Charlotte, NC, United States
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News Article | November 30, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Levine Cancer Institute (LCI) is pleased to announce that Declan Walsh, MD, has joined the Institute as the new Chair of Medical Support Services. Dr. Walsh will lead the Department of Supportive Oncology, Levine Cancer Institute....

News Article | December 8, 2016

Russ DiGilio, founder and owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company LLC, announced the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. “This was our first franchise-wide Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the participation in every franchisee’s community,” says DiGilio. “Breast cancer is no respecter of month, and we were excited to not only raise our own awareness on the research and early treatments of this disease but to help continue the conversation all year long.” “Encouraging our franchisees to choose their own local breast cancer organizations to support made the cause personal for everyone. We consider our company like a family and encouraged each store to invest in an organization, foundation, or individual in their own community. In our Mechanicsburg Duck Donuts store, we rallied in support of an employee’s mother, Christina Warner, who is battling breast cancer. We were able to donate $2,000 toward her fight, but more importantly, all of us joined in support of Christina and her family,” says Marissa DiGilio, Training & Operations. “Championing breast cancer awareness is critical to finding a cure. An estimated one in eight U.S. women will develop the disease over the course of her lifetime.” “Raising awareness is part of the fight against breast cancer,” says Ms. DiGilio. “Franchise-wide, Duck Donuts stores offered pink ribbon sprinkles and pink ribbon donut assortments. Customers who purchased pink ribbon assortments received exclusive coupons.” The Duck Donuts corporate team supplied each store with pink breast cancer hero t-shirts for employees to wear to show their corporate commitment on a health care issue that kills more U.S. women than any other cancer, besides lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Association. “The team at our Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina stores donated $1 of every single pink ribbon donut purchased and $4 of every pink ribbon donut assortment purchased to the Triangle’s Pretty in Pink Foundation to raise over $1,100 combined,” says Ms. DiGilio. “At the Newark, Delaware location, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition received a percentage of October’s sales. Our Charlotte store donated to the Carolina Health Care System-Levine Cancer Institute as well as supported the medical expenses of store employees.” In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States. About 2,600 new cases will occur in men as well. Over 40,450 women are expected to die from the disease in 2016 alone. Duck Donuts emphasizes the importance of giving back to the local community through their #QuackGivesBack initiatives every month. “Our mission is twofold,” says Russ DiGilio, “to serve the most amazing warm, delicious & made-to-order donuts, and to contribute to the communities we call home.” Visit our Facebook Page for updates and connect with us on the web at ABOUT DUCK DONUTS Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in Duck, North Carolina. His intention? To solve a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order!TM donuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own.” By 2011, Duck Donuts had expanded to four Outer Banks locations and the donut business was so successful that DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities and by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their communities. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, VA, in 2013, and there are now 29 open franchise locations and 126 signed contracts. Duck Donuts store openings are scheduled for: Columbus/Westerville OH – December 2016 Gaithersburg, MD – December 2016 Knoxville, TN – January 2017 Greensboro, NC – January 2017 Fredericksburg, VA – January 2017 Hilton Head, SC – February 2017 Jacksonville, NC – February 2017 Stafford, VA – February 2017 Alexandria, VA – March 2017 Hershey, PA – March 2017 The Duck Donuts Experience “We discovered that the most powerful marketing advantage we have is the aroma of warm donuts wafting from every store. Our light vanilla cake donut is a little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, made fresh right in front of you, hand-dipped in hot icing, and sprinkled with your choice of delicious toppings and drizzles. It’s that simple.” Children love to stand on the strategically placed step in the waiting area, allowing them to see the entire process, as the donut machine cooks and carries their donuts down the line, where they are dipped, topped, packaged, and served warm in the box. Duck Donuts serves its own signature coffee blends—Riptide Roast, Light House Blend, and Sunset Pier Decaf with new special seasonal flavors changing throughout the year—and offers breakfast options, as well as catering services. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at most locations. To learn more or to share your Duck Donuts experience, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or send us a Tweet.

Tan A.R.,Levine Cancer Institute
Seminars in Oncology | Year: 2016

Breast cancer may present with cutaneous symptoms. The skin manifestations of breast cancer are varied. Some of the more common clinical presentations of metastatic cutaneous lesions from breast cancer will be described. Paraneoplastic cutaneous dermatoses have been reported as markers of breast malignancy and include erythema gyratum repens, acquired ichthyosis, dermatomyositis, multicentric reticulohistiocytosis, and hypertrichosis lanuginosa acquisita. Mammary Paget's disease, often associated with an underlying breast cancer, and Cowden syndrome, which has an increased risk of breast malignancy, each have specific dermatologic findings. Recognition of these distinct cutaneous signs is important in the investigation of either newly diagnosed or recurrent breast cancer. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Patel J.N.,Levine Cancer Institute
Pharmacogenomics | Year: 2014

Given the interpatient biological heterogeneity and narrow therapeutic index of anticancer drugs, a practical method for personalizing cancer therapy is essential. Genotype-guided cancer therapy will provide an optimal approach to normalize systemic drug exposures, predict drug toxicities and/or enrich clinical efficacy. To date, over a dozen anticancer drugs approved by the US FDA require labeling regarding pharmacogenetic biomarkers (both germline and somatic). Many, but not all, have prospective, genotype-guided evidence-based data. Optimizing output from retrospective, prospective, cost-effectiveness and adaptive biomarker driven clinical trials will help drive the success of personalized cancer therapy. This review will discuss prospective genotype-guided clinical trials in patients with solid tumors and address barriers in clinical translation. © 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.

Amin A.,Levine Cancer Institute
Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) | Year: 2013

Immunotherapy with interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been the mainstay of systemic therapy for advanced kidney cancer and melanoma. Although IL-2 treatment is limited to healthy patients, a select group of these patients have derived substantial, durable benefit from it-in some translating into cures with no ongoing therapy or chronic toxicity. Over the past 10 years, insights into the biology of renal cell carcinoma and into key signaling mechanisms in melanoma, and growth in our understanding of immune checkpoints, have led to the development and approval of targeted and immune-modulatory therapeutic options with clinically relevant benefit. Our improved understanding of the relationship between the host environment, immune system, and malignancy has helped identify compounds and therapies that are changing the way we think about cancer and our approach to cancer therapeutics. While the newer options may be applicable to most patients, durable responses measured in years are rare. In this review, we examine the currently approved options available for these disease processes, including the newer agents and selected combinatorial approaches under investigation, and we attempt to identify the role of high-dose IL-2 in the context of current clinical practice.

Patel J.N.,Levine Cancer Institute
Pharmacogenetics and Genomics | Year: 2015

The goal of pharmacogenomic research is to discover and validate genetic variants that are predictive of drug response, for eventual implementation into clinical practice. Cancer pharmacogenomics provides the opportunity to analyze two sets of DNA, that of the tumor (somatic) and that of the host (germline). Germline variants are inherited variations and are often associated with the pharmacokinetic behavior of a drug, including drug disposition and ultimately drug efficacy and/or toxicity, whereas somatic mutations are often useful in predicting the pharmacodynamic response to drugs. Pharmacoethnicity, or ethnic diversity in drug response or toxicity, is an increasingly recognized factor accounting for interindividual variations in anticancer drug response. Pharmacoethnicity is often determined by germline pharmacogenomic factors and the distribution of single nucleotide polymorphisms across various populations, but it may also be influenced by nongenetic factors, such as environmental factors. This review aims to elucidate the importance of pharmacoethnicity in cancer pharmacogenomic research and implementation, focusing solely on germline variants. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Usmani S.Z.,Levine Cancer Institute
Expert Review of Hematology | Year: 2014

Evaluation of: Mateos MV, Hernandez MT, Giraldo P, et al. Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone for high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma. N Engl J Med 2013;369:438-47 Smoldering or asymptomatic multiple myeloma may be best described as a state of limbo where the patient has not developed any symptoms of disease and is being observed expectantly. With the advent of novel agents in myeloma therapy, several clinical investigations are underway to determine whether early intervention will help improve survival outcomes in this patient population. Mateos MV et al. report on the first Phase III trial in smoldering multiple myeloma that has shown overall survival benefit. The commentary discusses the study design, key results and potential implications of the study. © Informa UK, Ltd.

Carrizosa D.R.,Levine Cancer Institute | Gold K.A.,University of Houston
Translational Lung Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Treatment for the most common form of cancer (lung cancer) has historically involved use of cytotoxic chemotherapy. With the advent of mutation analysis, more therapies beyond traditional cytotoxics have been discovered. Most recently, the use of immunotherapy has entered the treatment arsenal of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This review aims to summarize the current and future use of immunotherapy in the treatment of NSCLC. © Translational lung cancer research.

Villadolid J.,Levine Cancer Institute | Amin A.,Levine Cancer Institute
Translational Lung Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Immune checkpoint blockade using inhibitors of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) has shown clinically significant antitumor response and has been approved for the treatment of malignant melanoma and squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These immunotherapies are associated with unique set of toxicities termed immune-related adverse events (irAEs) that are very different from toxicities observed with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Prompt recognition and initiation of appropriate management, usually in the form of immunosuppression, usually results in complete reversibility, but failing to do so can lead to severe toxicity or even death. Clinical algorithms describing the management of common irAEs have been published based on clinical trial information and experience in metastatic melanoma with ipilimumab, a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds to CTLA-4 and blocks T cell inhibition. The most common irAEs reported with ipilimumab are dermatologic toxicity, diarrhea/colitis, hepatotoxicity, and endocrinopathies, although other sites can also be affected. Similar irAEs have been observed with agents targeting PD-1. Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are humanized monoclonal antibodies that bind to PD-1 and prevent T cell inactivation. Ipilimumab, pembrolizumab, and nivolumab are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced melanoma; nivolumab was also recently approved for metastatic squamous NSCLC. This review describes the optimal management of toxicities related to immune checkpoint inhibition from FDA-approved agents targeting CTLA-4 and PD-1. © Translational lung cancer research.

Pennock G.K.,Levine Cancer Institute | Chow L.Q.,University of Washington
Oncologist | Year: 2015

Traditional treatment modalities for advanced cancer (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or targeted agents) act directly on tumors to inhibit or destroy them. Along with surgery, these modalities are predominantly palliative, with toxicity and only modest improvements in survival in patients with advanced solid tumors. Accordingly, long-term survival rates for most patients with advanced cancer remain low, thus there is a need for cancer treatments with favorable benefit and toxicity profiles that can potentially result in long-term survival. The immune system plays a critical role in the recognition and eradication of tumor cells (“immune surveillance”), and immuneo the rapies based on this concept have been used for decades with some success against a few tumor types; however, most immune therapies were limited by a lack of either substantial efficacy or specificity, resulting in toxicity. We now have a greater understanding of the complex interactions between the immune system and tumors and have identified key molecules that govern these interactions.This information has revitalized the interest in immunotherapy as an evolving treatment modality using immune the rapeutics designed to overcome the mechanisms exploited by tumors to evade immune destruction. Immuno the rapies have potentially complementary mechanisms of action that may allow them to be combined with other immune the rapeutics, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or other traditional therapies. This review discusses the concepts and data behind immune the rapies, with a focus on the checkpoint inhibitors and their responses, toxicities, and potential for long-term survival, and explores promising single-agent and combination therapies in development. © AlphaMed Press 2015.

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