May 27, 2011

cancer center update



 

News briefs

Program name change
To better reflect the research of its program members, the name of the Tumor Cell Biology Program has been changed to Cancer Cell Signaling (CCS).

Patent awarded
The research of Nadim Mahmud, MD, PhD, a member of the Cancer Targeting, Therapeutics and Imaging Program, has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7927785 for a unique method to augment blood-producing stem cells. According to Dr. Mahmud, "This method could help reduce the shortage of grafts for patients diagnosed with blood cancers or other fatal immune or metabolic diseases in which diseased blood-producing bone marrow must be replaced by healthy stem cells."
Other UIC contributors are Drs. Mohammed Milhem, Ronald Hoffman, Donald Lavelle, Yogen Saunthararajah, and Joseph DeSimone.  

New members
Sangeetha Nimmigadda, MD, has joined the Cancer Targets, Therapeutics and Imaging Program of the Cancer Center. Her cancer interest lies in Phase I clinical trials and breast cancer. She is developing a protocol to look at a  Phase I or Phase II trial  to determine the effectiveness and toxicity of a new treatment for patients with refractory small cell lung cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.

Charlotte Joslin, OD, PhD, is a new member of the Cancer Control and Population Science Program. She is Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Renee Taylor, PhD, Professor in the College of Applied Health Sciences, has joined the Cancer Control and Population Science Program. She is interested in behavioral change interventions to address adherence disparities.

New staff

Amy Graf, CCRC, RD, joined the Clinical Trials Office as a Regulatory Coordinator. She graduated from Indiana University and worked as a registered dietitian before transitioning to become a research dietitian and coordinator of endocrinology trials.  Prior to UIC, she was at Rush University Medical Center as a research coordinator for interventional cardiology trials.   

Claudia Hernandez, MD, receives international award. Hernandez was announced as the winner of the International Award for Social Responsibility in Dermatology by L’Oreal and Galderma. The award, presented in conjunction with the World Congress of Dermatology, was for her initiative entitled “Increasing Opportunistic Melanoma Surveillance in Underserved Hispanic Communities Via a Dermatology Partnership with Health Lay Workers.” Claudia Hernandez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology.

Neelu Puri, PhD, featured in media. An article about Puri appeared in Rockford Woman Magazine and she was featured on the local news channel WREX discussing her studies that focus on drug resistance in cancer and development of new drugs for cancer. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Medicine at Rockford.

Victor LaGroon, Community Relations and Public Affairs Manager for the Outreach Program,  was featured in an online article in rolling.out.com.


 


Shared Resource Focus: Biostatistics

 One of the valuable and unsung benefits of membership in the Cancer Center is the free access it provides to the Biostatistics Shared Resource Design and Analysis Core (DAC). Directed by Michael Berbaum, PhD, this core is jointly sponsored by the Cancer Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). 

For Cancer Center members working on grant proposals, clinical studies, or other projects that involve data collection and analysis, this resource can be a great asset. By just contacting DAC, members are put in touch with a highly-skilled faculty or staff member with vast expertise in design and analysis methods and tools. DAC can help researchers with such processes as: study design development; protocol review; instrument and data collection design; randomization and random sampling; sample size determination/ power analysis; and analysis and reporting.

A recent example of the DAC process in action involved new Cancer Center member Renee Taylor, PhD, Professor of Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Sciences. Taylor engaged DAC to help with a grant application. A statistical specialist was assigned to Taylor’s project, and together they developed her study design, determined the sample size, and drew up an analysis plan. Taylor remarked: “The biostatistics support I received at DAC was comprehensive, responsive, and timely. It was easy to communicate and our meetings helped tremendously in troubleshooting and in generating new approaches to analysis.” As Berbaum states: “DAC is particularly useful in intervention studies where proper data flow is crucial.”

Even reluctant investigators who think their project is not appropriate should contact DAC. DAC is expanding its support for highly specialized projects. For example, a researcher needing a very complicated survey can be referred by DAC to the Survey Research Lab for a specialist in survey design and analysis. In addition, to make genomic analysis available to members, the Cancer Center, in partnership with CCTS and the Research Resources Center (RRC), has recruited Yang Dai, head of Computational Functional Genomics in the Department of Bioengineering. According to Berbaum, with this addition, “the goal is to offer a comprehensive genomic service with the data from RRC’s bench work transferred seamlessly to the Genomic Analysis Team.”  Berbaum emphasizes: “If DAC can’t help, we can help get you to the right person with the right skills."   

Berbaum stresses that researchers interested in utilizing DAC must involve the resource early in the planning process to avoid any “stumbles.” A common pitfall is underestimating the number of subjects needed to complete a study. By consulting DAC, the correct number of subjects can be easily estimated, avoiding the need to add more subjects at the last minute.  When one works with DAC early in the process, fewer surprises are encountered, and the work becomes a true collaboration, not just a consultation.

DAC also provides free access to a special software program called Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap). REDCap is a secure, web-based application for building and managing online databases for collecting and entering research data.

To initiate an inquiry, members should fill out a service request  and they will be contacted by DAC's Investigator Interface Coordinator to schedule a meeting.


Director Focus: Michael Berbaum, PhD

Michael Berbaum is Director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource Design and Analysis Core (DAC). He is also Senior Biostatistician for the Institute for Health Research and Policy, an Affiliate with CCTS, and a member of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Population Science Program. He came to UIC in 2000.

Trained with a PhD in Psychology, he also has an MA in statistical analysis. His focus on statistics grew out of his psychology work. He explains: “Having trained in a substantive field where experiments are the norm, it was helpful preparation for working in the statistical analysis of clinical research.”  

Berbaum's research interests include the applications of ordinal regression techniques to diagnostic radiology and to studies of pain control. He is also interested in the resolution of statistical complications that arise from clustering, missing data, and sample selection in health studies.

Berbaum has collaborated with several Cancer Center members. He is co-investigator on many studies, including Marian Fitzgibbon's NCI study comparting dietary intake among low-income families. He collaborates with Robin Mermelstein on her NCI Program Project Grant studying adolescent smoking patterns. Currently, he is working with Elizabeth Calhoun on randomization for her Patient Navigation Project in the Center for Population and Health Disparities funded by the NCI.

By nature of his work, Michael Bernbaum becomes involved in a multitude of collaborations with a wide variety of investigators.

 

 
   

In this issue
  Shared resource focus: biostatistics
  director focus: michael berbaum
  upcoming events
  recent publications
  New funding opportunities

 

From the Director: Town Hall Meeting
progress report

Howard Ozer, MD, PhD, Interim Director

Over 60 people attended our May 17 Town Hall meeting held in Moss Auditorium. In order to keep everyone up to date, I would like to share a few key highlights with our UPDATE readers.

The most significant change is the beginning of our transition from a system of independent cancer research communities at each campus to an integrated University of Illinois Cancer Center. This move will give us a statewide footprint, build on the complementary strengths of our cancer researchers and shared resources throughout the U of I system, and enhance our cancer research portfolio. The opportunities for collaboration are great. Many current projects exemplify such collaboration, including a study by André Kajdacsy-Balla, MD, PhD, UIC Professor of Pathology, Rohit Bhargava, PhD, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Urbana, and others. Also in process are five Cancer Center-funded pilot projects by these UIC College of Medicine/Urbana researchers (respectively) Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD, and Barbara Fiese, PhD; Larisa Nonn, PhD, and Paul Hergenrother, PhD; Howard Ozer, MD, PhD and Yingxiao Wang, PhD; David Ucker, PhD, and Brian Cunningham, PhD; and Neelu Puri, PhD, and Jianjun Cheng, PhD. Other collaborations are underway and a great many more can be anticipated. 

We are pleased to announce these appointments: Jack Kaplan, PhD, FRS, Associate Director for Basic Sciences; Pritesh Patel, MD, Bone Marrow Transplant Program; and Sanjani Lakka, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine.

The Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO) has recently recruited new clinical and regulatory coordinators. Its goals are to increase therapeutic accrual and open three therapeutic trials per month. To facilitate these processes, we’ve developed and implemented a screening database and are working towards purchasing a robust Clinical Trials Management System called OnCore.  The System will also have components to mange biospecimen banking and population science studies. 

The entire oncology clinical practice at Vanguard System’s MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn is now run by the Cancer Center. Over 600 analytic cases are diagnosed and/or initially treated there each year. These cancer patients will be eligible to participate in clinical trials centrally managed by the Clinical Trials Office. Negotiations are underway to acquire more Vanguard oncology practices, potentially expanding the cancer patient base available to the Cancer Center to 2500.  Our other clinical efforts include development of an oncology service line, more multidisciplinary clinics, and a plan for future oncology services. We also will assist in the recruitment of key clinicians, fund critical clinical positions, and integrate and support clinical research.

Major progress has been made with Cancer Center Shared Resources. In collaboration with the Research Resources Center (RRC) under the direction of William Hendrickson, PhD, we will initiate a 15% subsidy pilot on July 1 for Cancer Center members who use four Laboratory Shared Resources. At the Town Hall meeting I was pleased to announce these four facilities and Cancer Center member Academic Directors: Genomics, Nathan Ellis, PhD; Flow Cytometry, Zhijan Qian, PhD; Cell and Tissue Imaging, Peter Gann, MD, ScD; and Mass Spectrometry/ Proteomics, Richard van Breemen, PhD. We are partnering with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, RRC, Pathology Department, and Center for Clinical and Translational Science to establish a consolidated Biospecimen Bank under the auspices of the RRC. Melinda Stolley, PhD, is developing a Behavioral Shared Resource to be launched September 1. This Resource will offer behavioral and psychosocial consultation and services to support cancer control and clinical research. The Biostatistics Shared Resource Design and Analysis Core (see articles at left) now includes statistical analysis for genomics data with the addition of Yang Dai, PhD, Associate Professor of Engineering.

Outreach activities include neighborhood prostate cancer screening and education events; city-wide conferences such as the “State of the Cancer Union Minority Report: Controversies, Innovations, and Accountability,” presented by Rick Kittles, PhD, Outreach Program Director, and “Surviving Breast Cancer Together: Connecting Survivors, Community, and Science-A Conference for Minorities and Underserved,” featuring Cancer Center members Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, Carol Ferrans, PhD, and Melinda Stolley, PhD.

A first-ever Cancer Center Scientific meeting will be held in March of 2012.

Finally, the outstanding researchers in our four programs have achieved many accomplishments over the months, and the list of publications below show just a few of their most recent ones.

We seek your ideas and input and will continue to keep you informed as we move forward in the months ahead.  

 

Upcoming events

Targeting Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer Cells with Estrogens
Gail Risbridger, PhD
Wednesday, June 1    4:00PM
COMRB
909 S.Wolcott, Rm. 5175
Presented by the Department of Urology and the Cancer Center.

Colon Cancer Patterns of Care
Garth Rauscher, PhD
Thursday, June 2    12:00PM
COMRB
909 S.Wolcott, Rm. 5175
Presented by the Cancer Control and Population Science Program.

Prognostic Utility of BRAF Mutation in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Michael Mingzhao Xing, MD, PhD
Friday, June 3    2:00PM
COMRB
909 S.Wolcott, Rm. 8175
Note: Dr. Ming will be available to meet from 12-1:50 and 3:10-5:00PM. To set up a time, please contact keenmary@uic.edu or ssiddi27@uic.edu.
Presented by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Cancer Center.

Control of the Cellular Pharmacology of Cisplatin by Copper Transporters
Stephen Howell, MD
Friday, June 3    3:00PM
College of Pharmacy
833 S.Wood, Rm. 32
Presented by the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and the Cancer Center.

The Role of Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein (TCTP)--a Novel Survival Factor--in Prostate Cancer
Gnanasekar Munirathinam, PhD
Thursday, June 9  12:00PM
COMRB
909 S. Wolcott, Rm. 5175

Presented by the Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program.

REDCap 101 Training
Wednesday, June 29 1-3:00PM
1747 W. Roosevelt Rd., Rm 561
Click to register 

REDCAP 102 Training
Wednesday, July 6  1-3:00PM
1747 W. Roosevelt Rd., Rm 561

Prerequisite: REDCAP 101
Click to register

 

 



recent publications

The Stimulation of HSD17B7 Expression by Estradiol Provides a Powerful Feed-Forward Mechanism for Estradiol Biosynthesis in Breast Cancer Cells. Jonna Frasor, Geula Gibori, et al

CDB-4124, a Progesterone Receptor Modulator Inhibits Mammary Carcinogenesis by Suppressing Cell Proliferation and Inducing Apoptosis.
Konstantin Christov, et al

Antioxidant Effects of Lycopene in African American Men with Prostate Cancer or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.
Note: This is the first clinical paper based on this R01-funded study on lycopene and prostate cancer prevention. Few studies of chemoprevention agents like lycopene have been evaluated in clinical studies with this type of rigorous design.
Richard B. van Breemen, Phyllis Bowen, et al

Analysis of the Oxidative Damage Repair Genes NUDT1, OGG1, and MUTYH in Patients from Mismatch Repair Proficient HNPCC Families (MSS-HNPCChttp://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/17/7/1701.full?sid=3d47aa00-2835-431a-bd32-6629504e5941)
Xavier Llor, MD, PhD, et al

Rheologically biomimetic cell suspensions for decreased cell settling in microfluidic devices.
David Eddington, PhD, Seungpyo Hong, PhD, et al

Total Marrow Irradiation with RapidArc Volumetric Arc Therapy
James Radosevich, PhD, et al

Linear Accelerator-Based Intensity-Modulated Total Marrow Irradiation Technique for Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies: A Dosimetric Feasibility Study
James Radosevich, PhD, et al

Analysis of RNA from brush cytology detects changes in B2M, CYP1B1 and KRT17 levels with OSCC in tobacco users.
Antonia Kolokythas, DDS, Kristen Pytynia, MD, MPH, Joel B. Epstein, DMD, et al

 



new funding opportunities

DOD FY11 Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trial Award - W81XWH-11-NFRP-CTA
Department of Defense (DOD)
Deadline: Pre-App June 22, 2011; App Sept. 15, 2011
Seeking to find and fund the best research to eradicate the clinical impact of NF.  More…

Clinical Trial Award - W81XWH-11-PCRP-CTA
Department of Defense (DOD)
Deadline: Pre-App June 10, 2011; App Sept. 1, 2011
For rapid execution of clinical trials (Phase 0/I, Phase I, Phase I/II, or Phase II for drugs, Class II or III for devices) to test novel approaches to the treatment or management of prostate cancer. More…

Laboratory-Clinical Transition Award - W81XWH-11-PCRP-LCTA
Department of Defense (DOD)
Deadline: Pre-App June 10, 2011; App Sept. 1, 2011
Supports product-driven preclinical studies of promising lead agents that have the potential to revolutionize prostate cancer clinical care. More…

Impact Award - W81XWH-11-PCRP-IA
Department of Defense (DOD)
Deadline: Pre-App June 10, 2011; App Sept. 1, 2011
Supports research projects specifically focused on making a major impact on one critical issue in prostate cancer: reducing or eliminating the over-treatment of primary prostate cancer. More…

Developmental Projects in Complementary Approaches to Cancer Care and Treatment (R21)
NIH
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16 2011, Feb. 16, 2012
Seeking applications for basic, preclinical, and clinical complementary cancer research. More…

Developmental Research in Cancer Prognosis and Prediction (R21)
NCI
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16 2011, Feb. 16, 2012
Seeking applications from institutions and organizations to evaluate the utility and pilot the application of new strategies for determining prognosis or predicting response to therapy for cancer. More…

Developmental Research in Cancer Prognosis and Prediction (R33)
NCI
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16 2011, Feb. 16, 2012
Seeking applications from institutions and organizations to evaluate the utility and pilot the application of new strategies for determining prognosis or predicting response to therapy for cancer. More…

Studies of Energy Balance and Cancer in Humans (R21)
NCI
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16 2011, Feb. 16, 2012
Seeking applications for studies that focus on research to define factors affecting energy balance and to define mechanisms influencing cancer risk, prognosis, and quality of life. More…

Developmental Projects in Complementary Approaches to Cancer Care and Treatment (R03)
NIH
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16 2011, Feb. 16, 2012
Seeking applications for basic, preclinical, and clinical complementary cancer research. More…

Diet-Induced Changes in Inflammation as Determinants of Colon Cancer (R21)
NCI
Deadline: App June 5, 2011
Designed to promote research on the mechanistic links connecting diet, inflammation, and colon cancer. More…

Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hematopoietic Malignancies (R21)
NCI
Deadline: App June 16, 2011, Oct. 16, 2011, Feb. 16, 2011, June 16, 2012
Encourages research grant applications for the development and validation of biomarkers and risk assessment for hematopoietic malignancies. More…

Translational Research at the Aging/Cancer Interface (TRACI) (R01)
NIH
Deadline: App June 5, 2011, Oct. 5, 2011, Feb. 5, 2012
Encourages research grant applications that propose translational research in the overlapping areas of human aging and cancer, linking basic and clinical research relevant to the care of older cancer patients through both bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench approaches. More…

Studies of Energy Balance and Cancer in Humans (R01)
NCI
Deadline: App June 5, 2011, Oct. 5, 2011, Feb. 5, 2012
Invites grant applications for studies that focus on research to define factors affecting energy balance and to define mechanisms influencing cancer risk, prognosis, and quality of life. More…

Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (R01)
NCI
Deadline: App June 5, 2011, Oct. 5, 2011, Feb. 5, 2012
Encourages grant applications that address studies of hepatocellular carcinoma. More…

Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hematopoietic Malignancies (R01)
NCI
Deadline: App June 5, 2011, Oct. 5, 2011, Feb. 5, 2012
Encourages research grant applications for the development and validation of biomarkers and risk assessment for hematopoietic malignancies. More…






   
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