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Cancer Currents for August 2014

Mark Israel

Each year after the Prouty, a day when thousands turn out to raise funds to support cancer research and care at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, I'm struck by how far the reach of this event extends. In 1982 four nurses cycled in the White Mountains to honor one cancer patient; this year's Prouty attracted 6,000 registered cyclists, walkers, rowers, and golfers (and 1,300 volunteers) from all over the country.

The Prouty offers activities for people with diverse interests and at all levels of fitness (from the US Olympic rowing team to the octogenarian "Walkers on Walkers"). It embraces participants of all ages (babies pushed in strollers to Kendal residents holding their "We're over the hill and so are you!" sign for cyclists making the last ascent up Chieftain Hill), empowering them to do something to fight this terrible disease.

With the growth of the Virtual Prouty option, the efforts to expand awareness of NCCC's cancer research and care are now worldwide: this year people in the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Australia, and Thailand were out raising dollars and spreading word about our mission to fight cancer.

Our center's global reach became personal for me as three visiting fellows from Tanzania joined us on "Audrey's Walk," a 3K walking route around Occom Pond. The visitors had just finished a month-long visit, taking a SYNERGY research training course and connecting with our researchers. For the next year these physicians will work with NCCC mentors on projects that will help expand research capacity at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, where a focus is on HIV-associated malignancies.

The 33nd Annual Prouty has already raised $2.6 million with donations still coming in for cancer research and patient services. Friends of NCCC staff members Bruce Bouchard, Rebecca Gray, Catherine Rentz, Christine Telge, and Hannah Paul, led by Jean Brown, worked hard all year to plan this event and organize the volunteers who help make it happen. NCCC staff participated as athletes, volunteers, or contributed to fundraising efforts. I can't tell you how much these staff efforts mean to me.

One longtime participant recently described the Prouty as a special community that comes out each year like narcissus—proudly wearing their Prouty shirts and yellow ribbons for a day and then, like the prolific bulbs, going underground after a festive flowering. Here at the cancer center, the work continues year round: each of us contributing to the fight against cancer in some way every day. Thank you for all you are doing!

Mark Israel, Director

33rd Annual Prouty Raises More Than $2.6 Million to Fight Cancer

Participants in the 33rd Annual Prouty raised more than $2.6 million for cancer research and patient services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (read more).

NCCC Recognized by Union Leader, US News and World Reports, and Becker's Hospital Review
  • US News and World Reports 2014-2015 hospital rankings named DHMC #1 hospital in NH, and recognized ten high performing areas of specialty including cancer. NCCC's overall score for cancer was among the highest five scores in New England.
  • For the second year in a row Norris Cotton Cancer Center has won the Union Leader Readers' Choice Award for Cancer Care in New Hampshire. Union Leader readers voted for their favorite New Hampshire business in 18 main categories and 180 subcategories. NCCC received top honor in Cancer Care.
  • Becker's Hospital Review included Dartmouth-Hitchcock in its 2014 list of "100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs" based on rankings and awards from a variety of reputable sources including US News and World Report.
Duane Compton Named Interim Dean at Geisel School of Medicine

Duane Compton, professor of biochemistry and senior associate dean for research, will serve as interim dean of Dartmouth's Medicine. Compton is a member of the NCCC Cancer Mechanism Research Program and will take over for Wiley "Chip" Souba, who served as Geisel dean for four years (read more).

Sargent Awarded Scott M. and Lisa G. Stuart Professorship in Pediatric Oncology

James Sargent, MD, professor of pediatrics and of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine and co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, has been awarded the Scott M. and Lisa G. Stuart Professorship in Pediatric Oncology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

This distinction recognizes and rewards excellence in advancing treatment, research, education, and prevention of childhood cancers. Sargent is the first to be appointed to the newly established endowed professorship, which is named for the donors who have funded it with generous gifts totaling $2.5 million (read more).

NCCC Researchers Work with Tanzania's Ocean Road Cancer Institute Fellows

Fellows from Tanzania's Ocean Road Cancer Institute joined "Audrey's Walk" at the Prouty this year: (left to right): Judy R. Rees, BM, BCh, MPH, PhD, Jinyoung Byun, Susan Israel, Mamsau Ngoma, MD; Nazima Dharsee, MD; Marc S. Ernstoff, MD, Salum Lidenge, MD; Mark A. Israel, MD, director of the Cancer Center, and Jim Reynolds.

Three fellows from the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania spent a month at NCCC this summer, taking a SYNERGY research training course and connecting with Center researchers. In the coming year they will be working with mentors on projects that will help expand research capacity at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Tanzania's oldest health institution in Tanzania and its only specialized facility for cancer treatment.

Mamsau Ngoma, MD, will work with Jennifer A. Doherty MS, PhD; Nazima Dharsee, MD will work with Jason R. Pettus, MD; and Salum Lidenge, MD will work with Judy Rees and David A. Leib, PhD.

Melanoma Update

Dr. Marc Ernstoff will be retiring from Dartmouth-Hitchcock in a couple of months, after many productive years of exceptional service. He has accepted a position at The Cleveland Clinic. Certainly, our loss, their gain. A committee, chaired by Drs. Randy Noelle and Brad Arrick, is beginning the process of a search. The on-going care of his patients will be taken over by his physician colleagues. Dr. Rick Barth will be running the Melanoma Tumor Board.

Knights of the York Cross of Honour Donate $75K to NCCC

Most Eminent Grand Master General of the Covent General, Knights of York Cross of Honour Matthew Dupee (center) presents a $75,000 check to NCCC Director Mark Israel (left) and Christopher H. Lowrey, MD (right) during the KYCH visit on May 23, 2014.

Members of the Knights of the York Cross of Honour (KYCH), a leadership group of the Masonic Fraternity, visited on May 23, 2014, to present NCCC with a $75,000 check. The group met with Chris Lowrey, MD, for an update on the leukemia research and current projects in Dr. Lowrey's laboratory, which is supported by funds from the KYCH.

Lowrey's relationship with the Knights started when then NCCC Director Robert Greenberg brought him to the KYCH annual conclave in 1999. "I was doing basic hardcore science at the time but working with the Knights changed my whole direction," he says. His work shifted toward translational research that that would more directly benefit patients. Today Lowrey's lab focuses on developing new therapies for leukemia and sickle-cell disease.

The KYCH Convent General Medical Research Foundation's initial donation to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center nearly 25 years ago was $300 and has grown to a total of more than $1.1 million. Read more about this unique researcher and research benefactor relationship in Knights at the Research Table.

NCCC Brings Wellness Sessions to North Country Health Consortium Summit

Laleh Talebian, PhD, director, of NCCC Community Education & Prevention gave two presentations at the 3rd Annual Health Improvement Summit sponsored by the North Country Health Consortium on June 27, 2014. She led two breakout sessions: "Improving Worksite Wellness," and "Head to Toe on the Go," an outdoor guided walking session with exercise inserts. NCCC also had wellness and prevention booth at the event.

Friends of NCCC News

Ride Your Motorcycle for NCCC 8.17.14

When two brothers found out that their aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, they decided to channel their passion for motorcycle riding into raising money for a cure for cancer. Now in its 12th year, participants in the Green Mountain Motorcycle Ride on August 17, 2014, will travel a scenic route through the mountains and countryside of Vermont and New Hampshire. Riders agree to raise funds for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center and enjoy a great, well-supported ride with a BBQ and live music at the end.

Other Happenings

Check out VOX for listings on classes and events like this:

Looking for softball players!
The Employee Resource Networks (ERN) at Dartmouth College is holding a friendly one-day softball tournament on August 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Huntley Meadows, Norwich (rain date: August 24th from 2-7 p.m.). This event is open to all networks and their family members. We hope to gather together a large and diverse group for a fun outdoor event.
Contact employee.resource.networks@dartmouth.edu for additional information.

DH-Today also has information, "After Hours" listings, and other events:
Summer Public Astronomical Observing
Dartmouth's Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the Dartmouth community and the public free viewing through their campus telescope. Weather permitting, observation of the moon, planets, and stars is available Friday nights through August 15, 9:30 p.m. – 11 p.m., Shattuck Observatory, Dartmouth College. For more information, visit: www.dartmouth.edu/~physics/news/observing.html

Campus news and event information can also be found at the Geisel Insider

NCCC in the Media: June and July

Indoor Tanning Leads to Early Skin Cancer, Study Says (Margaret Karagas) US News and World Report, 6/23/14; Fox News; Daily Beast; Health Central; Medical News Today; Science World Report; NH Eagle Tribune

Two Classes of Anti-Depressants to Treat Cancer related Depression Found: Study (Natalie Riblet) Headlines and Global News, 6/27/14; PsychCongress; MedPage Today; Primary Psychiatry; Chemotherapy Advisor; Pharmacy News

An Explanation from the Scientist Behind That Cat-Poop Cancer Treatment(David Bzik) Vice, 7/17/14; Live Science; Cancer Digest; Global Dispatch; Discovery News; Science Daily; Science World Report

Dates to note

Nurses Yellowbelt Presentation at Value Grand Rounds
August 12, 2014
6:45-7:45 a.m. in Auditoria E-F.
Oncology nurses will be one of three yellowbelt teams reporting on their projects. The West/Oncology teams will give a 10-mintute presentation on the Clinic Project on Central Line Care. Attend the session or watch later using the link found at Value Grand Rounds.

AACI CCAF Annual Meeting
October 26-28, 2014
Chicago

Grand Rounds
Norris Cotton Cancer Center typically holds Grand Rounds lectures on Tuesdays from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Barbara E. Rubin Building at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Our Events for Cancer Professionals listing shows our upcoming lectures. Most lectures can also be viewed live online. In addition, you can view recorded webcasts, or listen to recorded podcasts.