Fox Chase has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, one of four such centers in Pennsylvania. This designation honors institutions with an established research and academic program in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS); recognized expertise; the ability to conduct and make available genetic research; a history of publications on MDS; and ongoing research into the syndrome, including Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trials.
“As an MDS Center of Excellence, we offer patients with MDS state-of-the-art care,” says medical oncologist Patricia Kropf, MD, director of the Fox Chase-Temple MDS program. “We have clinical trials designed specifically for patients with MDS. Our care team includes clinicians, researchers, hematopathologists, and other staff members with expertise in MDS who are dedicated to the care of these patients.”
Jenny P. Glusker, PhD, DSc, Fox Chase professor emerita, has been awarded the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. The annual award recognizes researchers who have made outstanding scientific contributions and have communicated their significance across disciplines. Glusker’s research interests include cancer-causing chemicals, enzyme mechanisms, and crystallography.
Fox Chase senior scientist Alfred G. Knudson Jr., MD, PhD, was honored as an Oncology Luminary by the American Society of Clinical Oncology during its 50th anniversary celebration. The honor recognizes exceptional individuals who have helped shape the field of oncology and have advanced progress against cancer. Knudson’s “two-hit” theory of cancer causation provided a unifying model for understanding cancer susceptibility in people with and without an inherited predisposition. Knudson also predicted the discovery of tumor suppressor genes.
The Fox Chase-Temple bone marrow transplant program recently earned reaccreditation for three years from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). This achievement reaffirms the expertise and dedication of the faculty and the high quality of care provided to patients through the hematology program.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has honored Paul F. Engstrom, MD, acting chair of medical oncology and senior vice president of extramural research programs, with its prestigious Rodger Winn Award in recognition of his role in developing the organization’s widely used clinical guidelines. NCCN CEO Robert W. Carlson, MD, calls him “the ‘father’ of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology,” noting Engstrom’s “demonstrated leadership and dedication to the welfare of patients” and active membership in NCCN since its inception.
Credit: Jeff Rhoades
For the latest in its Cancer Conversations series — public talks in which physicians, authors, filmmakers, and others discuss cancer-related topics — Fox Chase welcomed George Johnson, former writer and editor for The New York Times. Johnson discussed his book The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery, in which he recounts his journey into the world of oncology following his wife’s diagnosis with metastatic cancer and details the wealth of insights now emerging about cancer’s fundamental nature and origins.
In April, Fox Chase’s pain and palliative care program received its advanced certification from The Joint Commission. Fox Chase is one of only five facilities in the region that has achieved this certification, which recognizes inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient- and family-centered interdisciplinary palliative care. The certification is the latest development in a decades-long quest to raise the profile of pain and palliative care. “Pain and palliative care is essential, specialty care. Every hospital needs to provide it through a skilled and compassionate, interdisciplinary team,” says Michael H. Levy, MD, PhD, vice chair of medical oncology, director of Fox Chase’s pain and palliative care program, chair of the NCCN Palliative Care Guidelines panel, and member of the Technical Advisory Panel for the first update of The Joint Commission’s palliative care standards.
Medical physicist Mohan Doss, PhD, MCCPM, associate professor of diagnostic imaging, received the International Dose-Response Society’s 2014 Outstanding Leadership Award at the organization’s annual conference in April in Amherst, Mass. The award recognizes his contribution to a deeper understanding of the relationships between dose and response.
A new book co-edited by Fox Chase deputy chief scientific officer Erica A. Golemis, PhD, and Barbara Burtness, MD, formerly of Fox Chase and now at Yale Cancer Center, summarizes the unique pathobiology of head and neck cancers. Molecular Determinants of Head and Neck Cancer, one of very few books in its field, introduces the origins and subclasses of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHNs) and how those factors impact disease profile and response to treatment. The book then summarizes current understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, and protein expression changes associated with various classes of the disease, and it discusses future therapeutic targets. The book contains chapters co-authored by Golemis and Burtness as well as Fox Chase faculty members Camille Ragin, MPH, PhD, Ranee Mehra, MD, and Ilya Serebriiskii, PhD; Temple University School of Medicine faculty member Jeffrey Liu, MD; and Fox Chase and Temple staff members Tim Beck, BS, and Jennifer Cracchiolo, MD.
Nobelist Avram Hershko, MD, PhD, has returned to Fox Chase Cancer Center for a sabbatical in the lab of Timothy J. Yen, PhD. Hershko is focusing on how protein degradation is used to ensure that chromosomes are accurately segregated between two daughter cells during mitosis — a continuation of his work on the breakdown of proteins within cells, for which he won the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Aaron Ciechanover, PhD, a colleague from his home institution, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, as well as retired Fox Chase scientist Irwin A. “Ernie” Rose, PhD.