Cancer Currents for October 2013

News and Notes from the Director
Mark Israel, Director

Advances in breast cancer research provide both expectations and reasons for hope that this will soon be a largely preventable disease, and one much more successfully treated when it does occur. In recent years we've made significant progress in ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat this most common cancer of women.

The link between obesity and cancer is clearly documented, and exercise has been shown to decrease breast cancer risk and to improve the outcome of patients in treatment. New technology can improve cancer diagnosis as more sophisticated equipment, like NCCC's new instrumentation for tomosynthesis, allows for more precise detection of tumors. Treatment strategies, including heart sparing radiation therapy and tissue sparing surgery, have made breast cancer treatment safer for patients.

Part of our responsibility as a Comprehensive Cancer Center is to bring information about cancer prevention, research discoveries, and new technologies and treatment options into our community, so patients can make informed choices about life style and health care.

On October 17 we will be hosting a "Breast Cancer: New information Night," inviting the local community into the center to see what we do, pick up tips for healthy activities, and hear short presentations highlighting new research, screening technology, and advanced breast cancer care.

Tours will be offered, and there will be opportunities for participants to ask questions and talk directly with those conducting cutting edge research to improve breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Presentations include:

  • Heart Sparing Radiation Therapy
  • Breast Surgery: When Less is More
  • Wellbeing after Diagnosis
  • Obesity and Cancer
  • Planning Activity for Health
  • Highlight's from Our Research

Please help us get the word out to your neighbors and friends: "Breast Cancer: New information Night"

Mark Israel, Director

NCCC to Host C4Q1 Conference October 8-10

NCCC will be hosting the semi-annual meeting of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium of Quality Improvement (C4QI) October 8-10, 2013. C4QI is a group of physicians, nurses, and operational leaders from NCI designated cancer centers around the country, all working collaboratively to improve outcomes for oncology patients. Seventeen cancer centers will travel to NCCC to participate in the conference, including:

  • City of Hope
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (Johns Hopkins Hospital)
  • The James at Ohio State University
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • Siteman Cancer Center
  • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • Yale Cancer Center
Harold Swartz Appointed Alma Hass Milham Distinguished Chair in Clinical Medicine
Harold Swartz, MD, PhD

Hal Swartz, with Associate Director of EPR Ann Barry Flood, next to one of the tooth dosimeters he and his team developed at Dartmouth.

Harold Swartz, MD, PhD, professor of Radiology, Medicine (Radiation Oncology) and Physiology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, has been appointed as the Alma Hass Milham Distinguished Chair in Clinical Medicine.

Swartz directs the EPR Center and leads a team of researchers at the medical school who have been developing new tools to detect radiation levels. A portable dosimeter device, invented by Swartz, detects levels of radiation in teeth, and is instrumental in assessing radiation injuries in survivors of radiological or nuclear catastrophes. In 2010, the National Institutes of Health awarded Swartz and his research in electronic paramagnetic resonance (EPR) a five-year, $16.6 million grant to form the Biodosimetry Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation (Dart-Dose CMCR) at Dartmouth. (Read more)

Life Sciences Shared Resource Fair October 9

The NCCC Life Sciences Shared Resource Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rubin Building. This event gives faculty, staff, and students an opportunity to learn about new technology in Shared Resources, and offers information about emerging technology of interest to the Cancer Center, Dartmouth, and regional investigators. We welcome the participation of the Shared Resources from the Vermont Cancer Center (VCC), one of our Regional Cancer Research Consortium partners.

The fair highlights in-house and regional expertise and will promote access to high-end equipment and processes available through the NCCC and VCC Shared Resources. Posters illustrating the contributions of Shared Resources to ongoing research will be presented in the 6th Floor Atrium, Rubin Building. Shared Resource directors and Resource personnel will be available for questions and discussion.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a seminar describing the new Center for Surgical Innovation (Auditorium E, level 3, Rubin). This will be followed by poster presentations by the Shared Resource directors and staff (6th Floor Atrium, Rubin) with contests and prize drawings. The day will end with an afternoon workshop presentation offering instruction on the use of CLC Genomics Workbench for analyzing Genomic sequencing data (reservations required, room 691, Rubin). Register outside Auditorium E before the 10 a.m. seminar to participate in the fair and to enter the drawing for an iPad Mini. Contact Stephen Bobin Stephen.A.Bobin@Dartmouth.EDU for further information and to reserve a seat in the workshop. Schedule:

Seminar, 10 a.m. Auditorium E: "Center for Surgical Innovation"
Dr. P. Jack Hoopes, professor of Surgery and of Medicine Geisel School of Medicine, and Dr. Keith Paulson, professor of Radiology Geisel School of Medicine

Poster session, 11 – 1: (6th Floor Atrium, Rubin, lunch provided)
Win an iPad Mini in name the new Genome sequencer contest
iPad Mini Drawing open to all participants

Workshop, 1 p.m. Rubin 691:"What can I Do with All of this Genome Sequence data?" CLC Genomics Workbench
Dr. Walter Taylor, managing director, NCCC Bioinformatics Shared Resource
Reservation required

Williamson Translational Research Building Update: 9.18.13
Williamson Translational Research Building rendering

Work continues on the Williamson Translational Research Building. During the week of Sept. 23, trench work began across the road from the Borwell building, as well as in the grass island of the boulevard and the lawn in front of the Borwell bridge. Roads will remain open with minor delays during construction vehicle road crossings.

Breast Cancer New Information Night 10.17.13

NCCC will hold a public information evening, "Breast Cancer New Information Night," on Thursday October 17, 2013 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Auditorium E & F, Rubin Building. NCCC physicians and researchers will give short presentations highlighting our research:

  • Heart sparing radiation therapy
  • Tissue sparing breast surgery
  • Well-being after diagnosis
  • Role of exercise in breast cancer recovery
  • The connection between obesity and breast cancer

For more information: call (603) 653-9000.

Dr. Nirav Kapadia

Nirav S. Kapadia, MD

New Staff

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center North, in St. Johnsbury, welcomes radiation oncologist Nirav S. Kapadia, MD as NCCC Director of Clinical Outreach. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2008, and completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at University of Michigan. He is currently working on an MS degree at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Kapadia started at NCCC North in September, and is currently accepting new patient referrals and consultations.

We are pleased to announce the hire of Kacie Merchand MS, RD, LD as a new addition to the NCCC Clinical Dietitian team. Kacie will be replacing Lavanya Kethamukkala, with emphasis on Thoracic, Breast, Hematology, and Transplant. Kacie is a new graduate from UVM where she earned her graduate degree in May 2013.

Stephen Kanick, PhD

Stephen Kanick, PhD

Stephen Kanick Receives NIH K25 Award

Stephen Kanick has received a 5-year NIH Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25) to support work with mentors Jack Hoopes, Brian Pogue, and Eunice Chen.The K25 awards provide support and a period of supervised study and research for professionals with quantitative (e.g., mathematics, statistics, economics, computer science, imaging science, informatics, physics, chemistry) and engineering backgrounds to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research.

Kanick received his Ph.D from the University of Pittsburgh, and spent 3 and a half years as a Post-doctoral researcher at the Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands before coming to the Thayer School in 2010 as a research scientist.

Samir Soneji Receives Synergy Scholars Award
Samir Soneji, PhD

Samir Soneji, PhD

Samir S. Soneji, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, has received a SYNERGY Scholar Award for his project, "Assessing the Translation of CT Screening from Clinical Trial to Everyday Practice." He will be working with Jonathan Skinner, Ph.D., James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Economics, professor of Community & Family Medicine and of The Dartmouth Institute (TDI); William C. Black, MD, professor of Radiology, of Community & Family Medicine, and of TDI; and Harold C. Sox, MD, professor of Medicine and of TDI.

The Dartmouth SYNERGY Scholars Program is modeled on the NIH K12 Scholars Program. It combines didactic training, mentoring, exposure to multidisciplinary research, and ongoing evaluation to prepare junior investigators for careers in clinical translational research. The SYNERGY Scholars award provides funds to cover 75 percent of the scholar's salary (to a maximum of $100,000), plus fringe benefits annually, plus up to $25,000 per year to cover travel, supplies, research assistant salary, and tuition expenses.

Free Rejuvenation Retreats for Staff working with Cancer Patients

Patient and Family Support Services has received a grant from the NH State Council for the Arts to hold three half day wellness and rejuvenation retreats, at no charge, for any staff member working with cancer patients and their family members. These workshops will use the creative arts and small group discussions for self-care, self-expression, and fun (participating nurses will get CEUs).

The first retreat will be held on Saturday, November 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 1p.m. in Hanover, NH. To register or for more information about the retreat and CEUs contact Deb Steele, Deborah.J.Steele@Dartmouth.EDU

NCCC Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) Update

Evelyn Schlosser, reports on NCCC Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) activity:
Providing the highest quality of care and service to each patient is everyone's responsibility at the Cancer Center, and the NCCC QPS Department is here to support these efforts. This support can take on a number of different forms, from facilitating a process improvement project to abstracting and reporting clinical/operational data for analyses by teams. Listed below are just some of the recent quality and patient safety program highlights, as well as upcoming projects and on-going programmatic work throughout the NCCC. Please feel free to contact me with any comments, suggestions and/or questions.

Recent (July/Aug) NCCC Quality and Patient Safety Accomplishments/Activities:

  1. The NCCC-wide Advance Directives team has completed their project work and now on-going system improvements are being managed by operational leaders to achieve our goal (80% across all NCCC sites). Many thanks to all of the team members for their efforts.
  2. Welcome to Daniel Gelb, senior measurement analyst. Dan is a recent hire to the Department of Value Reporting & Analytics, Division of Quality, Safety and Value, and will be working with Jennifer Snide to provide part time data support to NCCC QPS initiatives.
  3. Preparations for our next Joint Commission (TJC) on-site survey are in full swing. We are now officially in the "open window" season for random survey by TJC, which will last through November 2014 (or until TJC comes). Nurse managers and practice managers have begun biweekly tracers (aka audits) in each clinical setting to assess for compliance with standards and to identify areas in need of improvement. Stay tuned for NCCC-wide results of these tracers.

Future (Sept/Oct) NCCC Quality and Patient Safety Initiatives/Activities:

  1. In an effort to improve our understanding of the ambulatory oncology patient experience with care, we are exploring alternative oncology-specific ambulatory surveys (i.e. Press-Ganey and Avatar). These surveys will help us discern patient satisfaction differences between provider clinic visits and treatment related visits. More to come…
  2. The newly formed NCCC Patient and Family Advisory Committee will be convening for the first time this fall. The purpose of this committee is to promote and enhance patient and family-centered oncology care and services and to support the mission of NCCC. This Committee will be co-led by Ginny Reed (Patient and Family advisor) and Linda Metcalf (director, Radiation Oncology).
  3. National Healthcare Quality Week is October 21-25th this year and D-H will be observing this week with a series of events, such as keynote speakers, poster sessions, lean/PI tool classes, etc. Additionally, there will be a number of quality awards and recognition for teams and staff members. Please check out the D-H Today article for all of the details, and take advantage of this opportunity to recognize NCCC staff for their tremendous contributions to patient care!
Rejuvenation and Relaxation Day for Patients, Survivors, and their Families

2013 Fall Gathering

NCCC will host a day of free activities for cancer patients and families on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rubin Building at DHMC. Activities will include chair massage, Reiki, Tai Chi, an art exhibit opening, and poetry reading. The offerings highlight the Cancer Center's patient and family support services program, which recently published its fall calendar of educational workshops, support groups, and healing arts programs for patients and family members. All programs are free and open to the public. Activity Schedule, Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Rubin Building

9:00 am - 3:00 pm Resource fair 3K
9:00 am - 2:00 pm Chair massage 2K & 3K
9:00 am - 2:00 pm Relaxation with Reiki 2K & 3K
9:00 am - 2:00 pm Refreshments/Open House Patient Library 2K
10:00 am - 1:00 pm Healing harp 2K & 3K
10:00 am - 2:00 pm Try Tai Chi 2K
11:00 am - 1:00 pm Healthy eating choices East Mall Café
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm Craft a beaded vessel 2K
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Healing with Art exhibit 2K
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Patient poetry reading 2K
Friends News:

Prouty Fundraising Surpasses $2.75 million goal for 2013!
The Prouty, which started in 1982 with four nurses on bikes raising $4000, has surpassed its 2013 fundraising goal of $2.75 million. This pushes total fundraising from the 32 years of the event over $20 million. The funds support cancer patients and cancer research at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

In addition to some 25,000 donations so far in 2013, more than 200 corporations have supported the Prouty this year. The corporate support, coupled with an army of more than 1,300 volunteers, keep costs low so that nearly 87 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to cancer patient support services and cancer research at Norris Cotton. The Prouty 2013 fundraising tally will keep rolling until December 31 at The 2014 Prouty is July 11 -12.

Healing with Art Reception and Patient Poetry Reading
Healing with Art is an exhibit based on the belief that art contributes to and reinforces the healing process for patients with cancer. Juried works by New England artists will hang in the cancer center for six months. The Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center invite you to our Healing with Art Reception and Patient Poetry Reading Thursday, October 1, 3-5 p.m. at Norris Cotton Cancer Center Oncology Radiology Reception area-2K. Join us for light fare and beverages with our featured artists as we unveil our latest Healing with Art showcase.

Friends Golf Tournament at Candia Woods Golf Club
Join us on October 10 for this great annual golf tournament in Candia, N.H. The event includes an 8 a.m. registration, 2 p.m. lunch, silent auction, raffles, and awards. For more information, including tribute opportunities and prize details, contact Candia Woods Golf Club at (603) 483-2307x 101.

On October 13, join the Friends Team in the Harpoon Octoberfest Road Race, while raising money to benefit the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. This 3.6-mile road race kicks off the Sunday of Octoberfest starting at 11 a.m. in Windsor, VT. Work up an appetite for Harpoon Octoberfest beer, bratwurst, and some Oompah by kicking up your heels on this scenic course at the brewery. Prosit! Visit the Harpoon Octoberfest Race website to register in order to participate in the event. Then go the extra mile to raise additional funds for cancer research and patient services by fundraising through the Friends Team website.

Get your Flu Shot!

Dartmouth employees: Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled for the first week in October. All employees and students must have a scheduled appointment. Sign up early so you can pick the best day and time for your schedule:

DHMC employees: The DHMC Employee and Volunteer Flu clinic was held on September 25. Information on dates, times and locations for additional flu clinics can be found on the intranet flu site. Please remember you must receive your flu vaccination and/or be granted a medical or religious exemption by Nov. 1, 2013. Additional information is available on the flu policy, medical and religious exemptions, and FAQs on the intranet flu site.

Dartmouth 2nd Annual Wellness Event October 8th

Dartmouth's 2nd Annual Employee Health and Wellness event, "You! Discovering your well-being!" will be held on Tuesday, October 8th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Alumni Hall, Hopkins Center. Free blood pressure, BMI, and waist circumference screenings; free flu shots; wellness demonstrations; and campus resources including:

  • Wellness at Dartmouth
  • Dartmouth Health Coaching
  • Athletics
  • Dartmouth Skiway
  • Dartmouth College Child Care Resource Office
  • CHaD
  • Faculty/Employee Assistance Program
  • Tucker Foundation
  • Norris Cotton Cancer Center
  • Cigna
  • Weight Watchers at Work
  • Door prizes, food, and more!
Printed Copies of Dartmouth Campus Map available

You can print copies of a current version (11x17, 2-sided color) of the Dartmouth Campus map from a pdf at:

New Evening Bus Service starts September 16th

The new Dartmouth Shuttle evening route provides extended evening service between Hanover, DHMC, Sachem Village, Lebanon, West Lebanon, White River Junction, and Wilder. The extended service will be funded for 9 months and will continue based on ridership demand, so jump aboard! Full schedule and map are available here:

Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library Art Exhibit

The Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library (DHMC 5th floor) is pleased to announce a new art exhibit featuring Clara Gimenez. Clara's work will be in the library from now until mid-January, 2014. More info:

Great Programs for Kids

Team Green Kids Club: This is the official fan club of the Dartmouth College Big Green! Kids Club members have access to exclusive opportunities for all the Big Green action and events. For kids in 8th grade or younger:

  • Official membership card and certificate
  • Official 2013-2014 Team Green T-shirt
  • FREE ADMISSION to ALL Dartmouth soccer, lacrosse, and basketball games with membership ID (new for 2013-2014)
  • FREE ADMISSION to one Men's & Women's hockey and one football game of your choice with membership ID (new for 2013-2014)
  • SPECIAL INVITATIONS to Basketball Skills Clinics, Skate with the Big Green Hockey Teams, and Read with the Big Green events at the Dartmouth Bookstore
  • EXCLUSIVE COUPONS for gear at Stateline Sports, free burritos at Boloco, and children's books at the Dartmouth Bookstore
  • FREE WEEKLY MEALS at Molly's and Jesse's
  • FREE MEAL on your birthday at EBA's
  • Special meal deals to Lui Lui
  • FREE TICKETS to bring a friend to select games (new for 2013-2014)
  • Access to behind the scenes tours of Dartmouth Athletics locker rooms & opportunities to be the Team Green Reporter for their website

To sign up online, go to the Fan Zone of the Dartmouth Athletics website or click this link.

You may also mail back a registration brochure.

Hopstop Family Series:

Offered one Saturday each month at 11 a.m. throughout the school year, HopStops are entertaining, hands-on, free programs introducing the youngest audiences to the wonders of the performing arts. For ages 3 and up with accompanying adult, these hour-long interactive presentations are an engaging way to stimulate the curious minds of children.

  • FREE and open to the public; no tickets or registration required.
  • Held in Alumni Hall, located on the second floor of the Hopkins Center (signs are posted).
  • Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis
  • Weather permitting, the September and May HopStops are held outside on the Hop Plaza—bring blankets and/or camp chairs for seating.

For more information, call 603-646-2010. Metered parking is available on the street and hourly paid parking is available in the Hanover Parking Garage located on Lebanon Street. Thanks to generous gifts from Hop Members, the Children's Fund of the Upper Valley of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and donors like you, HopStops remain free. Donations are graciously accepted at all HopStop events. For information on accessibility services, call the Hop Box Office at 603-646-2422.

After Hours Day Trip to NYC

Hop on our private motor coach and spend the day in NYC doing whatever you wish! Saturday, November 30, 2013; bus departs from DHMC Lot 9 (Jesse's) at 5 a.m. and arrives home at 12 a.m.; cost is $55 per person. These are always a popular trips, so sign up early by emailing

Dates to note:
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.