Cancer Currents for February 2012

News and Notes from the Director
Photo: Mark Israel, Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

On a weekly basis, Grand Rounds at the Cancer Center show the best of our research and clinical care. In that simple format of a speaker, a dedicated audience, and a few sandwiches, we share the newest findings with each other.

Most importantly, learning is for everyone. I often look around Grand Rounds and see a truly engaged audience of medical providers and staff that includes people from the cadre of nursing students from Colby Sawyer, graduate students in the basic sciences, physician leaders of D-H, and a host of others. Everyone is welcome, and they come because they find Cancer Center Grand Rounds to be informative, provocative, and important to their practice.

Two weeks ago I inquired of the administrative team, "Do we have an up-to-date listing of the seminars and symposia at the Cancer Center?" The answer was, "Of course. What do you want to know?" The list they provided is a graphic reminder that in totality, the breadth of what we do to engage each other intellectually is astounding. The list of seminars, symposia, and talks from January 2010 to now runs 91 pages and includes 272 different programs ranging from one end of cancer to the other.

We participate in a rare form of medicine here. From the bench to the bedside, nothing is static in our methods to cure cancer and care for people. We are a community of lifelong learners, devoted to improving cancer science, treatments, and survivorship. This commitment to learning is fundamental to our Cancer Center and our relationships with each other. In the space of any given day, individuals teach, learn, and debate the efficacy of new information. This intellectual engagement is at the core of our excellence in the struggle against cancer. I am keen to encourage each of us to continue making teaching and learning a priority, even if time is short.

In our academic medical center we are at the forefront of changing the reality of cancer. It is an awesome responsibility and a tremendous privilege.

Mark Israel, Director

Logo: SYNERGY Request for Applications:  The SYNERGY Pilot Grant Program

The SYNERGY Pilot Grant Program seeks innovative, interdisciplinary research pilot project proposals that have clear potential for translation into patient-oriented care and population health.

Grants are available for projects that are at an early stage and need support to create pilot data and/or develop research concepts that will advance:

  1. Methodology and technology innovation for translational research
  2. Claims-based translational research
  3. Community-based translational research

Successful proposals must have a high chance of leading to extramurally funded research. A total of up to $300,000 will be used to fund SYNERGY Pilot Projects in 2012, with individual pilot awards amounts of up to $100,000 and for a maximum duration of up to 24 months. The number of grants awarded under this RFA will depend on the nature and quality of applications received.

Eligibility: Early- to mid-career investigators pursuing community-based pilot studies in clinical and translational research at Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, Tuck School of Business, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock and its affiliated sites, including the White River Junction VA Medical Center and the Manchester VA Medical Center, are eligible to apply.

These pilot proposals require that applicants have attended the SYNERGY Research Training Introductory Program or have a demonstrated track record of clinical translational research.

Deadlines: Letter of Intent: February 27 | Final submission: April 2, 2012

More information: For more information, including the application form and instructions, visit the SYNERGY website at

New DMS Finance Center for Administrative Transactions

Logo: Dartmouth Medical School Dartmouth Medical School is setting up a separate finance center to handle transaction work (e.g., HR and accounting system entries) previously done by the College. DMS will focus initially on its administrative, rather than academic, departments. Examples of centralized services include business expense reimbursement processing and P-card reconciliation. The goal is to free departments of routing processing so they can focus on business reporting and analysis.

Photo: Audrey Streeter, Pre-Award Grant Specialist
Welcome Audrey Streeter, New NCCC Pre-Award Grant Specialist

You may have seen a new but familiar face around the Cancer Center. Audrey Streeter has joined the NCCC finance team as our Pre-Award Grant Specialist. Audrey will be replacing Kim Becker as our pre-award point person, as Kim has moved on to be the financial person for the Institute of Quantitative Biological Sciences. Audrey, who was previously with the Cancer Center as our Clinical Trials Pre-Award Specialist before spending some time with the Clinical Trials Office, is a great addition to our team. She brings a wealth of skills to her new position. Until her Dartmouth e-mail address is set up you can reach her at

Logo: The Joint Commission Survey Says…

Thanks for all your help preparing for and undergoing the survey with The Joint Commission. DHMC successfully completed its accreditation survey in December 2011. NCCC performed well with our inspectors. Follow-up work and measurement is occurring in the first six months of 2012. The next full survey is expected to be in calendar year 2014, but surveyors could arrive at any time. All surveys are unannounced. The DHMC accreditation includes all Hospital and Clinic activities at the Lebanon campus and outlying buildings, as well as at Norris Cotton Cancer Center North in St. Johnsbury. More information on Joint Commission accreditation and readiness is available on the Joint Commission Stds & Info website (you must be within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock network in order to view this intranet site).

Events to Note for Your Calendar…
2012 Prouty Registration Is Open
Photo: Prouty finish line, under the balloon rainbow

Get ready to Prouty! Registration for the 2012 Prouty—the bike, walk, and row event hosted by the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center that brings much-needed funding to support research and patient services at the Cancer Center—has opened.

All the details are on the Web at

This year's Prouty will take place July 13 and 14, with the 200-mile "Ultimate" bike ride launching on the 13th from Manchester, N.H., and all other events, including cycling, walking, and rowing, occurring on the 14th in Hanover, N.H., and the Upper Connecticut River Valley. The Prouty will conclude with a celebration at Richmond Middle School in Hanover as participants arrive at the course's end under the balloon rainbow.

Last year's Prouty raised a record $2.5 million to support critical research and patient services at the Cancer Center. The latest issue of The Prouty newsletter (PDF) highlights 2011's Prouty, with an eye to succeeding on an even greater level this year. "Whether you walk, ride, row, volunteer, or donate, you are part of this passionate, committed, collaborative Prouty community," says Prouty and Friends Executive Director Jean Brown. "We know that our work is not done, because cancer keeps touching our families and friends. But we know that on July 13 and 14 we'll all be back, doing everything in our power to make a difference in the cause."

To view a slideshow of photos from the 2011 Prouty, see our "Prouty Registration Opens for 2012" Focus article.

Pink in the Rink, Feb. 11

Logo: Pink in the Rink The Manchester Monarchs join the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center as they take over the Verizon Wireless Arena on Feb. 11 for the 2nd Annual Pink in the Rink hockey game. And we do mean pink: hockey fans won't want to miss seeing pink ice and pink jerseys.

When: Saturday, February 11, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH
Ticket prices:
Pink Pack (Club Level): $30.00 (includes access to the Samuel Adams Lounge)
Gold Level: $22.00
Silver Level: $17.00
Youth tickets: $13.00 (12 and under, not available in the club level)

For more information and to buy tickets visit:

Seminar with UCSF's Kevan Shokat, PhD, Feb. 22

Photo: Kevan Shokat, PhD Kevan Shokat, PhD, will be our distinguished guest on February 22 when he conducts a seminar co-sponsored by NCCC and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at University of California San Francisco, and is a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry at University of California Berkeley.

Dr. Shokat has developed chemical methods to decipher the role of individual kinases and their cellular signaling networks. His goals are to understand each kinase's role in the body and to learn which kinases should be targeted to treat diseases such as cancer and immune dysfunction. His research focuses on using the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, structural biology, genetics, and mathematical modeling to gain insight into how signaling networks transmit information in normal and disease settings.

"Our guiding principle is to use chemistry to answer questions that cannot be addressed by the use of biochemistry or genetics—in this way we seek to provide tools, which fill in the gaps left behind by more traditional approaches," he says. "Our work is multidisciplinary and involves many productive collaborations with cell and organismal biologists, systems biologists, structural biologists, and computational biologists."

When: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: Chilcott Auditorium, DHMC, Lebanon, NH

American Cancer Society Daffodil Days (order by March 1)

Photo: Daffodils in the sunshine It is time for Daffodil Days again with the American Cancer Society (ACS). All staff and volunteers are encouraged to pre-order their daffodils online at

Orders must be placed no later than Thursday, March 1, and will be available for pick-up during the week of March 19.  Look for your daffodils at tables in 3K, the DHMC Cafeteria, and The Gift Shop.

This year you can order daffodils as cut stems, potted bulbs, or with a gift bear. And did you know you can send an anonymous gift to a patient?  Or think about celebrating your favorite oncologist with a gift of daffodils just in time for Doctors Day on March 30.

The Cancer Center currently has six extramural grants from the ACS in effect, totaling close to $2.7 million. Study PIs include Berwin Brent, Ethan Dmitrovsky, Patricia Ernst, Mark Israel, Tracy Onega, and Judy Rees. We are proud to be an ACS Pacesetter for Daffodil Days in New Hampshire and hope you choose to participate. It is one way for us to thank ACS for generously supporting our work.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jennifer King at or 650-5449.

Life Sciences Shared Resource Fair, March 28

This year's Norris Cotton Cancer Center Life Sciences Shared Resource Fair will highlight inhouse expertise and promote access to high-end equipment and processes for Cancer Center and Dartmouth investigators. Posters illustrating the contributions of Shared Resources to ongoing research will be presented, and Shared Resources directors and resource personnel will be available for questions and discussion. In addition to a morning seminar and an afternoon workshop there will be guided tours of the Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Immune Monitoring-Flow Cytometry Shared Resources.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Rubin Building, DHMC, Lebanon, NH

Colorectal Cancer Screening Fair, March 30

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and as part of the month's recognition, NCCC will host a Colorectal Cancer Screening Fair. The fair will offer information about:

  • Risks for colon cancer
  • How colon cancer can be screened and prevented
  • What constitutes a colon-healthy lifestyle

Also available will be instructional videos and discussions with physicians about the risks and benefits of screening. Be sure to stop by next month.

When: Friday, March 30, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Fuller Board Room near the Rotunda, DHMC, Lebanon, NH

CHaD Ride & Ski Cards (ongoing)

Logo: Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock CHaD Ride & Ski Cards are here—just $29.00! Ski all over New England and get incredible discounts. CHaD receives 100% of the proceeds when you purchase your card from the CHaD Community Relations Office.

To see the list of discounts go to, but be sure to purchase through CHaD Community Relations so CHaD gets the proceeds.

To purchase through CHaD Community Relations: