University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center Update - August 2013
Bi-annual newsletter highlighting new programs, physicians and news from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
U P DAT E A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 From our labs to your patients: New clinical trials available Groundbreaking scientific research and discoveries are happening at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. And now we are testing these discoveries in clinical trials, providing potentially new treatment options for your patients. At any given time we have more than 100 cancer clinical trials open for accruals. A phase Ib clinical study (HUM00052808) is testing a drug that has been found in preclinical studies to attack cancer stem cells – the 1% to 5% of cells that fuel the tumor’s growth and metastasis. The drug, reparixin, will be used in combination with standard chemotherapy for women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. “This is one of only a few trials testing stem cell-directed therapies in combination with chemotherapy in breast cancer. Combining chemotherapy with stem cell therapy has the potential to lengthen remissions for women with advanced breast cancer,” says principal investigator Anne Schott, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. The study is primarily intended to test how patients tolerate the combination of reparixin, which is taken orally, and paclitaxel. Researchers will also look at how reparixin appears to be impacting markers for cancer stem cells and signs of inflammation. The study will also look at how effective this treatment combination is at controlling the cancer and impacting survival. U-M is one of three sites conducting the study and is the only site in Michigan. For men with castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer, an NCI-sponsored phase 2 study (HUM00060473) will test whether patients who possess a genetic anomaly will respond better to abiraterone and whether combination therapy with a PARP inhibitor can maximize the anticancer effects in general but particularly in patients whose tumors harbor the genetic anomaly. The clinical trial is based on scientific findings that half of prostate cancers harbor a gene fusion in which two genes translocate and fuse together to create a hybrid gene. Researchers believe this fusion is the triggering event for prostate cancer and may represent a novel therapy target. “We hope this study will help us understand why certain patients respond to therapy and certain patients do not. By better understanding the evolving biology of prostate cancer, we will have the ability to better treat the disease,” says the study’s principal investigator, Maha Hussain, M.D., professor of internal medicine and urology, and associate director of clinical research at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study is being conducted at 11 sites across the country, with U-M the only site in the state. M-LINE I 800-962-3555 I mcancer.org Continued from page one..... For hematologic malignancies, we currently have more than 30 open clinical trials, many of them based on the large number of experimental drugs developed at U-M. The program is led by Moshe Talpaz, M.D., one of the world’s leading clinical investigators in hematologic malignancies. “One of our great strengths in treating patients with hematologic cancers is that our teams of worldclass physicians, clinical investigators, physician-scientists and laboratory scientists are so productive in developing therapeutic drugs. These, in turn, move into clinical trials, through which we are able to find which drugs are highly promising and potentially beneficial to patients,” says Talpaz, associate director of translational research at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Novel therapeutic trials are available in leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and graft-vs.-host disease. As we look to partner with you more on clinical trials, look for regular communications about open clinical trials at the Cancer Center. To learn more about clinical trial opportunities at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, call M-LINE at 800-962-3555 or visit mcancer.org/findatrial. Alon Weizer named medical director Weizer will be responsible for managing the day-to-day clinical outpatient operations at the Cancer Center. Weizer is associate professor of urology at the U-M Medical School. His clinical and research interest focuses on prevention and early detection of bladder cancer, novel treatments for early bladder cancer, and the use of minimally invasive approaches to treat bladder, prostate, kidney, testicular and other genitourinary malignancies. He is also interested in the development of quality indicators for cancer care. Weizer earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed a six-year training program in general surgery and urology at Duke University, where he was chief resident in urology. He then completed a urologic oncology and minimally invasive surgery fellowship at U-M before joining the faculty in 2007. He has also completed the master’s program in clinical research design and statistical analysis at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The medical director position was formerly held by Douglas Blayney, M.D. Weizer will work closely with Kathleen Cooney, M.D., who in January was appointed deputy director for clinical services for the Cancer Center. Weizer’s appointment was effective June 17. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has named Alon Weizer, M.D., M.S., as medical director. In this role, M-LINE I 800-962-3555 I mcancer.org New facult y Megan Caram, M.D. Urologic Oncology Clinic The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center has added new faculty to enhance the multidisciplinary care offered throughout the center. Clinical Lecturer Hematology/Oncology. She completed her fellowship and residency here at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Dr. Caram is a graduate of the New York Medical College (Valhalla, NY). Petros Grivas, M.D., Ph.D. Urologic Oncology Clinic Clinical Lecturer Hematology/Oncology. He completed his fellowship here at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) and his residency at Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital (Philadelphia, PA). Dr. Grivas earned his Ph.D. in Medical Oncology and his medical degree from the University of Patras School of Medicine (Patras, Greece). Brian Parkin, M.D. Bone Marrow Transplant Program Clinical Lecturer Hematology/Oncology. He completed his fellowship and residency here at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Dr. Parkin is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Medicine (Toledo, OH). Christine Veenstra, M.D. Gastroenterology Oncology Clinic Clinical Lecturer Hematology/Oncology. She completed her fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) and her residency here at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Dr. Veenstra is a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine (Detroit, MI). If you would like an introduction to these or any of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Centerâ€™s faculty, please let Physician Liaison Laurie Powell know at firstname.lastname@example.org or call M-Line at 800-962-3555. M-LINE I 800-962-3555 I mcancer.org University of Michigan Health System Public Relations and Marketing Communications 2901 Hubbard, Ste. 2600 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2435 THE MICHIGAN DIFFERENCE® Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Permit #144 Ann Arbor, MI If you would like to schedule an appointment, transfer a patient, or request a consult, please call M-LINE 800-962-3555 Please let us know what you think of this publication or if you would rather receive it electronically. You can contact Physician Liaison Laurie Powell or email us at CancerCenter@med.umich.edu Clinical Happenings New Service for High Risk Prostate Cancer Patients With close to 30,000 men dying from prostate cancer each year, we are now offering a comprehensive service for those men at high risk of dying from their disease. This new clinic brings together specialists in urology, radiation oncology and medical oncology as well as molecular pathologists to create customized medical management options for care of these complex, high-risk patients. The multidisciplinary team , led by Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., will provide a thorough evaluation, including a comprehensive genetic screening, to put into place a personalized treatment plan. Patients that are considered should have a Gleason >8, PSA >20, staged at T3 ≥ and/ or N1, or two or more of the following: T2b/c, Gleason 7, PSA 10-20. If you have a patient that might benefit from the high risk prostate cancer clinic, please call M-LINE at 800-962-3555. and avoiding a vast majority of side effects from the drug on the rest of the body. Studies have shown that if the disease is confined to a single limb, response rates are as high as 60-80% and many patients will achieve a complete response to treatment. To be eligible, patients must have stage IV melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma Two unique therapy options are getting good results for patients with metastatic melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma that affects only an extremity. Hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion and hyperthermic isolated limb infusion allows for a concentrated dose of chemotherapy to be delivered directly to the affected limb, targeting the tumors and tissues of the limb with the disease Mark Cohen, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, is offering this procedure. To refer your patients for hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion or limb infusion, call M-LINE at 800-962-3555. that is isolated to an extremity. Cancer can be in the lymph nodes and prior therapies are allowed. In-transit metastases typically respond well. New Treatment Benefits Patients with Melanoma or Merkel Cell University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center Max S. Wicha, M.D., Director; Marcy B. Waldinger, MHSA, Chief Administrative Officer Executive Officers of the University of Michigan Health System Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs; James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., Dean, U-M Medical School; Douglas Strong, Chief Executive Officer, U-M Hospitals and Health Centers; Kathleen Potempa, Dean, School of Nursing. The Regents of the University of Michigan Mark J. Bernstein, Julia Donovan Darlow, Laurence B. Deitch, Shauna Ryder Diggs, Denise Ilitch, Andrea Fischer Newman, Andrew C. Richner, Katherine E. White, Mary Sue Coleman (ex officio). The University of Michigan, is a non-discriminatory affirmative action employer. © 2013 The Regents of the University of Michigan