Feb 20

Tackling Human Brain Tumors by First Growing Them in a Dish

Duke and UNC researchers receive CTSA Consortium Collaborative Pilot Award to develop a new way to study cancer

For doctors and patients, the fight against cancer can be a lot like an exceedingly tricky version of the classic arcade game of whack-a-mole. You might beat back a tumor or part of a tumor, only to have another one pop up. To make matters worse, the “mallet” or treatment that successfully whacks the first tumor cells doesn’t always work on those arising later. You might need a new strategy or even an entirely different drug. It’s a tough game to win.

The reason it is often unsuccessful to apply a singular approach to beating cancer is that cancer cells evolve and change over time as cells divide and tumors expand. That ever-changing, increasingly heterogeneous nature of cancer has been a particular problem in effectively treating glioblastoma multiforme, a common and aggressive form of brain cancer. Even when treated with cancer-fighting drugs, only one out of three patients with glioblastoma multiforme are alive two years after their diagnosis.

“There might be a drug that works against the founding mutation in a tumor, but now this branch diverged and might then show resistance,” explained Albert Baldwin, Professor and Associate Director of Basic Research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Or, added Donald Lo, Director of the Center for Drug Discovery and Associate Professor of Neurobiology at Duke, “maybe the cancer goes into apparent remission, but, as Al was saying, there’s this tendril—some branch that might go dormant during treatment—and when you go off the drug it has a chance to recur. It’s common when cancer recurs that it’s not exactly the same cancer. It’s still a brain tumor, but it has a different molecular composition.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/tackling-human-brain-tumors-by-first-growing-them-in-a-dish/

Feb 02

Three DCI Physician-Scientists Elected to the ASCI Class of 2017

Five Duke School of Medicine faculty members have been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Class of 2017. Membership in this organization is a distinction recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement for physician-scientists representing a diverse range of disciplines and specialties.

Of the five selected, three are members of the Duke Cancer Institute: John Sampson, MD, PhD (Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery); Stefanie Sarantopoulos, MD, PhD (Associate Professor of Medicine); and Dorothy Sipkins MD, PhD (Associate Professor of Medicine).

The other two Duke School of Medicine physician-scientists elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Class of 2017 are Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD (Associate Professor of Neurology) and Manesh Patel, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine).

ASCI welcomed a total of 64 new members nationwide this year.



Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/three-dci-physician-scientists-elected-to-the-asci-class-of-2017/

Feb 01

Duke Campus Club Wants You!

Duke Campus Club is a vibrant, inclusive and active organization connecting Duke-affiliated women who are employees, spouses of employees, alumnae, OLLI participants, Duke volunteers, and family members.

High-profile speakers, behind-the-scenes tours, excursions, and an annual trip are on the event calendar. Members can also choose from more than 30 interest groups, such as book clubs, museum and music appreciation, gallery tours, gourmet cooking, games, hiking, running, bowling and much more.

Activities are held during the daytime, evening and weekends to fit busy schedules. A no-pressure participation approach allows members to select based on individual schedule. Annual membership dues for Campus Club are $25.

On Tap for February

On Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m., Duke Campus Club will host a talk by Mary Cummings, PhD, Director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab & Duke Robotics in West Union at Duke University: “Are Robots Going to Take Over Your Job?” Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/duke-campus-club-wants-you-5/

Jan 31

Candy-Grams for Sale to CRUSH Colorectal Cancer

Sherri Haley, RN, Brian Blend, and Terrence Lawrence, with the GI Clinical Trials Team, invite physicians, faculty and staff to purchase Valentines Day candy-grams and CRUSH colorectal cancer. They had tables set up in the Hock building and Duke South this week.

The Duke Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program is ready to deliver a CRUSHing blow to colorectal cancer. And doing it with heart.

One of the program’s CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K Run/Walk teams — the GI Clinical Trials Team — is selling Valentines Day candy-grams in support of the 4th annual run/walk, to be held on Saturday, March 25.

Bags of candy can be purchased for $5 and delivered to that special someone at Duke Hospital or in campus clinics and offices during the week of February 13 to 17. (email Sherri Haley, RN, for an order form)

Registration is already open for the 2017 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K Run/Walk, which is held in honor and celebration of those whose lives have been touched by colorectal cancer and to benefit colorectal cancer research at Duke. With a record-breaking more than $70,000 raised last year, event organizers are challenging walkers and runners to make 2017 “the best year yet.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. Every year more than140,000 people are diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, and every year, more than 50,000 die from this disease. Recent advances have significantly contributed to improving screening and treatment, and have resulted in a growing population of colorectal cancer survivors.

Team Miles for Danny at the finish of the 2016 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K Run/Walk.

“Colorectal cancer remains an important public health concern,” said Duke Cancer Institute medical oncologist and researcher Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS. “If we are to unleash game-changing breakthroughs in cancer research, sufficient funding is crucial. CRUSH helps push our research forward.”

The 2017 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K and Walk will start and finish on Ninth Street in Durham on Saturday, March 25. Participants are encouraged to form teams and raise funds. For more information or to register, visit CRUSH. You can also keep up with race news and developments on Facebook and Twitter.


Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/candy-grams-for-sale-to-crush-colorectal-cancer/

Jan 31

You’re Invited To Run With Angels

In its 23-year history, Angels Among Us, a 5K and family fun run, has raised more than $20 million to support the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. Last year Angels Among Us raised $1.8 million. The 24th Annual Angels Among Us is expected to raise $2 million.

Participants are encouraged to form teams in honor of loved ones and raise funds. Participants are also invited to bring memoirs, such as photos, poems and stories, to display on the Wall of Honor.

The 24th Annual Angels Among Us will take place Saturday, April 29, on the Duke Medical Center Campus in Durham, North Carolina. The certified 5K run begins at 8 a.m. Survivor recognition takes place at 10:30 a.m. and the 3K Walk starts at 10:45 a.m. Because of the size of the event, dogs are not allowed. There is a $30 pre-registration fee for the 5K run and the 3K walk. Children 12 and younger participate in the walk for free. Event-day registration is $35. For more information or inquiries, contact Ellen Stainback. To register, visit Angels Among Us.

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/youre-invite-to-run-with-angels/

Jan 31

Klotman Named Dean of Duke University School of Medicine

Mary Klotman, MD

Mary Klotman, MD, a nationally renowned physician-scientist and academic leader who has served as chair of Duke’s Department of Medicine for almost seven years — has been named Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University. Klotman will assume these roles July 1, 2017.

Klotman’s appointment follows a six-month national search that was launched when Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD, announced she planned to step down as dean. Andrews was the first female dean of a nationally acclaimed medical school, and leaves after a decade in the post on June 30, 2017.

“Mary Klotman is a visionary leader, deft executive administrator, and congenital collaborator with an unwavering commitment to excellence,” said A. Eugene Washington, M.D., chancellor of Health Affairs at Duke University and president and CEO of Duke University Health System, in announcing Klotman’s appointment. “She has amply demonstrated her exceptional ability to engage diverse groups to successfully advance all the missions of our academic health system. I am confident Mary will continue to excel in capitalizing on the enormous talent and promise of our people in Duke Health to improve health worldwide.”

Klotman has been a national leader in science and academic medicine through her roles in the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, where she is president of the Association of Professors of Medicine, and on the Council for the Association of American Physicians. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/klotman-named-dean-of-duke-university-school-of-medicine/

Jan 30

Community Invited To Spring For Support

Benefitting the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, organizers hope to raise $35,000 at this year’s Spring for Support 5K on Saturday, April 1, at Duke’s East Campus in Durham.

In 2015, the event raised a record $17,000 to the support the Duke Cancer patient Support Program. The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program provides services and resources to help support patients and their loved ones. Services include individual, couple and family therapy, support groups, self-image resources, pet therapy, child-life services, recreational therapy and more.

The event offers a timed 5K and a one-mile fun walk. Activities include inflatables, a fun zone for children and a survivors tent. The event will also feature live music and vendors, including Be The Match. Participants will receive event tee-shirt, Duke drawstring bag and sunglasses.

The 2017 Spring For Support 5K will take place April 1 at Duke’s East Campus in Durham. Sponsors include Pizza Hut and Argos. Check-in starts at 7 a.m. The race begins at 8 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.springforsupport5k.org.

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/community-invited-to-spring-for-support/

Jan 30

Houff Gears Up To Fuel Breast Cancer Research

Quin Houff, 19, of Weyers Cave, Virginia, is gearing up to race in his first ARCA Racings Series event. However, he unites his passion for raising with his commitment to move breast cancer research forward. In memory of his beloved grandmother, BJ, and in honor of his mother, Kate, and grandmother, Maggie, all of whom battled breast cancer, Houff will donate half of any winnings to breast cancer research at Duke.

In February Quin Houff will live out a lifelong dream when he competes in the ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona International Speedway. His drive to win is two-fold. A first-place finish would be a dream come true; however, it’s his commitment to help fund a cure that keeps his eye on the prize.

The 19-year-old has known cancer since before he could walk. Quin’s mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor, most recently beating cancer a year ago. His mother’s mom, Maggie Powers, was diagnosed with breast cancer when Quin was a baby. She is cancer-free and continues to be one of Quin’s biggest fans. Just before the holidays, however, on Dec. 18, 2016, Quin’s paternal grandmother, BJ Rohr, succumbed to breast cancer after a lengthy but valiant fight.

“We were pretty devastated by the news,” said Quin, who began racing go-karts when he was just 8 years old. “My family means everything to me. My grandmother’s loss is a devastating blow.”

When Kate’s cancer returned for a second time in 2015, Quin and his father, Zane, were not content to sit on the sidelines. Zane and Quin teamed up with Duke Cancer Institute and world-renowned breast cancer oncologist and researcher, Kimberly Blackwell, MD. They formed #BeatinCancer, a fundraising campaign to which Quin would go on to donate half of all his winnings for more than a year and a half. The father-son duo also launched a website, BeatinCancerWithDuke.org. There, they invited fans and supporters to donate to the cause. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/houff-gears-up-to-fuel-breast-cancer-research/

Jan 25

DCI Cancer Clinicians Tackle Financial Toxicity

Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

Financial toxicity. Google it and you’ll find it’s the new catchphrase to describe the escalating costs of cancer care.

The leading killer of patients under 85, the national expenditure on cancer is in the $200 billion range and overall patient spending on cancer treatment can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars a month. There are more than 1.6 million new cancer cases each year.

Since the economic downturn of 2008, Duke Cancer Institute gastrointestinal oncologist Yousuf Zafar, MD, M.H.S., has made the financial toxicity of cancer care the focus of his research. He looks at how the prohibitive cost, much like the physical stresses of the disease, can impact a patient’s well-being, quality of life, quality of care and even a patient’s mortality.

The stress from worrying about how to pay for cancer care, said Zafar, only compounds the shock of the diagnosis and the physical side effects of treatment. It can also lead patients to make choices that compromise their treatment, well-being, and health-related quality of life, possibly also putting their mortality at greater risk.

“Financial toxicity can be compared to the physical toxicity of cancer treatment, and should be considered another side effect,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/dci-cancer-clinicians-tackle-financial-toxicity/

Jan 19

January Newsmakers

CDC urges boys, girls get HPV vaccine earlier (WRAL)
Features Steven Patierno, PhD

Developing New Strategies for Cancer Drug Delivery, in Denmark and at Duke (Pratt School of Engineering)
Features David Needham

Gasparetto Shares Treatment Considerations, Options in 2 Multiple Myeloma Cases (Targeted Oncology)
Features Cristina Gasparetto, MD

Novel Combinations, Sequencing Are the Next Steps In Advancing HR+ Breast Cancer Care (Targeted Oncology)
Features Paul Kelly Marcom, MD

NY Giants Co-Owner Steve Tisch on Creating a Super Bowl Life (Reuters)
Features Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.duke.edu/dukecancerinstitute/january-newsmakers-3/

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