Detroit, MI, United States

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Detroit, MI, United States

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is located in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. The institute has 1,200 staff members, including 300 doctors. Staff treat approximately 12,000 patients each year and operates with a budget of $260 million. It conducts 700 cancer-specific scientific investigations programs and clinical trials each year.Karmanos Cancer Institute became Michigan's first and only hospital focused on cancer on Dec. 1, 2005.The institute has a Phase 1 program, one of only 14 National Cancer Institute -funded Phase 1 programs in the United States. Karmanos is affiliated with Wayne State University School of Medicine and its doctors are faculty members at the medical school. Wikipedia.

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News Article | June 13, 2017

DETROIT - A team of Wayne State University and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute researchers recently received funding from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to expand the use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in cancer therapy. PET imaging is a common tool used in cancer diagnosis. Wei-Zen Wei, Ph.D., the Herrick Chair of Cancer Research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and professor of oncology and immunology and microbiology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University, along with Nerissa Viola-Villegas, Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology in Wayne State University's School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, plan to expand the use of this technology with the help of the two-year, $368,445 grant, "Directing Cancer Immunotherapy and Real-Time ImmunoPET." According to Wei, current immune-based therapies are effective in some patients with existing anti-tumor immunity, but most are not responsive, therefore revealing the need for immune priming and non-invasive monitoring strategies. Wei and Viola-Villegas will expand PET imaging technology for cancer immunotherapy by imaging dendritic cells -- the specialized white blood cells that can trigger tumor-fighting immunity. Cancer treatment that brings more dendritic cells into a tumor is more likely to cure cancer. "Assessing if cancer treatments are effective is often invasive and difficult," said Joseph Dunbar, Ph.D., director of special operations in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Wayne State. "Drs. Wei and Viola-Villegas' method of using PET imaging will be a less invasive, strong indicator of whether cancer treatments are effective." The research team will develop new imaging probes to detect dendritic cells in the tumor, which will measure the dendritic cells and predict treatment outcome. Their findings may help develop immunoPET, which, in turn, will guide patient treatment in a non-invasive way. The award number for this National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health grant is CA216648. Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit Karmanos Cancer Institute, headquartered in Detroit, is the largest cancer research and provider network in Michigan and has 14 treatment locations. Cancer patients have increased access to advanced cancer care in communities throughout the state. This provides an extra level of comfort and peace of mind to patients and their families, knowing they can receive the best care locally. Caring for approximately 12,000 new patients annually and conducting more than 800 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Karmanos offers one of the largest clinical trials program in the nation, giving patients access to more than 100 promising new treatments often available only at Karmanos. For more information about Karmanos, visit

The Prostate Cancer Clinical Consortium Award is a peer-reviewed, competitive grant. Peers include scientific researchers at universities and cancer centers across the nation. This year, only seven sites were funded, down from 11 sites in 2013. Karmanos has been part of the consortium since 2008. The budget amount for the new four-year grant is $1,232,000. Dr. Heath's co-principal investigator is Ulka Vaishampayan, M.D., director of the Eisenberg Center for Translational Therapeutics and co-investigators are Isaac Powell, M.D. and Lance Heilbrun, Ph.D., of Karmanos and WSU SOM. "African-American men face numerous socioeconomic, religious and health barriers to participating in clinical trial-based therapy," Dr. Heath said. "By increasing trial opportunities and resources within an accessible health care system located in a predominantly African-American community, such as Detroit, my colleagues and I are striving to improve clinical trial access and overcome some of the other potential barriers to clinical trial enrollment for African Americans. "Being a member of the PCCTC will have a major impact on prostate cancer clinical trials management at Karmanos because we will have access to diverse agents for treatment and will be able to develop clinical trials that focus on the effects of treatment on the biology of men with high-risk or more aggressive disease." Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among males in the United States, according to researchers. African-American men have 1.6-times greater prostate cancer incidence and a 2.4-fold higher mortality rate from prostate cancer relative to Caucasian men. They often present with higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, higher grade disease, and more advanced disease. Although the reasons for these disparities are not well understood, Karmanos researchers are actively studying potential contributors, including socioeconomic factors hindering access to prostate screening and appropriate medical treatment, and racial differences in cancer biology. Despite the higher incidence of prostate cancer in African-American men nationwide, the proportion of those patients accrued to prostate cancer clinical trials remains disproportionately low. "We want to fully encourage African-American men who have prostate cancer to consider taking part in a clinical trial," Dr. Heath said. "Many times, clinical trials provide the best options for patients who have exhausted other therapeutic avenues. Clinical trials also provide treatment that's as good as standard of care. And, by participating in a clinical trial, African-American cancer patients can pave the way for the development of therapies that will benefit future prostate cancer patients." The Prostate Cancer Clinical Consortium Award mechanism was established in 2005 to support the collaborations and resources necessary to rapidly execute Phase II or Phase I/II clinical trials of therapeutic agents or approaches for the management or treatment of prostate cancer. The overarching goal of the award is to combine the efforts of leading investigators to bring to market novel therapeutic interventions that will ultimately decrease the overall impact of prostate cancer. Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is one of 47 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

News Article | May 9, 2017

In today’s highly competitive hospital environment, 86% of women would travel at least 50 miles for a hospital that was rated best in patient experience, according to a national survey with over 1,000 women respondents. To help women set their navigation systems in the right direction, the trusted research and referral source announced today its list of the 2017 America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in honor of National Hospital Week, May 7th - 13th, 2017. Patient experience includes several aspects of health care delivery that patients highly value when they seek and receive care, such as getting timely appointments, easy access to information, and good communication with health care providers. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, good patient experience positively correlates to disease management, adherence to treatment plans and health outcomes. The methodology used to select America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience is unique in that it evaluates specific Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey results along with primary research about women’s healthcare preferences. The Women’s Choice Award collects the data for the following HCAHPS survey measures and uses a weighted average to award the best hospitals for patient experience: Facilities were ranked among the top 100 hospitals of similar size based on number of beds. “Hospital choice is a critical decision, particularly for women who make 80% of healthcare decisions,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “Our patient experience award gives them the confidence that they have selected a hospital where they and their families are more likely to receive care that is truly patient-centric for the best possible outcomes.” The following elite facilities are among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience and carry the Women’s Choice Award seal, signifying their commitment to the healthcare of women and their families: Adventist Health Castle, Kailua, HI Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI Baylor Scott & White Surgical Hospital at Sherman, Sherman, TX Baylor Surgical Hospital at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX Billings Clinic, Billings, MT CarolinaEast Medical Center, New Bern, NC Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, NC Central Valley Medical Center, Nephi, UT CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, Texarkana, TX Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby, MN Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon, OH Greenwich Hospital, A Member of Yale New Haven Health, Greenwich, CT Hill Country Memorial Hospital, Fredericksburg, TX Iowa Specialty Hospital, Belmond, IA Lafayette General Medical Center, Lafayette, LA Lincoln Surgical Hospital, Lincoln, NE Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, NC Orange City Area Health System, Orange City, IA Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, Glendale, WI Pullman Regional Hospital, Pullman, WA Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center, Mount Vernon, KY Saint Francis Healthcare System, Cape Girardeau, MO Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ St Tammany Parish Hospital, Covington, LA St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton CA Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake, Southlake, TX The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ UCLA Health, Los Angeles, CA UMC Health System, Lubbock, TX Union General Hospital, Inc., Blairsville, GA West Park Hospital District, Cody, WY White Plains Hospital, White Plains, NY Woman's Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA For more information on America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience, please visit ABOUT THE WOMEN’S CHOICE AWARD® The Women’s Choice Award® is a trusted referral source, empowering women to make smart healthcare choices by identifying the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that consider female patient satisfaction and clinical excellence. The Women’s Choice Award was recently honored by the INC 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in 2016 for a second consecutive year. The Women’s Choice Award will be hosting the first annual Women’s Choice Award® Show, where awarded hospital CEOs will be honored. Visit to learn more. The information contained in this release is not permitted to be used in a non-press related context without the express prior written consent of the Women’s Choice Award.

Gorski D.H.,Wayne State University | Gorski D.H.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2014

Over the past two decades there has been a growing acceptance of 'integrative oncology', also known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), in cancer care and research at academic medical centres and medical schools. Proponents of integrative oncology argue that it is based in science and provides the 'best of both worlds' by combining science-based treatments and 'holistic' medicine. However, a close examination of the methodologies indicates that, from a standpoint of basic science, the vast majority of 'integrative' treatments are supported by little, if any, scientific evidence. What are the consequences of this integration? Is there any harm? Are there any potential benefits? © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Ferrara F.,Cardarelli Hospital | Schiffer C.A.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Lancet | Year: 2013

The outlook for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia has improved in the past 30 years. Unlike other cancers, much of this progress is attributable to refinement of supportive treatment, rather than the introduction of new drugs. New antibacterial and antifungal agents, antiemetics, and improved transfusion support have decreased the rate of early death, and morbidity and mortality from allogeneic stem cell transplantation has been substantially reduced. However, more than half of young adult patients and about 90% of older patients still die from their disease. Refractoriness to initial induction treatment and, more frequently, relapse after complete remission, are still the main obstacles to cure. Accordingly, new treatment approaches with mechanisms of action different from those of conventional chemotherapy are needed. Our knowledge of the various chromosomal and molecular abnormalities implicated in the pathogenesis of the many subtypes of the disease has greatly expanded; as a result, clinical research is moving towards the investigation of new non-cytotoxic agents in combination with chemotherapy. The goal is to target the molecular abnormalities identified at diagnosis; however, several aberrations can coexist in subclones of acute myeloid leukaemia, making the disease less likely to be inhibited by a single agent. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Buac D.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2013

The cancer drug discovery field has placed much emphasis on the identification of novel and cancer-specific molecular targets. A rich source of such targets for the design of novel anti-tumor agents is the ubiqutin-proteasome system (UP-S), a tightly regulated, highly specific pathway responsible for the vast majority of protein turnover within the cell. Because of its critical role in almost all cell processes that ensure normal cellular function, its inhibition at one point in time was deemed non-specific and therefore not worth further investigation as a molecular drug target. However, today the proteasome is one of the most promising anti-cancer drug targets of the century. The discovery that tumor cells are in fact more sensitive to proteasome inhibitors than normal cells indeed paved the way for the design of its inhibitors. Such efforts have led to bortezomib, the first FDA approved proteasome inhibitor now used as a frontline treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), relapsed/refractory MM and mantle cell lymphoma. Though successful in improving clinical outcomes for patients with hematological malignancies, relapse often occurs in those who initially responded to bortezomib. Therefore, the acquisition of bortezomib resistance is a major issue with its therapy. Furthermore, some neuro-toxicities have been associated with bortezomib treatment and its efficacy in solid tumors is lacking. These observations have encouraged researchers to pursue the next generation of proteasome inhibitors, which would ideally overcome bortezomib resistance, have reduced toxicities and a broader range of anti-cancer activity. This review summarizes the success and limitations of bortezomib, and describes recent advances in the field, including, and most notably, the most recent FDA approval of carfilzomib in July, 2012, a second generation proteasome inhibitor. Other proteasome inhibitors currently in clinical trials and those that are currently experimental grade will also be discussed.

Shekhar M.P.V.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Current Cancer Drug Targets | Year: 2011

The success of current treatment strategies is limited by the development of therapy resistance as evidenced by recurrence of the primary tumor or distant metastasis. Eradication of primary and metastatic disease requires interventions at both the cancer cell and tumor microenvironment levels. In this review, we will discuss mechanisms that are intrinsic to cancer cells, and those that are mediated by the tumor microenvironment as contributors to drug resistance. Mechanisms contributing to multidrug resistance phenotype and the challenges facing molecular targeted therapy are discussed. The DNA damage tolerance pathway confers tolerance to a variety of structurally and functionally unrelated drugs. A rationale for targeting the DNA damage tolerance pathway as a novel tool for overcoming drug resistance is discussed. We have also addressed the need for employing clinically relevant model systems for performing drug sensitivity evaluations. These model systems must take into account the three-dimensional organization and in vivo relationship of tumor with its microenvironment. Such integrative efforts would not only yield a more global understanding of the tumor- and microenvironment-derived mechanisms involved in emergence of drug resistance but would also provide novel therapeutic targets that will disrupt the interactions between the tumor cells and its microenvironment. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Bepler G.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2013

We assessed whether chemotherapy selection based on in situ ERCC1 and RRM1 protein levels would improve survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Eligible patients were randomly assigned 2:1 to the trial's experimental arm, which consisted of gemcitabine/carboplatin if RRM1 and ERCC1 were low, docetaxel/carboplatin if RRM1 was high and ERCC1 was low, gemcitabine/docetaxel if RRM1 was low and ERCC1 was high, and docetaxel/vinorelbine if both were high. In the control arm, patients received gemcitabine/carboplatin. The trial was powered for a 32% improvement in 6-month progression-free survival (PFS). Of 331 patients registered, 275 were eligible. The median number of cycles given was four in both arms. A tumor rebiopsy specifically for expression analysis was required in 17% of patients. The median time from informed consent to expression analysis was 11 days. We found no statistically significant differences between the experimental arm and the control arm in PFS (6.1 months v 6.9 months) or overall survival (11.0 months v 11.3 months). A subset analysis revealed that patients with low levels for both proteins who received the same treatment in both treatment arms had a statistically better PFS (P = .02) in the control arm (8.1 months) compared with the experimental arm (5.0 months). This demonstrates that protein expression analysis for therapeutic decision making is feasible in newly diagnosed patients with advanced-stage NSCLC. A tumor rebiopsy is safe, required in 17%, and acceptable to 89% (47 of 53) of patients.

This protocol requires 2-4 h and presents a method for injecting tumor cells, cancer stem cells or dispersed biopsy material into subcutaneous or orthotopic locations within recipient mice. The tumor cells or biopsy are mixed with basement membrane matrix proteins (CultrexBME or Matrigel) at 4 °C and then injected into recipient animals at preferred anatomical sites. Tumor cells can also be co-injected with additional cell types, such as fibroblasts, stromal cells, endothelial cells and so on. Details are given on appropriate cell numbers, handling and concentration of the basement membrane proteins, recipient animals, injection location and techniques. This procedure enables the growth of tumors from cells or biopsy material (tumor graft) with greater efficiency of take and growth, and with retention of the primary tumor phenotype based on histology. Co-injection with additional cell types provides more physiological models of human cancers for use in drug screening and studying cancer biology.

Targeting a single pathway in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PC) is unlikely to affect its natural history. We tested the hypothesis that simulataneous targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 (IGF-1R) pathways would significantly improve progression-free survival (PFS) by abrogating reciprocal signaling that promote drug resistance This was a phase Ib/II study testing cixutumumab, combined with erlotinib and gemcitabine (G) in patients with untreated metastatic PC. The control arm was erlotinib plus G. The primary end point was PFS. Eligibility included performance status 0/1 and normal fasting blood glucose. Polymorphisms in genes involved in G metabolism and in the EGFR pathway were also studied The phase I results (n = 10) established the safety of cixutumumab 6 mg/kg/week intravenously, erlotinib 100 mg/day orally, and G 1000 mg/m(2) intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. In the RP2 portion (116 eligible patients; median age, 63), the median PFS and overall survival (OS) were 3.6 and 7.0 months, respectively, on the cixutumumab arm, and 3.6 and 6.7 months, respecively, on the control arm. Major grades 3 and 4 toxicities with cixutumumab and control were elevation of transaminases, 12% and 6%, respectively; fatigue, 16% and 12%, respectively; gastrointestinal, 35% and 28%, respectively; neutropenia, 21% and 10%, respectively; and thrombocytopenia, 16% and 7%, respecively. Grade 3/4 hyperglycemia was seen in 16% of patients on cixutumumab. Grade 3 or 4 skin toxicity was similar in both arms of the study (< 5%). No significant differences in PFS by genotype were seen for any of the polymorphisms. Adding the IGF-1R inhibitor cixutumumab to erlotinib and G did not lead to longer PFS or OS in metastatic PC. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

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