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Most pediatric and some adult cancer patients enroll in clinical trials Some feel as if they have nothing to lose. Some are determined to contribute to scientific knowledge. Some want access to promising, although unproven, new therapies. For a variety of reasons, almost all of Upstate’s pediatric cancer patients and roughly 10 percent of its new adult cancer patients enroll in clinical trials.

have today were really the clinical trials of five years ago.” Upstate has about 50 cancer-related trials under way, mostly funded by the National Cancer Institute or drug companies.

“I virtually always recommend participation if they are eligible, because I think clinical trials provide state-of-the-art treatment, and may be the next best thing,” says oncologist Stephen Graziano MD.

Because most of the hospitals that treat children are part of academic medical centers, most pediatric patients are enrolled in a clinical trial as they undergo treatment.

“Most new treatments are not proven to be better than standard therapies. But that is precisely why they are so important. There needs to be strong evidence for a new therapy to replace an established one.”

Among adults with cancer, Graziano estimates just 2 to 3 percent participate in a clinical trial. That rises to about 10 percent at academic institutions, such as Upstate, where research is part of the mission.

He admits that “a lot of studies don’t pan out. But the treatments that we

Continued on page 5

Austin, 7, is participating in a clinical trial on leukemia medication. Above left: Austin having his blood drawn by John Breault RN, as part of the study.

Model of ingenuity helps students, cancer patients Students in Upstate’s Radiation Therapy program know how unsettling it can be for cancer patients to be fitted for the mesh facemasks used during treatments. As part of their training, to help them empathize with patients receiving radiation, students are fitted with their own masks, which can be uncomfortable, even claustrophobic.

Radiation Therapy students Nichole McIntosh and Danielle DeBona show a patient, Allyson, the model linear accelerator.

Now — thanks to Upstate carpenter Sean Behm — they have an additional teaching tool to help them ease the anxiety in pediatric patients.

Behm made two model wooden linear accelerators, small enough to use a doll as a “patient.” Linear accelerators produce and deliver radiation that specifically targets tumors while preserving nearby healthy tissue. One wooden model is used to teach Upstate radiation therapy students, while the other is used with young cancer patients in Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, who are permitted to play with the model to help gain control over their hospital experiences. ■

Syracuse New York

Welcome From the Medical Director The staff of the Upstate Cancer Center is dedicated to providing all cancer patients with the latest and best in treatment for their cancer. Sometimes this results in cure. More frequently it is relief of symptoms and extension of life.

causes of cancer and strategies to help you reduce your own risk. Below, you will find a list of seven lifestyle factors that reduce your cancer risk.

Treatment is vitally important in the fight against cancer, but did you know that more than half of all cancers are preventable?

As a global society, we must work to eliminate these causes of preventable cancer. As individuals, we must stop smoking, eat right, lose weight, exercise, avoid excess sun exposure and get vaccinations as recommended.

The Upstate Cancer Center will be your place to learn about the preventable

While the researchers of the Upstate Cancer Center will continue to search

for better treatments and cures, we all need to realize that a vast majority of cancers could be eliminated by what we already know.

Leslie J. Kohman MD

Leslie J. Kohman MD Medical Director Upstate Cancer Center

Seven major factors in cancer prevention 1. Tobacco cessation. Smoking and other tobacco use causes more cancer deaths than anything else. Smokers and users of smokeless tobacco get lung cancer, cancer of the neck, jaw, tonsils and voice box, cancer of the bladder, pancreas and many others. Smokers should stop, and children should not start smoking or using tobacco. 2. Nutrition. Adequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, nuts and beans, healthy oils and small amounts of poultry and fish will reduce the incidence of many types of cancers. In particular, red meat contributes to colon, prostate and several other cancers.

3. Weight control. Independent of diet, obesity also contributes to many cancers, including cancers of the breast, ovary and uterus. A great first step is to eliminate soda in your diet, as it contains a large amount of sugar and contributes enormously to obesity. 4. Alcohol. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to many forms of cancer, and combining alcohol with tobacco significantly increases these risks. 5. Exercise. Simple forms of activity, such as walking briskly for 30 minutes at least six days per week, will definitely reduce your risk of cancer.

7. Infection control. Liver cancer is mainly caused by the hepatitis B virus; cervical and head and neck cancer, by human papilloma virus. There is a vaccine for both of these. Stomach cancer is related to H. pylori infection, and one form of lymphoma to Epstein Barr virus. Scientists will discover more infectious causes of cancer in the future. â–

6. Sun and tanning booth exposure. An epidemic of melanoma (a mostly fatal form of skin cancer) exists among young women, largely due to tanning booth use. We need to use sunscreen and advocate to prohibit tanning booth use for children under 18 and label the booths a major health hazard.


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Spring 2012

Welcome From the Associate Administrator One of the original goals of the Upstate Cancer Center team was to create a healing environment that is warm and welcoming. We recognized that the most important thing in our patients’ lives is their family. In addition, we took into consideration our PATIENTSfirst! philosophy of care that is centered around meeting and exceeding the needs of our patients and their family members. These Patient and Family Centered Care values are grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families.

The Patient- and Family-Centered Care philosophy encompasses all aspects of a patient’s experience. Therefore, the Upstate Cancer Center team is working to integrate these core standards and philosophy into the Upstate Cancer Center, not only into the design of the building, but also into our daily operations and into our way of caring. We used our Patient and Family Advisory Board, Patient Satisfaction Survey information and comments, and patient exit interviews to gather information about our patients’ experiences and needs. The results were used to develop an overall plan that is broken down into

four categories: Access, Design, Information, and Care. Below, you can read more about our implementation of these four areas.

Richard J. Kilburg MBA

Integrating our Patient and Family Centered Care philosophy and our excellent patient care into our new cancer center building will provide our community with the quality cancer program it deserves. Richard J. Kilburg MBA Associate Administrator Upstate Cancer Center

Four core standards for ensuring patient- and family-centered care Access



Given the space issues we face on the Upstate campus, we wanted to provide the most convenient parking and access for patients to and from their cancer treatments during construction of the Cancer Center and to the Cancer Center itself, once completed. A dedicated team created the following access plan:

Design elements of the Upstate Cancer Center that support patient and family centered care include:

Patient Information is being designed to better meet the needs of patients and not to overwhelm them at their first visit. An overall understanding of their treatments, what to expect during treatment, and an explanation of services available will be provided upon first visit. Other information more specific to what they are experiencing or asking will be provided at the time of need.

1. Patient parking in the East Garage was moved to the second level to be on the same level as the bridge to the hospital.

• A warmer, more comfortable, inviting environment • A roof top Healing Garden • Family Resource Center for obtaining medical and other healthcare-related information • Easy access to the hospital cafeteria and café

2. Ambassadors were hired to transport patients in need of assistance to their appointments.

• Private, comfortable consultation spaces to meet with the healthcare provider team

3. A shuttle was established to transport patients from the West Garage to the main hospital entrance.

• Access to meditation space

4. The pathway to Radiation Oncology and the Regional Oncology Center was beautified.

• Space for support groups and other cancer programs

5. Valet parking will be available for patients once the new Upstate Cancer Center opens.

• A boutique for cancer-related items

• Larger exam rooms that can accommodate more family members

Care At the Upstate Cancer Center we provide the highest quality care that includes excellent physicians, nurses, therapists, multidisciplinary care, and state-of-the-art technologies. In addition, we provide patients with many support service options such as nutrition support, psycho-social services, pastoral care, financial counseling, social work assistance, rehabilitative services, patient navigation, and patient education to name a few. We are in the process of developing other integrative programs that will provide for all of the needs of our patients.■

6. Handicap accessibility will be available in all areas of the Cancer Center.

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Awa r d - w i n n i ng C a r e

pAT I e n T s AT I s fA C T I o n

Glad to help The positive comments in Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys always make us smile. We’d like to share five of them:

“My fear and resistance were extreme. The exceptional care, attention and effort to provide me with consistently pain-free treatment was excellently handled by two exceptional RNs. Jodi and Julie got me through this.”

Answering patient concerns faster The addition of a new triage nurse last August means response times to patient phone calls to the Breast Care Center have markedly improved.

Av e r A g e e l A p s e D T I m e b e T w e e n phone CAll AnD reTurn CAll 1:55 1:26

Now, phone calls are returned within an average of less than an hour. Previously, phone calls often were not returned until the end of the work day, meaning that patients had to wait hours to have their concerns addressed. Improving call-back times is one example of the way Breast Care Center staff work to provide patients with the





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highest quality of care, and it’s part of the reason the center has won the Patient Satisfaction Champion Trophy in both 2010 and 2011. ■

–Bonnie Chapman, Director of Quality, Cancer Center

“I was always treated with utmost concern and respect. Every person was beyond cordial and accommodating. My needs and expectations were met; my fears allayed.” “I would recommend your service and your hospital to any one because everything was perfect — great place to be to get well.” “Everyone made me feel comfortable and tried to keep me calm and positive about my diagnosis.”

The Breast Care Center is the winner of the Patient Satisfaction Champion Trophy for the highest overall patient satisfaction score in both 2010 and 2011. Pictured (left to right): Paul Seale, Nancy Walklett, Kelly O’Hara, Patricia Brady NP, Anne Andrusyszyn, Richard Wells MD, Brianne Ives, Margo Reynolds, Debra Updike and Richard Kilburg.

“I felt I was in good hands.”

s TA f f m e m b e r s r e C o g n I z e D by nAme In The s u rv e y s Doctors Jeffrey Bogart, Jayne Charlamb, Stephen Graziano, Haider Khadim, Kara Kort-Glowaki, Robert Lambert, Sheila Lemke, Bernard Poeisz, Michael Poeisz and Jonathan Wright; nurse practitioners Pat Brady, Shari Kelley, Laura Kilburg and Ibrahim Thabet; nurses Christine Brubaker, Jacqueline Connolly, Juliane Grimsley and Jodi Olson; radiation therapist Simeon Garvin; and medical assistant Jenna Schultz.



New Staff

Surgeon Leslie Kohman MD was chosen to lead the National Cancer Institute’s review panel for Community Clinical Oncology Program applications in November 2011.

The Upstate Cancer Center welcomes these new staffers: biller/coder Deborah Cometti at the Regional Oncology Center, and nurse practitioner Tammy Root and clerks Elizabeth Bucher and Maria Neis at the Breast Care Center.

Jeanmarie Glasser FACHE, assistant director for the Upstate Cancer Center, has recently become board certified in healthcare management and advanced to “fellow” status in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Cancer News Cancer is a frequent topic on Upstate’s weekly radio show, Health Link on Air. Tune in from 9 to 10 a.m. Sundays on FM Newsradio 106.9, AM 570. Or, listen to shows any time by visiting our archives at

Spring 2012

award-winning care What to consider before you participate in a clinical trial The National Institutes of Health says that well-designed and well-executed clinical trials allow eligible participants to play an active role in their care, gain access to new treatments before they are widely available and obtain expert medical care during the trial. They also allow people to help others by contributing to medical research.

Joyce Compoli is participating in a clinical trial on colon cancer medications. She is pictured with her family.

Answering these questions might help you decide whether to participate:

C l I n I C A l T r I A l s – Continued from page 1 Adult patients are more likely to have other conditions that disqualify them from participating in trials.

After that, she took chemotherapy every other Friday for three months. It was horrible.

At Upstate both Austin Baker, 7, and Joyce Compoli, 48, are participating in trials of medications that have already been proven safe and effective. Baker takes a medication to fight leukemia, and researchers are comparing the dosage he receives with three other dosing protocols. Compoli takes a shorter course of medication than is routinely used to reduce the risk of recurrence of colon cancer, while researchers track side effects and effectiveness.

“Every once in a while I would get nauseous,” Compoli recalls. “I would get really emotional with it. One minute I could be happy, and the next I could be crying all day.” She wore gloves to reach into her freezer or touch anything cold because cold things burned her. She had to drink warm liquids, instead of cold, for the same reason. She lost her sense of taste and most of her hair and a great deal of energy. “I would get tired walking from the house to the mailbox, which is only like 30 feet.”

Compoli’s story

During her surgery, five of 24 lymph nodes tested positive for cancer, so Compoli was recommended for chemotherapy.

“He asked me if I would be willing to try it,” Compoli recalls of Graziano’s mention of the trial. “I said ‘sure.’ I mean, what have I got to lose?” Compoli of Chittenango was diagnosed with colon cancer on Mother’s Day last year. She developed stomach aches and was having trouble keeping food down, so she went to her doctor, who sent her for a colonoscopy. She went for the test the Friday before Mother’s Day, and did not come home until 10 days later – after surgery to remove part of her large intestine.

But trials include risks, which may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening. Experimental treatments may not be effective, or the protocol may require more of the participant’s time and attention than would regular treatment.

Graziano says patients have a 60 percent chance of recurrence if colon cancer involves lymph nodes. Taking the combination of chemotherapy drugs called FOLFOX every two weeks for six months can reduce that chance to perhaps 40 percent. “A lot of us feel that’s a lot of treatment,” the oncologist says. So a study underway looks at whether three months on the drug is sufficient.

What is the purpose of the study?

Who will be in the study?

Why do researchers believe the experimental treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?

What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?

How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?

How might this trial affect my daily life?

How long will the trial last?

Will hospitalization be required?

Who will pay for the experimental treatment and will I be reimbursed for other expenses?

What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?

How will I know that the experimental treatment is working? Will results of the trials be provided to me?

Who will be in charge of my care?

Continued on page 6

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Award-winning C are C l I n I C A l T r I A l s – Continued from page 5 The hope is, too, that a shorter course of chemotherapy will result in less severe side effects. Many people taking FOLFOX struggle with neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes, which usually develops toward the end of six months. “If we could cut the treatment time short, then maybe they would not have those symptoms,” Graziano explains. “The risk, of course, is that three months may not be as effective as six.” Compoli feels victorious. Tests done in December revealed “no sign of cancer,” she says.

Austin’s story The family of Austin Baker of DeRuyter feels optimistic. Austin is fighting leukemia. His mom, Amber, says in one month of chemotherapy, his cancer cells dropped from 85 percent to 1 percent. He was diagnosed March 11, 2011, a Friday. Earlier in the week, he awoke with pain in his hip, which his parents figured was a result of horsing around with his brother the day before. But the pain intensified. Xrays and blood work did not explain the pain. The next morning, Austin could not walk. An MRI scan at Upstate revealed seven lesions on his pelvis. The next Monday, he started chemotherapy. He’s been hospitalized on and off for treatment, allergic reactions, pancreatitis, pneumonia, fevers and sinus infections. His compromised immune system means he’s susceptible to whatever germs are going around. Amber Baker says even though the cancer cells have been reduced, her son is in a trial comparing different amounts of the same cancer drugs, given at different times. He has blood drawn every month and undergoes a spinal tap every 12 weeks; some kids in the trial have them every month. He takes from two to nine pills per day — cancer drugs every evening and every


Tuesday, pneumonia preventive on the weekends and a week-long course of steroids every 12 weeks. He gets hungry when he’s on steroids, and battles pain when he comes off them, Baker says. But she’s optimistic. Austin is able to attend school. His only restriction is no contact sports, due to his medication port. “He’s got maintenance until May 17, 2014,” his mom says. “The day before he turns 10, he’ll be done with everything.” Graziano says he enrolls patients into clinical trials almost every week, and often they are the same trials underway at big-name cancer centers such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Dana-Farber.

AboUT CliNiCAl TRiAlS 5 Types ●

Treatment trials test experimental treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy.

Prevention trials look for better ways to prevent disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent a disease from returning. These approaches may include medicines, vaccines, vitamins, minerals, or lifestyle changes.

Diagnostic trials are conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition.

Screening trials test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions.

Quality of life trials (or supportive care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.

Stephen Graziano MD Not all patients want to participate in trials, and Graziano says that’s fine. Even those who sign up initially may change their mind. That’s OK too. “If at any point you change your mind, you tell your doctor and you come off the study,” he says. “That’s very explicit in the informed consent process.” ■

4 phAses Clinical trials are conducted in phases, each with a different purpose: ●

In Phase I trials, researchers test an experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people (20-40) for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.

In Phase II trials, the experimental study drug or treatment is given to a slightly larger group of people (<100) with a main goal of determining effectiveness.

In Phase III trials, the experimental study drug or treatment is given to large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the experimental drug or treatment to be used safely. Patients are frequently assigned by random to one of the treatment arms.

In Phase IV trials, post marketing studies delineate additional information including the drug’s risks, benefits, and optimal use.

Source: National Institutes of Health, Stephen Graziano MD

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spring 2012


Save the dates!

2012 Events April 21 Hoops for the Cure, supporting the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund of CNY, at Onondaga Community College May 12 Carol M. Baldwin A Night to Remember Gala at Turning Stone Resort & Casino May 18 & 19 Erie Canal Ride roundtrip from Butternut Creek Aqueduct in DeWitt to Rome* May 19 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at the New York State Fairgrounds

June 2 Paige’s Butterfly Run at Clinton Square, Syracuse* June 3 National Cancer Survivors’ Day Celebration at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool (See pg. 12 for more info)* June 15 American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Long Branch Park July 14 Lukie’s Holes for Hope Golf Open at the Woodcrest Golf Club, between Manlius and Chittenango* July 27 Upstate Open Golf Tournament at Timber Banks and Foxfire golf courses in Baldwinsville*

May 20 Miracle Motorcycle Ride & BBQ at the Spinning Wheel Restaurant & Tavern

Sept. 9 Carol M. Baldwin Ride for Research Motorcycle Ride, hosted by Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and National Grid

May 27 Race4Hope, the Shaffer Ride, part of the Skaneateles Labor Day Race Weekend*

Sept. 16 Carol M. Baldwin Golf Tournament at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY Sept. 21 Upstate Cancer Symposium at the Medical Alumni Auditorium, Weiskotten Hall, Upstate Medical University* Sept. 22 Carol M. Baldwin Paddle for the Cure hosted by Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge Sept. 30 American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Oct. 14 Carol M. Baldwin A Run for Their Life at Syracuse University, Manley Field House

* Upstate Medical University sponsored events

Newsletter Staff: Leslie Kohman MD Medical Director Richard Kilburg MBA Associate Administrator Jeanmarie Glasser FACHE Assistant Director 315-464-5925 Linda Veit, Project Manager 315-464-6303 Heidi Chapman, Staff Assistant 315-464-6065 Upstate Medical University Marketing and University Communications Design and Editorial Support 315-464-4836

R e c e n t E v e n t : Man To Man The Foundation for Upstate Medical University invited the Man to Man Prostate Cancer support group, an OASIS senior program-sponsored organization, to host an awareness event on Feb. 23. Rakesh Khanna MD, Upstate urologist, (pictured) discussed the clinical trials and research on prostate cancer, including information on diet and lifestyle. Associate administrator Richard Kilburg spoke about the new center opening in 2013 and how the new construction and layout will benefit all patients.

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Foundation staff members Michele Estabrook, Don Zorn, and Toni Gary were also on hand to explain the importance of the capital campaign to build the new Cancer Center.



f o un d at ion f or Up s tat e

Charity auction night took place Dec. 10. Janet Callahan, managing partner of Hancock Estabrook, and Carrie Ryder, marketing director

Donor Spotlight s u s p o rT m A n A g e m e n T C l u b r A I s e s $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 The Sport Management Club at Syracuse University secured more than 400 auction items and its 75 student members acted as hosts during the 7th annual Charity Auction night on Dec. 10.

The auction night took place behind the curtain in the back court at the SU vs. George Washington basketball game. Thousands of fans in attendance made

The club is a student-run organization in the College of Human Ecology’s David B. Falk Center for Sport Management. Each year the students select a local charity to receive the proceeds from the auction. This was the second time the club worked with the Foundation for Upstate and its Development Director of Community Relations, Toni Gary. Under the direction of club manager Kate Veley, the student club supported the building of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in 2008 with a donation of $20,000 from that year’s auction proceeds. ■

Thank you, Hancock Estabrook! The Syracuse law firm of Hancock Estabrook, a long-standing Upstate partner, made a $50,000 multi-year pledge to the new Upstate Cancer Center.

se NY Syracu

R affle 50/ck5et0s: $5 each


Proceeds from the event made possible a $30,444 donation to the Upstate Cancer Center. Any gift of $5,000 or more comes with naming rights, and the 2011-2012 club will have its name on the founding wall of honor, on a fireplace in the waiting area and at a nourishment center on the second floor.

for a generous and celebratory crowd — SU won 85-50 — who bid on restaurant gift certificates, spa packages, jewelry and more.

2 e 15, 201 date: Jun Drawing book on Face Like us


er/ u/canc state.ed www.up OME





The 50/50 raffle is another way that supporters of the Upstate Cancer Center can participate. Nearly 4,000 tickets have been distributed for sale to Syracuse University students, Walmart associates and at area businesses. The $5 tickets are also available through the Foundation office by contacting Robin Grabowski at 315-464-5748. A drawing will take place in June, with the winner collecting half of the raffle proceeds.

Members of the Sports Management Club at Syracuse University


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spring 2012

F o un d at ion f or Up s tat e

get involved! Architect’s rendering of the interior of the Upstate Cancer Center. Ewing Cole Architects, Philadelphia.

Getting closer Upstate has achieved over 79 percent of its goal of $15 million to build the new cancer center with donations totaling $11,946,427. The money has come from 2,404 individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations. The Upstate family — including foundation staff, board members, faculty, employees, advocates and volunteers — has contributed more than $3.6 million. Generous individual donors have contributed more than

$3.93 million. Corporations and foundations have contributed more than $1.2 million. The Central New York community has contributed more than $1.9 million, including support from fundraisers such as golf tournaments, walks and runs, auctions, sporting events and school fundraisers. In addition, the Upstate Cancer Center has received 700 tribute gifts in honor or memory of a loved one, and 102 gifts from grateful patients. ■

The information on the foundation’s pages of this newsletter may inspire you to support the cancer campaign in one of several ways: make a gift; name a room in the cancer center; ● host an awareness reception; or ● participate in or conduct a fundraiser. ● ●

There are so many ways everyone can be involved. Please contact the Foundation at 315-464-HOPE or visit the Foundation’s website at for details.

Dads and daughters dance More than 700 dads and daughters danced the night away at the 10th annual Father-Daughter Valentine Ball Feb. 7 at the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds. The event is hosted by the Rev. Wes Fleming and wife, Vicki, and the Eastside Vineyard Church. The Flemings wanted to help give back to the hospital for the care their daughter Beth received.

Alyssa Battaglia, Juliana Battaglia and Helena Bonavita attended the 10th annual Father-Daughter Valentine Ball. Juliana has attended for 7 years and Alyssa and Helena for 5 and said they wouldn’t miss it.

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Extreme pogo stunt performer Whacky Chad provided entertainment, along with magicians and balloonists. The event has raised more than $250,000 to support pediatric cancer care at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.




Cancer Research Institute News Faculty from the Upstate Cancer Research Institute are involved in a variety of studies that are helping to solve the mysteries of cancer and create new methods of fighting the disease. They conduct research, write papers on their findings and share their work with peers all over the world.



Upstate scientists obtain grants to help pay for their research. Here are some of the recent awards:

Upstate scientists interpret their research and write about their studies for a variety of medical journals.

Edward A. Berry PhD — $50,000 from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund for “Structural Studies of Signaling Pathways in Breast Cancer.”

For instance, work done by Upstate’s chair of the Department of Urology, Gennady Bratslavsky MD, appears in the British Journal of Urology International in January; the Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy in December; the Urologic Oncology Journal in November; the Journal of Urology in October; and the journals, Nature Reviews Urology and Cancer Cell in September.

Eileen A. Friedman PhD — $100,000 from the Lustgarten Foundation for a project called “AROS – Controlling Kinase in Pancreatic Cancer.” Juntao Lou PhD — $50,000 from the Baldwin Fund for research into targeted breast cancer therapy using smart, patient-friendly nano carriers, which work specifically within tumor cells.

The American Journal of Surgical Pathology in January published a paper on non-small cell lung carcinomas by Sanjay Mukhopadhyay MD and Anna Luise Katzenstein MD.

Hong Lu PhD — $157,108 from the National Cancer Institute for work on some specific genetic and epigenetic non-mutational changes that take place when cancer develops in the liver.

The journal Investigational New Drugs in December published work on malignant brain tumors by Sharon Longo, David Padalino MD, Sandra McGillis, Kirstin Petersen PhD, Hartmut Schirok PhD, Oliver Politz PhD, Gregory W. Canute MD and Dawn E. Post PhD.

Megan E. Oest PhD — $50,000 from the Baldwin Fund to study whether radiation used to treat breast cancer that spreads to the bones reduces blood flow to the bones, and if so, when and how. Dawn E. Post PhD — $50,000 from the Baldwin Fund for research on ways to inhibit breast cancer genes.


Molecular Cancer Therapeutics featured in November a study authored by Daina Ewton, Jing Hu, Xiaobing Deng PhD and Eileen Friedman PhD. The International Journal of Cancer in November 2010 published research on ovarian cancer cells by Jing Hu, Hassan Nakhla MD and Eileen Friedman PhD.

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Onkologie, the International Journal for Cancer Research and Treatment in December 2011 published “Bisphosphonate Therapy is Effective in the Treatment of Sacral Giant Cell Tumor” by physicians Haider Khadim, Ajeet Gajra, Timothy Damron, Preeti Chaudhary and Chirag Shah. The journal Sarcoma in April published a paper by Eileen Friedman PhD on “The Role of Mirk Kinase in Sarcomas.”

Presentations Upstate scientists are invited to share their knowledge and research findings with their scientific peers at various meetings and conferences, including: Eileen Friedman PhD presented “Mirk/dyrk1B in Cancer” at the Protein Kinases meeting in France in November. Gennady Bratslavsky MD presented “Robotics in RCC Surgery” at the 10th International Kidney Cancer Symposium in Chicago in October. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay MD presented “Napsin A: a Useful Marker for Subclassifying Primary Non-small Cell Lung Carcinomas and for Determining Pulmonary Origin in Metastatic Adenocarcinomas” at the Nebraska Association of Pathologists Meeting in Omaha in September. Dr. Mukhopadhyay also presented “Utility of Small Biopsies for Diagnosis of Lung Nodules: Doing More With Less” as part of the long course in pulmonary pathology at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology 100th Annual Meeting in San Antonio in March 2011. ■

Spring 2012


New post allows Upstate to seek international collaborations Ziwei Huang PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and director of the Upstate Cancer Research Institute, is Upstate’s new associate vice president for research partnerships and international collaborations. In this new post, Huang leads the university’s efforts in forming global collaborations among research and industry partners. He will focus especially on establishing new research and educational partnerships in Asia Pacific and Europe using the model Upstate established with the creation of the International Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technology. That institute connects Upstate with National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel. Partnerships with industry will help advance Upstate’s technological innovations. “Dr. Huang’s leadership in this important post will enhance Upstate’s ability to make valuable connections with global research partners and help extend SUNY’s influence around the world,” says David R. Smith MD, Upstate’s president. David Duggan MD, interim dean of the College of Medicine, says “Dr. Huang’s international focus and his work with business and industry will bring a valuable dimension to the College of Medicine’s mission of teaching and research.” Huang joined Upstate in 2009 when he was appointed professor and chair of the pharmacology department and director of the Cancer Research Institute. He will continue to serve in these positions. “Dr. Huang has been a major force in moving forward Upstate’s strategic plan for research, and his abundant energy

Ziwei Huang PhD, associate vice president for research partnerships and international collaborations

and outstanding leadership of the pharmacology department and the Cancer Research Institute make him well suited to lead the university in fostering research partnerships locally, nationally and internationally,” said Steven Goodman PhD, Upstate vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In addition to developing new research partnerships worldwide, Huang will develop a translational research education program that will provide stronger links between Upstate’s basic and clinical science investigators. He also will seek to enhance collaboration among SUNY cancer researchers by leading the Cancer Group for SUNY REACH (Research Excellence in Academic Health), a research network of SUNY academic medical centers that helps advance the research vision of New York’s public academic health

Up s tat e C on n e ct

centers. More than $4 million in research funding was awarded to SUNY academic medical centers this fall under the auspices of SUNY REACH. “I am excited about this new role in working with many people here at Upstate and other institutions around the world to continue to strengthen through collaboration our missions in research, education, and translation of our knowledge and technologies to clinical and industrial applications,” says Huang. “This reflects a new direction for the university in response to the changes and challenges in research, teaching, and funding across the country.” Prior to joining Upstate in 2009, Huang was a faculty member at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and at the University of California at San Diego. ■



Supporters Caps for Cancer In remIssIon, she k n I T s f o r oT h e r s Vicki Jellie was surprised as she walked through her village of Black River, outside of Watertown. “If I go down the street, there are more houses that have had cancer in them than haven’t.” Jellie’s is one of them. She is in her fifth year of remission from lung cancer, after having two-thirds of her right lung removed Jan. 23, 2008 at Upstate. Wanting to show her gratitude, Jellie picked up her knitting needles and soon recruited friends to help. They make caps.

Lung cancer survivor Vicki Jellie with some of her Caps for Cancer “They’re free to cancer patients, but if you’re not a cancer patient, I ask for a donation,” she says. Those donations add up. Last year Caps for Cancer gave $2,037 to the Upstate Cancer Center. Adult-sized caps take about nine hours to knit and are made of cottons, acrylics, mohairs and a variety of other yarns. Some people help the cause by donating yarn to Jellie, who says her husband, Richard, always opens his wallet when she shops for materials. “They’re all different colors, and no two are the same unless I bought a big skein of yarn that’s variegated.” Inside each cap, a message says that the colors and patterns represent courage, faith, hope and love. Caps for Cancer also makes caps for children and babies. Jellie says she has personally tied off 540 caps. Jellie was a smoker who quit smoking and got cancer 13 years later anyway. She recognized a need for the caps when she went through chemotherapy after surgery. She saw a male patient in his 40s who donned the only hat available, made of pink fleece.

She learned to knit in third or fourth grade for a school project. She knitted baby clothes and bunting until her children were in middle school, and she made fisherman’s sweaters for her husband for a while. Then she got into ceramics, which she stopped after her diagnosis.

Picking up the knitting needles again made sense for Jellie. Now she has a creative outlet — and a way to help others by spreading the word about the cancer services Upstate has available for people throughout the Central New York region. ■

n AT I o n A l C A n C e r s u rv I v o r s ’ D Ay

A Red Carpet Event on June 3 Please join us on the Red Carpet for National Cancer Survivors’ Day on Sunday, June 3 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Electronics Parkway in Liverpool. The event is a celebration of life for cancer survivors of all ages, and their guests. The day includes a sit-down lunch, entertainment and door prizes. Feel free to dress as your favorite movie star! (There will be a prize for best costume.) RSVP to Upstate Connect at 1-800-464-8668.

12.0590312 17.3mELsk

Seating is limited and reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 750 East Adams Street l Syracuse, NY 13210

Knowing changes everything.


Upstate Cancer Center newsletter  

This is the spring issue of the quarterly Upstate Cancer Center Newsletter, from Syracuse's Upstate Medical University.

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