Continuum Cancer Centers of New York

New York City, United States

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New York City, United States

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News Article | June 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ARLINGTON, Va., June 27, 2017 --The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is pleased to announce the 2017 ASTRO Gold Medalists. Søren M. Bentzen, DSc, PhD; Louis B. Harrison, MD, FASTRO; and Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO, have been awarded the highest honor bestowed upon ASTRO members. They will be recognized for their achievements at an awards ceremony during ASTRO's 59th Annual Meeting in San Diego, taking place September 24-27, 2017. ASTRO awards its annual Gold Medal to individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions in the field of radiation oncology, including achievements in clinical patient care, research, teaching and service to the profession. In the award's 41st consecutive year, the new awardees join an exclusive class of 81 Gold Medalists selected over the decades from the Society's more than 10,000 members. "It is a privilege to bestow the ASTRO Gold Medal upon these three great men, who have all contributed to the specialty in a myriad of ways," said ASTRO Board of Directors Chair David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO. "Honoring these colleagues is a highlight of my role as Board Chair, made even more so by the fact that they are selected for this highest accolade by their peers." Søren M. Bentzen, DSc, PhD, is passionate about science and math. By the numbers, this passion has led to more than 400 published articles, around 1,400 scientific citations per year, more than 300 invited talks at international scientific meetings, 54 visiting professorships, 15 trial steering committee memberships and four clinical trial or research group chairmanships. With stats like those, it's no wonder that his nominating letters for the ASTRO Gold Medal contained descriptions of Dr. Bentzen like, "leader in the field," "one of the top scientists" and "preeminent researcher in the world." Dr. Bentzen is currently a professor and director of the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He holds a secondary faculty appointment there as a professor of radiation oncology and is a member of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well. After earning his doctorate in medicine and medical physics from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Dr. Bentzen was a visiting scientist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1987-1988. While in Houston, he studied under radiation oncology stalwarts, such as Howard Thames, PhD, FASTRO, Lester Peters, MD, FASTRO, and K. Kian Ang, MD, PhD, FASTRO, all ASTRO Gold Medalists themselves. From there, he held appointments at University of Aarhus, the Gray Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin before taking the post at University of Maryland. "I came into this field at a great time," said Dr. Bentzen. "Radiation therapy has undergone quite a renaissance. The progress we've made in understanding radiation biology and molecular cancer biology has revolutionized the way radiation oncology is practiced." Indeed, Dr. Bentzen has played a large role in that understanding. For years, he has studied the long-term effects of normal tissue toxicity as a result of radiation treatment. According to one nominating letter, "Søren's work on normal tissue injury is probably the most important work of this type in the radiation oncology literature." This work led him to consider dose-fractionation schedules and how radiation therapy might be best tailored to maximize tumor control while minimizing toxicity to normal tissue. In another nominating letter, the writer concludes, "His work on modeling and fractionation have been essential to how we can use radiation safely in the clinic." Dr. Bentzen is now focusing on a new frontier of cancer care: personalized medicine using big data to better tailor treatments. He said, "At the end of the day, it's about optimizing the treatment for each individual. There are so many new possibilities that we didn't have 15 years ago. With population-level registry data and electronic health records and then with what we know about genomics--combining data and knowledge across all of those fields is challenging and also very exciting." Louis B. Harrison, MD, FASTRO, is a renaissance man of radiation oncology. From developing a customized high-dose-rate (HDR) radiation therapy applicator to writing a textbook to leading multidisciplinary teams, Dr. Harrison's accomplishments in the field are varied and far-reaching. Dr. Harrison began his medical career in surgery, receiving the Clarence Dennis Society Prize for Surgical Scholarship for the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine's class of 1982. But he soon switched paths to radiation oncology, saying, "I thought radiation oncology had the best opportunity for curing cancer while optimizing functional outcome and quality of life." His surgical background has proven effective for forging partnerships with clinicians across all oncologic specialties. As more people see the value in multidisciplinary cancer care, Dr. Harrison gladly welcomes them to the club--he has been a leader in comprehensive cancer care for decades. "Radiation oncology is one of those specialties that mixes strongly with many other areas--surgery, medical oncology, imaging, pathology, genomics, immunology, biology, mathematics--but none of us can cure cancer by ourselves," said Dr. Harrison. From 1999-2014, he served as the Physician-in-Chief of Continuum Cancer Centers of New York and was instrumental in developing multidisciplinary programs across all cancer sites in the Continuum health care system. Under his leadership, the cancer program received Gold Level Accreditation for the Continuum Network from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, one of the few health systems to earn this level of accreditation. Dr. Harrison's desire to treat cancer while preserving function led him to specialize in head and neck and skin cancers. "In head and neck and skin cancer, radiation therapy is used as a primary modality. The aspiration to achieve excellent functional and cosmetic outcomes is very important to patients." Dr. Harrison is an authority in the field of head and neck and skin cancer: he literally wrote the book on it. Dr. Harrison is the lead editor of the major textbook, "Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach," currently in its fourth edition. According to one of Dr. Harrison's nominating letters, "his contributions in brachytherapy and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) have shaped the field." Developing novel therapies and new ways to deliver treatment has always been a motivator for Dr. Harrison. He was one of the first investigators to combine concomitant chemotherapy with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, now a standard of care. Along with Lowell Anderson, DSc, and Felix Mick, Dr. Harrison created the Harrison Anderson Mick (HAM) Applicator, a medical device used to deliver HDR brachytherapy or HDR IORT treatments. Never one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Harrison brought his entrepreneurial spirit to the Board of Directors of ASTRO from 2005-2009. As President and Chair, he advocated for a name change for the Society to stress the importance of cancer care to its members. At ASTRO's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston in September 2008, the membership voted to change its name from the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology to its current name, the American Society for Radiation Oncology. After spending most of his career in New York, Dr. Harrison joined the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, in 2014. He serves Moffitt as the Chair of Radiation Oncology, as well as Deputy Physician-in-Chief. "Coming to Moffitt was a big decision for me. I think Moffitt is a great place to collaborate with outstanding multidisciplinary colleagues and pursue team science," said Dr. Harrison. "That's an integral step to fulfill our dream of developing personalized radiation therapy." Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO, is driven by his professional commitment to provide excellence in patient care through his expertise in health policy, and he has worked tirelessly in service to the specialty of radiation oncology as an advocate and leader. "I am grateful and humbled to receive this recognition from my peers," Steinberg said. "For me, this award celebrates the incredible advances we have achieved in radiation oncology and cancer treatment, but also underscores the continued need to combine clinical research with effective health policy to best provide our patients with state-of-the-art care." Following his graduation from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Dr. Steinberg completed a postgraduate year in surgery at LAC+USC Medical Center, before entering the radiation oncology residency and fellowship program at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). "Early in my medical training, I found that I was most comfortable taking care of patients with the most significant and severe health problems," Dr. Steinberg said of his decision to specialize in radiation oncology. "I quickly learned that cancer patients are among the most heroic patients one can see in the practice of medicine." In the early years of his private medical practice, Dr. Steinberg developed an expertise in health care economics and health policy through teaching and working in health services research at UCLA and the Rand Corporation. Dr. Steinberg was tapped to serve as a representative to the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) for ASTRO from 1997-2002 and as the radiation oncology representative to the CPT Editorial Committee from 2002-2010. As one of his nominating letters put it, "There is a debt owed to Dr. Steinberg by all radiation oncologists for the many tireless years of work he put in to the CPT Panel, due to his deep understanding of complex health care and reimbursement issues." Dr. Steinberg understood and foresaw the increasing demands of managing health care economic issues for the specialty of radiation oncology. "This is not just about billing, this is also about access to radiation oncology care and the quality of that care," Dr. Steinberg would say. In 2002, the Health Policy Council was formed as part of the reorganization of ASTRO governance. Dr. Steinberg was subsequently elected to the ASTRO Board of Directors as the inaugural Chair of the Health Policy Council, from 2003-2007. In 2008, Dr. Steinberg's career took a turn when he left community practice to become Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a post he still holds. "Although it is unusual for someone to go from private practice to a leadership position in one of the great research universities, Dr. Steinberg has all of the qualities needed and it rapidly became clear that he was made for the position," wrote one of his nominators. Under Dr. Steinberg's leadership, the department has become a leader in radiation oncology research and education. "The residency program expanded and all divisions of the department have seen a significant increase in extramural research funding," added another of his nominators. "The department is now clearly a marquee program within a marquee institution." In 2010, Dr. Steinberg was elected to the presidential track of ASTRO. In addition to his advocacy for the specialty of radiation oncology on Capitol Hill and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dr. Steinberg introduced the notion of the Value Proposition in health care for radiation oncology. He also led ASTRO Board initiatives such as "Choosing Wisely" and the RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System®. Dr. Steinberg is considered a national expert in the value in cancer care and he has been invited to speak at the Institute of Medicine and numerous academic cancer centers about the topic. He currently serves on national technology assessment forums, bringing valuable representation for the specialty to the process. Dr. Steinberg has also been appointed to a number of leadership posts, including Director of Clinical Affairs for UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and, after election by his peers, to the Chair of Clinical Chairs for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also sits on the executive governing group for UCLA Health. For more information about ASTRO's 59th Annual Meeting, visit http://www. . For press registration and news briefing information for ASTRO's 59th Annual Meeting, visit http://www. . For media inquiries, contact Liz Gardner, Media Relations Manager, Leah Kerkman Fogarty, Communications Manager. ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 11,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals that specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics and Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, http://www. ; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute, a non-profit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit http://www. .


News Article | June 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"It is a privilege to bestow the ASTRO Gold Medal upon these three great men, who have all contributed to the specialty in a myriad of ways," said ASTRO Board of Directors Chair David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO. "Honoring these colleagues is a highlight of my role as Board Chair, made even more so by the fact that they are selected for this highest accolade by their peers." Søren M. Bentzen, DSc, PhD, is passionate about science and math. By the numbers, this passion has led to more than 400 published articles, around 1,400 scientific citations per year, more than 300 invited talks at international scientific meetings, 54 visiting professorships, 15 trial steering committee memberships and four clinical trial or research group chairmanships. With stats like those, it's no wonder that his nominating letters for the ASTRO Gold Medal contained descriptions of Dr. Bentzen like, "leader in the field," "one of the top scientists" and "preeminent researcher in the world." Dr. Bentzen is currently a professor and director of the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He holds a secondary faculty appointment there as a professor of radiation oncology and is a member of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well. After earning his doctorate in medicine and medical physics from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Dr. Bentzen was a visiting scientist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1987–1988. While in Houston, he studied under radiation oncology stalwarts, such as Howard Thames, PhD, FASTRO, Lester Peters, MD, FASTRO, and K. Kian Ang, MD, PhD, FASTRO, all ASTRO Gold Medalists themselves. From there, he held appointments at University of Aarhus, the Gray Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin before taking the post at University of Maryland. "I came into this field at a great time," said Dr. Bentzen. "Radiation therapy has undergone quite a renaissance. The progress we've made in understanding radiation biology and molecular cancer biology has revolutionized the way radiation oncology is practiced." Indeed, Dr. Bentzen has played a large role in that understanding. For years, he has studied the long-term effects of normal tissue toxicity as a result of radiation treatment. According to one nominating letter, "Søren's work on normal tissue injury is probably the most important work of this type in the radiation oncology literature." This work led him to consider dose-fractionation schedules and how radiation therapy might be best tailored to maximize tumor control while minimizing toxicity to normal tissue. In another nominating letter, the writer concludes, "His work on modeling and fractionation have been essential to how we can use radiation safely in the clinic." Dr. Bentzen is now focusing on a new frontier of cancer care: personalized medicine using big data to better tailor treatments. He said, "At the end of the day, it's about optimizing the treatment for each individual. There are so many new possibilities that we didn't have 15 years ago. With population-level registry data and electronic health records and then with what we know about genomics—combining data and knowledge across all of those fields is challenging and also very exciting." Louis B. Harrison, MD, FASTRO, is a renaissance man of radiation oncology. From developing a customized high-dose-rate (HDR) radiation therapy applicator to writing a textbook to leading multidisciplinary teams, Dr. Harrison's accomplishments in the field are varied and far-reaching. Dr. Harrison began his medical career in surgery, receiving the Clarence Dennis Society Prize for Surgical Scholarship for the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine's class of 1982. But he soon switched paths to radiation oncology, saying, "I thought radiation oncology had the best opportunity for curing cancer while optimizing functional outcome and quality of life." His surgical background has proven effective for forging partnerships with clinicians across all oncologic specialties. As more people see the value in multidisciplinary cancer care, Dr. Harrison gladly welcomes them to the club—he has been a leader in comprehensive cancer care for decades. "Radiation oncology is one of those specialties that mixes strongly with many other areas—surgery, medical oncology, imaging, pathology, genomics, immunology, biology, mathematics—but none of us can cure cancer by ourselves," said Dr. Harrison. From 1999–2014, he served as the Physician-in-Chief of Continuum Cancer Centers of New York and was instrumental in developing multidisciplinary programs across all cancer sites in the Continuum health care system. Under his leadership, the cancer program received Gold Level Accreditation for the Continuum Network from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, one of the few health systems to earn this level of accreditation. Dr. Harrison's desire to treat cancer while preserving function led him to specialize in head and neck and skin cancers. "In head and neck and skin cancer, radiation therapy is used as a primary modality. The aspiration to achieve excellent functional and cosmetic outcomes is very important to patients." Dr. Harrison is an authority in the field of head and neck and skin cancer:  he literally wrote the book on it. Dr. Harrison is the lead editor of the major textbook, "Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach," currently in its fourth edition. According to one of Dr. Harrison's nominating letters, "his contributions in brachytherapy and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) have shaped the field." Developing novel therapies and new ways to deliver treatment has always been a motivator for Dr. Harrison. He was one of the first investigators to combine concomitant chemotherapy with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, now a standard of care. Along with Lowell Anderson, DSc, and Felix Mick, Dr. Harrison created the Harrison Anderson Mick (HAM) Applicator, a medical device used to deliver HDR brachytherapy or HDR IORT treatments. Never one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Harrison brought his entrepreneurial spirit to the Board of Directors of ASTRO from 2005–2009. As President and Chair, he advocated for a name change for the Society to stress the importance of cancer care to its members. At ASTRO's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston in September 2008, the membership voted to change its name from the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology to its current name, the American Society for Radiation Oncology. After spending most of his career in New York, Dr. Harrison joined the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, in 2014. He serves Moffitt as the Chair of Radiation Oncology, as well as Deputy Physician-in-Chief. "Coming to Moffitt was a big decision for me. I think Moffitt is a great place to collaborate with outstanding multidisciplinary colleagues and pursue team science," said Dr. Harrison. "That's an integral step to fulfill our dream of developing personalized radiation therapy." Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO, is driven by his professional commitment to provide excellence in patient care through his expertise in health policy, and he has worked tirelessly in service to the specialty of radiation oncology as an advocate and leader. "I am grateful and humbled to receive this recognition from my peers," Steinberg said. "For me, this award celebrates the incredible advances we have achieved in radiation oncology and cancer treatment, but also underscores the continued need to combine clinical research with effective health policy to best provide our patients with state-of-the-art care." Following his graduation from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Dr. Steinberg completed a postgraduate year in surgery at LAC+USC Medical Center, before entering the radiation oncology residency and fellowship program at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). "Early in my medical training, I found that I was most comfortable taking care of patients with the most significant and severe health problems," Dr. Steinberg said of his decision to specialize in radiation oncology. "I quickly learned that cancer patients are among the most heroic patients one can see in the practice of medicine." In the early years of his private medical practice, Dr. Steinberg developed an expertise in health care economics and health policy through teaching and working in health services research at UCLA and the Rand Corporation. Dr. Steinberg was tapped to serve as a representative to the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) for ASTRO from 1997–2002 and as the radiation oncology representative to the CPT Editorial Committee from 2002–2010. As one of his nominating letters put it, "There is a debt owed to Dr. Steinberg by all radiation oncologists for the many tireless years of work he put in to the CPT Panel, due to his deep understanding of complex health care and reimbursement issues." Dr. Steinberg understood and foresaw the increasing demands of managing health care economic issues for the specialty of radiation oncology. "This is not just about billing, this is also about access to radiation oncology care and the quality of that care," Dr. Steinberg would say. In 2002, the Health Policy Council was formed as part of the reorganization of ASTRO governance. Dr. Steinberg was subsequently elected to the ASTRO Board of Directors as the inaugural Chair of the Health Policy Council, from 2003–2007. In 2008, Dr. Steinberg's career took a turn when he left community practice to become Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a post he still holds. "Although it is unusual for someone to go from private practice to a leadership position in one of the great research universities, Dr. Steinberg has all of the qualities needed and it rapidly became clear that he was made for the position," wrote one of his nominators. Under Dr. Steinberg's leadership, the department has become a leader in radiation oncology research and education. "The residency program expanded and all divisions of the department have seen a significant increase in extramural research funding," added another of his nominators. "The department is now clearly a marquee program within a marquee institution." In 2010, Dr. Steinberg was elected to the presidential track of ASTRO. In addition to his advocacy for the specialty of radiation oncology on Capitol Hill and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dr. Steinberg introduced the notion of the Value Proposition in health care for radiation oncology. He also led ASTRO Board initiatives such as "Choosing Wisely" and the RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System®. Dr. Steinberg is considered a national expert in the value in cancer care and he has been invited to speak at the Institute of Medicine and numerous academic cancer centers about the topic. He currently serves on national technology assessment forums, bringing valuable representation for the specialty to the process. Dr. Steinberg has also been appointed to a number of leadership posts, including Director of Clinical Affairs for UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and, after election by his peers, to the Chair of Clinical Chairs for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also sits on the executive governing group for UCLA Health. For more information about ASTRO's 59th Annual Meeting, visit www.astro.org/AnnualMeeting. For press registration and news briefing information for ASTRO's 59th Annual Meeting, visit www.astro.org/AMPress. For media inquiries, contact Liz Gardner, Media Relations Manager, Leah Kerkman Fogarty, Communications Manager. ABOUT ASTRO ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (www.redjournal.org), Practical Radiation Oncology (www.practicalradonc.org) and Advances in Radiation Oncology (www.advancesradonc.org); developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (www.rtanswers.org); and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (www.roinstitute.org), a nonprofit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/three-giants-in-the-field-of-radiation-oncology-named-2017-astro-gold-medalists-300480590.html


Kligler B.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Homel P.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Harrison L.B.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Levenson H.D.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Managed Care | Year: 2011

Objectives: To evaluate the cost impact of an integrative medicine intervention on an inpatient oncology service. Study Design: This study used nonrandomized, nonequivalent groups. A baseline sample of inpatient oncology patients at Beth Israel Medical Center admitted to the medical oncology unit before implementation of the Urban Zen Initiative were compared with patients admitted after the Urban Zen Initiative was in place. Methods: The Urban Zen Initiative incorporated yoga therapy, holistic nursing techniques, and a "healing environment" into routine inpatient oncology care. Length of stay and medication use data were extracted from Beth Israel's decision support electronic database. We compared length of stay, total medication costs, and costs of as-needed medications for both groups: the baseline sample of inpatient oncology patients and patients exposed to the Urban Zen healing environment initiative. Results: We had complete cost data on 85 patients in our baseline group and 72 in our intervention group. We found no difference in length of stay between the 2 groups. We found a significant decrease in use of antiemetic, anxiolytic, and hypnotic medication costs as well as a decrease in total medication costs in the Urban Zen sample compared with the baseline group. Conclusions: An integrative medicine approach including yoga therapy, holistic nursing, and a healing environment in the inpatient setting can decrease use of medications, resulting in substantial cost savings for hospitals in the care of oncology patients.


Shao T.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Shao T.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Klein P.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Klein P.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | And 3 more authors.
Oncologist | Year: 2012

In addition to its role in calcium homeostasis and bone health, vitaminDhas also been reported to have anticancer activities against many cancer types, including breast cancer. The discovery that breast epithelial cells possess the same enzymatic system as the kidney, allowing local manufacture of active vitamin D from circulating precursors, makes the effect of vitamin D in breast cancer biologically plausible. Preclinical and ecologic studies have suggested a role for vitamin D in breast cancer prevention. Inverse associations have also been shown between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level (25(OH)D) and breast cancer development, risk for breast cancer recurrence, and mortality in women with early-stage breast cancer. Clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation, however, have yielded inconsistent results. Regardless of whether or not vitamin D helps prevent breast cancer or its recurrence, vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. population is very common, and the adverse impact on bone health, a particular concern for breast cancer survivors, makes it important to understand vitamin D physiology and to recognize and treat vitamin D deficiency. In this review, we discuss vitaminDmetabolism and its mechanism of action.Wesummarize the current evidence of the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer, highlight ongoing research in this area, and discuss optimal dosing of vitamin D for breast cancer prevention. © AlphaMed Press.


Dy I.A.,St Lukes Roosevelt Hospital Center | Dy I.A.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Wiernik P.H.,St Lukes Roosevelt Hospital Center | Wiernik P.H.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2012

The syndrome of cocaine-levamisole thrombotic vasculopathy is a tetrad of cutaneous manifestations, arthralgia, leukopenia, and positive antineutrophil cytoplasmic antigen (ANCA). Cocaine is cut with levamisole to potentiate its euphoric effects. However, along with this are the adverse reactions of levamisole such as fatal agranulocytosis, flu-like symptoms, and cutaneous thrombotic vasculopathy. High index of suspicion is needed for its diagnosis. This article will review on its toxicities, especially its prothrombotic effects. Copyright © 2012 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.


Serra D.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Robertson Parris C.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Carper E.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Homel P.,Maimonides Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing | Year: 2012

Guided imagery is an established intervention in integrative oncology. This study was initiated to evaluate the impact of guided imagery on patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer. Eligible patients receiving guided imagery sessions were monitored via biofeedback before and after each session. Monitored measures included blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse rate, and skin temperature. In addition, the EuroQoL Group's EQ-5D questionnaire was used for subjective assessment and patient feedback was collected at the end of radiation therapy through a satisfaction survey. Measured parameters revealed statistically significant improvement from baseline, with decreases noted in respiration rate and pulse rate as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Skin temperature increased, indicating more peripheral capillary flow secondary to a decrease in the sympathetic response. Overall, 86% of participants described the guided imagery sessions as helpful, and 100% said they would recommend the intervention to others. The results of this study illustrate the positive impact of guided imagery as measured through subjective and objective parameters. Improving the overall care for patients with breast cancer supports the value of incorporating practices of integrative oncology into standard practice. © Oncology Nursing Society.


Fleishman S.B.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Homel P.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | Homel P.,Maimonides Medical Center | Chen M.R.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: Animal-assisted visits (AAVs) are commonplace in cancer centers, but there is little evidence of their usefulness. Objective: To test the efficacy of AAVs in improving the quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer receiving combined chemotherapy-radiation therapy. Methods: 42 patients consented to daily AAVs during the time they received therapy for head and neck cancer. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Scale (FACT-G) was administered at baseline, week 3, and week 7 (at the end of therapy), and the Satisfaction With The AAV Intervention instrument, an 18-item scale adapted from the Pet Attitude Scale. Results: 37 patients completed at least baseline and 1 follow-up assessment for a single group analysis of change over time. Means for FACT-G subscales showed significant declines in Physical Well-Being (PWB, P < .001) and Functional Well-Being (FWB, P = .003). In contrast, Social Well-Being increased (SWB, P = .03). Controlling for declines in PWB at each time point, increases in Emotional Well-Being (EWB) were also significant (P = .004). Limitations Scheduling and patient preference prevented conducting a randomized trial. Conclusion FACT-G analysis showed significant increase in SWB and EWB despite high symptom burden and clinically evident and expected declines in PWB and FWB. Mean scores for satisfaction related to psychological symptoms, liking animals/pets, and contact with animals were consistently higher than neutral score or Unsure (all P < .001). Satisfaction related to physical symptoms was not significantly different from neutral. Though self-selected for an affinity to pets, patients endorsed a high level of satisfaction, which supports the usefulness of the intervention. © 2015 Frontline Medical Communications.


Dutcher J.P.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York
Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) | Year: 2012

Three emerging trends have occurred recently in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). First, over the last several decades there has been a marked increase in the diagnosis of RCC, with a corresponding decrease in the typical tumor size, resulting in an increased interest in less invasive approaches to primary tumor treatment. Second, while conventional radiotherapy plays a limited palliative role due to the relative radio-resistance of RCC, advances in immobilization and image guidance have led several investigators to consider stereotactic radiotherapy techniques (SRT) to overcome this resistance, with impressive results in the metastatic setting. In addition, preliminary use of SRT to treat the primary RCC tumor is underway. Thirdly, although RCC is resistant to conventional chemotherapy agents, exciting recent advances have emerged in the treatment of clear cell RCC, with the development of targeted agents in addition to immunotherapy-based treatments. In the current critical review we discuss these emerging trends in localized and systemic treatment as well as possible interesting combinations of the two modalities. Finally, we discuss the role of the new systemic agents in non-clear cell RCC.


Wiernik P.H.,Continuum Cancer Centers of New York
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2013

Introduction: Lenalidomide, a thalidomide analog, is representative of a new class of antineoplastic drugs which has been especially effective in certain hematologic malignancies such as myeloma and myelodysplasia. Lenalidomide has anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and immunomodulatory properties, and targets tumor cells by direct cytotoxicity and, indirectly by interfering with several components of the tumor microenvironment [1]. Lenalidomide retains antitumor activity equal to or greater than the parent compound, thalidomide, but with less toxicity [2]. Areas covered: This paper summarizes what is known about the mechanisms of action of lenalidomide, and recent clinical results in lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A literature review was accomplished by searching the PubMed database for papers in English. Publications from 2000 through November 2012 were analyzed. Search terms used were lenalidomide, lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Hodgkin's lymphoma. A manual search of conference proceedings from the previous 5 years of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, America Association of Cancer Research, and the European Hematology Association was also conducted. Relevant references in chosen papers were also considered. Expert opinion: The data suggest that lenalidomide will play a major role in the management of certain lymphoid neoplasms such as B-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and, perhaps, T-cell lymphoma. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.


PubMed | Continuum Cancer Centers of New York
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of community and supportive oncology | Year: 2015

Animal-assisted visits (AAVs) are commonplace in cancer centers, but there is little evidence of their usefulness.To test the efficacy of AAVs in improving the quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer receiving combined chemotherapy-radiation therapy.42 patients consented to daily AAVs during the time they received therapy for head and neck cancer. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Scale (FACT-G) was administered at baseline, week 3, and week 7 (at the end of therapy), and the Satisfaction With The AAV Intervention instrument, an 18-item scale adapted from the Pet Attitude Scale.37 patients completed at least baseline and 1 follow-up assessment for a single group analysis of change over time. Means for Fact-G subscales showed significant declines in Physical Well-Being (PWB, P < .001) and Functional Well-Being (FWB, P = .003). In contrast, Social Well-Being increased (SWB, P = .03). Controlling for declines in PWB at each time point, increases in Emotional Well-Being (EWB) were also significant (P = .004).Scheduling and patient preference prevented conducting a randomized trial.FACT-G analysis showed significant increase in SWB and EWB despite high symptom burden and clinically evident and expected declines in PWB and FWB. Mean scores for satisfaction related to psychological symptoms, liking animals/pets, and contact with animals were consistently higher than neutral score or Unsure (all, P < .001). Satisfaction related to physical symptoms was not significantly different from neutral. Though self-selected for an affinity to pets, patients endorsed a high level of satisfaction, which supports the usefulness of this intervention.

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