Levine Cancer Institute
Levine Cancer Institute
News Article | May 17, 2017
CRANBURY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OncLive®, a leading digital provider of resources and information to oncology professionals, will present the State of the Science Summit™: Diagnosis, Management and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, hosted at The Westin Charlotte, in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 8, from 5:30-9 p.m. The summit, which follows the nation’s largest oncology meeting, will be chaired by Saad Z. Usmani, M.D., a hematologist and director of the Plasma Cell Disorder program and the director of Clinical Research in Hematologic Malignancies at Levine Cancer Institute /Carolinas Healthcare System. The program will also have presentations by multiple myeloma specialists and hematology experts from Levine Cancer Institute. During this educational seminar, experts will discuss some of the most critical topics in the field of multiple myeloma such as, diagnosis and prognostication of multiple myeloma monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma, managing early relapses, and role of bone health and supportive care in multiple myeloma management. The program will conclude with a panel discussion, during which the attendees will have an opportunity to engage with following oncology experts: State of the Science Summit™ is a premier conference series hosted by OncLive® with medical experts from across the nation. Aiming to discuss the current treatment options, the summit integrates academic and community-based physicians and healthcare professionals across key disciplines that range from medical and surgical oncology and hematology. Complimentary drinks and dinner will be served during the reception. Registration is free and open to all health care professionals. For more information and for registration please visit www.onclive.com/meetings/soss or contact Allison Cooper at: ACooper@curetoday.com. A digital platform of resources for practicing oncologists, OncLive.com offers oncology professionals information they can utilize to help provide the best patient care. OncLive® is the official website for Michael J. Hennessy Associates’ Oncology Specialty Group, which publishes OncologyLive®, Oncology Nursing News®, Oncology Business Management™ and more. Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. is a full-service health care communications company offering education, research, medical media, including curetoday.com and CURE® magazine, the largest U.S. consumer publication focused entirely on cancer. Combining science and humanity to make cancer understandable, CURE® reaches patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups.
News Article | May 17, 2017
WASHINGTON (May 17, 2017) -- A team of investigators led by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that the tumor mutation load, or TML, in a patient's cancer biopsy varied by age and the type of cancer, along with several other factors. Researchers say the findings are some of the most comprehensive analyses of TML to date as they include 14 types of solid tumors. Over 8,000 tissue samples were included in the study making this one of the larger collections of tumors examined for TML. The abstract describing the work was released today. Additional details will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting next month in Chicago. TML is a measurement of the number of mutations in DNA. Mutated DNA can be subsequently translated to harmful changes in proteins. Mutated proteins often appear foreign to the immune system and can therefore activate a robust immune response that can be boosted by immunotherapeutic agents. "One of our more interesting findings was the fact that mutation load increased with age in many cancers," says the study's principal investigator, Mohamed E. Salem, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown Lombardi. "Older age correlated closely with TML in most of the cancers we examined, but in some cancers, such as bladder cancer, there was no correlation by age, which also makes for an important observation in a difficult to treat type of cancer." Looking for high levels of mutations in tumor may seem to be a contrary way of looking for what therapies might be most effective to fight cancer. Because immunotherapies work by taking the brakes off the immune system, and hence allowing immune-fighting cells to go after cancer cells, the more mutations a cancer cell has may make it appear more alien to the immune-fighting cells and therefore, a more focused object of attack. If a cell's TML is high, an immunotherapy could be more effective and hence Salem's interest in quantifying TML. Tumor mutation load also could be used as a marker to determine which types of cancer and which patients, or subsets of patients, could most benefit from immunotherapy. "We found that, as expected, melanoma had the highest TML as we know clinically that this type of cancer responds best to immunotherapy," says Salem, also a member of Georgetown Lombardi's Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancer. "Indeed, the mean TML for melanoma was nearly double that of the next highest mean, non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, we see that high TML often occurs in tumors lacking well-known cancer-related genes, like BRAF or NRAS genes in melanoma and EGFR or ALK genes in non-small cell lung cancer. This suggests that immune checkpoint inhibitors may be particularly effective in patients who are not candidates for common targeted therapies in these types of cancer." "Our next step is to validate and correlate TML levels with outcomes in patients who have received immunotherapy. We'll look to see if patients had high TML levels before they started therapy and then determine if those with the highest levels had the best clinical outcome, which is what we might expect," he says. "If validation studies prove helpful, they could be very useful in designing clinical trials for many types of cancer," Salem concludes. Co-authors include John Marshall, Michael Atkins, Jimmy J. Hwang, Geoffrey Thomas Gibney, Georgetown Lombardi; Joanne Xiu, Zoran Gatalica, and Nianqing Xiao, Caris Life Sciences; Heinz-Josef Lenz, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center; Philip Agop Philip, Karmanos Cancer Center: Antoinette R. Tan and Derek Raghavan, Levine Cancer Institute; Wafik S. El-Deiry, Fox Chase Cancer Center; and Edward S. Kim and Anthony Frank Shields, Wayne State University. The work was supported by the Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers. CARIS provided analysis of the tumor samples. Salem and the other co-authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center -- the only cancer center of its kind in the Washington, DC area. A part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Georgetown Lombardi seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Connect with Georgetown Lombardi on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgetownLombardi) and Twitter (@LombardiCancer). Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC's mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. Connect with GUMC onFacebook (Facebook.com/GUMCUpdate), Twitter (@gumedcenter) and Instagram (@gumedcenter).
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 DuckDonuts.com. 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.
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.