Archive for June, 2011


Jun 20 2011

An Intense and Productive Week

by at 10:55 am

So, this past week has been quite a stretch for my family and me. As many of you know, our oldest son was married on June 12 in Cape May, NJ. It was a magical experience for our family, but it was truly a whirlwind of activity.

After getting back into town I then had a highly compressed but intense few days of work. We have been extensively debriefing on our recent EAB meeting, and I look forward to reporting on the meeting in more detail at the upcoming Sector Faculty meeting today and at the town hall meeting on July 12.

 On Tuesday afternoon I drove up to Olney to visit Montgomery General Hospital for a meeting about our network activities there. It was a great meeting, and the facility is quite lovely to boot. I also got a chance to try out the new ICC; in theory it should speed up travel there from Georgetown, but I still managed to get caught in traffic on I-270 for about 20 extra minutes on the way back home.

Wednesday was filled with meetings, highlighted by a trip with Subha Madhavan and other GU colleagues to discuss possible research collaborations with the INOVA Research Institute in Fairfax. It was another reminder of how powerful our research capabilities are, and how desirable we are as a partner.

On Thursday morning, I attended the CBCC Advisory Council meeting, where the members bade Peter Shields a fond farewell, thanking him for his powerful and effective efforts on behalf of the CBCC. There is much cause for excitement as the CBCC moves forward on a number of fronts.

That afternoon, I “shuffled off to Buffalo” to attend the EAB meeting for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. I always learn a lot from other centers, and do plan to apply that knowledge in the service of Georgetown Lombardi’s interest as well. After getting back late on Friday, I then hopped back on a plane with Harriet to attend the wedding of the child of two of our dear friends in Atlanta.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate Team Georgetown for participating in the PurpleStride 5K Walk for Pancreatic Cancer on Saturday, and to thank all those who supported the team!

Have a great week.

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Jun 12 2011

Some Thoughts on ASCO

by at 5:39 pm

By the time you read this, Harriet and I will have wrapped up a wonderful weekend in Cape May, NJ, where we celebrated the wedding of our son, Ken.

I’ll share more on that later, but for now I’d like to share a few impressions from the recent ASCO meeting in Chicago. This year’s ASCO was an interesting experience for me, primarily for what I did not see – namely,  transformative breakthroughs. It appears that many of our efforts on targeted therapies have yielded more heat than light. We still practice creeping incrementalism, hoping to build an edifice of effective therapy one brick at a time. Perhaps we need a new type of building, and this is where research comes into play.

We all need to ask ourselves if our work is truly designed to lay the groundwork for transformative approaches to understanding, preventing and treating cancer. Do it for all the people who depend upon our success for their lives.

Kudos to Mike Pishvaian for his excellent oral presentation on the therapy of colorectal cancer patients with an alkylating agent and a PARP inhibitor. This study truly was a tour de force, and Mike represented the work, which he conceived of and led, elegantly and in a manner that brought distinction to him and to Georgetown Lombardi. Congratulations, Mike!

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