancer Walk & 5K Run

OVARIAN_SHARP_SMALLThe 2016 Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk and 5K Run will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, at Sanderson High School, located at 5500 Dixon Drive in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event, which raises both awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research at Duke, features a 5K run and a 2-mile walk. The 14th annual event is held in honor of Gail Parkins, who lost a battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 56, just two years after being diagnosed with stage III C ovarian epithelial cancer.

The Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk and 5K Run is presented by Hendrick Auto Mall Cary, Hendrick Auto Mall Durham and Dunkin’ Donuts. Duke faculty and staff are invited to join or donate to The Ovarian Blossoms team, a team made up of faculty, staff, family and friends. For more information on this year’s ovarian walk/run, visit Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk and 5K Run. Join the Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Facebook Page.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6411

Jun 21

June Newsmakers

$2.5 million boost for lymphoma research through Tanoto Foundation (AAAS)

Obama Names Six Appointees to NCAB (The Cancer Letter)

Scientists identify method of action for common chemotherapy drug (MedExpress)
Features Jason Locasale, PhD.

Obama Names Six Appointees to NCAB (The Cancer Letter)
Features Francis Ali-Osman.

The real cost of cancer treatment (Statesboro Herald)
Features Yousuf Zafar, MD.

Duke’s Poliovirus Therapy Shows Survival Benefit in Early Patients (Stone Hearth News)
Features Annick Desjardins, MD.

MDxHealth Announces Agreement with Major Academic Medical Center for ConfirmMDx Testing (Virtual Strategy)

Race For The Cure (Carolina Woman)

Thousands of breast cancer survivors converge on RTP to race for a cure (News & Observer)

In Depth: Triangle Race for the Cure (Time Warner News)

Race for the Cure officials hope new location won’t limit participation (WRAL)

Duke researchers hope new treatment can block breast cancer relapse (WRAL)
Features Dorothy Sipkins, MD, PhD.

New Therapy Blocks Breast Cancer Cells From Entering and Hiding in Bone Marrow to Form Latent Metastases (Oncology Nurse Advisor)

Shorter Radiation Therapy Effective and Tolerable in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer (Cure)
Features W. Robert Lee, MD, MS.

The American Drug Crisis — It’s Not What You Think (Huffington Post)
Features Yousuf Zafar, MD.


Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6399

Jun 15

Duke Scientists Identify Method of Action for Common Chemotherapy Drugs


Jason Locasale, Ph.D

A study by scientists at Duke Health is providing insight into how certain commonly-used chemotherapy drugs work, potentially opening new ways to enhance the benefits of treatment for cancer patients.

The scientists focused on antimetabolites, chemotherapy drugs that target metabolism in cancer cells and induce cell death. These drugs are commonly used to treat colon, lung and blood cancers.

Their study, published this week in the journal Cell Reports, sought a clearer understanding of the molecular mechanisms at play when treatment with antimetabolites proves effective.

The researchers found in several experimental models, including cultured cancer cells, that altering the cancer cells’ metabolism led to certain nutrients actually spilling out of the cells, instead of being incorporated as building blocks to make new cancer cells.

The study’s authors suggest that monitoring these excreted nutrients could be a means of assessing how well cancer cells are responding to the antimetabolite therapies. While antimetabolite chemotherapy is widely used, the authors note that it can be highly toxic with varying effectiveness.

“In the future, these mechanisms could possibly be used to either identify patients who would respond to these drugs, or to monitor these metabolic mechanisms in patients when they are undergoing chemotherapy,” said senior author Jason Locasale, PhD, member of the Duke Cancer Institute and assistant professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke.

“Patients who otherwise wouldn’t be prescribed a drug that could treat their cancer could possibly take a test based on these mechanisms to see whether a particular antimetabolite drug would be useful for them,” Locasale said. “Also, lower doses of chemotherapy might be used for certain patients, since they could be monitored by watching these metabolic mechanisms.”

The researchers utilized metabolomics, an emerging technology that incorporates analytical chemistry tools and computation, to measure and analyze metabolism in cancer cells and animal tumors treated with antimetabolite chemotherapy. Locasale said the study appears to be one of the first to show precisely how cancer cells change their metabolism when treated with commonly-used chemotherapy drugs.

In addition to Locasale, study authors include Zheng Ser; Xia Gao; Christelle Johnson; Mahya Mehrmohamadi; Xiaojing Liu; and Siqi Li. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and an invention disclosure related to the work has been filed.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6395

Jun 13

Thirteen-Year-Old Cancer Patient Strikes Back With Bake Sale


After her check-up, Margaret Stoffregen, 13, looks at incoming texts while sitting outside Duke Cancer Center where she was treated for osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer.

Margaret Stoffregen was just 12 years old when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer occurring most often in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30. Initially stunned by the news, Stoffregen set her sights on remaining positive and upbeat.

“When I heard the news, thoughts raced through my mind,” said Stoffregen, 13, whose cancer is now in remission. “Like most people, my first question was, ‘Will I live?’ Now that cancer is behind me, I feel like I’ve accomplished something that not many other kids have or would want to accomplish.”

Over the course of her treatment, Stoffregen rallied her classmates at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill to help her raise funds to support a cause now dear to her heart—the fight against childhood cancer. She and five girlfriends recently organized a bake sale at Merritt’s Grill in Chapel Hill. The teens spent an entire day baking cookies, cakes and pastries for which they sold without a price tag, saying instead, “Give what you can. Take what you want.”


Margaret Stoffregen presents a check to her oncologist Brian Brigman, MD, PhD, who is flanked by Margaret’s mother, Molly, and father, Eric. With the help of some of her friends, Margaret hosted a bake sale that raised more than $2,000 to support cancer research and supportive care.

“We raised more than $2,000 at our bake sale,” said Stoffregen. “Everyone was very generous. We split the funds between the Duke Sarcoma Research Fund and the Be Loud Sophie Foundation, a local non-profit supporting teen and young adult cancer patients at UNC.”

With a clean bill of health, Stoffregen is now looking to a summer holiday in Maine and the start of eighth grade, her final year of middle school. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6367

Jun 08

Finders Keepers!




On behalf of Susan G. Komen NCTC, Duke Cancer Institute will hide one of 20 Bailey’s Fine Jewelry boxes at Saturday’s Komen Triangle Race For The Cure, located at The Frontier at RTP.

We will post hints on the DCI Facebook page beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 11.

Whoever finds the Bailey Box, gift wrapped and cinched with a pink ribbon, keeps the Bailey Box! 

Don’t forget to join one of our Duke Cancer Institute teams, including Macon Pond’s Rack Pack, Duke Cancer Center Raleigh and Team Renacer. Let’s step out together for the 20th Triangle Race For The Cure! 

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6359

Jun 08

First-Ever Supportive Care And Survivorship Day Attracts Hundreds

Photos by Jared Lazarus

Pets at Duke volunteer Lisa Wells and her dogs provide therapy for a patient during Rejuvenate & Educate Supportive Care and Survivorship Day at Duke Cancer Center.

Ben Helton bonds with Pets At Duke golden retrievers while their therapy partner and Pets At Duke volunteer Lisa Well looks on.

The cancer journey is challenging at best. Consultations with multiple oncology specialists, surgeries, infusions and radiation are just par for the course. With so much focus on the disease, a day of rejuvenation is just what the doctor ordered.

“Our patients are our heroes,” said Steve Patierno, PhD, deputy director of Duke Cancer Institute. “They teach us and inspire us to keep up our relentless battle against cancer. It is our honor to be able to provide them with what DCI is known for, groundbreaking cancer research that translates into leading-edge treatments and cures, delivered with warmth and compassion. It is a great privilege to be able to offer our patients a day of celebration and some much needed pampering.” Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6352

Jun 08

Four-Year-Old Rings In A New Start


Four-year-old Vanessa Burnette gives her mom, Laura, a sly smile as she rings the End of Treatment Bell. Vanessa, who was treated for stage 4 neuroblastoma at Duke Children’s Health Center, was the first to ring the bell after its recent installation.

For more than 4,000 years, bells have been used to spread warnings, alerts and good tidings. Over the years, bells have even developed into sophisticated, melodious instruments. But for four-year-old Vanessa Burnette and her mother, Laura, the unpretentious clang, clang, clang of a rudimentary bell has proven to be music to their ears.

On the fourth floor of Duke Children’s Health Center, patients checking in notice a simple bell erected within the clinic. Although at first glance ordinary in appearance, the British-made bell announces a vital message—the conclusion to a long and challenging battle against a formidable foe—cancer. Bob and Trish Verne, members of the Optimist Club of Chapel Hill, have for almost 20 years been championing the fight against childhood cancer. Through one of their contacts the couple learned about the End of Treatment Bells organization and its efforts to provide bells to pediatric cancer clinics throughout the United Kingdom.

“The final day of any cancer treatment is incredibly significant for patients and their families,” said Trish, who with her husband have three grown children. “When we heard about the British non-profit, we pursued the idea of bringing these very special bells to our own cancer centers in Durham and Chapel Hill.” Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6334

Jun 06

Godfrey Joins Duke Cancer Center OTC


Emily Godfrey, PA-C

Emily Godfrey, PA-C, recently joined the Oncology Treatment Center at Duke. In her new role she will oversee the care of patients experiencing complications resulting from cancer and cancer therapies, such as nausea, febrile neutropenia, pain, fatigue, depression and hypersensitivity reactions.

“Emily will be in the OTC to assess, treat acute issues and will be available to collaborate with the patient’s team on dealing with other patient needs,” said Mary Ann Plambeck, MSN, RN, OCN, clinical operations director. “In July Emily will have an independent clinic where she will be performing procedures and available to see patients with urgent issues so we can avoid sending them to the emergency room.”

Previously, Godfrey was affiliated the Department of Hematology/Oncology at the University of North Carolina Health System at Chapel Hill where, among her other duties, she provided care for acutely ill and medically complex leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma patients.

Godfrey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of North Carolina in May 2010. She received her Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies at Elon University in March 2015. She holds certifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/?p=6326

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