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Cancer Currents for January 2012

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

Happy New Year! January 2012 marks the opening of our exciting new location in Nashua, N.H. Throughout the past several years we have explored potential partnerships and locations throughout the twin states in order to meet our patients' needs. I take the notion of care "close to home" very seriously. Each new site, whether it's the recently announced northern location in Newport, Vt., or the Exit 8 site for our Nashua clinic, is designed to make cancer treatment more accessible for patients and their families. By treating people close to home, we bring them the finest cancer treatment available while greatly reducing the burden of travel.

Providing care at 17 (and counting!) locations is complicated and requires teamwork. Our locations outside of Lebanon see half of all the Cancer Center's patients. Recently, John Marshall, MD, of the terrific St. Johnsbury team was profiled in our online publication Focus (see "Touching Patients, Touching History"). His commitment to patients with cancer and to helping them understand their best course of treatment is legendary. He's a "country doctor" with the very finest attributes that are common to so many of our staff who work at the regional locations: they are top-notch clinicians who hold a true fondness for their local communities. So thanks to all of you who work to bring cancer care close to home in our great states. And: welcome, Nashua!

Mark Israel, Director



Nashua Grand Opening!
Photo: Entrance to new Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua facility

January 28, 2012, marks a big day for the Cancer Center, when Dartmouth-Hitchcock's new facility in Nashua, N.H., officially opens. The new building will include a hematology/oncology clinic, part of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, as well as D-H's new state-of-the art ambulatory care center. The new five-story, 140,000-square-foot facility solves a space problem that had been hampering the Cancer Center's and D-H's ability to serve communities in southern New Hampshire. As Dr. Sanders Burstein, medical director for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua explained, "This new facility will allow us the opportunity to more effectively coordinate the delivery of health care in the region by providing appropriate linkages to specialty and tertiary level care from DHMC in Lebanon to the local community."

Opening Celebration activities on the 28th include ribbon-cutting at 10:00 a.m., refreshments and food from Nashua restaurants and yogurt from Stonyfield Farms, self-guided tours, meet-and-greets with providers and staff, health and screening information, and children's activities. In addition to the festivities on the 28th, the Nashua Chamber of Commerce is hosting its members-and-invited-guests "Business After Hours" networking reception at the new building on January 11.

New Shared Resources

The Cancer Center has initiated regional cancer research collaborations with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Cancer Center, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Cancer Center, and The Vermont (UVM) Cancer Center. The purpose of the consortium is to advance cancer research through inter-institutional collaborations among basic, translational, and clinical investigators. For example, in 2011 the Cancer Center funded work at Dartmouth on six investigator-initiated proposals involving regional co-investigators. A consortium also makes unique shared resources at participating institutions regionally available at special prices. Cancer Center investigators interested in inter-institutional shared service collaborations should contact Stephen Bobin, Shared Resources Administrative Coordinator, for additional details. More information is also available on our Regional Cancer Research Consortium website.

Logo: Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)New Funding Opportunity

Applications are open for the Association of American Cancer Institutes' (AACI) Translational Cancer Research Fellowship. This one-year, $50,000 non-renewable grant will support post-doctoral training for individuals who have completed at least one year of training in any field of oncology and have at least one year of training remaining at an AACI member institution. Application guidelines and instructions are available on the AACI website.

This funding opportunity is open exclusively to AACI member institutions and promises to be highly competitive. Up to four awards are available in 2012. The application deadline is February 1, 2012. Questions should be emailed to Kate Burroughs at kate@aaci-cancer.org.

Photo: Sujal Shah, MDNew Manchester Providers

Norris Cotton Cancer Center Manchester welcomes two new physicians. The special interests of Sujal Shah, MD (left), are malignant hematology and lung cancer. After graduating from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Ill., Dr. Shah completed his internal medicine residency at Tulane University Hospital and Clinics in New Orleans, La. He also completed a fellowship program at Tulane in Hematology and Oncology.

Photo: Phillip Manno, MDPhillip Manno, MD (right), will join the Manchester staff on Feb. 20. He comes to the Cancer Center from the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI), where he was interim director and chief of geriatric oncology. He has been treating cancer patients in Las Vegas since 1992, and was a founding member of the NVCI faculty when the Institute opened its doors in 2005. Dr. Manno's medical interests include breast cancer and neuro-oncology. He also has a particular interest in neurologic and cognitive dysfunction as it relates to side effects of chemotherapy and disease in the elderly.

Please introduce yourself to our new Manchester providers when you have a chance.

New Researcher for the Cancer Center

Manabu Kurokawa, PhD, has agreed to join the DMS faculty as a member of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Cancer Center, arriving next summer. He will come from Duke University with his own NIH K99 funding, and he will bring a translational research program in breast cancer biology and molecular therapeutics. His prior work has been published in Cell, Science, EMBO Journal, and other journals. Dr. Kurokawa's laboratory will be located in newly renovated space on Vail 5th floor. Welcome messages can be emailed to mkurokaw@duke.edu.

Advances in Research Recognized

Congratulations to William Black, MD (top right); Elliott Fisher, MD, MPH (bottom right); and Nancy Morden, MD, MPH (left). These Cancer Center researchers have all been cited by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as achieving noteworthy advancements in 2011 in the effort to improve cancer treatment and prevention.

Photo montage: Nancy Morden, MD, MPH; William Black, MD; and Elliott Fisher, MD, MPHIn its report titled Clinical Cancer Advances, ASCO highlighted research the Cancer Center participated in under Dr. Black's guidance that emphasized the effectiveness low-dose computed tomography scans in reducing the risk of dying from lung cancer. ASCO also spotlighted a report issued in 2011 by the Dartmouth Atlas Project, to which Drs. Fisher and Morden contributed, that found varied levels of end-of-life care for senior cancer patients.

"The research advances detailed in this year's Clinical Cancer Advances report demonstrate that improvements in cancer screening, treatment, and prevention are saving and improving lives," wrote Michael Link, MD, ASCO president, in the report's introduction. "Cancer research has transformed cancer care over the past 40 years, and this Clinical Cancer Advances report illustrates how far we have come in the past year alone. We now have a tremendous opportunity to utilize today's knowledge and collaborate across all facets of cancer care to conquer this deadly disease."

Upcoming Events, Local and National

For more information about these events, please see our listings of Events for Cancer Professionals and Events for Patients, Families, and the Community.

January 8-11
AACR Special Conference: Noncoding RNAs and Cancer
Location: Miami Beach, FL

January 8-11
AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer
Location: San Diego, CA

January 10
Special Seminar: "Regulation of Epithelial Growth in Development and Cancer"
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: DHMC, Lebanon, NH

January 12
NCCC Grand Rounds: "Epigenetic Epidemiology of Bladder Cancer" (Carmen Marsit, PhD)
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: DHMC, Lebanon, NH

January 19
NCCC Grand Rounds: "Moving Lung Cancer Research from Bench to Bedside" (Ethan Dmitrovsky, MD)
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: DHMC, Lebanon, NH

January 27
(IRB) Training & Mentoring of Residents in Research: Keys to Success
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: DHMC, Lebanon, NH

January 28
Grand Opening, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua and Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, NH

January 28
Latchkey Cup Stock Car Race on Ice (benefits the Cancer Center)
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Berry Pond, Moultonborough, NH

January 28-29
The Great Derby Social (benefits the Cancer Center)
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Location: Great View Roller Rink, Enfield, NH