Kristie Blum, MD, a specialist in leukemia and lymphoma at Ohio State University Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, is one of two recipients of the Junior Faculty Award from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Foundation. The Award, sponsored by Novartis Oncology, will give Dr. Blum $40,000 a year for the next two years to support her research.
David M. Goldenberg, ScD, MD, founder and President of the Garden State Cancer Center and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology in Belleville, NJ, received the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 2005 Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Nuclear Medicine Science and the Inventor of the Year award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey. The awards recognized his pioneering work in the development of monoclonal antibodies for cancer detection and treatment.
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will inaugurate a new research institute, launched with a $10 million gift from Tennessee businessman Jim Ayers, to develop techniques to detect cancers at their earliest, most curable stages. Research at the new center, called the Jim Ayers Institute for Pre-Cancer Detection and Diagnosis, will focus on identifying patterns of protein expression that signal the presence of precancer and early cancer and help predict how tumors will behave so that the most effective treatment can be selected. The Ayers Institute will be a “virtual institute,” including personnel and technology in various areas of the cancer center.
Also at Vanderbilt, Christine Chung, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, received the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation/Lilly Clinical Investigator Award. The Award will provide $750,000 over five years to support Dr. Chung's work on the use of DNA microarray technology to identify patterns of gene expression to predict which patients with head and neck cancers are likely to experience a recurrence and which recurrent tumors will respond to specific chemotherapies. The award also will retire up to $100,000 in medical school debt.
Laurie Gaspar, MD, MBA, Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, was named the David F. and Margaret Turley Grohne Professor of Clinical Oncology.
Robert Garcea, MD, Professor of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, received a $3.5 million grant from the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, a major effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs against diseases that kill millions of people each year in the world's poorest countries. Dr. Garcea and his colleagues will use the grant money to work on the development of an inexpensive therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has established a new Cancer Vaccine Center, which will be organized around two groups of core facilities—human immunology and clinical trials support. Ellis Reinherz, MD, Director of the Center, will head the human immunology core components, including bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, structural immunology, and immune monitoring. Jerome Ritz, MD, is overseeing the clinical trials support cores, which focus on vaccine manufacturing, clinical reagents, and clinical and regulatory support. Glenn Dranoff, MD, will direct clinical trials.
The University of California Davis Cancer Center received $4.48 million from the NCI to fund a new nationwide effort aimed at reducing cancer in Asian-Americans. The new effort, called the Asian-American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training, unites cancer-control experts from the California Department of Health Services; University of California, San Francisco; UCLA; University of Hawaii; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington; and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard University with two community groups—the Hmong Women's Heritage Association in Sacramento, CA, and the San Francisco Medical Society Foundation/Chinese Community Health Plan.
Over the next five years, the effort will focus on increasing hepatitis B immunization rates in children and screening rates in adults; improving breast and cervical cancer screening rates; encouraging adherence to the traditionally low-fat, vegetable-based diets common in Asian countries; and increasing the rates of colorectal cancer screening.
GM Cancer Research Awards
This year's General Motors Cancer Research Awards were presented to Angela M. Hartley Brodie, PhD; Gerald N. Wogan, PhD; and Roger D. Kornberg, PhD. Each award consists of $250,000 and a gold medal.
Dr. Brodie, who received the Kettering Prize, is Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a cancer researcher at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. A pioneer in the development of aromatase inhibitors, she began investigating aromatase inhibitors while working in a lab with her husband, Harry Brodie, MD, who synthesized the first selective inhibitors in the early 1970s. She went on to create formestane, the first aromatase inhibitor to be used to treat breast cancer patients. Dr. Brodie has also expanded her research into prostate cancer and is now developing steroidal compounds that target key enzymes in androgen production.
Dr. Wogan, who received the Mott Prize, is Underwood-Prescott Professor of Toxicology, Emeritus, and Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus at MIT as well as Senior Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at the NCI and Visiting Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences of Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Kornberg, who received the Sloan Prize, is Winzer Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where his research has focused on the mechanism and regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. He has demonstrated the role of nucleosomes in transcriptional regulation, established a yeast RNA polymerase II transcription system and isolated all the proteins involved, discovered the mediator of transcriptional regulation, developed two-dimensional protein crystallization and its application to transcription proteins, and determined the atomic structure of an RNA polymerase transcribing complex.
Society of Nuclear Medicine Picks PET/CT Image as ‘Image of the Year’
A three-dimensional positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) image of the human airway taken by Stanford University researchers was named the 2005 Image of the Year at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's Annual Meeting.
The image was part of the team's “Novel 3D Rendered FDG PET/CT Virtual Bronchoscopy and Colonography for Improved Lesion Localization and Presurgical Evaluation,” study.
“This study is intended to be an initial step in developing a new paradigm for reviewing and interpreting PET/CT images in a fully 3D-rendered format,” senior scientist Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, MD, PhD, Director of the Molecular Imaging Program and Chief of Nuclear Medicine and Professor in the Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering Medicine, said in a press release.
“Our new strategy is to fuse PET and CT in order to travel through and around organs for improved visualization of the 3D anatomical and functional data sets.”
The images can be viewed in multiple 3D formats, including virtual colonoscopy/bronchoscopy “fly throughs” that display the fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-uptake pattern at the same time, which aids the characterization and localization of the lesion, the authors wrote in the abstract.
In the study, the researchers used 15 patient cases that were referred for an evaluation of a known malignancy. The study used an integrated PET/CT scanner, and all patients had an FDG PET/CT scan.
A nuclear medicine physician reviewed two sets of images for each patient—one set consisted of standard tomographic slices of the PET, CT, and fusion PET/CT; and the other was 3D PET/CT fusion images.
Of the study participants, eight had abnormalities that were identified as malignant using conventional tomographic FDG PET/CT images, for a total of 21 lesions. All 21 were also identified on the 3D PET/CT images. The seven patients with normal PET/CT scans also had normal 3D PET/CT scans.
The researchers' fused 3D images not only enabled them to get 3D images of the body's metabolism and structure but also made it possible to see structure and function from the inside out throughout the patient's body, such as the airways and bowels.
“As computer and scanning technology advances, imaging modalities—such as virtual CT colonography and bronchoscopy—will propagate, particularly for presurgical planning and visualization,” said lead author Andrew Quon, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology-Diagnostic Radiology.
“This pilot study demonstrates the usefulness of fusing 3D rendered PET images to CT images, allowing for simultaneous 3-D viewing of multiple modalities.”
Dr. Gambhir noted that additional studies with larger, specific patient populations and additional radiotracers need to be conducted.
Excellence in Nursing Awards at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Samuel and May Rudin Awards for Excellence in Nursing were given to the following Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center staff members: Mary Elizabeth Davis, MSN, RN, a clinical nurse specialist for the MSK Regional Network, received the Excellence in Nursing Advanced Practice award; Kevin P. Browne, MSN, RN, Nurse Leader for Perioperative Services, received the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award; clinical nurses Elizabeth H. Flowers, RN, and Audrey J. Odishoo, RN, received Excellence in Nursing Practice awards; Maureen G. O'Brien, MSN, RN, a clinical nurse specialist in the Smoking Cessation Program, received the Excellence in Nursing Education Award; and Claudia Bryan, a nursing assistant, received the Special Recognition Award.
© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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