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Cancer Currents for April 2014

Mark Israel

Small, early stage tumors can be more effectively treated than later stage tumors. Since curative treatment of lung cancer remains an often elusive goal, the opportunity to effectively screen for early tumors in those at risk for developing this disease is of great importance.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends screening people at high risk for lung cancer (based on age and smoking history) with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), and private insurers and the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services will likely start paying for screenings without co-pays by January 1, 2015.

Under the guidance of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, multidisciplinary groups at the Lebanon and Manchester locations have developed processes for lung cancer screening that reflect the USPSTF recommendations. As part of a pilot program, D-H employees will soon be notified of this service and encouraged to learn more about lung cancer screening and their eligibility (see criteria below). We will use this pilot to improve our processes and determine the need for additional resources as our lung cancer screening program is fully implemented.

This pilot program will launch this month, offering free LDCT lung-cancer screening to high-risk employees (and their family members) enrolled in the D-H benefits plan. Free screening will be offered to those who meet all of the following criteria:

  • No signs/symptoms of lung cancer or respiratory infection in past 12 weeks
  • Minimum of 30 pack-years of smoking
  • If former smoker, quit within past 15 years
  • Age 55-80 years
  • No history of lung cancer ever or other cancer with metastatic potential in last 5 years
  • Willing and able to undergo lung cancer treatment

An online CME-credited clinician's learning module about the USPTF recommendations and the D-H screening program features NCCC member and radiologist Dr. Bill Black, a leading researcher in this field.

There is no strategy in the effort to control cancer more important than preventing it and detecting it early when it does occur. Screening is a key tool in our armamentarium, and the opportunity to add another major source of cancer morbidity and mortality, namely lung cancer, to the list of cancers that can be effectively identified by screening is a major advance.

Mark Israel, Director

To learn more about lung cancer screening, visit

Mentoring the Next Generation of Public Health Advocates

HACTC students

Laleh Talebian, NCCC director of Community Education & Prevention (far left) and Mark Israel, NCCC director (center) with Hartford Career and Technology Center students.

On March 7, 2014, eleven students from the Hartford Career and Technology Center presented culminating projects from their study of health, safety, and nutrition and cancer to NCCC researchers and staff.

The students, who have chosen future careers in child care and child development, are part of a new class that has been meeting since November at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC). NCCC's Community Health Education and Cancer Prevention program partnered with HACTC and the River Valley Community College on this course.

Laleh Talebian, NCCC director of Community Education & Prevention, co-taught the health class with Jeffrey Spiegel, director of the HACTC's Human Services Program. As part of the curriculum the students visited NCCC research labs for hands-on experience. They worked with Dr. Kettenbach and Dr. Miller—and their students, lab technicians, and post-docs—who hosted the student visits to their labs. Dr. Susan Tanski provided useful information and resources regarding tobacco, and 2nd and 3rd hand smoke.

The three group projects presented were on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Addiction; Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating; and Obesity vs Anorexia. The Valley News was also there to report on the event.

Jason Moore to Present Presidential Faculty Lecture on Monday, March 31

Jason Moore, Third Century Professor, Professor of Genetics and Community and Family Medicine at Geisel, will deliver the 26th Presidential Faculty Lecture on Monday, March 31, 2014 from 4 to 5 pm in Alumni Hall, Hopkins Center. His lecture, "Bioinformatics: 25 years of integrating the Biological Sciences," will be followed with a reception.

Moore is director of the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences, associate director for Bioinformatics at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and associate Director of SYNERGY. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, and named a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013 for his work in translational bioinformatics and personalized medicine.

More Than 20 NCCC Members will Present Work at AACR 2014 Annual Meeting

The Cancer Center will be well represented at this year's American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in San Diego, CA. April 5-9, 2014 .

More than 18,000 researchers, patient advocates, and other cancer professionals from around the world will gather in San Diego to learn about the latest and most exciting basic, translational, and clinical discoveries. These annual meetings provide a unique opportunity for members of the worldwide cancer research community to learn about cutting-edge advances, obtain feedback on their own research, and make connections that will foster future collaborations. The theme for this year's meeting is "Harnessing Breakthroughs – Targeting Cures."

Representing NCCC will be the work of: Angeline S. Andrew, Christopher Amos, Elizabeth Barry, Brock C. Christensen, Duane A. Compton, Alexey V. Danilov, Jennifer Doherty, Alan Eastman, Camillo E. Fadul, P. Jack Hoopes, Mark A. Israel, Arminja Kettenbach, Vincent A. Memoli, Todd W. Miller, Randolph J. Noelle, Tracy Onega, Alexandre Pletnev, Richard I. Rothstein, Michael Spinella, Michael B. Sporn, Li Wang.

Students in NCCC Lab Study Alpaca Immune System

alpaca immune research students

Students working in Mark R.Spaller's NCCC lab (from the left): Tessa Streeter '14, graduate student Nicholas Warren, Yu (Bill) Tang '17, Taylor Watson '16, and Gabriella (Bria) Grangard '16.

Dartmouth research undergrads working in Mark R. Spaller's NCCC lab are looking at Alpacas as part of their antibody protein studies. They recently visited a Perkinsville, Vt., farm to collect blood samples from the animals, whose immune systems possess a unique type of antibody known as nanobodies. These small stripped-down molecules could reach their targets more efficiently and act with higher potency than ordinary antibodies.

Spaller, an associate professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and a member at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, is passionate about undergraduate involvement in research. There are currently 11 undergraduates working in his lab, including volunteers and those affiliated with Dartmouth programs such as the Women in Science Project (WISP), Sophomore Science Scholars, and Presidential Scholars.

DISCOVERY Supercomputer Enables Big Data Analytics at Dartmouth

Dartmouth's Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (iQBS) has reached a major milestone in infrastructure development. A departmental resource, the DISCOVERY (Dartmouth Initiative for SuperCOmputing Ventures in Education and Research) supercomputer cluster, has exceeded 2200 cores, enabling researchers across disciplines to perform large-scale analyses of complex data sets.

$10 Million Gift to Support Palliative Care at D-H

A gift of $10 million to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will be used to create The Center for Palliative and Hospice Care, a 12-bed center to fill a growing need for specialized care for seriously ill people whose pain or other medical needs are difficult to manage at home or in a nursing home. The center will combine the latest thinking and techniques to advance interdisciplinary patient- and family-centered care, while offering unprecedented opportunities for teaching, training, and research for health care providers and clinicians in training from across the country.

3K Glass Hallway Closes April 7, 2014; closed through June 2015

Please take note that construction is starting on the new mall connecting the Williamson Translational Research Building with the main Medical Center. The glass corridor to the Borwell Building, the Cancer Center, and Auditoria E, F, and G will be closed starting April 7, 2014, and will remain closed until the occupancy and opening of the Williamson Translational Research Building (in June of 2015).

Detour signs will be placed throughout the Medical Center. Please follow the suggested detour routes, which use Level 2 to connect the main building to Borwell. Detour signs will be placed to help direct people to Auditoria E, F, and G. To protect the privacy of our cancer center patients and patients with weakened immune systems, do not use the Cancer Center corridors as an alternate route to get to and from the east side of the Medical Center.

NCCC Posters from D-H Patient Safety Week Now Online

cancer patient safter poster

Lisa Wesinger, RN HSCU, with poster at the D-H Patient Safety Week

Dartmouth-Hitchcock observed National Patient Safety Week March 3-7, showcasing the work of employees who have contributed to areas of patient and staff safety awareness, improvement, value, and education. Each year this celebration provides an opportunity to share and spread patient safety best practices beyond the walls of various departments or areas. If you were unable to attend, you can still learn about your colleague's projects: all 34 posters featured from the fair this year, including the representing NCCC can be found here.

Winter ‘14 Dartmouth Medicine: Leadership, Good Neighbors, and Heretics in the Lab

Check out these and other article in the Winter '14 issue of Dartmouth Medicine.

Library Website Redesign

The Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries website has a great new look and improved organization, incorporating information gathered through user testing, surveys, and focus groups. Among the highlights of the new site:

  • Four main sections instead of six: About, Research, Services, and Help
  • New pages tailored for Faculty & Staff, for Students, and for Alumni & Visitors
  • New horizontal navigation bar, more closely resembling the College website look and feel

Dartmouth and D-H Launch Spring Employee Wellness Campaigns

Physical activity—even 10 minutes at a time—adds up, and can bring health benefits related to weight control, mental health, and lowered risk of certain diseases. Both D-H and Dartmouth have launched employee wellness campaigns this spring, so you may notice colleagues walking around campus or taking the stairs more often. Registration has closed for both programs, but cheer on participating co-workers and get inspired to move yourself!

Friends "Seeds of Hope" Fashion Show is April 19, 2014

The Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, with the support of Southern New Hampshire University, will host its first annual "Seeds of Hope" fashion show to raise funds for patient services and cancer research at NCCC.

Dozens of volunteer models, including current D-H cancer patients and survivors, will strut their stuff on the catwalk and show off stunning pieces of fashion in a fun and festive evening on Saturday, April 19, at the Southern New Hampshire University Event Center. They will model outfits and designs from three unique Manchester clothiers: Statement - A Shop Estella Boutique, K-Fab Boutique, and George's Apparel.

Festivities will begin at 5:30 pm with feature cocktails, food elegantly prepared by local restaurateurs, a silent and live auction, and live music. Tyler and Lauren Sullivan, from Paul Mitchell Northern New England, will serve as the master and mistress of ceremonies.

Tickets for the event are $50 per person and can be purchased at Statement, K-Fab, Chill Spa, and Milly's Tavern. Individuals or businesses interested in becoming an event sponsor or donating items for the silent auction, may contact Christine Telge at 603-703-6955.

Other Happenings

DHMC Annual Employee and Volunteer Art Show

The DHMC Annual Employee and Volunteer Art Show will highlight the talented artists and artisans in the DHMC community in an exhibit that will be displayed April through June.

Submissions will be accepted at the Volunteer Services Office on Level 2 on Tuesday, April 1, 9 am to 1 pm; and on Thursday, April 3, 9 am to 1 pm. Paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, decorative arts, and multimedia are all welcome. Artists must be current employees or volunteers of DHMC, and one piece will be accepted per artist. Two dimensional work must be framed and ready to hang with picture-hanging wire. For more information, please contact Marianne Barthel, Arts Program coordinator,

Check out d2u for listings like these on classes and events around campus:

  • FitBit:Want to purchase a FitBit product to help with the Move It Challenge? The Computer Store can help you. We are located in McNutt Hall Monday - Friday 8:30 6 pm; Saturday noon to 4pm.
  • Home cooking, without the planning:Time Savor was started by two Dartmouth students who think home cooking should be easier. Time Savor automates the recipe planning and grocery shopping process—you'll know what's for dinner this week in less than 30 seconds. We give you a weekly dinner menu that matches your preferences, and the grocery list for those items. And, it's completely free! Learn more at
  • What to do with the kids this spring and summer?
    Spring break Soccer Camp: Dartmouth Soccer is offering a camp for boys and girls grades K-12 April 14-18, from 9 am to noon at the Scully Fahey Turf Field. To register:
    Dartmouth KIDS Climbing Team: Coached by Mountaineering Club Officers and held in the college's state of the art climbing gym in Maxwell Residence Hall complex (next to Thayer School). The team will train on Wednesdays, April 2-May 21 from 3 to 5 pm. Equipment provided. No experience needed. Open to children grades 5-12. $150 faculty/staff $175 public. For more information contact
    HS Summer Enrichment Camps: The Dartmouth Mathematics Department and the Center for Mathematics Education at Dartmouth are pleased to announce two summer enrichment workshops for local high school students. Here is a chance for students to interact with mathematicians in a fun, non-graded environment. For more information please visit:

Other information links: Geisel Insider; DH-Today

NCCC in the Media: March 2014

Iron oxide nanoparticles drop it like it's hot—anti-tumor resistance by local hyperthermia (Steven Fiering) American Ceramic Society

Dartmouth develops way to triage patients in event of nuclear disaster (Dr. Jennifer Doherty) Keene Sentinel, 2/26/14

TV in Kids Bedrooms Tied to Extra Pounds (Diane Gilbert-Diamond); NBC News, 3/3/14 Reuters, WBUR interview, Irish Medical Times, UPI Health News, CBS Philly, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Health Day, CBS News

Researchers develop antibody-targeted treatment for recurrent small-cell lung cancer (William North); Science Codex, Science Daily

Hartford Area Career and Technical Center Students Get Outside for Real-World Learning (Dr. Mark Israel, Andrea Gilbert, Kathy Stender, Laleh Talebian) Valley News

Dartmouth Researchers Develop New Approach to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment (Alexey V. Danilov) Health Canal, MedicalXpress, Science Codex, Medical News Today, Drug Discovery & Development, Zee News, OBR Daily

Dates to note

April 5-9, 2014
AACR Annual Meeting 2014
Organization: American Association for Cancer Research
Location: San Diego, CA

April 17, 2014
Registration Begins for AACI CCAF Annual Meeting
Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Organization: Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Location: Chicago

April 22, 2014
7th annual Dartmouth Integrative Biology Symposium
Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Organization: Norris Cotton Cancer
Location: Hanover Inn, Hanover, NH

Monday, May 19
Immunology Symposium
Time: 8 3:30 pm
Organization: Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Location: Auditorium E, DHMC Lebanon

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.