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					USC NoRRiS
                                                          Published by the University of Southern California || Fall 2009

                                                    USC researchers work to advance epigenetics,
                                                 a type of cancer therapy that helped
                                                          John Turco get back in the garden.

  Inside:   Moving Toward Recovery Through Physical Therapy, page 6 || Beating Brain Tumors, page 16
            Recruiting Excellence in Women’s Cancer Care, page 18 || Celebrating Survival at USC Norris, page 20
  USC nOrriS CanCer rePOrT
          A publication of the
    USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer
          Center and Hospital

                                                                                                                                                USC NoRRiS
                                                                                                                                                cancer report
     The usC Norris Cancer Hospital
     is affiliated with the usC Norris
  Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of
the original eight Comprehensive Cancer
  Centers as designated by the National
     Cancer Institute. The usC Norris
 Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of
                                                                                                                                                Fall 2009
   the Keck school of medicine of usC.

           executive editors
  Mitch Creem, Chief executive Officer,
    usC Norris Cancer Hospital and
        usC university Hospital
                                                                                     We are            in a time of
                                                                                     tremendous growth here at USC.
                                                                                                                                                                  O n T h e CO v e r

                                                                                                                                                                     8    Epigenetics Takes Center Court
  Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., Director,
usC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center                                               Recently, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer                                        USC “Dream Team” is bringing epigenetic research
                                                                                                                                                                          to the patient bedside.
 Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., Dean,                                            Center gained an important partner in the fight
     Keck school of medicine of usC
                                                        against cancer—the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. While the hospital has always                              F e aT Ur eS
Jane Brust, Associate senior Vice president,
   usC Health sciences public relations
      & marketing; Associate Dean,
                                                        been an exceptional ally in the fight against cancer, it’s exciting to see all Norris
                                                        personnel working together as part of the Trojan Family.
                                                                                                                                                                     6    Moving Toward Recovery
     Keck school of medicine of usC                                                                                                                                       Physical therapy helps cancer patients regain quality
                                                           In fact, the Trojan Family grew by two in April, when USC acquired full own-                                   of life during and after treatment.

      Ina Fried, executive Director,
     Communications and marketing                       ership of the cancer hospital, as well as the USC University Hospital. This was a                         16      Beating Brain Tumors
                     editor                             truly transformational moment in the history of medicine at USC, as the Health                                    One of the toughest-to-treat cancers—malignant
                   Katie Neith
                                                        Sciences Campus evolves into an integrated USC academic medical center.                                           glioma—may have met its match in the form of a new
             Contributors                                                                                                                                                 drug currently being tested by USC researchers.
   Monica Amaya, Cheryl Bruyninckx,                        You may notice that this magazine has grown, too! To celebrate the formal
  Meghan Lewit, Jon Nalick, Sara Reeve,
            Leslie Ridgeway                             partnership of two exceptional entities, we have expanded the USC Norris Cancer                           P rO Fi l eS
    Health sciences public relations
             & marketing                                Report to reflect more of the important work being done at both the cancer
                                                        center and the hospital. In these pages, you will find stories of hope, innovation
                                                                                                                                                                  14      Donating inspiration
   Carrie St. Michel and Jessica Ogilvie                                                                                                                                  Marshall Ezralow sets a positive example
             freelance writers
                                                        and progress toward cures.                                                                                        through philanthropy.
   Brittany De La Torre, Janet Morgan,
         Tina Pakfar, Tonya Strom
                                                           From clinical trials and research advancements, to patient care and survivor-                          18      Recruiting Excellence
    usC Norris Office of Development                    ship issues, the USC Norris Cancer Report will bring you the latest news in our                                   Leader in women’s cancers comes aboard at
              Business manager                          quest to conquer cancer and provide a better quality of life for our patients                                     USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
               Elaine Sawitskas

                                                        and their families.                                                                                       20      Celebrating Survival
      Eva Blaauw and Carol Matthieu                        We hope you will join us on our exciting journey as the USC Norris                                             USC Norris patients gather with friends and families
                                                                                                                                                                          to mark cancer milestones.
                Graphic Design                          Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital work to advance the art and
               Lime Twig Group
                                                        science of medicine to improve the health of our local community, the global                              D ePa rTm e nT S

                                                        community and our USC Trojan Family.

                 Color Graphics                                                                                                                                           Upfront News
              Cover Photography                                                                                                                                           Noteworthy faculty and staff research, announcements
                 Van Urfalian                           Sincerely,                                                                                                        and events.

                                                                                                                                                                  22      Development News
                                                                                                                                                                          Fundraising activities and opportunities at USC Norris.
                                                        Katie Neith                                                                                               24      Cancer Basics
                                                        Editor                                                                                                            Clinical Trials 101: Making a personal contribution
                                                                                                                                                                          to research.
 The usC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is
 one of 40 centers in the united states designated
 by the National Cancer Institute, part of the
 National Institutes of Health. Information con-
 tained within this report is not intended to replace                                     Helpful Numbers:
 medical or other professional advice and coun-
                                                                 for patient appointments with The Doctors of usC, call 1.800.usC.CAre

 sel. permission to reprint articles with attribution
 is freely given. No artwork may be reproduced                       for usC Norris Cancer Hospital information, call 1.800.700.3956
 without the artist’s consent. Our mailing list comes
 from several sources. If you receive duplicate
 copies of this report, please send us all the label
 information and we will strive to eliminate the
 duplication. Direct inquiries to usC Health sciences
 public relations & marketing, 1975 Zonal Avenue,
 KAm 400, mC 9029, los Angeles, CA 90033,
 phone: 323.442.2830, fax: 323.442.2832.                                                                                                                                                                 1
     Upfront News

                                       David Agus joins USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center                                                                                                 USC Welcomes Urology Chair                                                                                           h O S P i Ta l S P O T l i G h T

                                                                                                            Noted oncologist and cancer researcher David B. Agus, M.D., was                    at Beverly Hills Reception                                                                                           Nurse Week
                                                                                                            welcomed to the Keck School of Medicine of USC June 24 at a
                                                                                                            reception at the home of Robert and Kelly Day, members of the Board                Pioneering urologist and                                                                                             Recognition
                                                                                                            of Overseers of the Keck School. Hosted by the Days and Keck School                surgeon inderbir S. “indy”
                                                                                                            Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., the reception was attended                 Gill, M.D., was welcomed
                                                                                                            by 80 guests.                                                                      to Los Angeles and the
                                                                                                                Agus joined the Keck School faculty on April 1 as a professor                  University of Southern                                                                                               mitch Creem, CeO of
                                                                                                            of medicine and director of the new USC Westside Prostate Cancer                   California Trojan Family at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    USC University hospital
                                                                                                            Center, a multidisciplinary center in Beverly Hills that provides care             a Beverly Hills reception
                                                                                                                                                                                               hosted by actress Shirley                                                                                            and USC norris Cancer
                                                                                                            for patients with prostate cancer. He is a full member of the USC
                                                                                                            Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.                                                MacLaine and Keck School                                                                                             hospital, hailed nurses
                                                                                                                Agus also serves as principal investigator for the Molecular                   of Medicine of USC Dean
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and staffers as “extra­
                                                                                                            Technologies in Cancer project, which is supported by a recent                     Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D.,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Steve Cohn
                                                                                                                                                                                               M.B.A., on May 30.                                                                                                   ordinary” at a nurse Week
                                                                                                            $5 million gift from the Ellison Medical Foundation. The initiative
                                                                                                            focuses on molecularly targeted therapy, which holds promise as                        More than 300 guests,                                                                                            nurse recognition awards
                                                                                                            a new paradigm for cancer treatment.                                               including USC friends, donors     At the May 30 event welcoming Inderbir S. “Indy” Gill to USC are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (from left): Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, Gill                Ceremony on may 7. The
                                                                                                                Prior to joining the Keck School of Medicine, Agus served as the               and referring physicians,
                          Steve Cohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and actors Shirley MacLaine, Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.
                                                                                                                                                                                               attended the cocktail gala at                                                                                        following nurses from
                                                                                                            director of the Spielberg Family Center for Applied Proteomics and
                                                                                                            research director of the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at                  the Montage Hotel, includ-                                                                                           USC norris were honored:
                                        With Agus, center, at the reception are Dean Carmen A. Puliafito,                                                                                      ing MacLaine’s brother, actor    kidney donation surgery in          robotic and laparoscopic
                                                                                                            Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He and his research team have focused
                                        left, and Robert Day, right.                                                                                                                           Warren Beatty and his wife,      a virtually scar-free manner.       surgery for urologic cancers”
                                                                                                            on factors influencing the development and progression of cancer.                                                                                                                                       • Care ParTner
                                                                                                                                                                                               actress Annette Bening,          He also is the world leader in      and his international reputa-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                performing minimally inva-          tion. “He is truly a beacon                      OF The Year:
                                                                                                                                                                                               and USC Executive Vice
                                                                                                                                                                                               President and Provost C.L.       sive, kidney-sparing surgery        surgeon—70 percent of his                        linda Jefferson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                for kidney cancer.                  patients come from around
                                       Trojan Family                                                                                                                                           Max Nikias.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MacLaine, in her intro-         the world and across the                        • nUrSe aDvOCaTe
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Gill is chairman of the
                                       Welcomes                                                                                                                                                Catherine and Joseph Aresty      duction of Gill, noted that         United States.”                                  OF The Year:
                                       Hospital                                                                                                                                                Department of Urology and        Beatty found him when                    Gill said, “USC is really
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                looking for a surgeon to help       breathtaking in scope. The
                                       Employees                                                                                                                                               the founding executive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a friend. MacLaine said she         entrepreneurship and leadership                  Johnson
                                                                                                                                                                                               director of the USC institute
                                                                                                                                                                                               of Urology. Recruited from the   spoke to Gill at length and         are energizing. We will put
                                       USC toasted the acquisition                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • nUrSe
                                                                                                                                                                                               Cleveland Clinic, where the      was impressed with what she         together a world-class team.”
                                       of two hospitals at picnic                                                                                                                                                               heard from him.                         The USC institute of                         leaDer OF
                                                                                                                                                                                               urology program is ranked #2
                                       celebrations welcoming                                                                                                                                  in the country by U.S. News           “i think minds are like        Urology includes 20 full-time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Year:
                                                                                                                                                                                               and World Report, Gill has       parachutes—they function            faculty and more than 30 post-
                                       USC University hospital                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       anabel
                                                                                                                                                                                               pioneered minimally invasive     more fully when they’re             graduate residents and fellows
                                                                                                                                                                                 Steve Cohn
                                       and USC norris Cancer                                                                                                                                                                    open,” she said. “Welcome,          dedicated to excellence in                       Cantero
                                                                                                                                                                                               surgeries for cancers of the
                                       hospital employees into                                                                                                                                 kidney, prostate and bladder.    indy, my friend with a para-        patient care and research.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chute mind.”                        For more information,                           • nUrSe OF
                                       the Trojan Family.                  and a plentiful array of des­    above, greeting picnic              that the employee celebra­                         Gill is the first in the
                                                                                                                                                                                               world to perform single-port         Puliafito noted Gill’s          visit                         The Year:
                                          The sun shone brightly           serts on april 3. With many      participants), CeO of the           tion “is really something                                                       “leadership in the field of
                                                                                                                                                                                               “belly button” laparoscopic                                                                                            leanne haskins
                                       on a new era of academic            decked out in cardinal and       two hospitals.                      special and new for us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (pictured right)
                                       medicine at USC as more             gold, the crowd cheered and         Travis martin, a USC             We feel like we’re being
                                       than 2,000 hospital employ­         danced to the music of the       University hospital ultra­          welcomed to the family.”
                                                                                                                                                                                              “He is truly a beacon surgeon—70 percent of his

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Van Urfalian
                                       ees, Doctors of USC and             USC Trojan marching Band.        sound tech, hailed the                  an evening picnic was                      patients come from around the world and across
                                       clinic personnel were treated

                                       to fresh salads, grilled meats
                                                                               The picnics were hosted

                                                                           by mitch Creem (pictured
                                                                                                            hospitals’ transition to

                                                                                                            USC ownership, adding
                                                                                                                                                also held to recognize the

                                                                                                                                                nightshift employees.
                                                                                                                                                                                               the United States.”

2 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           3
     Upfront News

                             Epstein Receives National Cancer institute Award                                                                                         Dubeau Initiates
                                                                                                                                                                      Ovarian Cancer
                             Alan L. Epstein, M.D., Ph.D.,      professor of research pathology    people,” said Epstein, who
                             member of the USC Norris           at the Keck School of Medicine     is also a professor in the
                             Comprehensive Cancer Center,       of USC, is an analog of            Department of Pathology at

   “molecule because
    NCI picked this          has received an award of
                             $3.5 million from the National
                                                                Interleukin-2 (IL-2), which is
                                                                an important therapeutic
                                                                                                   the Keck School. “If we can
                                                                                                   reduce its toxicity, we can
                                                                                                                                                                      With funding from the Department
                                                                                                                                                                      of Defense (DOD), Louis Dubeau,
      it is curative in      Cancer Institute (NCI) for         for cancer patients. Current       help more patients.”                                               M.D., Ph.D, professor of pathology
  many people. If we         a recent advancement in            therapy with IL-2 is limited due        Epstein will serve as                                         at the Keck School of Medicine of
         can reduce its      drug development.                  to its severe toxicity and side    an advisor to the NCI team                                         USC, has developed an international
 toxicity, we can help           Epstein’s breakthrough         effects. Epstein’s development     that will do development                                           consortium to investigate early
    more patients. ”         discovery is aimed at helping
                             patients with metastatic mela-
                                                                was selected by NCI due to
                                                                its potential to eliminate the
                                                                                                   work, toxicology studies
                                                                                                   and other tasks needed to
                                                                                                                                                                      ovarian cancer.
                                                                                                                                                                          As part of the DOD’s Ovarian                                                                                                                         From left:
                             noma and renal cell carcinoma.     toxicity of the drug.              bring the discovery from                                           Cancer Research Program, Dubeau                                                                                                                          Lieber with M.D./
                                                                                                                                                                      received a one-year grant to set up                                                                                                                      Ph.D. student
                             The reagent he developed with           “NCI picked this molecule     bench to bedside.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Albert G. Tsai and
                             Peisheng Hu, Ph.D., assistant      because it is curative in many                                                                        the consortium, which consists of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               postdoctoral fellow
                                                                                                                                                                      world leaders in ovarian research                                                                                                                        and lead author
                                                                                                                                                                      from nine institutions in Australia,                                                                                                                     Noriko Shimazaki
                                                                                                                                                                      Canada, the United Kingdom and                                                                                                                           in their laboratory

                                                                TOP Tier                USC norris Cancer hospital ranked second among los angeles hospitals          the United States.                                                                                                                                       at the USC Norris
                                                                in Consumer Reports’ new ratings of more than 3,400 hospitals nationwide. The hospital                    “We will work together to learn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Cancer Center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Go Watanabe
                                                                                                                                                                      about the biology of early ovarian
                                                                also ranked in the top 5 percent of 310 California hospitals in the magazine’s first­ever ratings,
                                                                                                                                                                      cancer in the hopes that we can
                                                                published aug. 3 on Consumer reports’ “” website. “it’s an honor to know that
                                                                                                                                                                      develop strategies for prevention
                                                                our patients think so highly of us, and this is due to the dedication of our hospital personnel       and early treatment of ovarian
                                                                and physicians,” said mitch Creem, CeO, USC University hospital and USC norris Cancer                 cancer,” he said.                       USC Researchers identify Key T-cell
                                                                hospital. “The ratings show us we’re going in the right direction and will help us focus on
                                                                improving and enhancing the patient experience across the USC clinical enterprise.” USC |
                                                                                                                                                                          Ovarian cancer is one of the
                                                                                                                                                                      most lethal types of cancers            Lymphoma Mutation
                                                                                                                                                                      because it often develops without
                             norris Cancer hospital rated well above average in categories of physician and nurse communication, as well as pain man­
                                                                                                                                                                      symptoms. According to Dubeau,          USC researchers have identified a key mechanism that causes chromosomes within blood cells
                             agement, attentiveness of staff and cleanliness of rooms. The ratings are available at
                                                                                                                                                                      the key to success in preventing        to break—an occurrence that marks the first step in the development of human lymphoma.
                                                                                                                                                                      ovarian cancer is to understand             The study provides researchers with the clearest insight yet into why these breakages—
                                                                                                                                                                      what precancerous lesions look like     called chromosomal translocations—occur at specific points in the chromosome, said principal
                                                                                                                                                                      and where to find them.                 investigator Michael R. Lieber, Ph.D., M.D., Rita and Edward Polusky Professor in Basic Cancer
                                                                                                   Practice Makes Perfect                                                 Dubeau is a renowned researcher     Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The study appeared as the featured cover
                                                                                                                                                                      who has been investigating ovarian      article in the June 12 issue of the journal Molecular Cell.
                                                                                                   The USC Norris Cancer Hospital hosted the fifth annual
                                                                                                                                                                      cancer since he arrived at the USC          “The new findings go to the heart of why cancers begin. This is an opportunity to see the
                                                                                                   Los Angeles City Radiation oncology Mock oral Board
                                                                                                                                                                      Norris Comprehensive Cancer             very beginning step of human lymphoma,” Lieber said. “With this information, we can now begin
                                                                                                   Exam on May 9, which attracted 28 attendees, 14 examiners
                                                                                                                                                                      Center in 1987.                         to look at ways to interfere with this process in order to stop the lymphoma and to develop more
                                                                                                   and 14 examinees. Created by Parvesh Kumar, M.D., (center
                                                                                                                                                                          “We are studying the biology        targeted therapies for treatment.”
                                                                                                   front, wearing glasses), professor and chair of the Keck School
                                                                                                                                                                      of early lesions, which will lead to        The paper follows a similar study, published in the December issue of the journal Cell, in
                                                                                                   of Medicine’s Department of Radiation oncology, the event
                                                                                                                                                                      the discovery of prevention tools       which Lieber and colleagues determined how the most common chromosomal translocation
                                                                                                   is designed to help the radiation oncology residents in training
                                                                                                                                                                      and treatment options that will         in B cell lymphoma occurs.
                                                                                                   in Los Angeles to prepare for their actual oral Board Exam.
                                                                                                   originally boasting only participants from USC and UC irvine       eventually lead to biomarkers,
                                                                                                   radiation oncology departments five years ago, the event has       which aid in diagnosing disease and
                                                                                                   grown considerably to include radiation oncology departments       predicting treatment outcomes,”                 “The new findings go to the heart of why
                                                                                                                                                                      said Dubeau.
                                                                                                   from USC, UC irvine, UCLA, Kaiser Permanente and Valley
                                                                                                   Radiotherapy Associates (the largest private practice group            The consortium will be applying              cancers begin. This is an opportunity to see
This year’s event was organized with the help of Paul Pagnini, M.D., (front row, left of Kumar),
assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Keck School.
                                                                                                   in Los Angeles).                                                   this fall for national grants to con-
                                                                                                                                                                      tinue their efforts.                             the very beginning step of human lymphoma.”

4 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5
     Service Feature

                                                     MoViNG ToWARD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        in addition to treatment difficulties,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   patients may not realize that they could

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   experience continued bodily changes for
                                                                                                                                                                                             When rOBerT KinaGa WaS TreaTeD at the                                                                 months and years after completing radiation
                                                                                                                                                                                             USC Norris Cancer Hospital for a cancer mass                                                          and chemotherapy.
                                                                                                                                                                                             located in the lower left side of his neck, he                                                             “it is good to start a good home stretching
                                                                                                                                                                                             wanted to stay in optimal shape during his                                                            and exercise program so that patients can
                                                                                                                                                                                             treatment and recovery period. Luckily, he had                                                        find a way to incorporate it into their daily
                                                          Physical therapy helps cancer patients regain                                                                                      the help of USC Physical Therapy Associates.                                                          lives consistently,” says Yamada. “Physical

                                                                       quality of life during and after treatment                                                 By Katie Neith
                                                                                                                                                                                                 “Physical therapy proved to be essential
                                                                                                                                                                                             for my vitality and success. i was able to have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   therapy is also good to help patients monitor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   their recovery.”
                                                                                                                                                                                             enough range of motion to do most things,                                                                  As a cancer survivor who did not receive
                                                                                                                                                                                             and maintained enough strength to remain                                                              physical therapy as part of her treatment,
                                                                                                                                                                                             mobile and functional,” says Kinaga, 53, who                                                          Perdomo knows firsthand the long-term
                                                                                                                                                                                             received therapy as part of the outpatient                                                            effects of cancer and has experienced the
                                                                                                                                                                                             oncology program. “Light to moderate exer-              “We evaluate fitness, range of movement,      benefits of receiving physical therapy even
                                                                                                                                                                                             cise also helped my energy level to counter         and strength, as well as things such as cardio-   10 years after treatment.
                                                                                                                                                                                             the effects of the radiation, even at its worst.”   vascular health, which can be severely impacted        “Secondary complications can take a
                                                                                                                                                                                                 According to Marisa Perdomo, doctor of          by cancer treatments,” says Perdomo. “Then,       huge toll on the body,” she says. “But if you
                                                                                                                                                                                             physical therapy and assistant professor of         we work toward a complete body rehabilita-        can start a physical therapy routine before or
                                                                                                                                                                                             clinical physical therapy in Biokinesiology         tion, developing safe guidelines for regaining    during treatment, we may be able to facilitate
                                                                                                                                                                                             and Physical Therapy, a division at the USC         optimal fitness.”                                 the healing process and improve quality of
                                                                                                                                                                                             School of Dentistry, USC physical therapists            She says this includes a detailed assess-     life for years to come.”
                                                                                                                                                                                             treat patients across the cancer continuum.         ment of the whole patient to determine what            For Kinaga, physical therapy with Yamada
                                                                                                                                                                                             She developed the outpatient oncology pro-          needs to be addressed in order for the person     has helped him return to the activities he
                                                                                                                                                                                             gram five years ago after launching a similar       to return to daily life. Perdomo points out       enjoyed prior to his cancer diagnosis. An avid
                                                                                                                                                                                             effort in Seattle. Prior to her arrival, there      that individuals receiving or recovering from     athlete, he is back to participating in beach
                                                                                                                                                                                             was no specific oncology outpatient physical        cancer treatment experience many physical         volleyball and swimming less than a year after
                                                                                                                                                                                             therapy program at USC Norris.                      limitations that are complex and need to be       finishing radiation treatments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 While the current program treats mostly         taken into account when evaluating their               “There was a very surprising benefit from
                                                                                                                                                                                             breast and head and neck cancer patients, it is     physical therapy needs.                           all this—it made me feel as normal as possible
                                                                                                                                                                                             open to all individuals diagnosed with cancer           “The main goal of physical therapy is         given the circumstances, and gave me hope
                                                                                                                                                                                             at USC Norris, and Perdomo hopes to improve         to increase the patients’ function, mobility      for a successful outcome. This is vital for any
                                                                                                                                                                                             and build the program.                              and quality of life,” says Kimiko Yamada,         cancer patient; to connect with positive pos-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Each physical therapy program is indi-          doctor of physical therapy and instructor of      sibilities by believing and then seeing results
                                                                                                                                                                                             vidualized to address the patients’ body            clinical physical therapy in Biokinesiology       of the small steps being taken,” says Kinaga.
                                                                                                                                                                                             impairments and functional and activity             and Physical Therapy, a division at the USC       “Through patience, listening and a gifted
                                                                                                                                                                                             limitations. Common concerns with patients          School of Dentistry.                              touch, Kimi became a powerful enabler—
                                                                                                                                                                                             after they receive cancer treatment such as             She points out that some patients feel        to trust my body and realize the amazing
                                                                                                                                                                                             surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are             that they have to live with the new tightness,    things the mind and body can do even under
                                                                                                                                                                                             lymphedema, pain, tightness and limited             fatigue or swelling that may accompany treat-     challenging conditions.”
                  Photos by Van Urfalian

                                                                                                                                                                                             energy. Lymphedema is a condition charac-           ment, and that is not always true.
                                                                                                                                                                                             terized by localized fluid retention and tissue         “With physical therapy, some of these         To make an appointment for USC physical therapy
                                                                                                                                                                                             swelling after surgery or radiation. Posture        issues can be addressed,” says Yamada. “They      services, please speak with a treating physician for a
                                                                                                                                                                                             and balance may also be issues.                     may or may not be able to fully return to their   referral. For more information, call USC Physical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 prior level of function, but we can help them     Therapy Associates at (323) 224-7070.
                                           Kimiko Yamada, a physical therapist and member of USC Physical Therapy Associates, works with cancer survivor Robert Kinaga to help him improve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 find ways to build activities back into their
                                           his strength after treatment at USC Norris.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 lives and regain a better quality of life.”

6 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7
     Cover Feature

                                                                                                    Takes Center Court
                                                                                  USC “Dream Team” is bringing epigenetic research to patient bedside

                                                                                                                     By sara reeve

                                                                              after decades speNt oN the BeNch, the field of epigeNetics is scoriNg research advaNces

                                                                              aNd wiNNiNg more atteNtioN from scieNtists, fuNdiNg ageNcies aNd research iNstitu-

                                                                              tioNs. researchers aNd cliNiciaNs at the usc Norris compreheNsive caNcer ceNter aNd

                                                                              hospital are worKiNg to prove that the epigeNome, a layer of Biochemicals that pacKage

                                                                              the dNa, plays a major role iN caNcer, aNd that epigeNetic drugs aNd therapies have the

                                                                              poteNtial to maKe real impact oN patieNts’ lives.
                                                     Photos by Van Urfalian

  The Illumina Infinium BeadChip
  can analyze more than one million
  known genetic variations at a time
   U S human DNA a nC e r
8 in a C n O r r iS Csample. r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                             9
     Epigenetics continued...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Positive Proof of
                                                                                                                                                              different recipes that they use frequently (genes expressed so a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Epigenetic Benefits
                                                                                                                                                              cell can perform a specific function, such as replicating and commu-
                                                                                                                                                              nication with other cells). in cancer, the recipes are changed. Genetic
                                                                                                                                                              changes would involve cutting out pages, blacking out ingredient
                                                                                                                                                              lists–those are changes that really can’t be reversed.
                                                                                                                                                                  “Epigenetic changes to the recipe would involve words being
                                                                                                                                                              crossed out in pencil,” he explains. “Epigenetic drugs would
                                                                                                                                                              take an eraser to the pencil markings so that the original recipe can
                                                                                                                                                              be understood.”

                                                                                                                                                              The Project
                                                                                                                                                              With the ultimate goal of accelerating the movement of science from
                                                                                                                                                              “bench to bedside” where it can benefit patients as quickly as pos-
                                                                                                                                                              sible, and the immediate aim of seeing results within the three-year
         Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc.                           Peter Laird, Ph.D.                               Anthony El-Khoueiry, M.D.
                                                                                                                                                              term of the grant, the project funded by Stand Up To Cancer will
                                                                                                                                                              be administered by the American Association for Cancer Research
         UnDer The leaDerShiP OF PeTer JOneS, Ph.D. D.SC., the USC Norris           at Johns Hopkins University. The total grant award for the project is     (AACR). The AACR and Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific advisory
         Comprehensive Cancer Center has become a nationally recognized             $9 million, with $2.2 million coming to USC.                              committee will conduct periodic reviews to ensure that milestones
         leader in this emerging field.                                                 “A lot of heavy hitters have now accepted the fact that epigenetics   and objectives are being achieved.
             “USC has been at the forefront of epigenetics research ever            plays an important part in cancer, and this has been an uphill battle,”       The USC “Dream Team” research project has three main areas
         since Dr. Jones’ pioneering discovery of the first epigenetic inhibitor    says Jones. “We’ve had to struggle to get people to believe in this.      of focus. First, the researchers will be trying to understand why the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           John Turco and his wife, Sue.
         almost three decades ago,” says Peter Laird, Ph.D., associate profes-      So getting funded as part of the Dream Team is a huge step forward.”      two epigenetic drugs currently approved by the FDA, azacytidine and
         sor of surgery, biochemistry and molecular biology at the Keck School                                                                                decitabine, marketed as Vidaza and Dacogen, seem to be effective in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           FOr JOhn TUrCO, eD.D., 79, a patient at USC Norris Cancer
         of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Epigenome Center.
         “Dr. Jones has continued to build on this success, and over the past
                                                                                    What is Epigenetics?                                                      some patients and not in others. These drugs are currently approved
                                                                                                                                                              for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a pre-leukemia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hospital, life is good. Less than a year after receiving a diag-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           nosis of leukemia, he is receiving a cutting-edge epigenetic
         decades has built a team of experts in this area that have kept USC        Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene silencing affected by         condition, and have increased the life expectancy of some patients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           medication, decitabine (Dacogen), and is doing well on the
         at the leading edge of cancer epigenetics research.”                       the epigenome, a series of chemicals that attach to DNA and control           Team members will access DNA samples from patients treated by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           treatment. “I’m actually feeling very good,” says Turco. “I’m
             The investment of energy and resources into this field is also         access to the genes without actually changing the fundamental             these drugs, for whom outcomes are known, and rapidly assess on a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           a very lucky man. I get tired easily, but that honestly seems to
         starting to pay off financially, with USC taking a leading role in major   genetic information.                                                      whole genome level whether they can see changes in DNA methylation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           be the only symptom I have. I can’t complain.”
         nationwide research efforts. in May 2009, Stand Up To Cancer—a                 The USC “Dream Team” will focus on the process called DNA                 “We already know that these drugs work in some of the MDS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Turco, a USC alum who lives in Whittier, Calif., was originally
         charitable initiative of the Entertainment industry Foundation that        de-methylation, which effectively de-activates cancer stem cells. Genes   patients, so if we can figure out who will respond, and who is not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           referred to a specialist in Montebello, but the retired assistant
         supports research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients       that should control cell growth are sometimes silenced by an epigenetic   going to respond, we can at least limit the future trials to people who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           principal decided instead to drive 20 miles to be treated at USC
         in an accelerated timeframe—announced its first five “Dream Teams”         process called methylation, leading to unchecked growth and possibly      will respond, so we don’t waste time trying to get a patient to respond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Norris. “I feel very comfortable at Norris,” he says. “I had my
         of scientists to receive funding for groundbreaking research. Jones        cancer. Jones was among the first scientists to discover the role of      to a drug that doesn’t work for them,” says Jones.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           prostate removed there in April 2006, and I was treated so well.
         is co-leading a project titled “Bringing Epigenetic Therapy to the         methylation, as well as the fact that its effects could be reversed.          The second priority of the project is to test whether epigenetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           When I needed treatment again, I knew I wanted to go back.”
         Forefront of Cancer Management,” along with team leader Stephen                “imagine that DNA, the genome, is a cookbook, and the genes           drugs, in combination with other traditional therapies, can be utilized
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The level of epigenetic research occurring at USC may one
         Baylin, M.D., of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center             are the recipes,” says Laird. “Depending on their role, cells will have   to treat solid tumors including breast, lung and colon cancers. Currently,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           day benefit more patients like Turco, and he is grateful for that
                                                                                                                                                              the drugs have only proven to be effective against so-called liquid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           fact. “I have half a dozen friends that are cancer survivors.
                                                                                                                                                              tumors, such as leukemia and lymphomas. “When the FDA approved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           When they see how well I’m doing with this medication, we all
                                                                                                                                                              these epigenetic drugs, they were evaluated like traditional therapies,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           talk about how miraculous the advances in cancer treatment
                                                                                                                                                              with several short treatments of the maximum tolerated doses,” says
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           have been over the last two to three years. I am extremely lucky
                                                                                                                                                              Laird. “We want to evaluate whether lower doses given over a longer
       “A lot of heavy hitters have now accepted the fact that epigenetics plays an                                                                           period of time might bring more success with solid tumors.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           that this treatment was discovered,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               By returning to USC for his cancer care, Turco felt that
                                                                                                                                                                  The third area of focus is the development of second-generation
        important part in cancer, and this has been an uphill battle. We’ve had                                                                               epigenetic drugs that will be more effective in the treatment of can-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           he was placing the care of his health and welfare in capable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           hands. “They are nothing but the superstars of cancer treat-
                                                                                                                                                              cer. The two currently available drugs have known limitations, and
        to struggle to get people to believe in this. So getting funded as part of the                                                                        the team hopes that their research and clinical trials will help bring
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ment at Norris,” he laughs. “I think this hospital is one of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           best…absolutely head and shoulders above the rest.”
        Dream Team is a huge step forward.” — PeTer JOneS, Ph.D., D.SC.                                                                                       new drug options to the market.

10 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         11
     Epigenetics continued...

                                                       Peter Laird, Ph.D., demonstrates use                                                                                                                                                            Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., stands
                                                         of the Illumina Genome Analyzer,                                                                                                                                                              in a laboratory at the USC Epi-
                                                       which can determine the nucleotide                                                                                                                                                              genome Center, a state-of-the
                                                          sequence of more than 10 billion                                                                                                                                                             art laboratory center devoted to
                                                       basepairs of DNA in a single experi-                                                                                                                                                            advancing epigenetic research. The
                                                             ment. This is the equivalent to                                                                                                                                                           center is located in the Harlyne
                                                         covering a single human genome                                                                                                                                                                J. Norris Research Tower, which
                                                                     more than three times.                                                                                                                                                            opened in 2007 and dramatically
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       expanded research facilities at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       USC Norris.

             “Part of the problem that has been identified is the reliability of               in 2008, and with the support of the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris             “The understanding of how methylation and gene silencing and                  Diana Chingos, cancer patient advocate and chairman, Cancer
         the currently available drugs,” says Anthony El-Khoueiry, M.D.,                       Foundation, USC opened the USC Epigenome Center, one of the first            histone acetylation affects solid tumors has evolved quite a bit, so the      Survivorship Advisory Council at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer
         assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School. “The phar-               institutions in the country devoted to advancing epigenetic research.        time is just right to explore these therapies now in solid tumors,”           Center, is one of the two advocates involved in the project. “i’ll do
         macokinetics of these drugs may not be adequate to deliver the right                      Laird, who was originally recruited to USC in 1996, was appointed        says El-Khoueiry.                                                             my best to convey to the investigators the importance of this work
         dose for the right length of time. There is a new formulation of one of               director of the center at its opening. Regarded as an expert in the              He and his colleagues in the Division of Cancer Medicine and              to cancer patients, my constituency, and will carry information back
         these drugs that will hopefully be more stable and less susceptible to                area of DNA methylation, he sees the potential for epigenetics to            Blood Diseases will lead trials for patients with metastasized breast,        to the patient community for those who might be interested in the
         being degraded by one of the enzymes in the cancer itself.”                           change everything scientists understand about cancer. “The field             lung and colon cancer, as well as those with early stage cancer. “We          epigenetic therapies used in the trials,” says Chingos. “i will also use
             Stand Up To Cancer has provided funding for three years with                      of epigenetics has exploded in every measurable way, from the                will be testing the use of these drugs as adjuvant therapy, meaning           the unique experience i have acquired as a cancer patient to inform
         the explicit understanding that the group expects to see firm results                 number of papers and scientists working in this field, to the many           patients who have early stage disease who have had resection (surgical        the research project whenever possible.”
         within that timeframe. “We hope to do all three of those priorities in                ways in which epigenetics has been found to be at the basis of many          removal) of their cancer, and we will be administering therapy to pre-
         three years, which is going to be really intense,” says Jones.                        biological processes including embryonic development, stem cells
                                                                                               and cancer,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                                            vent recurrence,” says El-Khoueiry. “After a resection of the tumor, it
                                                                                                                                                                            is thought that patients have microscopic disease left behind, includ-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Future
         The Team                                                                                  The wide scope of Laird’s research is a testament to the integral
                                                                                               role of epigenetics in human cancer. Projects have included research
                                                                                                                                                                            ing self-renewing cells, or [cancer] stem cells, and that this therapy
                                                                                                                                                                            will help target those specifically, and help lead to fewer recurrences,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          USC’s Dream Team holds hope that their research will bring new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          understanding to the science of epigenetics and new treatments to
         With almost 30 years of experience, Jones is a recognized leader in                   into the epigenome’s function in ovarian cancer, colon cancer, glio-         and overall better survival for the patients.”                                cancer patients.
         cancer research, specifically the molecular biology of cancer and the                 blastoma and esophageal adenocarcinoma. “My level of excitement                  The scientists involved in this project all agree that the needs and          “The uniqueness here is that the mechanism of treatment is so
         effects of DNA methylation in cancer. in recognition of his influential               regarding the importance of epigenetics to understanding cancer has          concerns of patients need to be held paramount. “The patient’s point          different than any of the currently used chemotherapies, or even the
         role in advancing the understanding of epigenetics’ role in cancer,                   only grown in the past 15 years,” Laird says. “We continue to discover       of view, as we conduct clinical research, is very important to help           so-called targeted agents,” says El-Khoueiry. “if the clinical trials con-
         the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) presented                         that epigenetics plays a much more fundamental role in cancer than           us understand how patients look at the project, what barriers exist           firm the scientific hypothesis, then we are, in some ways, going to the
         Jones with the 2009 Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer                        we ever anticipated early on.”                                               to their participating, what are their fears, how well are we doing at        core of the problem, going specifically after those altered or silenced
         Research. Jones, past president of the AACR, received the award                           Laird and his team at the Epigenome Center will be responsible           explaining to them our process, etc.,” says El-Khoueiry. “That’s where        genes in the very early, self-renewing cells. We’re really starting to
         along with Dream Team leader Baylin.                                                  for examining patient DNA samples to assess the effectiveness of             the patient advocates bring us this perspective that we wouldn’t              talk about a real cure.”
             “it’s very rare in science that you can say the work of individual                various therapies. “The role of the USC Epigenome Center is to               otherwise have normally.”
         investigators revolutionizes cancer research, but Peter Jones and                     analyze the extent of epigenetic changes in the cancer tissues from
         Stephen Baylin have achieved that kind of paradigm shift,” says                       patients participating in clinical trials of epigenetic inhibitors, and to
         Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., AACR chief executive officer. “Their                      determine the effectiveness of these drugs in reversing these epigen-
         work has changed the way we view molecular causation from a                           etic abnormalities,” he says. “Simply put, in the Epigenome Center,
         genetic to an epigenetic focus. The potential impact of this work
         is enormous, and it is already resulting in significant improvements
                                                                                               our job is to show that the eraser worked.”                                  EDiToR’S NoTE:      At press time, the USC Epigenome Center was awarded a
                                                                                                   The job of the man leading the clinical trials component of the
         in cancer diagnosis and therapy.”                                                     Stand Up To Cancer project will be to bring the science of epigen-           $10.4 million National Cancer Institute grant that is expected to pave the way for
             While much of the scientific community was pursuing the quest to                  etics to individual patients. El-Khoueiry, director of the Clinical
         complete the human genome, Jones saw the potential to separate USC                    investigations Support office at USC Norris and a Keck School alum,          more effective treatment and diagnosis for cancer patients. The grant is part of a new
         from the pack by positioning the university as a leader in epigenetics.               is a clinical scientist with extensive experience in colon cancer.
                                                                                               He will bring his expertise in treating patients with solid tumors to
                                                                                                                                                                            federal initiative to support cancer research and promote job creation. — KaTie neiTh, eDiTOr
                                                                                               the epigenetic arena.
                                                                                                                                                                            For the full story, visit

12 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               13
     Donor Profile

                  Donating InspIratIon                                                                                                           By Jessica ogilvie






                  “i hope,” says Ezralow, “that in some small        Acting as the president of the L.A. chapter     her health. The hospital’s standards of care
                  way, i can inspire others to give.”                of the Weizmann institute of Science in the     impressed them both, and Renette continued
                      Ezralow has been donating to USC               early 1980s, he met a number of individuals     her treatment there for the next 13 years.
                  Norris since 1987, and has continued to give       who were to become an inspiration for him.          “The doctors were so professional with
                  generously over the years. His interest in             “i was involved with some people that       my wife, and responsive to her needs,” says
                  philanthropy, however, is a constant current       i respected who were very philanthropic,”       Ezralow. “She was very happy there.”
                  throughout his life, beginning from a very         he says. “i enjoyed the idea that anything          over the course of Renette’s care at USC
                  early age.                                         [Weizmann] did would help the world.”           Norris, the Ezralows developed a close rela-
                      Born and raised in East L.A., Ezralow’s            While continuing his work at Weizmann, he   tionship with Parkash Gill, M.D., professor and
                  parents set an example for the family as early     also became involved with SToP CANCER,          Ezralow Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
                  as he can remember.                                which provides funding for cancer research      in the Department of Medicine at USC.
                      “My parents weren’t wealthy people,”           and offers grants to scientists.                    “Dr. Gill gave Renette treatment, and
                  he says, “but i saw my dad and my mother               in 1989, the Ezralow family got news        care well beyond what was necessary,” says

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Van Urfalian
                  involved in various charities, giving what         that would change their lives. Ezralow’s        Quinn Ezralow, Marshall Ezralow’s daughter-
                  they could” to underprivileged children and        late wife, Renette—herself a champion for       in-law. The Ezralows have since become
                  community organizations.                           cancer research through the Women’s Cancer      supporters of Gill’s work in angiogenesis.
                      After playing football in high school at       Research Fund—was diagnosed with ovarian            The Ezralow Family Research Tower was         “i’m very proud that our name is on the wall,           “After witnessing 13 years of his wife’s           “i still work out five times a week,” he
                  Montebello, Ezralow went on to study busi-         cancer. She began treatment at USC Norris,      named following the family’s $6 million gift      that we’ve been able to help people,” he says.      suffering, [Marshall] is looking for a way to      says. “i cross train aerobically, do stretching
                  ness at UCLA, where he graduated in 1959.          and Ezralow immediately turned his              to USC Norris, and is a source of both pride      “Knowing how difficult it is for sick people,       help other women’s lives,” she says. “Marshall     and weight lifting.” old football injuries creep
                  After college, he began developing real estate.    trademark drive and focus toward safeguarding   and hope for Ezralow.                             and how the family suffers in addition to the       continues to inspire his family (right down to     up now and then, but, he says, “i muscle
                  “My grandfather was a builder in East L.A.,                                                                                                          patient, i just want to see what i can do. Even     his grandchildren) in his steadfast and loyal      through them.”
                  and my father was in the building business,”                                                                                                         if not to find a cure, then maybe to see prog-      quest to find a cure to this disease.”                 in the end, Ezralow’s dedication to his
                  he says. “But i went out on my own at 25.”        “Knowing how difficult it is for sick people, and                                                  ress in remission.”                                     Quinn now sits with her father-in-law          health and to philanthropy, are all part of a
                                                                                                                                                                           He also wants to inspire others, a trait that   on the USC Norris Advisory Board, and she          philosophy that dictates living life to the
                      Ezralow went on to become one of the
                  most successful real estate developers in the      how the family suffers in addition to the patient,                                                hasn’t been lost on his family or friends. Quinn    has taken up where Renette left off at the         fullest. “i’m seizing the moments,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                                       became heavily involved in raising funds,           Women’s Cancer Research Fund.                      “Because you only get one shot. That’s the
                  country. Marshall and his sons, Marc and
                  Bryan, are partners in the company.
                                                                     I just want to see what I can do. Even if not to find                                             keenly aware of the need for cancer research            in Ezralow’s office, an unassuming building    bottom line.”
                      Ezralow’s interest in giving to the medi-
                  cal community started early on in his career.
                                                                     a cure, then maybe to see progress in remission.”                                                 following the death of her mother-in-law.           in the Valley, the walls are decorated with pic-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           tures of his family. An active bunch, they often
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           go together on ski trips and to the beach.

14 U S C n Or r i S Ca n C e r r eP OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               15
     Research Feature

                                        STUDY PoiNTS To


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photos by Van Urfalian
                                                                                    This discouraging lack of progress, however,
                                                                                    may well be on the brink of a breakthrough
                                                                                    thanks to the work of Hofman and her               Above left, center: Florence Hofman, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC,
                                                                                                                                       researches new treatment approaches for brain cancer in her laboratory. Above right: Hofman chats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “once we established that DMC was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  effective in blocking the growth of new blood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  vessels in the ‘test tube,’” says Hofman, “we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wanted to determine whether this agent was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  also effective in animals.” The answer came
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  back affirmative. Specifically, according to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hofman, “Animals with tumors, who had
                                                                                    research team.                                                                                                                                                received DMC, had smaller tumors and fewer
                                                                                                                                       with Jenilyn Virrey, a Ph.D. candidate who assists in much of Hofman’s research.
                                                                                        For the past five years, they have been                                                                                                                   blood vessels in the tumors.”
                                                                                    researching new treatment approaches for                                                                                                                          This outcome is significant. “The outstand-
                              One of the toughest-to-treat cancers—                 malignant glioma, which is among the most
                                                                                    challenging of cancers. As Hofman notes,
                                                                                                                                       common drug for glioma treatment. Another
                                                                                                                                       problem with temozolomide,” she adds, “is
                                                                                                                                                                                            Schönthal, demonstrated that DMC can destroy
                                                                                                                                                                                            tumor cells. DMC is a derivative of celecoxib,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ing and unique point of our study,” Hofman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  notes, “is that DMC is effective on the tumor’s
                              malignant glioma—may have met its                     the statistics are daunting. “From the time        that while it’s very effective in killing glioma     a drug that has some cancer-fighting abilities,       vasculature. Previous work from our group

                             match in the form of a new drug currently              of diagnosis, most gliomas prove to be fatal
                                                                                    within eight to 12 months.”
                                                                                                                                       cells, it does not affect the tumor’s vascula-
                                                                                                                                       ture—the blood vessels that feed the tumor
                                                                                                                                                                                            but also brings with it cardiovascular side effects
                                                                                                                                                                                            such as increased risk of heart attack and stroke;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  showed that DMC had cytotoxic effects on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gliomas, but now we know it also can destroy
                                 being tested by USC researchers.                       Several factors contribute to the vexing
                                                                                    nature of this devastating disease. Glioma,
                                                                                                                                       and enable it to grow.”
                                                                                                                                           Hofman and her associates, however,
                                                                                                                                                                                            DMC is free of such side effects.
                                                                                                                                                                                                To be truly effective in battling back
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the tumor’s blood supply and is thus an effi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cient and effective anti-tumor agent.”
                                                                                    which is the type of brain tumor with which        may well be on the research road leading to          malignant gliomas, DMC would need to not                  Looking ahead, Hofman says, “We’re now
                                                       By carrie st. michel
                                                                                    Sen. Edward Kennedy was diagnosed last             a medication that overcomes these obstacles.         only destroy tumor cells, but to choke off the        enthusiastic about eventually having DMC
                                                                                    year, is the most common primary tumor             Their studies are part of the Glioma Research        tumor’s vasculature as well. Hofman explains:         as a drug in our arsenal for cancer patients.
                                                                                    of the brain; primary, because the tumor           Group—an alliance of USC laboratories dedi-          “We know that for a tumor to grow, the tumor          And this is critical, as we are beginning to
                     FOR PATIENTS DIAgNOSED WITH MALIgNANT gLIOMA—A TYPE OF         originates from brain cells, as opposed to         cated to developing treatments for primary           needs a blood supply. if the blood supply—in          accept the idea that we must treat cancer as
                                                                                    cells located elsewhere in the body that then      central nervous system tumors. The group             the form of blood vessels—is destroyed, the           a chronic disease.” Adding, “Until we find a
                     CANCER THAT COMMONLY STARTS IN THE BRAIN—THE PROgNOSIS IS      migrate to the brain. Gliomas, which account       includes Hofman, Thomas C. Chen, M.D.,               tumor cannot grow.”                                   cancer cure, patients with brain cancer should
                                                                                    for more than 15,000 U.S. deaths annually,         Ph.D., Axel H. Schönthal, Ph.D., Stan G.                 For the last year and a half, the Hofman-         be able to live years with the disease—not
                                                                                    are difficult to attack surgically because of      Louie, Pharm.D. and Nicos A. Petasis, Ph.D.          led team has been researching whether or              months—and live symptom free.”
                     AT THE KECK SCHOOL OF MEDICINE OF USC. IN ADDITION, “THERE     the invasive characteristics of the tumor cells.       in a paper presented recently at the             not DMC meets the dual requirements of                    Toward that end, Hofman and her team
                                                                                        in addition to surgical limitations,           American Association for Cancer Research’s           simultaneously snuffing out both tumor cells          are continuing to study DMC. “The goal,”
                     REALLY HAvEN’T BEEN ANY MAJOR TREATMENT ADvANCES IN THE        Hofman explains, “Gliomas are particularly         annual meeting, Hofman discussed the                 and tumor blood vessels.                              she explains, “is to determine the optimal
                                                                                    challenging because there’s a lack of effec-       treatment potential of dimethyl-celecoxib                Results, thus far, are extremely encouraging.     combination of agents for greatest cytotoxic
                     PAST 10 TO 15 YEARS,” SHE SAYS.                                tive agents for therapy. Patients frequently       (DMC). Previous studies conducted by the                                                                   effects on brain tumors.”
                                                                                    become resistant to temozolomide, the most         Glioma Research Group and led by Chen and

16 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                       17
     Physician Profile

                                               Recruiting excellence
                                      Leader in women’s cancers comes aboard at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
                                                                                                             By cheryl BruyNiNcKx

                   DeBaSiSh (DeBU) TriPaThY, m.D., a national          a dedication to having the two work side by          a scientific aspect, but from the social and          “Most of the therapies developed to
                   figure in breast cancer research, has joined the    side,” Tripathy says. “i believe that clinical       cultural aspects as well.”                        date have had a singular goal: ‘Does it kill
                   USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center              care, clinical research and laboratory research          Currently, his research focus is on           cancer?,’ but they don’t take into consideration
                   as co-leader of the Women’s Cancer Program.         all go hand in hand.”                                expanding what is known about growth              what it does to the patient,” says Tripathy.
                   Tripathy joins Michael Press, M.D., Ph.D.,              As a new co-leader of the Women’s Cancer         factor receptors and developing newer treat-      “i think it is very important to open up a dialog
                   professor of pathology, who has been associated     Program, Tripathy has identified several goals,      ments for patients who are resistant to the       with patients and develop therapies based on
                   with the Women’s Cancer Program for the             including developing a nationally recognized         existing therapeutic options.                     side effects.”
                   last 16 years.                                      women’s cancer service; increasing the number            “Dr. Tripathy’s work will enhance our             Tripathy acknowledges that this is a rela-
                       Tripathy was also recently appointed            of treatment and clinical trial options for          efforts to bring basic molecular research on      tively new way of looking at things, but that
                   professor of medicine by Keck School of             patients; developing a clinical trials and           breast cancer from the lab to the clinic, where   the quality of life of patients is becoming more
                   Medicine of USC Dean Carmen A. Puliafito,           research program that matches the needs of           we can directly benefit patients,” says Peter     and more important as survival rates increase.
                   M.D., M.B.A. He holds the Priscilla and Art                                                                                                                    “We want to go way beyond the traditional
                   Ulene Chair in Women’s Cancer and is head                                                                                                                  model of care to develop a true patient-centered
                   of the section of women’s cancers, Division of
                   oncology, in the Department of Medicine.
                                                                      “I believe that USC is responding to a new                                                              program at USC,” he says. “Patients are a big
                                                                                                                                                                              part of the equation and we want to design
                       “Dr. Tripathy is a national authority in
                   breast cancer,” Puliafito says. “We are
                                                                       mission that is an expansion of patient care,                                                          care—from clinical trials to how therapies are
                                                                                                                                                                              explained—with their needs in mind.”
                   delighted that he has come to USC as we             a bigger commitment to research and a dedication                                                           Tripathy has received numerous awards,
                   strengthen our clinical research activities                                                                                                                including the Heroes Award, presented by
                   and our patient-focused programs.”                  to having the two work side by side.”                                                                  the Breast Cancer Fund for excellence in
                       Tripathy comes to USC from the University                                                                                                              clinical care. He also received the Award in
                   of Texas Southwestern Medical Center                                                                                                                       Medicine Research by the Greater Dallas
                   at Dallas, where he served as professor of          patients and interfaces with the areas of scien-     Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., director of the USC          Asian American Chamber of Commerce for
                   internal medicine, director of the Komen/           tific excellence at USC; setting up community        Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.               his outstanding research accomplishments
                   UT Southwestern Breast Cancer Research              outreach programs and forums; and establishing          Beyond his expertise in clinical research,     in breast cancer.
                   Program and holder of the Annette Simmons           a national and international leadership position     Tripathy is involved in patient care and              “i am excited to come to USC because
                   Distinguished Chair in Breast Cancer                in medical peer oncology education.                  survivorship issues.                              historically this place has a rich track record
                   Research. He was also president and chief               Tripathy’s primary area of interest is breast       He is particularly interested in the patient   of excellence in the basic sciences, and the
                   executive officer of Physicians’ Education          cancer therapy. For the past 20 years, he has        perspective of the cancer experience and dis-     USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is
                   Resource in Dallas, a continuing medical            studied growth factor receptors, important           semination of informational tools. Tripathy is    one of the original cancer centers from 1973,”
                   education and publishing company specializing       targets in breast and other cancers. He was part     co-author of Breast Cancer: Beyond Convention,    Tripathy says. “All of those things together,
                   in oncology and hematology.                         of the original team that brought the now com-       a book featuring advice from other prominent      along with the university’s new commitment to
                       “i believe that USC is responding to a          monly used drug Herceptin into clinical care.        physicians such as Susan Love and Dean            patient care and clinical research, told me that
                   new mission that is an expansion of patient             “Breast cancer is such a rich area of multi-     ornish. He also serves as editor-in-chief of      this is the right place and the right time.”
                   care, a bigger commitment to research and           disciplinary research and treatment,” he says.       CURE magazine, the most widely circulated
                                                                       “i find it to be really fascinating, not only from   cancer-specific magazine for patients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Van Urfalian
18 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                    19
      Patient Event

                              SURvIvAL                              EACH YEAR, HUNDREDS OF CANCER SURvIvORS DESCEND UPON THE

                                                                    USC HEALTH SCIENCES CAMPUS TO REUNITE AND COMMEMORATE THE

                                                                    SUCCESSFUL CARE THEY RECEIvED AT USC NORRIS CANCER HOSPITAL. ON                                             1       2                                        3

                                                                    JUNE 6, FORMER PATIENTS, ALONg WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES,

                                                                    OBSERvED THE 19Th annUal FeSTival OF liFe.

                                                                    Hosted by the USC Norris Cancer Hospital,             and surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of
                                                                    the event brings together survivors for a morn-       USC, who shared her thoughts about hope as a
                                                                    ing of celebration and inspirational speakers.        driving force for those who work at Norris.
                                                                        Guests were treated to the sounds of                  Vicki Kompaniez, a USC Norris volunteer
                                                                    Disneyland’s Bayou Brass Band while they              and breast cancer survivor, recalled how
                                                                    enjoyed a continental breakfast under sunny           she left in the middle of chemotherapy at
                                                                    skies. Harv the Magician roved the crowd,             another institution to finish her treatment               4         5                                  6
                                                                    entertaining kids with balloon animals, and           at USC Norris.
                                                                    numerous booths offered information on                    “i walked into Norris and i felt like i had
                                                                    survivorship issues.                                  come home,” said Kompaniez, whose husband
                                                                        Chorda Tympani, a medical student                 also was successfully treated for esophageal
                                                                    barbershop quartet who entertained the crowd          cancer a year earlier at USC Norris. “The care,
                                                                    with their rendition of “Come Fly with Me”            the love, the support; from the minute you
                                                                    during the formal program, had a very special         drive up at the valet … you feel nothing but
                                                                    member among their ranks. Robert Martinez,            taken care of.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photos by Brook Photography
                                                                    a second-year medical student at the Keck                 Janet Chaudhuri, a past associate provost
                                                                    School of Medicine, is also a former patient of       of USC, enjoyed the celebration with her
                                                                    USC Norris, where he was treated for colon            husband, Arun, who was the eighth patient
                                                                    cancer in 2004.                                       at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital when it

                       USC Norris patients                              He lauded USC Norris as an exceptional
                                                                    treatment facility that treats the “whole
                                                                                                                          opened in 1983. They have been attending
                                                                                                                          the Festival of Life since its inception.
                                                                                                                                                                            7                 8

                                                                    person” with compassion. Martinez, who was                “i can’t say enough about how wonderful                        1. Miranda Jacob, age 5, celebrates her grandfather, a cancer
                         gather with friends                        inspired to study medicine because of his             Norris has been to us over the years,” said
                                                                                                                                                                                             survivor. 2. Festival moderator Art Ulene, M.D., addresses cancer
                                                                                                                                                                                             survivors and their friends and family. 3. Carlos Reyes (on right)
                                                                    experience with cancer, encouraged the crowd          Janet Chaudhuri. “Not only is the care excel-
                       and families to mark                         to share their stories with others.                   lent, but the human qualities you find here
                                                                                                                                                                                             and Kevin Kaneko, Pharm.D., offer information from the USC Norris
                                                                                                                                                                                             Pharmacy Department. 4. Festival participant John Myer signs the
                                                                        “Always think about the patients who              are off the charts.”                                               scroll, which now hangs in the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. 5. Tania

                           cancer milestones                        are being diagnosed, how you can share your               White doves were released at the end                           Torres, volunteer at USC Norris, arranges flowers for the stage.
                                                                                                                                                                                             6. Luke Torres hugs his mother, Dolores Anguiano-Torres, who
                                                                    success story with them,” he said. “Focus on          of the event, along with a cheer to current
                                                                                                                                                                                             was successfully treated for leukemia at USC Norris. 7. The crowd
                                                   BY KaTie neiTh   how you can inspire others to keep fighting,          patients at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital,                        gathers for the start of the formal program. 8. Chuy Martinez, tuba
                                                                    because you can easily lose track.”                   in the hopes that next year, they will join the       9            player for Disneyland’s Bayou Brass Band, entertains participants.
                                                                        The program was moderated by physician,           ranks of survivors celebrating at the Festival                     9. Harv the Magician shows off his balloon hat skills. 10. Ruth
                                                                    author and television personality, Art Ulene, M.D.,   of Life.                                                           Dunn, 99, is a volunteer at USC Norris Cancer Hospital known as the
                                                                                                                                                                                             “Lavender Lady” for the lavender sachets she makes and delivers
                                                                    and included comments from Clare Templeman,
                                                                                                                                                                                             by hand to patients.
                                                                    M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology                                                                  10

20 U S C n Or r i S C a n C e r r eP O rT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                   21
      Development News

                             New Fundraising Tool offers                                                                                                                                                  Brick Dedication
                             Personal Web Pages                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Americana at Brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 hosted the first 5k / 10k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Expedition Inspiration Run
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4 Her Life for Breast Cancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Research on Oct. 18.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Proceeds supported breast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 cancer research at the USC Norris

                                                                                                     Gift ANNouNcemeNts                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive Cancer Center
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and the Expedition Inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Annual Laura Evans Memorial
                                                                                                     • Eugene Hoffman and Valerie Foster Hoffman have                                                                                                            Breast Cancer Symposium.
    “The Web pages
    offer a chance for
                                                                                                      donated $1 million to support breast cancer research at                                                                                                        “We are grateful to be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 a part of this event that
 people to thank those                                                                                the USC norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Expedition Inspiration has

                                                                                                                                                                                            Brian Morri
     involved in their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 created to raise funds for          genetic causes of breast cancer,   and post-event party. In addition
cancer experience and                                                                                • LeeAnn and Ron Havner of the Havner Family Foundation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 breast cancer research,” says       we are positioned to attack this   to the competitive 5k / 10k
 share their stories in                                                                               have pledged a gift of $100,000 to fund the research of                                                                                                    Michael Press, M.D., Ph.D.,         deadly disease at its origin and   races, the event also offered a
   a personal way. ”                                                                                  michael Kahn, Ph.D., the Provost’s Professor of medicine
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Larry and Phyllis Marquardt near
                                                                                                                                                                                                          their brick in the Hinderstein Garden.                 professor of pathology at the       to prevent its development in      5k Family Fun Run / Walk on a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Keck School of Medicine of          thousands of women.”               USA Track & Field-sanctioned
                             Supporters of the USC Norris       manager for the Office of             and Pharmacy, by providing a fellowship in his lab. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Supporters of the USC Norris                           USC and the Harold E. Lee               The Americana at Brand,        and certified fast, flat course.
                             Comprehensive Cancer Center        Development, who helped               havners presented the first installment of $50,000 to Kahn                                                                                                 Chair for Cancer Research at        located in the heart of down-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive Cancer Center                                                                                                       For more information, visit
                             and Hospital have a new way        develop the USC Norris Tribute                                                                                                                                                                   USC Norris Comprehensive            town glendale, offered entrants
                                                                                                      at a special dinner on June 29.                                                                     gathered on April 5, to dedicate                                                                                    
                             to express themselves, just by     Funds. “The Web pages offer                                                                                                                                                                      Cancer Center. “As we learn         and guests a variety of live
                                                                                                                                                                                                          bricks engraved with names
                             going on the Web. USC Norris       a chance for people to thank                                                                                                                                                                     more about the molecular and        entertainment, a Health Expo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          of loved ones. Nearly 90 new
                             Tribute Funds are a unique         those involved in their cancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                          bricks have been added to the
                             opportunity to share stories of    experience and share their
                                                                                                                                                                                                          walkway in the Hinderstein
                             gratitude, memories and mile-
                             stones while raising money for
                                                                stories in a personal way.”
                                                                    The USC Norris Tribute
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Family Meditation Garden next             “We are grateful to be a part of this event that
                             a favorite cause at USC Norris.    Funds launched on July 1,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          to the Harlyne J. Norris Cancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Research Tower. Each brick is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Expedition Inspiration has created to raise funds
                                  Found online at www.          offering an easy-to-use online
                   ,      format. Supporters can choose
                                                                                                                                                                                                          engraved with a personal message
                                                                                                                                                                                                          creating a lasting legacy for both
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     for breast cancer research.”
                             “In Celebration” gifts are great   how their donations are used,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the giver and the USC Norris
                             ways to honor a special date,      or have them directed to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive Cancer Center.
                             remember loved ones or thank       general research fund where
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guests were welcomed to                                                                                                   SWinG aGainST CanCer
                             a caregiver. This online tool      they will be used for the center’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the garden by Cancer Center                                                                                                   The Sixth Annual Swing Against
                             allows users to create their       most critical needs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Director Peter A. Jones, Ph.D.,                                                                                               Cancer, held June 8 at the
                             own Web pages, share stories           “Every dollar counts and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            El Caballero Country Club in

                                                                                                                                                                               Steve Cohn
                                                                                                                                                                                                          D.Sc., and treated to a tour of the
                             and recruit others in the fight    makes a difference in advancing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tarzana, raised over $112,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                          USC Epigenome Center. The
                             against cancer. Three types of     cancer research and care,” says                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         for cancer research at the USC
                                                                                                                                                                                                          dedication drive raised $75,000                                                                                               Norris Comprehensive Cancer
                             funds are available: In Honor      Tonya Strom, assistant director
                                                                                                     DeSiGn, Jazz anD reSearCh                                                                            for cancer research.                                                                                                          Center. Nearly 100 golfers
                             (of special occasions such as      of development at USC Norris.
                                                                                                     Hosted by Keck School of Medicine alumnus Paul Toffel and his wife                                       if you would like more infor-                                                                                             enjoyed a beautiful day of golf,
                             anniversaries, weddings and        “Please help us spread the word      Beverly (far left) at their La Cañada estate on May 3, the Design, Jazz                                                                                                                                                            and 135 guests enjoyed dinner,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mation on dedicating a brick or
                             birthdays), In Memory, and In      and be sure to inform your doc-      and Research event aimed to raise awareness about head and neck                                                                                                                                                                    a research presentation by Jinha
                                                                                                                                                                                                          other ways to support the Norris,
                             gratitude (to a doctor, nurse,     tors and other caregivers that       cancers and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.                                                                                                                                                               Park, M.D., Ph.D., and a vocal
                                                                                                     USC supporters and donors were treated to a private tour of the                                      please contact Tonya Strom,                                                                                                   auction. Pictured from left:
                             caregiver or friend).              this new tool is available.”
                                                                                                     residence—named as the 2008 Pasadena Showcase House of Design—                                       Assistant Director of Develop-                                                                                                Aaron and Janie Zimmer, tour-
                                  “When people’s lives inter-       For more information, or
                                                                                                     and delicious food. Guests also heard a presentation by Keck School                                  ment, at                                                                                                      nament co-chairs; Peter Jones,
                             act with the USC Norris, strong    for help in using the USC Norris     otolaryngologist Uttam Sinha, M.D., (right) on his head and neck cancer                                                                                                                                                            Ph.D., D.Sc., director of the USC
                             relationships are formed,” says    Tribute Funds site, contact          research and enjoyed the comedy and singing of thyroid cancer survivor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Paul Lester
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Norris Comprehensive Cancer
                             Elliott Law, online programs       Strom at (323) 865-0700.             Joe Piscopo (center), best known as a former cast member of “Saturday                                                                                                                                                              Center; Sonny and Jerry
                                                                                                     Night Live.” Pictured alongside Sinha is his wife Sheila Kar, M.D.                                                                                                                                                                 Hollander, tournament co-chairs.

22 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               23
     Cancer Basics

            Clinical Trials 101
                                                                                                              physicians, statisticians, community advo-
                                                                                                              cates and others that ensure a clinical trial is
                                                                                                              ethical and the rights of study participants
                                                                                                              are protected. All institutions that conduct
                                                                                                              or support biomedical research involving
                                                                                                              people must, by federal regulation, have an
                                                                                                              iRB that initially approves and periodically
                                                                                                              reviews the research.
                                                                                                                  in addition, most institutions conduct-
                                                                                                              ing clinical trials have appointed an outside
                                                                                                              committee of scientific experts, called
                                                                                                              the Data Safety and Monitoring Board
                                                                                                              (or DSMB). The specific mission of the
                                                                                                              DSMB is to ensure that the trial is being
                                                                                                              properly conducted and that there are no
                                                                                                              problems with patient safety.
                                                                                                                  Before enrolling in a clinical trial, a
                                                                                                              participant must review an ‘informed                              WhaT i’ve learneD
                                                                                                              consent’ document with the trial staff or
                                                                                                              investigators, which clearly explains what
                                                                                                              will happen in the trial, including possible
                                                                                                                                                                                about CanCer
                                                                                                              side effects or risks.
                                                                                                                                                                                “ The human spirit is indeed
                                                                                                              Why are they important?
                                                                                                              Clinical trials are often the only way to                           resilient. out of something
             What is a Clinical Trial?                           For example, a trial may be evaluat-         answer very important scientific questions
             Clinical trials are essential in evaluating     ing whether or not a new experimental            that can affect the medical care, treatment
                                                                                                                                                                                  so devastating as the cancer
             new methods of preventing, diagnosing           drug reduces the risk of heart attacks in        guidelines, and health of the general public.                       ward, friendships, family and
             and treating diseases or conditions that        persons who have previously suffered a           Persons who participate in clinical trials
             have produced promising results in the          heart attack. individuals in that specific       therefore provide enormous contributions                            the kindness of strangers
                                                             population—people with a history of heart        to advances in biomedical research and ulti-
             laboratory. Studies are conducted across
             the country, relating to hundreds of diseases   attack—are potential candidates for a            mately to the types and manners of medical
                                                                                                                                                                                  surpasses anything in our
             or conditions, from depression and demen-       clinical trial. Persons interested in partici-   care provided to the public.                                        wildest imaginations. Faith
             tia, to cancer and pain control.                pating who think they may be eligible can
                                                             contact the trial staff to determine their                                                                           comes to the forefront of all
             How do I know if I am eligible?                 eligibility for the trial.
             Each clinical trial is designed to answer a
                                                                                                              For more information on clinical trials at                          of your daily activities.”
                                                                                                              the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
             research question in a specific population.     Are they safe?                                   and Hospital, visit                       — eileen SeYmOUr
             in addition, each clinical trial has specific   Clinical trials have several levels of over-     health/uscnorris/clinical_trials, or call the                        volunteer at the image enhancement Center,
             criteria, which a patient must meet to be       sight to ensure patient safety. Every clinical   Clinical Investigation Support Office at                             a specialty boutique established at the
             eligible to participate in the trial.           trial in the U.S. is required to be reviewed                                                                          USC norris Cancer hospital to assist women
                                                                                                              (323) 865-0451.
                                                                                                                                                                                   with appearance changes experienced during
                                                             and approved by an institutional Review
                                                                                                                                                                                   cancer treatment
                                                             Board—an independent committee of
                                                                                                                                                                 Van Urfalian

24 U S C n O r r iS C a nC e r r e P OrT | Fall 2009
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