Archive for March, 2013

 

Mar 31 2013

Spring Fever

by at 11:19 pm

I hope you have had a joyous holiday weekend. As I sit here on Sunday evening, after a busy weekend with friends and family, I am wishing there had not been so much good food to eat! But, I did get in some productive workouts, lessening my guilt. I am sorry to have skipped my blog last week, but the time flew by and I just didn’t get to sharing my thoughts in time.

Last Sunday was the Chris4Life Walk/Run for Colon Cancer; this foundation has supported the work of John Marshall and colleagues in the Ruesch Center. Along with other members of Team Georgetown, Harriet and I walked in near-Arctic conditions, and I gave a brief talk to the crowd at the end of the race. The Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation is led by Michael Sapienza, who has done an amazing job with this organization, which now has a national presence. We walked the 5K in about one hour; the winning runner crossed the finish line in about 15 minutes. Perhaps I need to ratchet up my workouts…

Harriet and I headed up to Philadelphia last week to share the Passover holiday with my father, brother and other family members, returning Tuesday night. On Thursday, we had a conference call with several members of our External Advisory Committee to review our CPC and Minority Health and Health Disparities write ups for the CCSG. We got great feedback, as we did for our other programs, director’s sections, administrative sections and shared resources. We are planning to go to the printer by May 1, so the heat is on! I actually spent a lot of time over this weekend reading and putting to bed all of my sections, along with many of the administrative sections. It was a lot of work, but I must say that I was deeply impressed by what I read.

Last week we also held a reception at the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum and a viewing of a wonderful documentary about health disparities in the nation’s capital, produced by The Discovery Channel. The Museum is an absolute gem – one might even say it is a diamond, as the walls of room where we held our event are adorned with posters documenting the rich tradition of baseball in Washington. Needless to say, I found it to be fascinating! But, more importantly, the documentary was profound and moving. The health disparities statistics in our city are alarming and certainly are powerful calls to action. I am so proud of what we are doing at Georgetown Lombardi and at a University level to address these disparities, and I remain inspired by what Lucile Adams-Campbell and her colleagues are doing to make a difference in our city.

Below is just one snippet from the Director’s Overview in our upcoming CCSG application that pertains to these efforts.

  • Strategically Located Community-Based Sites Move Research Into the LCCC Catchment Area.  LCCC’s catchment area of 3.9 million individuals includes the District of Columbia (DC) and its surrounding counties—Montgomery and Prince George’s in Maryland and Arlington/Alexandria City and Fairfax in Virginia. Located in wards of DC with a high proportion of disadvantaged individuals, the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) have enhanced LCCC research capabilities. Adams-Campbell, member of CPC, received an NIMHD P60 grant in 2012 to establish a Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research (P60MD006920). LCCC invested in a state-of-the-art exercise physiology laboratory at this site to translate discoveries linking obesity to cancer risk into clinical trials testing cancer risk reduction interventions. Other trials open at the site focus on HPV and cervical cancer, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, biospecimen knowledge awareness, and breast cancer. The CBCC, providing free mammography screening to about 1,800 uninsured and low-income women yearly since 2004, now serves as a site for health disparities research. It was the Lombardi site for the collaborative DC Patient Navigation Research Program, a national, multisite, NCI-funded initiative (2005-2010) designed to evaluate cancer patient navigation outcomes (site PIs: Mandelblatt [CPC], Eng-Wong [BC]; Ramsey, Cancer 2009; Bensick, under review). An ongoing trial by O’Neill (BC) and Willey (BC) funded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation is assessing awareness of mammographic breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer (Hoffman, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2012). Impact: This work better places LCCC in the underserved minority community to study and favorably influence cancer risk-associated health behaviors.

Have a great week.

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Mar 17 2013

March Madness

by at 8:12 pm

I hope you had a great weekend. As I write this on Sunday night, Georgetown’s basketball team just found out it is seeded #2 in its region, and will have a chance to go deep into this year’s NCAA tournament. Good luck to the Hoyas! Hopefully, the team got losing out of its system after it fell to the hated yet respected Syracuse Orangemen on Friday night. I wasn’t able to watch the game because we were out with friends at a new Russian restaurant in the District called Mari Vanna. It was quite an experience. And, they served food with the vodka!

Harriet walked with the CBCC-Lombardi team on Saturday morning in preparation for this year’s Avon Walk. As of this evening the team has 60 members and already has raised $52,000; this is the best showing yet. The passion of the walkers is quite remarkable. And, even if you can’t walk, you can help too. Not every walker will be able to independently raise all of the money ($1800) that he or she needs in order to actually do the walk. If you go to the Avon Walk’s website for the team, you can identify those people who are struggling to make their goals. If you can, and if you wish, you can select one of those fine people and click directly on their name to contribute. Even a little will mean a lot to their fundraising efforts. No amount is too small, and every bit helps.

I spent the weekend writing support letters and helping with protocols for two candidates for the annual Clinical Methods Workshop in Vail. Plus I have been looking over the current drafts of my sections and the program descriptions for the CCSG Competitive Renewal. We have an intense volley of conference calls scheduled with our external advisors who have read the various sections, setting the stage for the preparation of our final drafts. Carolyn Hurley and Ellen McLaughlin intend to send the final document to the printers at the beginning of May. I can’t wait!

But there is a lot more going on than just the CCSG. On Monday, I attended the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors meeting on the NIH campus. I learned some interesting tidbits – for example, the number of principal investigators has been trimmed over the past few years from 315 to 250 in response to budgetary pressures. And, while the specific issues are not the same for the intramural program, there is no doubt that they are feeling the pain caused by sequestration just as we do in the extramural community. I heard some extramural horror stories as well. I know that information provides cold comfort, but it’s nice to know that we are not alone.

After the meeting I hustled back to our campus to attend a “Thank You” reception for Lisa Krim, who served as interim general counsel for the University prior to the appointment of Lisa Brown in January. Lisa Krim will be returning to her previous duties, which include a lot of focus on the Medical Center.  On Tuesday I participated in the Thesis Committee meeting of one of my students, Joe Murray, who continues to make me wish I could delay his graduation for a decade or two.

That evening, I headed downtown for a meeting of the Men’s Event for Prostate Cancer’s Kick-Off event. This event competes with our Women and Wine Event, which was held last week and attracted more than 400 participants, raising a record amount of money for research in cancers that predominantly affect women. The men are worried that they can’t catch up with the women, whose event has really taken off. However, Elena Jeannotte, who does a spectacular job with both events, and I are sure that the men can come through. Talk about a healthy competition!

The rest of the week was filled with productive work, highlighted by a visit to MedStar Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, as we identify new ways to strengthen the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Network. And this coming week promises to be quite busy, but productive too.

I hope you have a great week. And good luck to the Hoyas in March Madness!

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Mar 10 2013

Avon Walk Team Surging in Numbers

by at 5:41 pm

Greetings on a glorious Sunday afternoon. Harriet and I just got back from Philadelphia, where we attended the wedding of our oldest son’s best friend dating back to elementary school. It was beautiful. We are about to take a walk into Georgetown for a bite.

Speaking of walks, I am humbled and excited to report that the Lombardi/CBCC Avon Walk for breast cancer team now has 58 members, and has raised more than $44,000 already, placing it solidly in second place among the DC Walk teams. What a difference from 2008, when the team had five walkers, a handful of cheerers and raised less than $10,000. Congratulations to Jeanne Mandelblatt, who is the inspiration and driving force behind the team. Like Lombardi, the team has grown and is having a disproportionate impact for an incredibly important cause. You can contribute or participate as a walker (it’s not too late!) by going to this website.  You can also help cheer on the team by contacting Jeanne.

The past week flew by – I left DC on Monday afternoon for a meeting in Chicago, which ended on Wednesday afternoon. I then headed for O’Hare Airport, where my 4 pm plane had been canceled in anticipation of the snowstorm that wasn’t. Fortunately, I was able to get on a 7:30 flight, and landed at about 10:30 to a beautiful starlit night, clear, dry roads and snow that existed only in the imagination. Thursday was not too busy; I judged a few of the posters in the annual Lombardi Research Days competition, and then had an afternoon clinic. I was able to attend the GUMC Town Hall regarding the proposed freeze of staff salaries, and I certainly echo Ken Dretchen’s eloquent sentiments that the work we do could not occur without our dedicated staff, whose interests must be fully considered as all of Georgetown deals with fiscal constraints that have been imposed by external forces.

On Friday, the highlight was the afternoon reception to honor the Lombardi Research Days poster winners, one of whom was Casey Shuptrine from my lab. I certainly had nothing to do with the judging of his poster, but was personally delighted for him and happy to know that others share my high opinion of his project. After that reception I rushed home, put on a tux and headed over to the National Building Museum for the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s annual spring Gala, sponsored this year by the Italian Embassy. Bo Aldige, who also serves on CBCC’s Community Advisory Council and the Ruesch Center’s Advocacy Board, has done a marvelous job with her organization for many years, and it was my pleasure to support its cause, accompanied by Harriet, Joe Teague, Beppe Giaccone, and Waddah Al-Refaie and his wife Thuraya.

Preparations for our CCSG renewal are accelerating, and below I include another installment from the Director’s Overview. We really have accomplished so much as a Cancer  Center over the past four years, and it has been very rewarding to actually pull it all together.

Enjoy the coming week, and what may finally be the first glimmers of spring.

Breast Cancer Focused Research
·       The First Roadmap for Mathematically Modeling Estrogen Signaling and Cell Fate Is Reported (Clarke [BC]; Tyson, Nat Rev Cancer 2011). Work arising from a multi-investigator program grant (U54CA149147) led by the LCCC Breast Cancer Program involves investigators from Virginia Tech, Fox Chase Cancer Center and George Mason University. This team created the first roadmap presenting preliminary mathematical models of the basic decision circuits for apoptosis, autophagy, and the unfolded protein response and incorporating data on a panel of genes from studies by the LCCC. The overall model now also incorporates key changes in the metabolome and the integration of signaling that regulates UPR, apoptosis, autophagy, and cell fate. Further modifications to the models are expected based on the results of functional genomic studies in this program grant performed by Weiner (ET). Impact: This collaborative effort utilizes mathematical tools to better understand complex signaling networks that influence breast cancer cell fate.
·       Key Molecular Features Are Identified That Drive Estrogen-Induced Inhibition Of Breast Cancer Growth (Jordan; Ariazi, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011).  Jordan identified that exposure of estrogen to anti-estrogen resistant breast cancer cells surprisingly led to apoptosis and inhibition of tumor growth.  Subsequent research supported by a DoD Center of Excellence grant (W81XWH-06 Jordan, PI) has identified ER stress through molecules such as PERK as a contributing mechanism. This work has led to an ongoing translational clinical trial at LCCC and at Fox Chase Cancer Center, evaluating low dose estrogen therapy for endocrine resistant metastatic breast cancer.  Impact: This work describes the clinically exploitable mechanisms underlying a novel approach to reversing resistance to anti-estrogens.
·       (Sca)-1/ly6A Is a Suppressor of TGFβ Signaling (Glazer [BC], Upadhyay, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011). Downstream signaling initiated by activation of the TGFβ pathway has long been implicated in affecting endocrine responsiveness in breast cancer. NIH R01 (R01CA111482) supported work by Glazer identified (Sca)-1/ly6A as a suppressor of TGFβ signaling. This suppression results in increased expression of the TGFβ ligand GDF10 and the selective activation of TGFβ receptor dependent Smad3 phosphorylation. Impact: This work identifies a novel mechanism for suppressing TGFb signaling in breast cancer development that may lead to new strategies to overcome endocrine unresponsiveness.
·       Some Familial Breast Cancers May Be Transmitted Through Heritable Epigenetic Changes  (Hilakivi-Clarke (BC); de Assis, Nature Commun 2012). Supported by a U54 (U54CA149147; PI, Clarke, Hilakivi-Clarke) and an R21 award (R21ES013858), Hilakivi-Clarke and colleagues successfully showed that physiologically relevant variations in estrogenicity in utero in one generation altered susceptibility of the mammary gland to carcinogenesis for three subsequent generations in a rat mammary cancer model. These trans-generational effects were maintained by epigenetic modifications. An ongoing study in Swedish women is evaluating whether the gene methylation patterns seen in experimental models are also altered in peripheral DNA from girls whose mothers had high estrogen levels during pregnancy. Impact: This work identifies potential biomarkers of familial breast cancers.
Clinical Research with Translational Implications and Endpoints
·       LCCC Leads and Conducts Impactful Clinical Trials. Swain (BC), currently serving as President of ASCO, has led a number of national cooperative group trials in breast cancer (Swain; New Engl J Med 2010; Swain, New Engl J Med 2012; Swain, New Engl J Med 2012). Cheson (ET) serves as Lombardi’s PI for Alliance and the PI for the recently submitted U10 grant and has led that group’s lymphoma committee with distinction for many years [e.g., Br J Haematol 2013, J Clin Onc 2011, Leuk Lymph 2011].  These have been supplemented by many other important investigator-initiated clinical trials, e.g., Hwang, Clin Cancer Res 2010—Phase I study of a small molecule pan-BCL-2 family antagonist in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma, Deeken, Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2012—Phase I study of liposome-encapsulated docitaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors; Pishvaian, Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2012—Phase I study of imatinib and paclitaxel in patients with advanced or metastatic refractory solid tumors, Isaacs, Breast Cancer Res Treat 2011—Phase I/II study of sorafenib in hormone receptor positive aromatase inhibitor resistant metastatic breast cancer, Liu, J Clin Oncol 2009—circulating tumor cells predict treatment efficacy in metastatic breast cancer.

·       A Novel Rapid Computational Proteo-Chemometric Method Facilitates Screening of Existing Drugs for Anti-Cancer Purposes (Dakshanamurthy [ET], J Med Chem 2012 with Byers [MO]). The “Train, Match, Fit, Streamline” (TMFS) method was used to map new drug-target interactions and predict new uses for existing drugs. Using TMFS, the investigators performed extensive molecular fit computations on 3,671 FDA approved drugs across 2,335 human protein crystal structures to accurately predict drug-target associations. The activity of several identified drugs has been confirmed experimentally. A clinical trial involving mebendozole, one of the identified drugs, is planned (Pishvaian [ET] PI).  In collaboration with the High Performance Computing Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, through the Georgetown-Howard Universities CTSA, Dakshanamurthy has exported TMFS to the >27,000 clinically active agents available worldwide across all targets in the Protein Data Bank. Impact: This approach to drug repurposing offers new translational opportunities that can be rapidly identified and implemented using currently available drugs.

·       Novel Mechanisms of Resistance for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Targeted Therapy Are Identified as Potential Targets (Weiner [ET], Sci Signal 2010). Synthetic lethal screening to identify molecular determinants of resistance to EGFR-targeted therapy by Weiner, Experimental Therapeutics Program member, has led to the identification of molecular targets (e.g., c-abl) whose inhibition enhances the anti-tumor activity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity promoted by cetuximab. The combination of cetuximab and nilotinib, a c-abl inhibitor, is now being studied in an investigator-initiated clinical trial (Deeken [ET] PI). Impact: This work identifies sensitive nodes in a complex, clinically relevant signaling network that can be attacked.

·       Development of a Cancer-Focused Informatics Platform Facilitates Identification of Factors That Impact Outcome (Madhavan [ET], Neoplasia 2011). G-DOC® was developed to provide a mechanism for integrating a variety of clinical and research data types to identify trends and patterns in integrated datasets, supporting the development of patient-specific treatments based on the biology of each patient’s tumor. This resource includes molecular and clinical outcome data for more than 3,600 breast cancer and 1,200 gastrointestinal cancer patients, with substantial peer-reviewed funding. ET members have integrated “multi-omic” data in G-DOC to identify a immune response–related prognostic profile for patients with early-stage colorectal cancer. These intriguing findings have potential to both impact the selection of patients for adjuvant therapy and influence the nature of adjuvant therapy research. Impact: This work has created a foundation for systems based approaches to cancer research at LCCC.

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Mar 03 2013

Spotlight on Population Science

by at 8:54 pm

Greetings from chilly Washington, DC, on a quiet Sunday evening. My weekend has been occupied by completion of an R01 (Antibody-Targeted Cancer Immunotherapy) that is due on March 5; I want to give a shout-out to Erin Fogarty, Carol Herod and Debi Gales for helping me push this project out the electronic door. I’m also grateful to the folks in my lab and my collaborators who made it possible for the project to develop. Now the waiting begins! This is an R01 I have held since 1989, so it feels like part of the family.

The weekend did include a bit of real family, as Elana and Ben came down from Baltimore with Isaac. We met them at the Museum of Natural History so he could take his second (of what I believe will be many for this dinosaur-obsesssed little boy) tours of the dinosaur exhibit. He is a big fan of Tyrannosaurus Rex; I later learned that its life expectancy is estimated to have been about 30 years (in contrast to 100 years for the apatosaurus). The eating must have been pretty good in those days…   After about an hour we drove back to our place for some food fit for humans (we were joined briefly by my son David), and a nap for a tired but happy little boy.

I have had no time for naps. On Friday, Hackensack University Medical Center announced the agreement between its BMT physicians and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to jointly operate a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program at MGUH; this is the first step in developing a closer relationship between the respective cancer centers. Our patients now will have access to world-class bone marrow transplant options, offered by internationally recognized leaders such as Scott Rowley, Andrew Pecora and Andre Goy. I am very excited that we now have a chance to strengthen our scientific connection with this outstanding group of clinicians and investigators. It is nice to know that even in this very challenging fiscal climate (I would say more, but all the good phrases have been sequestered by Congress!) for this country, this region and this University, we still can move forward and do work that makes an impact.

Speaking of impact, the weekend’s work has included the CCSG, of course, and also the preparation of a report for another cancer center that is beginning to gear up for its first CCSG submission; I am a member of its external advisory board, and was there on Wednesday and Thursday to review preparations. As always, reviewing the work of others has certainly sharpened my focus on what we need to do as we gear up our competitive submission. Continuing my series of posts about our CCSG, here is more of the Director’s Overview section of our draft, focusing on some of the other major accomplishments we have had over the past four years. This week’s entry highlights the work done by Georgetown Lombardi’s population scientists.

Population Research with Translational Implications or Applications

  • New Guidelines For Mammography Screening Frequency Influence Practice. Simulation modeling estimated the impact of 20 mammography screening strategies identifying efficiency of biennial screening interval and clarifying that decisions about the best starting and stopping ages depend on tolerance for false-positive results and rates of over-diagnosis, work led by Mandelblatt (CPC) and published in Ann Int Med 2009. Subsequently, Mandelblatt has obtained further CISNET funding for a multi-project, multi-PI grant on which she is the contact PI and PI of the Coordinating Center (U01CA152958). As part of this award, she and her CISNET colleagues evaluated the threshold of risk needed for younger women to reach the balance of harms and benefits similar to those seen for routine screening starting at age 50 (vanRavestyn, Ann Intern Med 2012). Recently this CISNET model was applied directly to the Lombardi catchment area to inform screening policies for the District of Columbia (DC) (Near et al., 2012). Impact: This work provides an evidence base for policy regarding mammography screening.
  • Strategically Located Community-Based Sites Move Research Into the LCCC Catchment Area. LCCC’s catchment area of 3.9 million individuals includes the District of Columbia (DC) and its surrounding counties—Montgomery and Prince George’s in Maryland and Arlington/Alexandria City and Fairfax in Virginia. Located in wards of DC with a high proportion of disadvantaged individuals, the Office of Minorities and Health Disparities Research and Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) now provide enhanced research capabilities to LCCC. Adams-Campbell, member of Cancer Prevention and Control Program, received an NIMHD P60 grant in 2012 to establish a Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research (P60MD006920). Since our catchment area has very high rates of obesity, LCCC has invested in a state-of-the-art exercise physiology laboratory at this site so that CPC researchers can translate discoveries linking obesity to cancer risk into clinical trials testing cancer risk reduction interventions. Other trials open at the site focus on HPV and cervical cancer, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, biospecimen knowledge awareness, and breast cancer. The CBCC, providing free mammography screening to about 1,800 uninsured and low-income women yearly since 2004, now serves as a site for health disparities research. It was the Lombardi site for the collaborative DC Patient Navigation Research Program, a national, multisite, NCI-funded initiative (2005-2010) designed to evaluate cancer patient navigation outcomes (site PIs: Mandelblatt [CPC], Eng-Wong [BC];Ramsey, Cancer 2009; Bensick, under review). An ongoing trial by O’Neill (BC) and Willey (BC) funded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation is assessing awareness of mammographic breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer (Hoffman, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2012). Impact: This work better places LCCC in the underserved minority community to study and favorably influence cancer risk-associated health behaviors.
  • Chromosome-Specific Telomere Length Variations Are Potential Markers for Local Breast Cancer Recurrence (Zheng, Hum Mol Genet 2011; Zhou, Carcinogenesis 2012). Women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at LCCC were included in this nested case-control study initiated by Zheng in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. Patients who had large vs. small telomere length variation had significantly better 10-year recurrence free survival rate, and telomere length variation in normal epithelial cells adjacent to tumor may be a promising biomarker for predicting breast cancer local recurrence after breast conserving surgery. Building on this study, Zheng was funded (R01CA132996) to study the impact of chromosome-specific telomere length variations on bladder cancer risk in collaboration with Loffredo (CPC), who is providing the research infrastructure to enroll the cases and controls and obtain biological specimens. In collaboration with Schlegel (MO), Zheng is also evaluating the use of immortalized patient tumor cells to determine their telomere health profile, which may predict response to therapy, survival, and recurrence risk. Impact: This work identifies molecular features in populations to identify high risks for cancer recurrence.
  • An Expansion of Health Services and Outcomes Research Builds on Strengths in Population-Based Research (Potosky [CPC], NIH U01AR057971). Since 2009, the Cancer Prevention and Control Program has greatly expanded its efforts in health services and patient outcomes research. For example, Potosky, with CPC member Wang and junior faculty in CPC (Jensen, Davis), has been conducting research as part of the national Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information Systems (PROMIS®) Network Initiative funded by the NIH in 12 academic centers across the US. This initiative aims to provide clinicians and researchers access to efficient, precise, valid, and responsive adult- and child-reported measures of health and well being. The U01 led by Potosky aims to validate PROMIS measures by recruiting 5,000 cancer survivors (diagnosed with either breast, uterine, cervical, colorectal, prostate, lung cancer, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) in 4 states. The primary objective is to evaluate the equivalency of measures across racial-ethnic and age groups in a diverse community-based sample of patients comprised equally of non-Hispanic whites and blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. More than 4,500 study subjects ages 21-84 have been enrolled to date. Impact: This methodological work contributes to the National Cancer Program’s capacity to conduct clinical trials and comparative effectiveness studies that incorporate patient-reported outcomes in more diverse and representative patient populations. This research can thus inform practice and policy evaluations of care that include patient-reported outcomes for those cancers that are prevalent in the LCCC catchment area.
  • Multiple Tobacco Modeling Studies Document the Impact of National Tobacco Control Policies in the U.S. and Internationally (Levy; Moolgavkar, J Natl Cancer Inst 2012; Levy, PLoS Med 2012). New CPC recruit David Levy uses his Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) model to extend observational and trial data along with national data to examine smoking, tobacco control policies, and lung cancer outcomes. He used his CISNET model to estimate that 625,000 lung cancer deaths were averted from 1975 to 2000, as a result of tobacco control policies implemented since 1964, and an additional 2,110,000 lung cancer deaths could have been averted if all smoking was stopped in 1965. Prediction models for tobacco relapse and ongoing tobacco use in the context of lung cancer screening (Taylor et al., J Natl Cancer Inst 2012) have also been analyzed. Impact: In keeping with the LCCC vision of “global impact”, this work examines the impact of tobacco control policies on lung cancer deaths in diverse locations around the world.
  • First U.S. Study Prospectively Evaluates the Long-Term Outcomes of Genetic Testing for Breast-Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility (Schwartz [CPC], Cancer 2012; Graves [CPC], Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2012). Funded by DOD, Schwartz and collaborators from CPC and BC evaluated long-term outcomes of 464 women who underwent BRCA1/2 testing documenting higher rates of risk reducing surgery than previously assumed. Carriers who opted for risk reducing surgery reported better quality of life than those who opted against surgery (Hooker, under review). Building on these and earlier observational studies, Schwartz and other NCI R01 funded colleagues at LCCC are developing interactive decision support tools to guide risk management decisions in BRCA1/2 carriers. Impact: This work defines how to best use genetic testing to guide collaborative therapeutic decision-making.

More to follow! Have a great week, and keep your winter gear handy for a little while longer.

 

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