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PSYCHOSOCIAL COUNSELING

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					    Patient and Family Services:

    PSYCHOSOCIAL COUNSELING



    T   he Psychosocial Cancer Counseling Service at the
    Abramson Cancer Center becomes essential as treatments               As a mother, grandmother, and high school counselor, Karen
    become more complex and successful. Patients and their               Hoffman was used to solving other people’s problems. But
    family members are seen at any point throughout the course
                                                                         after learning about the psychosocial counseling program
    of their care, including times of increased distress such as
    diagnosis or the beginning of treatment, after treatment as          offered to patients of the Abramson Cancer Center, Karen
    they attempt to reintegrate into their lives, at follow-up           knew that this supportive service could help her through her
    appointments or scans, and at any other time when                    breast cancer experience. Karen started counseling a month
    psychosocial needs may arise.                                        before her mastectomy, and her counselor, Greg Garber,
                                                                         pictured below, was by her side throughout her treatments,

    The psychosocial counseling program at Penn has four                 and even attended her celebratory party thrown by friends and
    team members. Our counselors are experienced and                     family after she finished chemotherapy. She still sees Greg,
    caring professionals who have a combined total counseling            and in September 2005, Karen resumed working as a
    experience of more than 60 years.
                                                                         counselor to others.


    While our patients also see therapists in their communities, many of these counselors do not have a specialization in cancer
    care. The staff in our Psychosocial Counseling Service has developed expertise with cancer patients by attending national
    conferences, staying abreast of emerging oncology and psychosocial research, and integrating it into practice. Our trained
    specialists collaborate with professionals nationally who are on the cutting-edge of psycho-oncology.



    In the past year, our counselors helped more than 1,000 patients in 13 different cancer areas. The numbers and patient
    experiences like Karen Hoffman’s speak for themselves. Our counseling service is a valuable and dynamic resource for the
    Abramson Cancer Center’s patients and their families.




    Left to right: Gregory Garber, MSW, LCSW,
    Dr. Ruth Steinman, Neal Niznan, MSW, LCSW,
    Margaret Lazar, MS, MSW, LCSW




9
                                                                                      Kristi Elder lived cancer free for 12 years after
                                                                                      treatments in her mid-20s for a rare cancer.
                                                                                      While coming to Penn for routine follow-up, a
                                                                                      staff member recognized that Kristi could
                                                                                      benefit from our survivorship program. In
                                                                                      Kristi’s first visit with our Living Well After
                                                                                      Cancer program, she and the Director, Linda
Patient and Family Services:                                                          Jacobs, PhD, CRNP, simply talked for over an
                                                                                      hour about her life. Kristi received personal
SURVIVORSHIP AND CANCER REHABILITATION
                                                                                      counseling and referrals to specialists to deal
                                                                                      with specific side effects from her cancer


A    t the Abramson Cancer Center, we know that after successful cancer
treatment, the cancer experience does not end. We became the first center
                                                                                      treatment. This past year, Kristi was again
                                                                                      diagnosed with the same form of cancer. Her
                                                                                      physician at Penn has enrolled her in a clinical
in the country to begin a program for cancer survivors, called Living Well
                                                                                      trial, and she credits the Living Well After
After Cancer. Our survivorship program, supported by a generous grant
from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, is a national model of excellence for            Cancer program with bringing her to a place
other cancer centers.                                                                 emotionally and physically where she can
                                                                                      handle this recurrence and be hopeful about
                                                                                      the future.
A survivor may develop medical problems related to their cancer treatment,
such as heart disease. Or a survivor may be concerned about the genetic
risk of their children or siblings for developing cancer. Survivors have a
range of physical and psychological issues. Our Living Well After Cancer
program assists cancer survivors with these special medical and quality of
life issues.



After an initial visit, the Living Well After Cancer team creates a
personalized plan for each survivor which provides a road map for action.
Survivors can receive coordinated nutritional, genetic or psychosocial
counseling and attend patient education programs.



An important clinical program that complements treatment plans and our survivorship program is the Cancer Rehabilitation
Program. The cancer rehabilitation team is comprised of physical and occupational therapists trained to work with cancer
patients to reduce physical symptoms from treatments and allow patients to regain their quality of life. Our specialists help
patients do simple exercises or weight training, deal with fatigue, or learn how to adjust to changes in their body after surgery
or other procedures. Research in this area has also improved quality of life. For example, a study found that contrary to
current advice, breast cancer survivors can safely do upper body exercises and not increase their risk of lymphedema.



The goals of the Living Well After Cancer and the Cancer Rehabilitation Programs are to connect patients with important
needed services, reduce the trauma of cancer and its treatment, and further our understanding of cancer to improve current
treatments and the quality of life of our patients.




Left to right: Joseph Carver, M.D.,
Steven C. Palmer, Ph.D.,
David J. Vauhgn, M.D., Anna T.
Meadows, M.D., Margaret Lazar,
MS, MSW, LCSW, Linda A.
Jacobs, Ph.D., Kathryn H.
Schmitz, Ph.D., MPH, Jo
H. Midkiff, BFA, BAJMC,
Carrie Tompkins
Stricker, MSN, CRNP,
AOCN
                                                                                                                                          10
     Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute:

     BASIC SCIENCE



     T   he Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer
     Research Institute (Abramson Institute) of the University of          Immediately after being told by his primary care physician that
     Pennsylvania is committed to advancing basic research
                                                                           the Abramson Cancer Center is one of the best cancer
     innovations that improve our understanding of cancer. The
     Abramson Institute serves as the forum and inspiration for            institutions in the country, Andrew Vartanian made his first
     integrating cancer research at the Abramson Cancer Center             appointment. After standard treatments did not work, Andrew’s
     and has enabled the recruitment of the nation’s foremost              medical team at Penn decided to try a relatively new drug,
     scientists to Penn.
                                                                           Erbitux®, a genetically engineered antibody that targets a
                                                                           natural protein on the surface of cancer cells and interferes

     At the Abramson Institute, faculty and staff focus on creating        with their growth. After this therapy, Andrew’s cancer
     knowledge. We are investing resources to understand the               stabilized. Andrew’s wife accompanies him to his weekly
     biology and genetics behind cancer and answer the most                check-ups where he remains very positive because “the top
     basic questions about cancer. What causes a cell to lose its
                                                                           professionals in cancer care are totally focused on my care.”
     instinct to die when damaged, allowing a malignant tumor to
     form? What cellular biomarkers will improve prevention and
     early diagnosis? What enzymes will trigger a response to treatment?



     While our scientists have made breakthroughs in understanding more common cancers like breast, lung, prostate, and
     testicular, we are also making advances in the discovery of genetic markers for rarer forms of cancer, such
     as pheochromocytoma — associated with the adrenal glands.



     Our scientists and clinicians are focused on understanding the genetic susceptibility for testicular cancer. Penn has done the
     largest genetic study of testicular cancer to date with an international collaboration of 18 groups. Our research team has
     identified a deletion on the Y chromosome associated with testicular cancer and also associated with male infertility. This
     breakthrough seems to link the two conditions genetically. Another promising discovery is the identification of a genetic
     change associated with differences in testosterone metabolism as a risk factor for testicular cancer.



     Abramson Institute laboratories are also examining the genetic changes in the deadliest form of skin cancer — melanoma —
     as the disease progresses. Penn faculty members have used the sequencing of genes to identify genetic variants that might
     be indicative of response to molecularly targeted therapy.



     Left to right:
     Drs. John Maris,
     Lewis Chodosh,
     Craig Bassing,
     Craig B. Thompson,
     J. Alan Diehl,
     M. Celeste Simon




11
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute:

BASIC SCIENCE



O    ur faculty is nationally recognized for their contributions to cancer
research. Craig Thompson, M.D., Scientific Director of the Abramson
Institute and the newly appointed Director of the Abramson Cancer Center,
is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Dr.
Thompson has pioneered the study of a family of genes (Bcl-2) that
regulates cell survival under duress. His team recently demonstrated that a
metabolic enzyme works through the tumor-suppressor protein, p53, to
control cellular replication. A fuller understanding of this process could lead
to new therapies that stop both the growth and spread of tumors.



Celeste Simon, Ph.D., heads a laboratory team that has made
breakthroughs leading to new drug therapies. She has proven that hypoxia
inducible factor, or HIF, plays an essential role in the development of blood cells and vessels. She also has shown that some
gene mutations stimulate production of HIF. By learning how to control HIF activity, Dr. Simon's research could hold a key to
destroying tumors without the use of radiation or chemotherapy.



In the field of immunology, Gary Koretzky, M.D., Ph.D., has identified several proteins that play a critical role in activating
T cells, which attack viruses and other infections in the body. A deeper understanding of how these proteins function could
lead to innovative drugs that control immune reactions.



Another laboratory team used a newly developed drug screen to discover small molecular compounds that are able to
perform the functions of a gene commonly mutated in many types of cancer. By combining molecular imaging techniques
with human cancer cell cultures and animal model approaches, the researchers were able to reveal the ability of the
compounds to kill human tumor cells. These findings emphasize the growing role of advanced imaging technology in aiding
the development of individualized cancer treatments.



Researchers at the Abramson Institute are making medical discoveries with wide implications. Recently, our scientists found
a mutation in a tumor suppressor gene that causes pancreatic islet cells to reproduce. Not only is this a basic cancer biology
discovery, but it also has implications for treating Type 1 diabetes, the more critical form of the disease where the pancreas
cannot produce insulin.



The resources and technology are in place at Penn for major cancer research breakthroughs. However, it is the personal
commitment to creating new knowledge by the Abramson Institute faculty and staff and the vision of Leonard and Madlyn
Abramson and their family that is advancing discovery and leading to innovative treatments for patients with cancer.




                                                                                                                                  12
     Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute:

     TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE



     P  roviding hope to cancer patients and their families is the
     foundation for the research underway at the Abramson                      Harvey Harris is a renaissance man. Now enjoying retirement
     Cancer Center. Under the guidance of Carl June, M.D., the
                                                                               with his wife, he has a studio at his home where he enjoys
     Translational Research Program seeks to quickly move
     discoveries in the laboratory to new treatments in the clinic to          making pottery and sculptures. Harvey credits this second
     benefit cancer patients. The translational research team                  phase of life to the experimental treatment he received at
     takes knowledge gained through basic research to develop                  Penn. After three decades working around asbestos, he was
     new therapies. Our goal is to revolutionize standard
                                                                               diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer. After
     treatments to cure more cancer patients.
                                                                               receiving gene therapy and immunotherapy drugs during two
                                                                               clinical trials, Harvey’s cancer has stabilized and with a
     Immunotherapy is a priority field of cancer research that            renewed spirit, he can again focus on his artistic passions and
     explores how to activate a patient’s immune system to fight          family life.
     cancer and the development of vaccines. The Abramson
     Institute approach is two-fold: develop disease specific or
     individualized cancer vaccines as a new form of treatment and test whether patient-specific tumor vaccines can prevent
     tumors from developing in patients who have an increased risk of developing cancer. This innovative approach to new
     therapeutics and prevention may increase survivorship and reduce cancer occurrence in the years to come.



     For example, adoptive immunotherapy uses a patient's own white blood cells to attack cancer cells. The patient's white blood
     cells are stimulated in the laboratory and then given back to the patient via transfusion. Another approach being tested is
     customized vaccination. Abramson immunologists are working with Abramson Cancer Center thoracic surgeons and medical
     oncologists to develop treatment vaccines for patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors cannot be removed
     surgically or whose cancer has spread. The team is using the patient's own tumor tissue to create a vaccine customized for
     that individual. This approach already has promising clinical and scientific results.



     Harvey Harris was not responding to traditional cancer treatments when he came to Penn. Daniel Sterman, M.D., his
     physician at the Abramson Cancer Center and a member of our translational research team, enrolled Harvey in a gene
     therapy clinical trial. Harvey responded so well to the first round of treatment that he became the first person to receive a
     second dose of the experimental drug. Now our researchers are recruiting other patients with the same kind of rare cancer
     to participate in the study.




     Left to right: Drs. Caryn Lerman,
     Robert Vonderheide, Mark Greene,
     Carl June




13
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute:

TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE



W     orking together, our scientists and clinicians have created vaccines designed specifically for individual leukemia,
lymphoma, ovarian, breast and other types of cancer. Cancer vaccines are a new approach that many scientists consider
pivotal to the next generation of treatment.



The Abramson Institute laboratory of George Coukos, M.D., Ph.D., is a national leader in ovarian cancer immunotherapy and
is pioneering innovative clinical trials to achieve improved patient outcomes. Most ovarian tumors are responsive to
chemotherapy, giving patients long remissions. For those whose cancer recurs, Penn immunologists are working with
gynecologic surgeons and other oncologists to inject the chemotherapy agent interleukin 12 directly into the abdominal
cavity rather than through the vein and to use white blood cells called dendritic cells to increase the effectiveness of vaccines.



The Abramson Institute is on the cusp of new therapy development and leads national clinical trials, providing important
access to innovative care options to patients at the Abramson Cancer Center and throughout the Delaware Valley. As an
example, Robert Vonderheide, M.D., and his team is conducting a national clinical trial studying the effects of an
immunotherapy drug that stimulates the immune system in patients with multiple different forms of cancer. Twenty out of
30 participants enrolled in this study are Penn patients.



The flexibility and shared resources provided to Abramson Institute investigators allows them to pursue ideas without
traditional challenges in other laboratories and helps attract nationally-recognized researchers to Penn. Craig Bassing,
Ph.D., recently joined the Abramson Cancer Center from the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bassing is an emerging leader in
the fields of molecular immunology and DNA repair. He was one of the first researchers to show that a specific protein has
an effect on how DNA repairs itself.



The infrastructure at PENN Medicine allows Abramson Institute researchers to work at an accelerated pace in an integrated
environment. For example, our newly expanded and NCI–approved Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility, led by Bruce
Levine, Ph.D., manufactures cancer vaccines and other cell-based therapies for individual patients. This core laboratory has
facilitated the initiation of more than 14 clinical trials exploring unique new therapies.



The Abramson Institute translational research team is fueling the science of new therapies, changing the landscape of
traditional cancer treatment, and providing new hope to patients with cancer.




Left to right: Drs. Ben Z. Stanger,
Warren S. Pear, Bruce Levine




                                                                                                                                     14
     Radiation Oncology




     P   enn’s Department of Radiation Oncology is one of the
     largest and most respected clinical services in the Greater             Tracey Reiser is a naturally upbeat woman and happily married
     Philadelphia region, and ranks first in the nation in research          to Tom for 32 years. They moved to New Hope a few years ago,
     grants from the National Institutes of Health. More                     but they still regularly travel back to California to visit their five
     importantly, we have powerful technologies to tailor therapies
                                                                             adult children. So, it came as a shock when she was diagnosed
     to our patients.
                                                                             in 2003 with an inoperable tumor of an “unknown primary."
                                                                             Tom remained by her side every second as she went through
     One important tool is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy             treatment at the Abramson Cancer Center, where she “felt so
     (IMRT), which sends computer-guided radiation to a tumor                cared for.” It was on a return checkup in January 2005 that
     from several different directions, allowing higher doses of
                                                                             Tracey was told the cancer had returned. Around this time, she
     radiation to be delivered to the tumor with greater precision.
     While IMRT is a relatively new therapy that is typically used           opened her door early one morning to find her stepson had
     for some types of prostate and most head and neck cancers,              taken a red-eye flight from San Francisco to surprise her with
     Penn is expanding its use to other types of cancer, including           a huge armful of tulips. Tracey felt “supported and loved” from
     breast, liver and thyroid.
                                                                             all of her family throughout her care and today, scans reveal
                                                                             the tumor is essentially undetectable.

     Penn is a national leader in Photodynamic Therapy (PDT),
     which uses light-sensitive medication together with low-level
     beams of light to destroy cancer cells. Currently, PDT is used to treat melanoma, esophageal, ovarian, and lung cancer, and
     new uses continue to be explored.



     The Department will relocate to the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine in 2008. This state-of-the-
     art facility will enhance the patient’s experience and deliver innovative cancer care. In June, the University of Pennsylvania
     Trustees also approved the construction of a Proton Therapy Center. Proton therapy is a new and precise form of radiation
     treatment for cancers such as prostate, brain and cranial tumors, lung and thoracic, head and neck, pediatric, and
     gastrointestinal. Proton therapy will revolutionize cancer treatment by increasing the radiation dose to tumors and
     decreasing damage to normal adjacent tissues, thereby improving outcomes and reducing side effects. Penn will launch
     research that will advance the applications for proton therapy alone and in combination with chemotherapy and surgery.



     By creating a single radiation oncology facility that integrates traditional radiation therapy and proton therapy, Penn will have
     the only comprehensive program of its kind in the country immediately adjacent to the outpatient practices of our leading
     NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Penn’s investment in proton therapy and radiation oncology and our
     integrated approach to medicine will secure our position as a national leader in cancer care.




     Left to right: Drs. Harry Quon,
     Lawrence J. Solin, Gary Kao, Voika
     BarAd, James M. Metz,
     Stephen M. Hahn, Zelig Tochner,
     Amit Maity, Eli Glatstein


15
                                                                                    While Julia, her two-year-old daughter, was
                                                                                    being treated for a rare pediatric cancer,
                                                                                    Kimberly Gavaletz was diagnosed with breast
                                                                                    cancer. Kimberly’s view is that your health is
                                                                                    just a “state of mind.” Even during her
                                                                                    treatment, including advanced surgery to
                                                                                    remove 37 lymph nodes, she never became
Surgical Oncology                                                                   depressed. If she was tired, she would force
                                                                                    herself to go outside to work in her garden.
                                                                                    Her friends were supportive during her cancer
                                                                                    experience, and brought her so much food that


S   urgery remains a cornerstone of cancer treatment. Recent advances in
surgical techniques have led to more minimally invasive surgeries for a
                                                                                    she gained weight during chemotherapy.
                                                                                    Kimberly and Julia are now both healthy and
                                                                                    still positive towards life.
range of cancers including breast, lung, colon, and prostate. As a result,
today’s surgery is less traumatic and results in less discomfort and shorter
hospital stays.



Penn’s distinguished Department of Surgery, led by Larry Kaiser, M.D.,
includes nationally prominent surgical oncologists who specialize in each
type of cancer and conduct leading edge research to improve patient
outcomes. In our multidisciplinary setting, physicians at the Abramson
Cancer Center closely collaborate to coordinate surgery, chemotherapy, and
radiation therapy for patients. Overall, the integrated cancer specialties
improve long-term care at Penn. For example, the Pancreatic Cancer Group
meets formally on a monthly basis to review results, plan new protocols,
and to share information across disciplines.



Our surgeons are also actively involved in research that will lead to surgical innovations to benefit their patients. This
research and advances in imaging are allowing physicians to make more sophisticated and exact diagnoses. Molecular
biology has allowed Penn physicians to detect cancer earlier, define high and low risk populations, and allow more individual
“tailoring” of surgical and other therapies.



Our commitment is to remain in the forefront of the field of surgical oncology so that the patients and families we serve can
have the comfort of knowing that they are receiving the latest treatments available anywhere. Most recently, robotic surgery is
being used for some prostate and head and neck cancer patients. Surgical oncology will continue to be less invasive, more
sophisticated in technique, and better integrated with other therapies through our multidisciplinary teams at the Abramson
Cancer Center.




Left to right: Drs. Douglas L.
Fraker, Francis R. Spitz,
Brian J. Czerniecki, Rachel
R. Kelz




                                                                                                                                     16
     Rena Rowan Breast Center




     T   he Abramson Cancer Center is home to the renowned
     Rena Rowan Breast Center. The Rowan Center is a model of                 Rosalinda “Linda” Madara is a loving wife and mother and
     patient care excellence where all clinical services a woman
                                                                              works as a florist and wedding planner. However, to the staff at
     facing breast cancer may need are located in one convenient
     location, including integrated cancer treatments,                        the Rena Rowan Breast Center, Linda is the “Cookie Fairy.”
     psychosocial counseling, cancer risk evaluation, and                     During her breast cancer treatments, Linda would bring in
     nutrition counseling.                                                    sweets each morning for the faculty and staff. Her desserts
                                                                              were such a hit that Larry Solin, M.D., her radiation oncologist,
                                                                              suggested that she write a cookbook. Linda started writing that
     Beyond compassionate patient care, we are committed to
     funding leading edge research. We were recognized for                   summer, and she completed her 300 recipe cookbook titled,
     preeminence in the field when Penn was named a “Breast                  “Sweet Treats and Other Less Sinful Recipes” in 2005. She
     Cancer Center of Excellence” by the Department of Defense               underwrote all of the publishing costs, and the book is now
     last year — one of only 14 sites in the country. Our breast
                                                                             sold in the Rowan Center Boutique with all proceeds going to
     cancer research team, under the leadership of Lewis
                                                                             support breast cancer research and patient programs.
     Chodosh, M.D., Ph.D., and Angela DeMichele, M.D., is
     exploring many aspects of breast cancer prevention,
     diagnosis, treatment, recurrence, and survivorship.
     Dr. Chodosh’s genetics laboratory is studying the biologic effects of pregnancy among women who have children at a younger
     age to better understand their lower-risk of breast cancer. Dr. Chodosh’s goal is to determine if there is a gene or protein
     activated during pregnancy that prevents breast cancer, and then identify a way to use that knowledge to benefit all women.



     The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has recognized the outstanding work of our breast cancer research program and
     provides grant funding to Dr. Chodosh, and Drs. Kate Nathanson, Stacy Gray, and Larry Solin. Our laboratories are mapping
     the genetic changes that occur in breast cancers among women with no significant family history, women with multiple
     family members who have breast cancer, and African American women who have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The
     research goal is to isolate more specific genes, beyond the known BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations, that may increase susceptibility
     to breast cancer. We are also studying radiation as part of breast cancer treatment plans to maximize cure rates, minimize
     recurrence, and reduce the long-term cardiac side effects. Abramson Cancer Center faculty are also relentlessly advancing
     the discovery of a breast cancer vaccine.



     These and other breakthroughs are exciting opportunities and demonstrate our leadership in breast cancer research and
     compassionate patient care at the Rena Rowan Breast Center.




     Left to right: Drs.
     Julia Tchou, Susan
     Domchek, Kevin Fox,
     Marcia Boraas,
     John H. Glick,
     Carol Kaplan,
     Angela
     DeMichele

17
                                                                                   Edward Miller visited the top cancer centers in
                                                                                   the country after an examination of a mole in
                                                                                   his left ear led to a diagnosis of Stage III
                                                                                   Melanoma. He heard about a cancer vaccine
                                                                                   trial at Penn and started commuting from
                                                                                   Connecticut each month to participate. While in

Melanoma and Skin Cancers                                                          the trial, the cancer metastasized to his liver.
                                                                                   About a year ago, his same Penn doctor was
                                                                                   starting a Phase II drug clinical trial. Edward
                                                                                   took another chance and enrolled. Within four



I t is an exciting time in melanoma research. The Abramson Cancer
Center is one of the largest and most distinguished skin cancer research
                                                                                   months, his liver tumor became virtually
                                                                                   undetectable. When he was first diagnosed
                                                                                   with cancer, Edward was dating Chris. They
groups in the country. Our faculty members are on the cusp of discovering          recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.
new treatments for melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer.              Where there is hope, love and life will flourish.
In addition, our physicians in the Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinic
are determined to provide the best possible care tailored to a patient’s
unique needs.



Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center is one of two institutions nationally to
receive the National Cancer Institute "Special Programs of Research
Excellence" (SPORE) grant in skin cancers. Penn is working with the Wistar
Institute on studying several novel approaches to preventing and treating
skin cancers. As one example, at Penn, we have created a national model
for screening melanoma. In the Melanoma Risk Evaluation Program, we
offer information, evaluation, and genetic counseling for people who may be
at increased risk for developing melanoma.



In March, scientists funded by the SPORE grant announced that it may be possible to create a vaccine to treat melanoma and
predict that about a third of melanoma patients would benefit from such a vaccine. In the study, the scientists used a small
protein called a peptide found in approximately 70 percent of melanomas, but not in normal cells. The researchers used this
peptide to stimulate immune cells — called killer T cells — to attack melanoma cells. Human clinical trials are on the
horizon to test this treatment.



Our researchers are focused on therapies that target abnormalities that are unique to melanoma. One team has found that
sorafenib, which blocks several enzymes that are overactive in melanoma, enhances the effect of chemotherapy significantly.
In the Phase I trial, seven out of 10 patients had dramatic results with sorafenib. This Penn strategy is now being tested
nationally in new clinical trials.



We are also investigating new drugs that appear more effective than sorafenib at blocking BRAF, a key enzyme in melanoma.
The result of these clinical trials and other Abramson Cancer Center research may establish more effective and tolerable
therapies, while identifying the factors that contribute to increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers.


Left to right:
Drs. Meenhard Herlyn,
Keith Flaherty,
George Xiaowei Xu,
Rose Elenitsas,
Michael Ming,
David Elder,
Lynn Schuchter,
Dupont Guerry


                                                                                                                                       18

				
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