Winter 2014

Nobel Laureate Hershko returns

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.

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Fox Chase Earns Fourth Consecutive Magnet Nursing Designation

For the fourth time in a row, Fox Chase has received Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services through the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® — making it the first health care provider in Pennsylvania (and one of only 13 in the nation) to have achieved three successful re-designations. The nation’s highest form of recognition for nursing excellence, Magnet designation denotes superior nursing management and practice standards, nursing leadership and support, and attention to cultural and ethnic diversity, and is one of the benchmarks used to measure the quality of patient care. “Earning this re-designation is a substantial … Continue Reading »

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Ofri Speaks on Emotions in Medicine

How do physicians respond to the life-and-death dramas of everyday practice? What effects do their responses have on patients? These are among the questions examined in What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine, a book by author and physician Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD. In September, Ofri came to Fox Chase to speak about the book as part of Cancer Conversations, Fox Chase’s series of public talks on cancer topics. Nearly one-third of the 300 guests were health care professionals representing many medical centers across the region. Ofri, a physician at Bellevue Hospital in New York, was also … Continue Reading »

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Fox Chase Receives Accreditation by the Commission on Cancer

The American College of Surgeons has granted Fox Chase full accreditation by the Commission on Cancer, recognizing cancer programs that have made a voluntary effort to provide high-quality, patient-centered care. Full accreditation is granted only to programs that have been independently verified by a CoC surveyor as meeting every one of its 36 standards.

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Association of Community Cancer Centers Honors Engstrom

The Association of Community Cancer Centers has honored Paul F. Engstrom, MD, acting chairman of medical oncology and senior vice president of extramural research programs, with its Annual Clinical Care Achievement Award. An international advocate for cancer prevention and early detection, Engstrom established the first Cancer Prevention and Control Program in an NCI-designated cancer center at Fox Chase in 1979. He is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Patient Guideline Committee and a worldwide spokesperson for the national guidelines to screen, diagnose, manage, and support cancer patients.

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Grivennikov Named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Sergei Grivennikov, PhD, an assistant professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences in June 2013. Grivennikov is using the award to explore the ways that the inflammatory response of a host’s immune cells may influence tumorigenesis and cancer progression in diseases such as colon cancer. Using a mouse model primed to develop colorectal cancer, Grivennikov will examine how alterations in various cytokine signaling pathways affect the process of tumor development and metastasis.

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Above, ligand-dependent activation of HER3 and its subsequent dimerization with HER2 leads to potent activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, a signaling cascade that plays essential roles in regulating cellular homeostasis. Inappropriate signaling through the HER2/HER3 heterodimer is linked to the formation and progression of a number of cancers, including gastric and breast cancers. MM-111, an anti- HER2/anti-HER3 bispecific antibody, blocks signaling through this critical receptor pair and inhibits the growth of HER2/HER3-driven cancer cells.

Drug Developed at Fox Chase Holds Promise for Gastroesophageal Cancer

A first-of-its-kind drug that emerged from research at Fox Chase Cancer Center is now moving into an important new area: gastroesophageal cancer. “This is a drug that could provide new therapeutic options in a disease that doesn’t have many,” says medical oncologist Crystal Denlinger, MD, who is leading a worldwide study to test the compound’s effectiveness in cancers of the stomach and esophagus. Continue Reading »

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American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Health Disparities Conference

At the sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved in Atlanta in December 2013, Fox Chase epidemiologist Camille Ragin, PhD, explored disparities in head and neck cancer. Through a systematic review and meta analysis of the related literature, Ragin provided evidence of disparities in the prevalence of HPV-positive oropharynx cancer between African Americans and U.S. whites. The focus shifted to Trinidad and Tobago in another presentation, where Ragin presented the first data on head and neck cancer trends in Continue Reading »

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Fox Chase Offers Robust Selection of Phase I and First-in-Human Compound Trials

Fox Chase is home to a highly active Phase I clinical trial program, which enrolls 150 to 200 patients into Phase I oncology trials annually. The program is bolstered by Fox Chase’s Protocol Support Laboratory, one of the only laboratories in the country dedicated specifically to fulfilling the biospecimen-based research objectives of protocols for Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trials and investigational studies. The Center’s robust portfolio of Phase I trials includes about 15 trials of first-in-human compounds in any given year. “We have a lot of physicians who have an interest in early clinical drug development with the intent of finding … Continue Reading »

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