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Cancer Currents for July 2014

Mark Israel

What more noble effort than to support those afflicted by a disease for which therapy is often as terrifying as the disease itself? Research and the care of cancer patients are two sides of the same coin: without new research, cancer would be limited to the same oftentimes highly-toxic interventions of limited efficacy that are currently the very best approaches available.

Funds raised by The Prouty allow us to address critical needs of cancer patients, from new research to comprehensive support throughout the course of their therapy. This year The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation has issued a challenge to The Prouty community: raise $100,000 more than last year’s total ($2.78 million) and the foundation will donate an additional $100,000. If you haven’t already figured out how you can participate in the Prouty this year, let this matching challenge be an incentive. There are so many ways you can contribute:

  • Join The Prouty community: Plan a solo route or join a team like one of those listed below.
  • Support The Prouty teams: Many NCCC staff members participate in The Prouty. Contribute to their fundraising efforts, and email your friends and ask them to contribute as well. Teams with NCCC staff members include (browse through the team list here):
    • Team Hope, led by Brian Highhouse
    • Rubin Researchers, a team Kathy Smith organized of 6th and 7th floor NCCC staffers
    • E.P.O (Elite Prouty Org) led by Dr. Erick Lansigan
    • Algorithmics led by Chris Amos
    • For Polly led by Laleh Talebian
    • J-GO led by Jim Gorham
  • Do a Virtual Prouty: "Virtual Prouty-ers" have walked the Great Wall of China, run in Australia, cycled in France, and mountain biked in California: Prouty-ing Virtually allows creative options for ways to participate—you can even write emails or make phone calls from a comfortable chair. Learn more about the Virtual Prouty.
  • Volunteer: Each year more than 1,200 people volunteer to help make the Prouty the special fundraiser it is. We need help with set-up, recycling, and pack-up from 7/1 to 7/16. Sign up online at

The Prouty not only advances cancer research and patient care, it has created a community that acts to give people hope. It is an expression of our most fundamental urge, which is to help those who cannot help themselves.

—Mark Israel, Director

Susanne Tanski Testifies on E-cigarette Risks at US Senate Hearing

Susanne Tanski, MD, CHaD General Pediatrician in Lebanon and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine, testified as a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics on May 17, 2014 at a United States Senate hearing on the child health risks of e-cigarettes. Her testimony starts at 19:55 in the C-Span video of the hearing below:


Mark A. Israel Named to the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer

Mark A. Israel, MD, director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), has been named the inaugural holder of the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. This chair supports the director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in advancing innovative research that translates into clinical and preventative cancer care.

The newly established endowed chair is made possible by the generosity of the Reverend Preston T. Kelsey and Virginia Rice Kelsey, who funded the chair with gifts totaling $5 million. Preston Kelsey, a retired Episcopal minister and 1958 Dartmouth College graduate, and Virginia Kelsey, an artist and sculptor, have deep ties to the Upper Valley region and returned to the area full-time 16 years ago. Longtime supporters of the Cancer Center and close friends of its former director, Dr. O. Ross McIntyre, they have known Dr. Israel since he was named director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center in 2001. Read more


Margaret Karagas, PhD. Photo: Jon Gilbert Fox

Margaret Karagas Appointed to Squires Professorship

Margaret Karagas, PhD, has been appointed to the James W. Squires Professorship at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The James W. Squires Professorship was established in 1998 to honor the founder of the Matthew Thornton Health Plan, the first nonprofit health maintenance organization in New Hampshire. The professorship supports a faculty member pursuing academic activities that advance health, health promotion, and innovative and cost-effective health-care delivery.

Read more


Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program Retreat: Innovation and Change

CTOP retreat

More than 80 people attended the CTOP biennial retreat in May

More than 80 people attended the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology (CTOP) program’s two-day retreat on May 22-23, 2014 at the Dowd’s Country Inn. The event’s theme was “Change and Innovation,” and included presentations on lung cancer screening; shared decision making; genomics research applications to lung cancer; big data informatics; smoking cessation; and scientific, practice, and personalized medicine updates. This biennial retreat highlights how the research of CTOP clinicians interconnect and propel advances in the care of lung and esophageal cancer patients.

The event ended with an annual reunion where past esophageal cancer patients reconnect with the team who took care of them. This year 40 patients and their family members attended.

C. Everett Koop Courage Award for 2014 Presented to Mark A. Israel

NCCC Director Mark A. Israel received the C. Everett Koop Courage Award for 2014 at the Geisel School of Medicine Awards Program on June 6, 2014.

Established in 2005, this award honors the career and values of Dr. C. Everett Koop and the enormous courage he showed in his lifelong quest for better health and healthcare. Each year the Geisel School of Medicine honors both a student and a member of the faculty who have shown this courage in serving the public good.

NCCC Hosts Summer Undergraduate Nursing Research Fellow

NCCC will participate in the 2014 Summer Undergraduate Nursing Research Fellowship (I-SURF-N) program this summer. Designed to expose students to a wide range of experiences related to clinical and translational research in an academic medical center setting, the I-SURF-N program hopes to increase the number of new nurses who choose research in their graduate studies or nursing careers.

I-SURF-N is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and is a program of the NH-INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence), a collaborative network consisting of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the University of New Hampshire as lead institutions and a group of seven primarily undergraduate New Hampshire institutions. The main goal is to increase the biomedical research capacity in New Hampshire by supporting research and research training activities of faculty, fellows, and students at the participating institutions

John Sullivan, a student nurse from Saint Anselm College and one of four students selected to participate in the 10-week program, will join the NCCC team and review our current policy and procedure for safe handling of hazardous chemotherapy agents in comparison to current OSHA, ONS, and NIOSH guidelines. He will assess nursing compliance with the guidelines and make recommendations for practice changes if needed.

New Staff

NCCC Quality & Patient Safety Program:

  • Daniel J. Gelb, MD, MS, has joined Value Reporting and Analytics as a senior value measurement analyst. A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist until 2001, he was an analyst for the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Research Group before receiving his Master’s degree from The Dartmouth Institute in 2013. Since then he has been employed as a Senior Value Measurement Analyst, splitting his time between the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Value Reporting and Analytics department.
  • Belinda J. Peavey, SPHR, HCS has joined the Project Management Office as a senior project manager. Currently a senior project manager with the Project Management Office at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, throughout her career she has worked closely with managers and staff to strengthen internal capacity, navigate complex relationships, as well as manage and improve organizational processes.She received her MBA from Plymouth State University, is a certified facilitator of DiSC behavioral styles.
  • Katy Stuck has joined the Project Management Office as a senior project manager. She worked in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Human Resources Development before moving to the Project Management Office in January 2014. Before that she spent six years as a Human Capital Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C. where she managed multiple projects for various military and government organizations.

New residents in Hematology/Oncology (as of July 1, 2014):

  • Cristiana Costa, Michael Cho, Ananta Bhatt, Rodwell Mabaera, Matthew Sullivan, Swaroopa Yerrabothala, Sudhir Manda, Britt Holderness, and Clinton Morgan.

Other Happenings

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

  • Summer Writing Workshops:
    Beyond Typos
    This four-part series will take you beyond typos and help you identify and overcome trouble spots in grammar and punctuation. Learn how to correct problems with sentence structure, subject and verb agreement, pronouns, and word choice. You will also learn how to use commas, semicolons, and colons effectively. Presenter: Diane Andreas: Dates: Four 2-hour sessions: 8:30 to 10:30 am on Wednesdays: July 9, July 16, July 23 and July 30. To register:
    Effective Business Writing
    In this four-part series, participants will learn to organize the basic components of letters, e-mail, and reports. We will discuss targeting our audience and creating clear, concise, and direct writing and instructions that will positively influence our readers. We will also practice writing in active voice. Presenter: Diane Andreas. Dates: Four 2-hour sessions: 8:30–10:30 am on Wednesdays, August 6, August 13, August 20 and August 27. To register:
    Taking Minutes at Meetings
    In this workshop, you will learn how to prepare minutes, gather information, transcribe notes, and format the results. We will discuss what to record and strategies for handling problems that arise in minute-taking. You will then get a chance to practice these skills in a mock meeting. Also, we will review reference materials that will make our work easier. Presenter: Diane Andreas. Date: Wednesday, September 3, 8:00 am–12 pm. To register:

After hours sends out emails with reminders, event updates, and special offers like the one below contact:, or check out the events listing After Hours (Dartmouth) or After Hours (DHMC);

  • Play Games, Earn Money
    Tiltfactor, Dartmouth's game design and research lab, is currently inviting participants (ages 18+) to test two new single-player browser games as part of a paid research study. During the study session, participants will be asked to play two single-player games on a PC laptop and fill out a set of questionnaires about the games and other topics. The session will be one hour in length, and participants will be paid $10 cash. No technical skills or specific game play experience is required to participate. . Please forward this invitation to anyone you know (ages 18+) who might be interested in signing up!
    Research sessions will take place at the Tiltfactor facilities in the Black Family Visual Arts Center (22 Lebanon Street, Hanover, NH). Sign up here:
    If you would like more info about this study, please email Tiltfactor researcher Geoff Kaufman at:

Check DH-Today for DHMC news. Announcements, and events like these:

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Financial Fitness Advisors: July Schedule
    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Financial Fitness Advisors offer free counsel to DHMC employees about retirement plans and other financial planning topics. They can help with financial planning issues such as budgeting, college savings, insurance coverage, and the new ROTH option; selecting or changing your investment funds for the 403(b) and 401(a) Plan; to rollover other retirement plans or IRA Rollovers to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Plan; and conduct an analysis of your retirement income goals with printed output. To book your appointment, call toll free (877) 846-8792 or send an e-mail to Paula Gorman. If you have a challenging schedule, please contact Paula Gorman at the number above. She will work with you to find an appointment that is convenient for you.
  • Upcoming dates for Financial Fitness Advisory visits to D-H locations:
    DHMC: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays (Ongoing)
    D-H Manchester: Tues., July 8; Thurs., July 24
    D-H Concord: Thurs., July 10
    D-H Nashua: Thurs., July 17
    Bedford Farms: Tues., July 22
    D-H Bedford Clinic: Wed., July 23
    D-H Keene: Thurs., June 19; Tues., July 15; Wed., July 30
    For information from the Geisel School of Medicine check the Geisel Insider

NCCC in the Media: May and June 2014

"Dartmouth scientists identify genetic blueprint for rare, aggressive cancerous tumors of the appendix," (Gregory Tsongalis) eWallstreeter, 5/14/14; MedicalXpress.
"BRCA Gene Can Be A Cancer Triple Whammy, Study Finds," (Christopher Amos) TIME, 6/2/14;US News and World Report; NBC, BBC, Women’s Health Magazine; Health Canal, Science Codex, Medical News Today; Science World Report; Medical Express; Green Mountain Outlook; News Medical; Bioscience Technology;
"Palliative support services help caregivers of patients with advanced cancer," (ASCO-Marie Bakitas) News Medical 6/5/14; Vermont Digger
"Limiting Carbs Could Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence in Women with Positive IGF1 Receptor," (Jennifer Emonds) 6/10/14 Health Canal; Science World Report; University Herald; Medical News Today; Medical Express; News Medical.
"False negative results found in prognostic testing for breast cancer," (Peter Kaufman) Medical Xpress,

Dates to note

Grand Rounds

NCCC Grand Rounds is on hiatus for the summer. The next Grand Rounds will be September 16th.

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.