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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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Cancer Currents for November 2014

Mark Israel

Part of our responsibility as a Comprehensive Cancer Center is to help members of our community understand cancer's causes and risk factors, so people can make informed choices about their lifestyle and health care choices.

Some cancer risk factors—genes, age, family history—are beyond our control. In contrast to these factors, studies have shown that a healthy diet and lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk for some cancers. Also, for some cancers, early detection can lead to more effective treatment and lowered risk for recurrence.

To increase our community's awareness of behaviors that may lead to cancer, NCCC's community education and outreach campaigns have provided information on sun safety, nutrition, tobacco, exercise, and obesity. This fall Laleh Talebian, director of Community Education & Prevention, supported cancer awareness efforts at the Grafton Community Health Fair and provided materials on breast cancer to employees attending the Vermont Mascoma Bank's annual wellness and cancer prevention fair. She also distributed brochures and other materials at this year's Vermont Breast Conference, which featured three speakers from NCCC and a display of three posters about our research.

There is no strategy in the effort to control cancer more important than preventing it and detecting it early when it does occur. The goal of our community outreach can't stop with informing people about cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. We want to motivate people to change the behaviors that impact their risk for cancer and to live healthier lives.

NCCC staff members can reinforce our prevention and education efforts in subtle but powerful ways. Be a bridge into the community: model healthy behaviors; tell your friends and family members about the importance of preventative cancer screening; and show them how easy it is to get screening information, either on the NCCC website or by calling the NCCC information line (603-650-7751).

Mark Israel, Director


Richard Rothstein, MD

Rothstein Appointed Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

Richard Rothstein, MD, has been appointed senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs for the Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Rothstein, a member of NCCC's Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention Research Program, is the Joseph M. Huber Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine. In his additional role as senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs, he will serve as the chief academic liaison for clinical affairs between the Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the White River Junction Veterans' Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), as well as affiliated clinical and non-clinical partner organizations in the field of health care delivery (read more).

Geisel Researcher Receives Data-Driven Discovery Grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Casey Greene, PhD, member of NCCC Cancer Mechanisms Research Program

Casey Greene, PhD, member of NCCC's Cancer Mechanisms Research Program and assistant professor of genetics at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, has been selected for a highly competitive award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support his work to bring the power of big data into the biology lab. Greene's five-year $1.5 million award will support Greene's research into developing new data mining techniques and tools to improve our understanding of living organisms. (read more).

McKernan Receives 2014 James W. Varnum Quality Health Care Award

From left: Jim Varnum, Lauren McKernan, Jaime Guzman, and Kirsten King

Laurel McKernan, clinical specialist and nurse coordinator for the Hemophilia Program, received the 2014 James W. Varnum Quality Health Care Award at the Varnum Awards ceremony on Friday, October 17. The Varnum Award, supported by the James W. Varnum Quality Health Care Endowment, recognizes D-H employees and volunteers whose work embodies a deep commitment to creating and sustaining an environment of high quality patient- and family-centered care at D-H. Kevin Stone, who nominated McKernan, noted that she will routinely give out her phone number to patients and their families so they feel like they have a connection to their special care at any time of day or night (read more).

Gerlach Presents on Core Grant at AACI CCAF Annual Meeting

Mark Israel and Robert Gerlach attended the 2014 Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)/ Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) meeting in Chicago on October26 through 28. This three-day event brings together AACI cancer center directors and executive-level administrators with leaders of national cancer research and advocacy groups to discuss common challenges and to share best practices. Gerlach gave presentations on how the NCCC team addressed the core grant process: "P30> ∑ 12 Page Parts," and "Site Visit–How to Plan for it and What to Expect."

O'Brien Interview on the Patient Experience and ESI (Enterprise System Integration)

The Enterprise System Integration (ESI) project will move all of Dartmouth-Hitchcock's business and patient software systems, which are currently embedded in a variety of platforms, into a single environment: eD-H. A key element of the project, and one that's running parallel to the software development and implementation phases of ESI, is what's called the "ESI Patient Experience Project."

D-H Today interviewed Jeff OBrien, vice president of Cancer Services, and the other co- sponsors of ESI project to learn how the project will fundamentally improve the patient experience: The Patient Experience and ESI: Q&A Interview

Creating a Clinical Care Pathway

There is evidence available to inform treatment decisions with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy for patients with primary malignant brain tumors, but few guidelines exist to standardize other aspects of care. A neuro-oncology team at NCCC looked at how to improve the care we provide to patients with glioma, and developed a clinical care pathway for patients with glioma during the peri-operative period using a quality improvement (QI) methodology.

Natalie B.V. Riblet, MD and Camilo E. Fadul, MD described this work in a recent article in the Journal of Oncology Practice, "Improving the Quality of Care for Patients Diagnosed with Glioma during the Perioperative Period."

American Cancer Society Visits NCCC

American Cancer Society (ACS) leaders and supporters visited NCCC October 21, 2014, to attend the Grand Rounds lecture by Mary Jo Turk, PhD, tour the research labs, and talk with scientists about ACS-funded projects. Learn more about how ACS philanthropy plays a key role in our cancer research at:

NCCC Shared Resource Fair and Poster Session November 13, 2014

  • Scientific talks related to work facilitated by the NCCC Shared Resource Labs
  • Poster Session of NCCC and UVM Shared Resource Labs
  • Shared Resource Poster Scavenger Hunt (to qualify for an iPad drawing)
  • Pizza lunch

Join us to find out just what the Shared Resource Labs can do for your research needs. For more information and events schedule contact Christian.H.Lytle@Dartmouth.EDU or Kathy Smith,

The R21 grant- Is it right for you?

On Thursday, November 13, 2014, Christopher Dant, PhD, NCCC Faculty Instructor will present "The R21 grant—Is it right for you?" in DHMC Aud. E from 1 to 2 pm.

There are many misconceptions of the R21. Contrary to some thinking, R21's are not a path to an independent research career. Because this grant has a specific purpose unlike the R03 and R01 (which we will compare), there are writing strategies for the 6-page research section that must be considered. In this 1-hour seminar, we will look at how the NIH (and peer review panel members) view the R21. We will discuss topics like:

  • How to positively influence a peer reviewer about your R21 write-up.
  • How to focus your R21 project in scope.
  • Understand whether or not you need preliminary data in the grant.
  • Increase understanding of what the R21 is (and is not) and how to determine whether your research project is right for this mechanism.

Regional Research Coordinator and Research Nurse join Office of Clinical Research Team

Christina Donnelly and Mary Ann Conrad have recently taken positions in the Office of Clinical Research as the regional research coordinator and research nurse respectively. Christina was formerly a clinical research coordinator for the NCCC Office of Clinical Research supporting breast cancer clinical trials. MaryAnn has worked as a research nurse for the clinical research unit at D-H, providing support to a variety of studies including four breast cancer studies involving imaging and nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

Important Deadline Reminders:

  • D-H Flu Immunizations Due Friday, November 7, 2014: The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Influenza Immunization Policy requires all DHMC and Geisel employees and clinicians who work in any D-H location to either be immunized against the flu or qualify for a medical or religious exemption by Friday, November 7, 2014. This includes everyone who works, studies, or is affiliated with D-H, including temporary and permanent staff, physicians, other credentialed providers, volunteers, agents, and consultants. D-H flu intranet page
  • D-H Annual Enrollment elections for the 2015 plan year are due on November 10, 2014: To complete your D-H Open Enrollment elections, log on to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock myBenefits portal at – available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If you have any questions, please call the D-H Benefits Administration Office at 603-653-1400.
  • D-H Compliance modules are due November 30, 2014: To access your eLearning Modules, visit the eLearning page on the Intranet. If you have questions, please e-mail

Dartmouth United Way

The Dartmouth United Way campaign is underway. Each year United Way provides services and programs that help thousands of our neighbors, ranging from safe shelter, food pantries, hospice visits, and job training to fuel assistance, prevention programs, counseling, and warm clothing. Learn more at

You Could Save a Life: DHMC Bone Marrow Donor Drive November 18

Give the most amazing gift you can this holiday season—you could save a life. Becoming a member of the Be the Match registry is easy and only requires a cheek swab and completing a short registration form. A Bone Marrow Donor Drive will be held at DHMC Lebanon on Tuesday, November 18, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Tables will be set up across from the East Mall Café and by the north stairwell on the Main Mall on Level 3. For questions and to request a registration form in advance, contact Charlotte Coughenour at

$15K Raised for NH Colorectal Cancer Screening Program

Local “Get your Rear in Gear” directors Katie Robert and Sarah Moeckel present a ceremonial check (based on preliminary numbers) to Joanne Gersten of the NH Colorectal Cancer Screening Program at the at the New Hampshire Public Health Association 2014 Fall Forum

The Colon Cancer Coalition, a group that organizes "Get Your Rear in Gear" fundraising events nationally, recently collaborated with the New Hampshire Public Health Association to organize a September 27, 2014 5K Run/Walk to help raise funds for colon cancer awareness efforts in the New Hampshire area.

The race proceeds (approximately $15,000) were given to the New Hampshire Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (NHCRCSP) This money will be used to pay for colon cancer screening tests for NH uninsured low income residents (including transportation if needed to the test), patient navigation so that the individual understands why they are having the test, what the test consists of, and help to understand the results of the tests.

Friends News:

Prouty raises more than $3 Million for 2014

A message from the Friends of NCCC: With the help of every one of you – with every penny you raised, every email you sent, for each co-worker you solicited or corporate donation you made – the Prouty community has raised more than $3 million to fight cancer at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. We will put this money to excellent use, keeping it local, investing it wisely so that we make ever more progress in our fight against cancer, while helping as many cancer patients and their families as possible, here and around the world. Thank you!

Friends Events for November

Monarchs Mullets in Movember Game: Mullet Night returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday, November 15, 2014, to raise awareness of men's cancers and raise funds for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The first 3,000 fans at this hockey game will receive mullet wigs and moustaches! There are great group ticket packages available, so gather your gang and go see this game. Buy the $35 pack (ticket and T-shirt) and $5 will go to the cause! To order: call 603-626-7825 or go to

Wayne's World Elite fitness Training Hosts Train-The-Trainer Event:. Wayne's World EFT is holding a "Train Your Trainer" day to support the Norris Cotton Cancer Center on Saturday, November 22, 2014: Open Boot Camp ( 10 am to 11 am) and Train your Trainer ( 11 am to 5 pm).

Put your trainer through a workout of your choice, or simply sponsor him or her as they go through a marathon boot camp with Wayne and other trainers from around the Upper Valley. They have put you through your paces, now it's time for you to return the favor while raising money for a great cause. With a donation of $5 a minute you (all) have the power to demolish cancer by demolishing them. For more information please contact or

Other Happenings

Check DH-Today for classes and events like these:

Gratefulness Trees: For the fourth year, the North Mall at DHMC will be the location of two gratefulness trees during most of the month of November. Starting Monday, November 3, paper leaves and markers will be available in the hallway near the Chaplaincy office. Please stop and write something that you personally are grateful for on a leaf, then hang it on the supplied trees. Everyone is welcome - staff, visitors, patients - young and old - to think about what they do have, and focus on that during this holiday season. Help us fill these Gratefulness Trees with many multi-colored blessings!

Pre-Season Tune Up Workshop: Prevention and Treatment of Winter Sports Injuries: Monday November 17, 2014, 6 to 7 pm. Auditoria E & F(hosted by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Sports Medicine team). Attend in person or listen in from the web. No pre-registration needed. To find out more visit the event page, email or call (603) 650-7307. Program: concussion update; rotator cuff tears; traumatic injuries and fractures; strength training and injury prevention.
Check out VOX for listings on classes and events around campus:

Christmas Market with a Difference!: On November 6-8, 2014, hand-crafted treasures from around the world including jewelry, toys, linens, scarves, cards, baskets, instruments and specialty foods will be on sale at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth - located on campus at 40 College Street - with 100 percent of sales benefitting the artisans. Enjoy the Church Cafe's delicious soups, breads, and baked goods while you shop. Cash or check only. For hours and more info visit

Information can also be found in the Geisel Insider:

Dates to note:

Shared Resource Fair
November 13, 2014
10 am to 2 pm
Borwell 658 and the DHMC 6th floor atrium.

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.