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Norris Cotton Cancer CenterNorris Cotton Cancer Center
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Cancer Currents for December 2014

Mark Israel

At NCCC we work to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by cancer not only through education and research, but also through prevention activities in our community and the provision of care at 17 locations. This year we will have cared for more than 3,700 new cancer patients—more than 70 new patients and families each week—and provided them access to more than 150 clinical trials. In addition to these new patients, our physicians and nurses cared for over 30,000 different cancer patients and screened many thousands more in the community to ascertain their risk of cancer.

Our Cancer Center not only organizes surgeons who remove tumors and oncologists who deliver chemotherapy; we also provide meals for patients too weak to cook for themselves, transportation for those who could not otherwise come to get therapy, and support that addresses other social, emotional, and spiritual needs of our patients.

All this would not be possible without the remarkable faculty, administrators, and staff who balance the complexity and subtleties of our multifaceted mission. This past year has brought significant recognition for our efforts. A few highlights:

  • In March we submitted a 1,627 page Cancer Center Support Grant application to the NCI, in June we hosted over 20 nationally recognized leaders in cancer research who reviewed the claims of that application, and just last month our application was approved and our designation as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center was renewed.
  • Last April NCCC was one of only 30 cancer centers nationwide to receive a Network Lead Academic Participating Sites (LAPS) award from the NCI Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) program.
  • In 2014 the Prouty community broke all previous records by raising more than $3 million to fight cancer at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

All of us here are united by a deep commitment to advance cancer research and to help those whose lives have been impacted by this disease. The year ahead will bring new challenges: a continued decline in federal support for research, increased demand for flexibility to meet institutional budget constraints, and the ongoing and changing expectations of health care reform.

We must continue to work together to meet these challenges, and to achieve even greater recognition and success. Many thanks to each of you for your dedication and hard work this year. I wish you and yours a joyful holiday season.

Mark Israel, Director

Third Annual Norris Cotton Cancer Center Scientific Retreat

148 NCCC scientists, physicians, post-doc fellows, and students gathered at Dartmouth's Alumni Hall for the third Annual Norris Cotton Cancer Center Scientific Retreat on December 5, 2014. The morning was filled with two keynote speeches, presentations on NCCC science, and a lunchtime poster contest for NCCC lab students and post-doctoral fellows. In the afternoon NCCC members and administration met for a Strategic Planning Summit.

NCCC Posters at San Antonio Breast Conference

Five NCCC research posters were displayed at the San Antonio Breast Symposium (December 9-13 2015):

  • "Developing plasma DNA as a surrogate for tumor biopsy to identify tumor genetic alterations in patients with advanced breast cancer," Mary Chamberlin, Todd W. Miller
  • "Combined targeting of autophagy and PI3K in ER⁺ breast cancer," Wei Yang, Todd W. Miller
  • "Understanding pharmacodynamics and consequences of PI3K inhibition in ER⁺ breast cancer," Wei Yang, Jennifer R. Bean, Lloye Dillon, Laurent Salphati, Jodie Pang, Xiaolin Zhang, Michelle Nannini Pepe, Todd W. Miller
  • Haddow's Paradox revisited: anti-estrogen withdrawal induces ER-driven apoptosis in estrogen-resistant cells," Sarah R. Hosford and Todd W. Miller

Todd Miller also moderated a poster discussion session, "Targeting the PI3k pathway," on December 12.

Anna M. Adachi-Mejia

Anna M. Adachi-Mejia, PhD

Adachi-Mejia Leads Dartmouth Site of New England Public Health Training Center

Anna M. Adachi-Mejia, member of the NCCC Cancer Control Research Program, has been named principal investigator for the Dartmouth site of a newly-funded (4-year grant of approximately $850,000/year) New England Public Health Training Center for Public Health Workforce Development (NEPHTC). She will be working closely with Kristina Fjeld-Sparks, director of the NH Area Health Education Center at TDI.

Administratively housed at Boston University School of Public Health, the center operates through several Schools and Programs of Public Health, as "Local Performance Sites (LPS)." These include Dartmouth College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Yale School of Public Health, and the University of New England. Other affiliated universities assisting in the work in their specific states include the University of Vermont and Brown University.

Dr. David J. Finley Named Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery

Dr. David J. Finley has accepted the position of section chief of Thoracic Surgery at DHMC. Dr. Finley has an impressive track record for helping to build an innovative and cutting-edge thoracic surgery program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City. In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Finley will be the surgical lead for the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program. He is expected to start on or about January 19, 2015 (read more).

New staff

Kristie LeBlanc has joined the Friends team as program manager. Most recently she supported NCCC's Communications department, and before that spent six years with the Dartmouth College Investment team. She will be overseeing Friend's graphics projects, organizing the volunteers, and collaborate with the Friends staff on creative new ideas for The Prouty and everything else they do.

Dianne Ferris has accepted the position of Regulatory and Compliance Officer in the NCCC Office of Clinical Research and will start January 19, 2015. Dianne has worked at the CPHS since 2008, most recently as a senior human research analyst. She holds a MS in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Dartmouth Medical School, and is a Certified IRB Professional (CIP). Dianne has been the Co-I on the Valid Optimized Informed Consent Education (VOICE) project since 2009 providing education nationally on the teach back method of Informed Consent.

2015 Biomedical Libraries Workshops

Check out the Biomedical Libraries workshops scheduled for the new year! The workshops cover a multitude of topics, ranging from learning to use PubMED, creating posters in PowerPoint, and much more. Visit this link to view the full workshop details and schedule: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/biomed/services/workshoquops.html.

Is your computer secure?

Dartmouth's IT security measures provide a lot of protection, but it's up to you to secure your personal devices. Make sure you regularly incorporate measures to protect yourself from attacks. Learn how to set up a new computer, use the network safely, and more: www.dartmouth.edu/comp/security/safe-computing/index.html

D-H 2015 Holiday Schedule

The following is a list of the holidays that will be observed by all Dartmouth-Hitchcock locations during the 2015 calendar year:

  • New Year's Day: Thursday, January 1, 2015
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 25, 2015
  • Independence Day: Friday, July 3, 2015
  • Labor Day: Monday, September 7, 2015
  • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • Christmas Day: Friday, December 25, 2015

Other Happenings

Check out VOX for listings like these on classes and events around campus:

February 2015 Groulx Trip: January 31-February 8, 2015; discover the remote Groulx Mountains of NE Quebec on skis and snowshoes. This trip is directed to alumni, faculty, staff and leave term students. We will explore the forests and alpine zones while enjoying the warmth and comfort of a cabin. Most equipment and transportation provided. Students $550 faculty/staff $1000; alumni $1100, community $1200. For more information, contact Brian Kunz at Brian.K.Kunz@Dartmouth.edu

Howl at the Moon: Friday January 16, 2015; the Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center brings you the annual Howl at the Moon. A progressive dinner out on the golf course lit by torches and fire pits and catered by our local merchants. Fun for all and a limited number of tickets sold. Please purchase tickets ($15 person; free for ages 5 and under) at the Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center at the DOC House on Occom Pond. EBA's, Ramuntos, Boloco, Hanover Inn, Ray's Famous Chicken, Dartmouth DDS. More info: http://vox.dartmouth.edu/archive?id=22111

Other information links: Geisel Insider ; DH-Today

Grand Rounds

Norris Cotton Cancer Center typically holds Grand Rounds lectures on Tuesdays from 12 to 1 pm 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.

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