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In the Business to Save Lives… - Roswell Park Cancer Institute


     for Doctors
              Updates on Cancer Advances and Patient Care

    In the Business to Save Lives…
    through Research, Prevention and Innovative Treatment

                                 In This
                                  A2 • Easing the
                                       “Growing Pains”
                                       of Childhood
                                       Cancer Survivors

                                  A4 • Campus News

                                  A7 • Welcome New Clinical Faculty
Easing the
                      By Daniel Green, MD, Director,
                     Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic and
                       Michael A. Zevon, PhD, Chair,
                              Psychosocial Oncology

        hildhood cancers, while relatively

C       uncommon, require a comprehensive
        plan of care. At Roswell Park Cancer
Institute (RPCI), we see about 60 pediatric
patients (age 15 and younger) with cancer each
year. The overall frequency of childhood cancer
in this country is approximately 125 new cases
per million per year. Children tend to get
different cancers than adults, with the majority
being brain tumors or tumors of mesodermal
origin, such as leukemias and lymphomas. The
overall survival rate for childhood cancer is
about 75%.
As children who have survived cancer grow into
adulthood, they seek answers to questions
related to their experiences with cancer.
     “Will the cancer recur when I’m older?”
     “What are the long-term effects of treatment?”
     “Can I have children, and if so, will my
      children be healthy?”
Long-term cancer survivors can experience
health risks related to their cancer treatment,


and both radiation and chemotherapy can lead to          news, especially since earlier there was a fair
new malignancies. The degree of risk appears to be       amount of concern about this issue.
related to an interplay of genetic, treatment and
                                                         At the same time, any emerging physical problem
environmental/lifestyle factors. We believe that
                                                         that’s associated with their initial treatment for
many genes can interact with cancer treatments
                                                         cancer may naturally trigger anxiety and sadness.
and ultimately lead to an increased risk for a new
                                                         During any period of developmental change,
cancer, but we are just starting to identify the
                                                         vulnerabilities may re-emerge, and these patients
specific genes. We do have epidemiological data
                                                         may need additional help in the form of
showing which treatment exposures are most
                                                         supportive psychological and social interventions.
likely to predispose to which new malignancies.
                                                         For example, consider a mother who is a long-
In addition, radiotherapy can damage the heart
                                                         term cancer survivor, and is about to have her first
valves and muscles, and also can lead to early
                                                         child. If concerns and anxieties about the potential
coronary artery disease. Treatment with
                                                         effects of treatment appear, the primary care
anthracyclines can lead to cardiomyopathy. This
                                                         physician needs to mobilize the family’s social
means primary care physicians need to closely
                                                         support system, refer for psychological support,
monitor these patients and emphasize regular
                                                         and help the survivor and family process this new
physical exams and tests for cholesterol levels, as
                                                         challenge. The physician will refer to whatever
well as counseling regarding smoking cessation,
                                                         community resources are most appropriate,
obesity and exercise.
                                                         depending on the patient’s needs. In addition,
Cancer treatment can affect fertility. Any direct        there are a number of cancer support groups on
radiation that reaches either both ovaries or both       the Internet, and they have emerged as substantial,
testes very likely will render a patient sterile, even   valuable support systems for long-term cancer
when the dose of radiation is low. Treatment with        survivors.
alkylating agents can also affect fertility; this is a
                                                         Cancervive -
dosage-related effect.
                                                         Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation -
The good news is that if a survivor of childhood
cancer does have children, as long as the cancer         Fertile Hope -
patient didn’t have a syndrome that genetically          Lance Armstrong Foundation -
predisposed them to cancer, there is little evidence
at present to suggest that their offspring are at        Children’s Oncology Group -
greater risk for either birth defects or subsequent
cancers. For example, neurofibromatosis is a             National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship -
medical syndrome that increases the risk of    
brain tumors, and predisposing conditions such as        National Cancer Institute – Office of Cancer
neurofibromatosis are often inheritable traits.          Survivorship -
However, aside from these specific predisposing          Association of Online Cancer Resources -
syndromes, the offspring of children who have  
survived cancer should be as healthy as any other
Recent studies have shown that, in terms of major        For more information on Roswell Park’s
developmental tasks, survivors of childhood              Long-term Follow-up Clinic for Survivors of
cancer are adjusting and coping well with the            Childhood Cancer, please visit our Web site at
usual developmental challenges. This is very good or call 716-845-2334.

                      Campus News

                                    Irwin Gelman, PhD

Scientists Discover Gene that                           Hevesi Calls Roswell Park
May Halt Cancer Spread                                  a Model for Other
Roswell Park researchers have discovered a gene
                                                        New York State Authorities
that shows promise in halting the spread of cancer      Roswell Park’s strong and effective internal
cells. Labeled SSeCKS/Gravin/AKAP12, the gene           financial controls and actively engaged board of
was discovered by Irwin Gelman, PhD, Vice Chair         directors make it a model for authorities and
of Genetics, and his laboratory colleagues.             public benefit corporations throughout New York
Identification of the gene is significant because       State, State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi (above,
most cancer deaths are caused by mestatases.            far left) said at a recent press conference at the
Gelman’s team found that the gene suppressed the        Institute.
formation of structures called podosomes, which         “While we have been sharply critical of many
cancer cells use to spread to nearby organs. Future     authorities and public benefit corporations around
research will focus on developing treatments to         New York State, Roswell Park is an example for
boost the gene’s effectiveness in halting the spread    other entities of how to manage public funds
of cancer.                                              wisely and safeguard against wrongdoing,” Hevesi
An article about the discovery, co-authored by          said. “Its exceptionally strong systems of internal
Gelman and Lingqui Gao, is featured on the cover        financial controls and board of directors’ careful
of the March 2006 issue of Molecular Cancer             monitoring of finances and operations help to
Research.                                               ensure that the taxpayer dollars that go to support
                                                        Roswell Park are well-spent.”


Music to Our Ears:                                     Robotic Surgery for Bladder Cancer
Roswell Park Among First to Offer                      Roswell Park is among the
Audio/Video Podcasts                                   first centers in the country
                                                       to offer state-of-the-art
                    Roswell Park is now offering       robotic-assisted surgery to
                    audio and video podcasts           patients with bladder cancer.
                     through its Web site, and
                                                       The pioneering technique
                                                       offers patients a less
                     These podcasts include
                                                       invasive treatment option
                   interviews and video news
                                                       that has several potential
               releases about new services and
                                                       advantages over traditional
initiatives. As cited in a recent issue of Lancet,
                                                       open surgery – less post-operative pain, fewer
Roswell Park is one of the first hospitals and the
                                                       hospital days, speedier recovery.
first comprehensive cancer center in the nation to
broadcast stories using this medium. Visitors to       Using the advanced computer technology of the
the Roswell Park Web site (        robotic da Vinci® Surgical System, surgeons are
can subscribe to the broadcast service. As new         able to see vital anatomical structures more clearly
content is uploaded, subscribers will receive files    and perform surgical procedures more precisely.
automatically.                                         The technology extends the surgeon’s capabilities
                                                       by providing a three-dimensional view of the
                                                       operating field and improves access to the surgical
                                                       site through small ports that eliminate the need for
By Invitation Only:                                    large incisions. The system also gives surgeons the
                                                       ability to rotate instruments 360 degrees.
Roswell Park Joins
Cancer Consortium
Roswell Park has been invited to join Dana-Farber
                                                       Huben Professorship Realized with
Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; H. Lee Moffitt           Help from $250K Challenge Gift
Cancer Center & Research Center, Tampa, FL;
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, MN, and          A $250,000 Challenge Gift from
the Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada, as members       local civic leaders and
of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium            philanthropists Tom and Nancy
(MMRC). The MMRC is a non-profit                       Naples O’Neill completed the
organization that integrates the research efforts of   fundraising for the Dr. Robert P.
leading academic institutions to accelerate drug       Huben Endowed Professorship
development for this rare disease.                     in Urologic Oncology. The
                                                       endowed professorship honors
MMRC criteria for membership include a large           Dr. Huben’s 24 years of
portfolio of National Institutes of Health peer-       compassionate patient care, and will provide
reviewed grant awards, peer-reviewed                   funding for urologic oncology research and
publications, extraordinary scientific endeavors,      education. Over $750,000 has been raised.
renowned clinical expertise, significant numbers       Following a six-month medical leave, Dr. Huben
of multiple myeloma patients and physicians            has returned to work. He is the first to hold the
referrals, and a collaborative approach to science.    professorship named in his honor.

High Noon for
EHR Launch
A fully integrated electronic health record system
went “live” on May 20 at Roswell Park, making
a significant improvement in the way the Institute
manages patient records.
The Ambulatory and Acute Care Electronic
Health Record (EHR) System, part of the
comprehensive Sunrise Project, enables physicians,
nurses and other caregivers to enter orders, chart
and document patient information electronically
and transmit orders/documents electronically to
the point of patient care; thereby, minimizing        NCCN Expert Panel
delays, eliminating paper, creating an electronic
record and making all information accessible to
                                                      Discusses Cancer Care
other care providers simultaneously.                  in the 21st Century
                                                      Roswell Park President & CEO David C. Hohn,
All Clear!                                            MD, (above, seated second from right) joined a
On July 4, 2006, Roswell Park Cancer Institute        panel of cancer experts and national policymakers
declared its independence from smoking, and its       to confer on cancer care in the 21st century at the
entire campus became smoke-free.                      National Comprehensive Cancer Network annual
This means that smoking is                            meeting in Hollywood, FL. Dr. Hohn is the
not allowed anywhere on                               current NCCN Chairman. ABC News
the Institute’s campus.                               Correspondent and Anchor Sam Donaldson (at
According to Roswell                                  podium) served as panel moderator.
Park President & CEO
                                                      Other members of the panel included: Martin D.
Dr. David C. Hohn:
                                                      Abeloff, MD, Director, the Sidney Kimmel
“Going smoke-free is all
                                                      Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins;
about safeguarding the health
                                                      Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, President, Dana-Farber
and welfare of every individual who walks
                                                      Cancer Institute; Senator Connie Mack, Chairman,
through our doors each day.”
                                                      H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research
The new smoke-free initiative goes the distance to    Institute at the University of South Florida; Beryl
demonstrate that America’s oldest cancer center,      McCormick, MD, Clinical Director, Department
through its leadership, example, resources and        of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering
services, is true to its mission to prevent cancer.   Cancer Center; John Mendelsohn, MD, President,
Roswell Park will continue to offer smoking           The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer
cessation classes, essential resources and            Center; John E. Niederhuber, MD, Deputy
compassionate support to all smokers (employees,      Director, National Cancer Institute; Margaret A.
patients and visitors alike) who will use this        Tempero, MD, Director of Clinical Sciences and
opportunity to quit smoking. For more                 Deputy Director, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer
information or to register for smoking cessation      Center; and Robert C. Young, MD, President, Fox
classes, call 716-845-8046 or 845-8513.               Chase Cancer Center.

Snip! Snip!
On June 2, 2006, the Roswell
Park Cancer Institute campus
hosted the ribbon-cutting event      Prasanna Kumar, MD   Saurin Popat, MD   Johnny Yap, MD    David Cho, MD

for the launch of two major life
sciences facilities – the Roswell
Park Cancer Institute Center for
Genetics and Pharmacology and
                                    Welcome New Clinical Faculty
the New York State Center of
Excellence in Bioinformatics and    PATHOLOGY AND                                    RADIATION MEDICINE
Life Sciences (CoE). Governor       LABORATORY MEDICINE
                                                                                     JOHNNY YAP, MD
George E. Pataki was among the      DAN M. IANCU, MD, MSc                            Hailing from Cedars-Sinai
invited speakers who celebrated
                                    A former research scientist at                   Comprehensive Cancer Center,
the opening of this long-awaited    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center                      Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Yap is a
and needed research space.          in Houston, TX, Dr. Iancu’s                      specialist in high-dose
                                    research interests focus on the                  brachytherapy and image-
The Center for Genetics and         role of serum tumor markers in                   enhanced radiation treatment
Pharmacology will house two         the diagnosis of metastatic                      techniques (utility of conformal
world-renowned scientific teams,    breast and prostate cancer, and                  treatment, intensity modulation
representing the best and           immunoglobulin free light chain                  and image-guidance).
brightest in cancer genetics        analysis in patients with multiple
                                    myeloma.                                         DAVID CHO, MD
research and new cancer drug
development. It is one part of      DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY                             Dr. David Cho, appointed to the
the new Life Sciences Complex                                                        faculty of Roswell Park, will
                                    PRASANNA KUMAR, MD                               serve as the on-site Medical
which includes the CoE and the
                                    Dr. Prasanna Kumar hails from                    Director of Radiation Medicine
Hauptman-Woodward Medical                                                            at Cayuga Medical Center
                                    Jackson Memorial Hospital,
Research Institute.                                                                  (CMC) in Ithaca, NY.
                                    Miami, FL, where he completed
                                    fellowships in Body, Thoracic                    Affiliated with RPCI since 2004,
                                    and Breast Imaging.                              CMC provides radiation therapy
                                                                                     services to cancer patients in
                                    HEAD & NECK AND
                                                                                     Ithaca, and the Finger Lakes
                                                                                     region. The affiliation elevates
                                                                                     cancer services in Ithaca and the
                                    SAURIN R. POPAT, MD                              surrounding areas to a higher
                                    Dr. Popat served as Director of                  level, and serves as a model for
                                    Head & Neck Oncology at the                      community-based delivery of
                                    James P. Wilmot Cancer Center                    advanced cancer care.
                                    in Rochester, NY. His research                   Dr. Cho most recently served as
                                    focuses on microvascular                         Medical Director, Southeast
                                    reconstruction of the head and                   Regional Cancer Center, and
                                    neck, skull base surgery, thyroid                Staff Radiation Oncologist,
                                    and parathyroid disease and                      Capital Regional Medical Center,
                                    laser surgery.                                   both located in Tallahassee, FL.

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