Jun 10 2010

Taking the Time to Reconnect

by at 9:27 am

I attended ASCO last Friday through Sunday, and it was very interesting. It is an unbelievably huge meeting making it impossible to take in more than a tiny sliver of the many simultaneous session. It takes so long to get from one end of the convention center to the other, especially if one knows a lot of people. Combine that with the meetings that surround the ASCO meeting and it is all a bit overwhelming. That said, it was good to reconnect with colleagues and friends from around the country.

I left half way through ASCO’s annual meeting to attend the Georgetown University Executive Committee meeting which was held at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center located in Maryland. I really enjoy these meetings because they remind me of the general excellence of our University and the commitment of its leadership to sustaining that excellence. Many of you may take this association for granted, having always been based at a university. However, I spent 23 years at a freestanding comprehensive cancer center, while that undiluted focus on cancer has its advantages; there are so many unexpected and delightful opportunities that emerge at a university based cancer center.

I returned to Lombardi on Wednesday just in time to attend the Shared Resource Symposium. I was delighted to see how much of a success the symposium was. Steve Byers told me it had something to do with free lunch. Personally, I thought it had more to do with the free pens with the cool logos…

Thursday and Friday will be dominated by my attendance as an ad hoc member of my old study section (CII). I have found the new grant format and review criteria to be challenging but have found the process to be perfectly reasonable and fair. I know this experience will make it easier when it’s time for me to prepare my R01 renewals. On Monday, I look forward to the eleventh annual Mens’ Event, which, like the Women and Wine Event held in April, raises money for Lombardi and provides a rallying point for many of our strongest supporters. The Mens’ Event focuses on prostate cancer, while Women and Wine emphasizes breast cancer. The two events are competing this year to see which one can raise the most money. I am rooting for both of them to win! The event will be held at Morton’s, and I am sure the steaks will be great. Whoever figures out a way to spike steak sauce and condiments with statins will no doubt make a fortune.

Have a great weekend.

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Jun 04 2010

2010 ASCO Annual Meeting

by at 12:05 pm

Greetings from Chicago! I am at the annual ASCO meeting and am looking forward to the dizzying array of sessions and meetings awaiting me over the next few days. I’ll be discussing two abstracts at the GI cancer oral session on Sunday morning; these abstracts describe the use of adjuvant cetuximab (an anti-EGF receptor antibody) in patients with colorectal cancer. Of course, there will be a number of other presentations by Lombardi investigators:

Craig M. Kessler, MD
Oral Presentation
“Diagnosis and initial treatment of VTE in cancer patients”
Friday, June 4
1-3:15pm, E354a

Michael J. Pishvaian
Poster Discussion
“Final reporting of a phase I clinical trial of the oral PPAR-gamma agonist, CS-7017, in patients with advanced malignancies.”
Saturday, June 5
8am-12pm, E450a
1-2pm, E354b

Bruce D. Cheson, MD
Oral Presentation
“Lymphoma and Plasma Cell Disorders”
Sunday, June 6
7:45am, E Hall D1

Jeffrey Toretsky, MD
Education Session
“Targeting protein products of sarcoma specific translocations with small molecules”
Monday, June 7
8-9:15am, S406 (vista room)

Claudine Isaacs, MD
Poster Session Discussion
“Breast Cancer – Local-Regional and Adjuvant Therapy”
Monday, June 7
2-6pm, S403
5-6pm, N Hall B-1

Minetta Liu, MD
Oral Presentation
“Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer: Where are We?”
Monday, June 7
3-4:30pm, N Hall B-1

Aziza T. Shad, MD
Panel Discussion
“Palliative Care and Cancer in the Future”
Tuesday, June 8
9am-12:00pm, S504

If you’re at the meeting, remember to stop by and support your colleagues! I’ll have to leave Chicago the first thing Monday morning to return to DC for the Georgetown University Executive Retreat so I’ll miss the last half of the ASCO meeting.

I’ll be back in the office on Wednesday, just in time for the Shared Resources Day. We are lucky to have so many terrific Shared Resources, and the more you learn about them, the more opportunities you’ll have to make use of these facilities.

I’ll have to remember to try an authentic deep dish pizza this weekend; I’ve never had one in Chicago. I’ll let you know how that turns out in next week’s blog.

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Jun 19 2009

Addressing disparities in our city

by at 5:09 pm

I attended the DC Cancer Consortium Meeting at the Cosmos Club last Wednesday night where representatives from Georgetown, GW, Washington Hospital Center, Howard University, and the American Cancer Society met to discuss how to invest in strategies that will reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in the District. For me, one of the highlights was seeing Arnie Potosky in action. I had invited him to discuss a proposal he’s putting together to establish a District of Columbia Cancer Outreach, Research, and Evaluation Database. It’s still under active discussion, but we’re hopeful that it or something like it will be adopted by the consortium. Steve Paterno also presented a very interesting proposal for a patient navigation network for the District. What pleases me about these initiatives is that they provide us with collaborative outlets for addressing disparities and health care access and care for our city.

Thursday morning I met with Lucile Adams-Campbell to get her thoughts about how we might coordinate obesity and cancer initiatives. We cam out with some exciting ways of connecting our science with the outreach and population intervention studies. These were echoed in a later meeting I had with Peter Shields.

After my meeting with Lucile about obesity, I then tried to increase the level of obesity at Lombardi by taking the CCSG team to lunch at the French Embassy. It was great to have a formal opportunity to thank them for a wonderful job and their hard work on getting the grant out the door.

I’m looking forward to attending the Gala Benefit Committee Reception tonight at the home of Darby and Monte Gingery, who are good friends of Tanya Potter Adler and Howard Adler who are this year’s Gala co-chairs. I will be joined by several of my Lombardi colleagues to thank the committee for all its hard work and provide continuing inspiration for our old and new friends who actively support the cancer center. By the way, you may want to check out the new website for the Lombardi Gala, which launches on Friday.

On Thursday, the Shared Resource Directors and Managers attended the first organizational meeting as we gear up to get the posters ready for the site visit. I was very gratified to see a member of nearly every Shared Resource in attendance, and I look forward to reviewing the poster drafts in the coming weeks.

I’m also looking forward to visiting Ohio State on Friday to present Grand Rounds there. I’m particularly interested in the opportunity to present some data from lab, which was just submitted yesterday for publication. It’s nice to know that I can continue to stay active in the laboratory and the clinic. It reminds me why I’m here and why it’s important to have cancer centers.

I won’t be here next week. I’m taking a week off and Harriet and I will be in an undisclosed and unfindable location. So don’t expect any blogs next week.

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