Archive for December, 2010


Dec 17 2010

Year-end Reflections

by at 10:17 am

Hello, everybody.  This is my last blog of 2010.  Now that we are knee-deep into the holiday season, it is a good time to reflect on the past and look to the future.  I want to start by thanking everyone at Lombardi for their contributions to our Cancer Center’s mission.  It has been a challenging and exciting year.  I am heartened by many exciting developments that augur well for our future.  Just today, we received confirmation that our lead candidate for leadership of the newly reconstituted bone marrow transplant program has accepted our offer letter and will join us early next year.  This collaborative effort with the NCI places us in a position to develop a world-class and comprehensive program in hematological malignancies and transplantation.  Be on the lookout for more details on this and other pending clinical research recruitments.  Plus, we are moving forward with plans to expand Lombardi’s clinical and clinical research footprint at GUH and at other Washington area MedStar clinical facilities.  This is a very exciting development that positions Lombardi right where it needs to be as we evolve into the clinical care and research powerhouse that characterizes the best comprehensive cancer centers.  Finally, our funding profile remains strong, and I learn about exciting research findings emanating from our investigators on a near-daily basis.

But, at the end of the day, Lombardi, like any enterprise, is only as good as its people.  And, I can think of no group I would rather work with as we strive to make this world a better place.

I wish everybody the happiest of holidays and a joyous, healthy and productive new year.

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Dec 10 2010

Power of Perseverance

by at 11:09 am

Greetings from sunny San Diego.  I am here for the 20th IBC Antibody Engineering Meeting.  It is incredible to witness the growth of the field.  In 1990 there was one clinically approved monoclonal antibody, and many people derided researchers in the field for hitching their wagon to the wrong horse.  Now, there are 28 approved antibodies, yielding over $37 billion in yearly revenues.  Nearly half of all cancer drug sales are for antibodies.

When I think back on the early IBC meetings, I remember being part of a hardy band of idealistic pioneers, mixed with some zealots and a handful of opportunists.  There were more perceived valleys than peaks, but we persevered, and somehow, when we weren’t paying close enough attention, the field absolutely blossomed.  On Thursday, I chaired a session and spoke in another; one speaker after another presented exciting preclinical data, mixed with clinical trials demonstrating the utility of existing agents and the extraordinary results that are being obtained in the clinic with new agents.

The power of persistence, patience and belief in the future is underestimated, but should never be overlooked.  When I think of many events in the communal life of our cancer center, I am deeply appreciative of all of Lombardi’s visionaries who have simply persevered, and converted their innovation, hard work and collegiality into a remarkable success story that is still in progress.  And, I can most certainly assure you that the best is yet to come.

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