Cancer Currents for March 2013

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

As an academic cancer center, one of 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, our mission is to find new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.

We face an unacceptable and intolerable situation: current cancer therapy is clearly inadequate. It can be very toxic, disruptive of people's lives, astonishingly costly, and is not always effective. If academic cancer centers can't change this, who can? How do we move forward to more acceptable treatment and eventually eliminate cancer.

Hope for a better world for cancer patients and cancer survivors drives our research enterprise and especially our clinical trials. Virtually all of the standard treatments cancer patients receive today were developed through previous clinical trials, and today's ongoing trials will shape tomorrow's cancer care. Through this special partnership with our clinical trial patients, our Center translates the most recent scientific advances into improved future cancer treatment.

At any given time more than 183 clinical trials are available at NCCC, yet only three to five percent of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. We're missing almost 95 percent of available opportunities to learn from the patients we treat.

How can we build support for clinical trial participation? Our clinical oncology groups working in tumor boards offer the most direct connection to cancer patients, and they can determine which patients might be eligible for clinical trial participation. While all cancer trials are listed on the website, we need to do more. The Office of Clinical Research has been working on new initiatives to help increase our accruals.

To make it easier for providers to keep up with the many trial offerings at NCCC, this spring we are launching Research Counts, a quarterly publication that will be mailed to oncologists in our region. Each issue will include articles on recent findings, referring provider profiles, and information about NCCC research, news, and Grand Rounds presentations and other events. A section of each issue will list current open trials and key contact information. Other outreach projects include a new information packet for potential clinical trials participants, and a consumer flyer.

At NCCC we have an opportunity to improve treatment for malignant diseases where current therapy is inadequate—no matter how effectively, efficiently, or humanely current treatment is delivered. Each time we miss an opportunity to include a patient in a clinical trial we let down those we've dedicated our lives to help.

—Mark Israel, Director

Dartmouth Community Mourns Death of Dr. C. Everett Koop

Dr Koop

Former Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop, MD, a pioneer in the field of pediatric surgery, a leader in the fight to create a smoke-free nation, and founder of the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, died peacefully in his home in Hanover, N.H. on Monday, February 25, 2013. He was 96 years old.

Funeral arrangements are planned for 10:30 a.m. on March 9, 2013, at the First Congregational Church in Woodstock.

More about Dr. Koop’s life and pioneering contributions to our world

Dr. Joe O'Donnell Honored with Inaugural Dartmouth Social Justice Award

Joe O'Donnell MD

Joseph O'Donnell, MD, professor of medicine and psychiatry at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, was honored with the inaugural Holly Fell Sateia Award on February 1, 2013. This award recognizes a Dartmouth faculty or staff member who is "an enthusiastic and effective leader in advancing diversity and community."

O'Donnell is the co-founder of the Dartmouth Center on Addiction, Recovery, and Education and has been a professor of medicine at Dartmouth since 1978. He trained in internal medicine at Dartmouth's Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and, under the mentorship of Norris Cotton Cancer Center icons Herb Maurer and O. Ross McIntyre, entered the field of oncology and trained at the National Cancer Institute. In his research, O'Donnell addresses issues of substance abuse, obesity, and how to promote healthy lifestyles. Read more here.

CHaD Awarded Grant for Childhood Cancer Research

Sara Chafee MD CHaD DHMC

The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) has received a one-year infrastructure grant from the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.

The $34,951 grant will allow CHaD to establish a secure database containing treatment information about childhood cancer survivors. This database will allow clinicians to use treatment summaries to address issues associated with late effects, and researchers to study complications and possible treatments. The grant will also be used to promote participation in clinical trials.

Sara Chaffee, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics explains that, "the majority of children diagnosed with cancer are surviving into adulthood and we need to find a way to track them. The database will also be useful for research purposes. We truly appreciate St Baldrick's support in moving this forward. This grant underscores Dartmouth-Hitchcock's commitment to providing cancer survivors with treatment summaries; I think that is really what this is all about."

BMT Patient Thanks Donor, DHMC Staff

blood bone marrow cord transplant dhmc new hampshire boston

On February 14, 2013 DHMC doctors, nurses, and staff members gathered to meet Fabian Kaempf, a registered bone marrow donor from Germany who was identified as a life-saving match for Korey Pierce. Pierce, from Ashland NH, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 2007 and received a successful bone marrow transplant at DHMC in 2008. He invited Kaempf to his wedding, on February 16, 2013, and organized the event at the hospital to introduce Kaempf to the staff that supported him through the transplant process. Full story: From German Soccer Field to New Hampshire Wedding: volunteer firefighter thanks bone marrow donor for "gift of life"

SYNERGY Applies for NCATS Membership

Dartmouth NCCC Synergy

In January SYNERGY, Dartmouth's Center for Clinical and Translational Science, applied to join The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences' CTSA Consortia (NCATS).  This national consortium of approximately 60 academic medical centers shares a common vision of improving human health by transforming the research and training environment for clinical and translational science.

The SYNERGY application highlighted work at Dartmouth to help researchers advance discoveries into practice and improved population health through collaborations involving critical resources, technologies, training, and expertise. NCATS recognition could bring to Dartmouth an infusion of up to an additional $4 million annually to advance further these current efforts. The proposal is scheduled for scientific review in February-March, and funding decisions will be made in May, with a possible July 1 start date. The national consortium expected to recompete 18 current designations in this round of review.

NCCC Members are significant contributors to the SYNERGY initiatives to date and to further proposed work. Drs. Ethan Dmitrovsky, Jason Moore, Keith Paulsen, and Mark Israel assist Dr. Alan Green on the SYNERGY Leadership Executive Committee. Directors of SYNERGY Key Functions include NCCC Members Yolanda Sanchez (Development of Novel Clinical and Translational Methodologies), Anna Tosteson (Pilot and Collaborative Translational Clinical Studies), Amar Das (Biomedical Informatics), Margaret Karagas and Tor Tosteson (Research Design, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Clinical Research Ethics), Lionel Lewis (Regulatory Knowledge and Support), and Duane Compton (Translational Technologies and Resources). Nan Rollings has contributed to definition of the role of SYNERGY Research Navigator, and Steve Bobin to the role of SYNERGY Translational Technologies Managing Director, under the leadership of SYNERGY's Executive Director, Sheila Noone.

Center for Molecular Epidemiology Receives COBRE Grant

Margaret R. Karagas, Ph.D.

With Margaret Karagas, PhD, co-director, Cancer Epidemiology & Chemoprevention program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, as the principal investigator, the Center for Molecular Epidemiology has received a COBRE grant for $12,429,723.The grant is for five years, with two further chances for 5-year renewals.

The grant involves four projects and two cores:

  • Project 1: Brock Christensen
  • Project 2: Juliette Madan
  • Project 3: Diane Gilbert-Diamond
  • Project 4: Tracy Punshon
  • Administrative, Career Development, and Research Integration Core: Karagas, Moore, Dmitrovsky
  • Biorepository Core: Marsit and Wells
NCI Audits March 11-20

During the month of March (March 11-20) we will be undergoing NCI audits for many of our cooperative groups including CIBMTR (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research), RTOG (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group), Alliance (Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology-the newly merged cooperative group of CALGB, ACOSOG and NCCTG), and CTSU (Cancer Trials Support Unit).

Clinical trials staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for these audits, and we want to thank the many other staff members who have helped. Additionally, we ask everyone to be aware that auditors will be in hallways, conference rooms, and clinical space. As always, continue to maintain a professional and safe environment and keep a clean work space.

New college VPN option

Those who connect to resources at Dartmouth from NCCC (or anywhere else outside the Dartmouth campus) now have the option to use what is called a "split-tunnel" Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The big difference between the "split tunnel" and the traditional VPN is that it allows you to maintain connectivity to all local (DH and/or RUBIN4) resources while also connecting to the college's network via VPN.

The logon process is identical to the normal VPN, but once connected you will still be able to access the S: and P: drives, local printers and eDH. You can leave the connection up as long as necessary and still do normal activities. Here's the link:

The Dana Biomedical Library Prepares for Move

The Dana Biomedical Library will be moving to a temporary home at 37 Dewey Field Road sometime after April 1, 2013. The move will allow for construction of the new North Campus Academic Center. A second move will occur when the North Campus Academic Center is scheduled to open, now projected for the beginning of 2016.

During the interim period Dana Library will continue to provide library services and student study space, but all of Dana's print journal volumes and most of its books will be housed offsite. Reserve material and a few other books will move to 37 Dewey Field. The material housed offsite will be quickly delivered to campus libraries upon request.

In preparation for the moves, the library is clearing out dated, superseded, duplicative, and unused material in order to make newer material more visible and easily browsed in the new North Campus building. See Dana Book Project for more information.

WZID Women's Expo in Manchester

DHMC Women's Expo WZID NCCC Manchester NH

NCCC was one of 120 exhibitors at the 15th Annual WZID's Women's Expo on February 16, 2013 in Manchester NH. The event drew an audience of over 1,000 women, providing an excellent opportunity for community outreach on early breast cancer detection and skin care.

Dr. Roshani Patel  (DHMC Manchester) demonstrated how to properly perform a breast self-exam, NCCC Director of Communications Donna Dubuc distributed breast cancer awareness posters that use fruit as a teaching aid, and Melissa Lemire (Cosmetic Dermatology DHMC Manchester) discussed the importance of good skin care and shared the cosmetic dermatology services provided at D-H Manchester.

Synergy Translational Pilot Project Letters of Intent Due March 15, 2013

The Dartmouth SYNERGY Translational Pilot Program seeks innovative, inter-disciplinary research proposals that have clear potential for translation into patient-oriented care and for improving population health.

The goal of the SYNERGY Pilot Projects Program is to facilitate collaborative translational research studies within all our institutions and affiliated health centers. By providing support for clinical and translational pilot studies, SYNERGY aims to accelerate the process of clinical, community-based, and translational research.

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

  • Methodology and technical innovation for translational research (MITRA)
  • Population-based translational research
  • Community-based translational research
  • Investigator-defined translational research. 

Successful proposals must have a high chance of leading to extramurally funded research and/or to discoveries with the potential for commercialization. A total of up to $300,000 will be used to fund SYNERGY Pilot Projects in 2013. The total number of awards granted under this RFA will depend on the quality of applications independent of the area of focus.

Eligibility: Investigators at Dartmouth College, Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering, Tuck School of Business, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock and its affiliated sites, including the White River Junction VA , Manchester VA, and Togus VA who meet the requirements.

  • Mandatory Letter of Intent due March 15, 2013
  • Applications due May 1, 2013. Please direct all questions to
2013 Prouty Prologues and More!

Prouty Prologues

Thinking of challenging yourself by riding back-to-back century rides in the Prouty Ultimate? Intrigued by the new Prouty 77 route? Maybe it's the new Golf The Prouty, the wooded walk, or rowing that's floating your boat this year?

Learn more about the 6th Prouty Ultimate and the 32nd Prouty (on July 12, 13) by attending one of our Prouty Prologues−information sessions−and hear about the Ultimate ride, training for events, and about our many other event choices. Each prologue will offer food and drink, a raffle offering Prouty 'swag' and the opportunity to sign-up. Come, bring a friend!

  • Thursday, February 28 - Lebanon, NH - 5:30 – 7 p.m.
    Norris Cotton Cancer Center, 6th floor Research Atrium
    (There will be a drawing for a free spot in the Ultimate)
  • Thursday, March 21 - Manchester, NH - 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    Milly's Tavern, 500 Commercial St.
  • Thursday, March 28 - Boston, MA - 5:30 – 7 p.m.
    Temazcal Tequila Cantina, 250 Northern Ave.            
    (Our special thanks to MassBike for helping to promote this Prouty prologue)

Planning to attend the 2013 Tri-mania (formerly the Multisport World Conference & Expo)? Again, it's at the Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center at MIT in Cambridge, MA, and we'll be there all day long talking about The Prouty and the Prouty Ultimate. We'll also have a drawing for a free spot in the Prouty Ultimate! Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Bike Hub Computrainer Event!

If you're interested in signing up to do the 200-mile Ultimate but wonder how you can start training in the snow and rain and gloom of night−here is your appointed round. On March 9 & 10, the Bike Hub (Rte. 5 South, Norwich, Vt.) is holding the first ever computraining event to benefit Norris Cotton Cancer Center. This Prouty Computrain allows you to ride indoors, on your own bike, with other cyclists, while virtually riding 25-mile portions of the Prouty Ultimate (one portion Saturday, and a different portion on Sunday). There will be six two-hour slots available each day between 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; $30 fundraising minimum per spot. There will be prizes galore including a drawing for a $1000 discount off the $2500 fundraising minimum for the 2013 Ultimate. Be first to sign-up Thursday, February 28 at the Lebanon prologue to reserve your computrain spot.  (After the 28th, sign-up at Saturday and Sunday, March 9 & 10

Visit, email, or call us at 1-800-226-8744

Upcoming Events to Note…
Colon Cancer Awareness Expo

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and as part of the month's recognition the Cancer Center will host a Colon Cancer Awareness Expo on Thursday, March 14th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 4th floor Mall by the parking garage.

The fair will offer information about:

  • Risks for colon cancer
  • How colon cancer can be screened and prevented
  • What constitutes a colon-healthy lifestyle
  • Health care providers will be on hand to discuss risks and benefits
    of screening
D-H Patient Safety Awareness Fair

This year’s D-H Patient Safety Awareness Fair, held in conjunction with the National Patient Safety Foundation Patient Safety Awareness Week, is on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Come view the exhibits to learn more about initiatives that enhance quality and safety: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Auditoria A-D; extended fair hours are from 10 p.m. to midnight, on Level 3, South Mall, DHMC.

Campus Emergency Test on February 28

On Thursday, February 28, at 3 p.m., Dartmouth will test two of its emergency notification systems. The Outdoor Mass Notification System consists of sirens and voice speakers that can be heard outdoors up to 10 miles from campus. The DartAlert system delivers an automated message to all Dartmouth-administered email accounts and landline phones, as well as to the personal phones of registered users.

DHMC Annual Employee and Volunteer Art Show - Call for Submissions

The Annual Employee and Volunteer Art Show will take place from March 11 through May 31. This is an opportunity to highlight the talented artist and artisans in the DHMC Community. Paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, decorative arts, and multi-media are all welcome.

Submissions (one piece per artist) will be accepted at the Volunteer Services Office on Level 2 on Wednesday, March 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Thursday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Artists must be current employees or volunteers of DHMC. Two-dimensional work must be framed and ready to hang with picture-hanging wire. For more information, please contact Elisabeth Gordon, Arts Program coordinator,

Performance Evaluation Workshops

HR is offering performance evaluation workshops for managers and for employees at various locations across campus and at DHMC. Those interested in attending need to register at 

  • Performance Evaluation – Managers/Supervisors
    In this workshop for supervisors, we will cover an overview of the performance evaluation process using the new Human Resources Performance Evaluation Form. This workshop will also review best practices in establishing performance expectations and goals; providing informal and formal feedback; and measuring results.
    • 3/5/2013 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. [DHMC]
    • 3/6/2013 1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. [ROCKEFELLER CTR]
    • 3/7/2013 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. [ROCKEFELLER CTR]
  • Performance Evaluation – Employee Perspective
    In this workshop for employees, we will cover an overview of the performance evaluation process using the new Human Resources Performance Evaluation Form. This workshop will also review best practices in establishing performance expectations and goals; giving and receiving feedback; and completing a self-evaluation to share with your manager.
    • 3/6/2013 10:30 a.m.- noon [HALDEMAN]
    • 3/7/2013 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. [7 LEBANON ST]
Boston Flower Show March 17

On Sunday, March 17, the After Hours program has planned an all-day bus trip to the Boston Flower Show. Hop on the motor coach and enjoy a day at the largest flower and garden show in New England.  

Please note that pre-payment ($45/person) is required to confirm your registration and hold your spot on the bus. Payment is accepted in the form of exact cash, money order, or check (made payable to Dartmouth College with After Hours Bus Trip to the BOSTON FLOWER SHOW in the memo line). Payment must be delivered to Dartmouth After Hours in the Office of Human Resources (HB 6042) at 7 Lebanon Street, Suite 203, in Hanover.

Norris Cotton Cancer Center 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.