Healthy living was the theme of June 18th’s Day at the Market event held at Northeast Market on Monument Street in East Baltimore.

Cooking presentation by Chef Gayle Owens

The bimonthly event brings together Johns Hopkins nurses and other clinicians, safety experts, and others to interact and to share information with Baltimore citizens on simple things they can do to prevent cancer and other diseases.  Today’s event featured a cooking presentation by Chef Gayle Owens, who showed visitors to the market how to make a healthy meal (see the recipe) for under $3!  The event also featured the unveiling of a new video screen that provides easy-to-follow tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Director, Dr. Bill Nelson, attended the event and praised Maryland and Baltimore City elected officials for their dedication to the health of its citizens.  He reminded visitors of a dark day in 1990, when Maryland made national news as the state with the highest cancer death rates in the nation.  The dismal report led to the Maryland Council on Cancer Control and the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, which helps fund the Day at the Market Program.  As a result of these dedicated efforts, which includes funding for Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Bloomberg School of Public Health cancer researchers, Maryland now ranks 30th in the nation for cancer deaths, and these rates continue to go down.   Dr. Nelson said this Maryland success story is the model for managing—and one day eradicating—cancer.

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young and Councilman Carl Stokes also attended the event.

Healthy Living was the theme of Northeast Market Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

**Note: This blog was written by Elissa Bantug of the Kimmel Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Program.

On March 7-8, 2013, over two hundred physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers from around the region attended the Seventh Bi-Annual Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Conference to discuss the latest trends in research and clinical care.  Due to improved therapies, better screening processes, and enhanced multi-modality approaches, breast cancer survivors have seen a reduction in morbidity and mortality.  Conference speakers are world-renowned experts in the fields of surgical oncology, reconstructive surgery, pathology, radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, genetics, immunology, palliative care, social media, healthcare quality, and survivorship.  This multidisciplinary approach highlighted some of the many ways breast cancer care is improving in the U.S.  Below is some of what was discussed:

1)     Neoadjuvant Care.  Medical oncologist Dr. Karen Smith presented research indicating that neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy before surgery) may improve surgical outcomes in patients who have certain kinds of tumors, such as those that are locally advanced and/or poorly differentiated.  Factors that may determine whether a patient is a good candidate for neoadjuvant treatment include age, grade, stage, t-score, and tumor subtype (e.g. triple negative disease).  Although long-term outcomes seem to be similar whether chemotherapy is given before or after surgery, neoadjuvant treatment may also provide clues about how certain populations respond to specific drugs or drug combinations.

2)     Tomosynthesis. Dr. Susan Harvey, Johns Hopkins Director of Breast Imaging, discussed tomosynthesis (often referred to as 3D mammography), a technology that combines the use of traditional digital mammography with 3D capabilities. Benefits of 3D mammography include a reduction in unnecessary repeat imaging, a 20-40 percent decrease in false positives and a 40 percent increase in the detection of invasive cancers.

3)     Genetic testing. Medical oncologist Dr. Deborah Armstrong provided an overview of genetic testing for breast cancer.  Approximately 10-20 percent of breast cancers are familial (running in the family) and 5-10 percent of all breast cancers are hereditary (associated with a known gene mutation such as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2).  Gene mutations can be passed down from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family, and may put affected women at a 50-85 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer and a 10-45 percent risk of ovarian cancer.  Factors that increase the likelihood of carrying one of these mutations include:

  • Multiple cases of breast cancer in a family
  • Early age of diagnosis (<50)
  • A family history of ovarian cancer
  • Breast and ovarian cancer in the same patient
  • Bilateral breast cancer
  • Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Male breast cancer

With the complexities of genetic testing, it is strongly advised that patients seek genetic counseling to understand result implications.  Expanded genetic testing is now becoming available however testing may yield results for which clinical significance and recommendations are currently unclear.

4)     Chemoprevention-Dr. Kala Visvanathan, medical oncologist and director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics & Prevention Service at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed breast cancer chemoprevention.  She advocated the use of currently underutilized prevention modalities and advised that providers discuss options with all patients who may be at high risk, including patients with a strong family history, atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), and lobular carcinoma in-situ.  It has been reported that taking chemoprevention drugs classified as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as tamoxifen and raloxifene, can strongly reduce the chances of estrogen-positive breast cancer in very high risk individuals.  More evidence is needed to better predict those most at risk for developing breast cancer and which may be good candidates for chemoprevention drugs.  Currently, there are very limited prevention options for women who may be at risk for estrogen-receptor negative disease.

5)     HER2 Guidelines-Medical oncologist Dr. Antonio Wolff discussed expanding systemic therapy options for HER2‐positive breast cancer. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of all breast cancers overexpress HER2.  These tumors tend to behave more aggressively.  Dr. Wolff acknowledged that beginning in the late 1980’s HER-2 positivity use to be perceived as a poor predictive marker.  In 1998, the drug trastuzumab was shown to improve overall survival in the metastatic setting.  By 2005, adjuvant trials began reporting very positive results.  Today with the use of targeted therapies, HER-2 positivity is often viewed with good predictive outcomes.  Targeted therapies can be very effective in treating patients with HER2-positive disease; however, not all patients with this overexpression respond to targeted therapy.  Data suggests that it is more likely for a patient to have a late recurrence with ER positive HER2-postive disease than with ER negative HER positive disease.  Historically, there was vast variability in HER2 testing, making the test unreliable in some circumstances. Now that HER2 testing quality has improved, heterogeneity has become a big concern. Research is underway to determine which patients have resistant disease and might require more therapy; if models can improve HER2 targeting strategies; and which patients have sensitive disease and require less therapy.

6)     Hormonal Therapy-Medical oncologist and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Program, Dr. Vered Stearns, reviewed the current guidelines for hormonal therapy for patients with estrogen or progesterone- receptive breast cancers (ER+/PR+).  For premenopausal women with hormone positive disease, a daily oral medication called tamoxifen is prescribed for 5-10 years after the completion of initial therapy.  Although extended benefit has been demonstrated for 10 years of tamoxifen by multiple clinical trials, quality of life factors and individual risk musk be factored into this decision.  Data from the Oxford Overview indicates that five years of tamoxifen can reduce the risk of a recurrence by 40 percent.  Some very young premenopausal women with ER+ disease may also be advised to undergo ovarian suppression.  Research is underway to determine if ovarian suppression alone is as effective as chemotherapy in these young patients.

Data suggests that five years of an aromatase inhibitor (AI) may be better for postmenopausal women with ER+/PR+ disease. Sometimes, postmenopausal women with ER+/PR+ disease may be prescribed tamoxifen for a few years and then switched to an aromatase inhibitor to extend the total number of years of endocrine therapy.  Patients on AI’s often complain of significant side effects, and one study presented showed that 30-40 percent of patients discontinued AI use prematurely due to side effects.  Dr. Stearns recommends  NSAIDs, Vitamin D, antidepressants, yoga, exercise, and acupuncture to cope with some of these issues.

7)     Special Needs of Young Breast Cancer Patients.  Beth Thompson, nurse navigator/educator for the Johns Hopkins LiveWell Center for Young Women with Breast Cancer discussed the unique needs of the young breast cancer patient.  It is estimated that 12 percent of all breast cancers occur in women under 45, accounting for over 2,500 deaths annually in the United States.  Ms. Thompson presented research showing that these women have more aggressive breast cancers, have an increased risk of recurrence, and tend to have worse outcomes. They also show higher levels of emotional distress and due to their age, often balance newer careers, school, body image issues, sexual side-effects, fertility, and dating.  Specific age-appropriate resources are needed to tackle some of these complexities.

8)     Social media and oncology care.  Dr. Robert Miller, medical oncologist and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center’s Chief Information Officer, presented data on the use of social media.  He stated, “social media is user-generated content that is shared over the internet via technologies that promotes engagement, sharing, and collaboration.”  Dr. Miller offered three uses of social media for medical providers: to treat, teach, and learn.  Treating includes engaging with patients about their care.  Teaching allows providers to gain up-to-date and credible education.  Learning encourages professionals to share medical information and knowledge.  Although teaching and learning are preferable methods of social media, it is not recommended that providers use this technology to treat patients.  Dr. Miller offers the following advice when clinicians use social media:

  • Don’t be anonymous
  • Make thoughtful choices about what you are creating for the world to see
  • Everyone is watching
  • Developing trust in your online community takes time
  • Maintain a healthy skepticism

He proposes that medical professionals start by watching first (often called lurking).  This includes reading blogs, watching twitter feeds, listening to podcasts, and subscribing to RSS feeds for journals and news sites.  When joining twitter, Dr. Miller suggests you pick a short but descriptive twitter handle.  “Follow” people who share your similar interests and pay attention to twitter suggestions.  Finally, patience is required.  Allow time for you to gain comfortable and watch your social media contacts grow.

9)     Palliative Care-Dr. Tom Smith, medical oncologist and director of Palliative Care for Johns Hopkins Medicine discussed the importance of palliative care.  He presented research to indicate that palliative care has better patient satisfaction, higher quality of life, improved symptom control, and reduced depression and anxiety, all at a reduced cost when compared to usual care.  This is evidenced by more at-home hospice, fewer hospitalizations, fewer days in the intensive care unit, less chemotherapy/tests/imaging, and fewer treatment-related complications.  Dr. Smith advocated that almost all patients want honest information about prognosis, treatment options, and trajectory of disease progression.  Discussions about palliative care should be the standard of care and should occur before patients become too sick to make informed decisions.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
3 Comments

Amber Warrington has seen the first hand advancements that take place at Johns Hopkins, as she works as a Administrative Supervisor in Medical Oncology. Unfortunately cancer became personal, when her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, but Warrington knew her mother was in the right hands and would receive the best care possible.

Three years earlier, Warrington’s mother had lost her sister to brain cancer, and was determined to do whatever she could to beat cancer and be around for her children and grandchildren. Her family and the care team at Johns Hopkins became her support system as she began treatment. Aggressive chemotherapy was tough on her body and there were points where the family was unsure if she would make it. “My mom never complained and always wanted to know the truth,” said Warrington. Unfortunately, news came that the cancer had spread to her brain and radiation began.

The family decided they needed their mother to live life to her fullest, taking her on a cruise and hosting a big birthday party for her. “My mom was so surprised by everything we did for her and was so grateful to be around her family and friends,” says Warrington. “We knew mom wasn’t going to be able to fight this awful disease much longer, so we enjoyed every day we had with her.”

Sadly on June 23, 2012, she lost her battle. In her memory, Warrington wanted to continue to stay active and do something to make her mom proud. She has registered for the Ride to Conquer Cancer and will cycle 150 miles in September with a friend of hers.

“I’ve already raised over $1,500 by reaching out to my family and friends and I am surprised how easy the fundraising has been." Warrington has made a flyer that she can hand out to her network to explain The Ride, why she has decided to participate this year and ask for a donation.

“The support you receive motivates you to know that you can do this. You don’t have to be an athlete and everyone is there to help you along the way. I’m really looking forward to riding with so many people and making new friends along the route."

Warrington is determined to do her part in conquering cancer, so that others don’t have to lose their loved ones. “I know my mom would be proud of me for doing this and that continues to give me motivation to push forward.”

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
1 Comment

Last week's news announcement of a new drug target for asthma and cancer heralded an example of the type of out-of-the-box thinking that has now widened the scope of research in both diseases and has the potential for great impact.

This research starts with innovative scientists willing to cross disciplines to understand how biological processes impact disease across many levels. It also takes organizations, foundations and philanthropic individuals who recognize the potential in such research and their ability to propel ideas from the laboratory bench to clinical application.

That’s exactly what the American Asthma Foundation did when they funded Dr. Jonathan Powell’s research. Funding a cancer-immunology researcher to study drug targets for asthma is the type of cross-discipline support that leads to innovation and discovery.

My daily work supports cancer communications, highlighting the research, people and practices it takes to conquer this disease, but I’ve had asthma since childhood. I never thought I’d write about asthma and cancer within the same piece of research, but Dr. Powell surprised me. And that’s what we need for science.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

In this month's Cancer News Review podcast, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Director Bill Nelson discusses the nation's top stories on cancer.

First, Nelson discusses the issues surrounding whole genome sequencing to predict development of disease. Then, he explains how the HPV vaccine works and why it's important for young people to be vaccinated. Finally, the podcast concludes with a discussion on a study of women with uterine fibroids and concerns over a specific surgical procedure and the spread of cancer cells that could be contained in the fibroids.

Program notes:

0:29 23 and Me
1:32 Do use these tests clinically
2:31 May be misinterpreted or misused
3:31 Companion diagnostic to drugs
4:31 Worried well and genome assessment
5:25 HPV vaccine uptake
6:25 Concern over carte blanche for sexual activity
7:00 Morcellation of uterine fibroids
8:00 Dissemination of cancerous cells
9:00 Concern over any surgery of cancer
10:09 End

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

Ride to Conquer Cancer

**This blog post was written by Kimmel Cancer Center development specialist Allison Rich.

With all of the training support that the Ride to Conquer Cancer makes available, cyclists of all skill levels have access to the tools they need to successfully participate in this epic event. But even with these tools in hand, conquering a two-day, 150 mile route is no small feat. In light of today’s Gear Up Day events on campus, and with springtime weather just around the corner, there is no better time to ask ourselves what motivates us to grab our bikes and ride.

The motivation of the patients and survivors, their bikes identified with yellow flags, who ride towards a cure alongside their families and friends is unquestionably powerful. Others ride to honor a loved one who has passed away, a stoic reminder of just how important the research funds this event will raise truly are. But while cancer has touched everyone in some way, the reality is that not all of us have this kind of highly personal narrative that compels us to ride. For you, maybe the physical challenge of riding farther than you ever have before will drive you through the toughest miles; or perhaps the satisfaction of successfully raising funds towards defeating this disease provides more inspiration than the miles ever could. For some, a fun weekend spent with friends is reason enough to get involved.

No matter what motivates you to ride, we hope that you will register to become a part of the movement to make a difference in the lives of our patients and families. By signing up today, you can also take advantage of the special Gear Up Day registration code, JHRIDE50, and register for only $50! While no two riders will share the same reasons for getting involved, we are united by the same goal – to conquer cancer, together.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
1 Comment

**This blog post was written by Kimmel Cancer Center development specialist Allison Rich.

Here at the Kimmel Cancer Center, we are committed to keeping our promise towards progress in finding a cure. This year, we have decided to take this commitment a step further byGear Up Day for Ride to Conquer Cancer teaming up for the history-making Ride to Conquer Cancer.

In our desire to do our part to defeat this disease, it is easy to overlook the physical challenges associated with a two day, 150 mile cycling event. Curing cancer is not just a two day commitment – and neither is an athletic event like the Ride. While many of us have been touched by cancer in some way and would love to get involved, the reality is that most of us aren’t ready to cycle 150 miles at a moment’s notice. What makes this Ride unique is that, in exchange for your support of our work here at the Kimmel Cancer Center, we commit to support you with the tools you need to have a successful and healthy Ride experience. And with the recent burst of warm weather, what better time to grab our bikes and start training?

With the support of the Ride staff behind you, you won’t have to train alone. By teaming up with athletic groups, the Ride to Conquer Cancer can help direct you to the resources you need to train safely, avoiding injuries and unnecessary setbacks. While physical therapy is often associated with rehabilitation from injuries once they have already occurred, it can also be a vehicle for preventing injuries from happening in the first place. By partnering with the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the physical therapists will provide riders with access to specialized resources that can help them ride to victory. By analyzing movement patterns for indicators of deconditioning, physical therapists can identify training exercises that will be the most effective at restoring proper movement and building strength in each individual.

With these tools and resources available, there is no reason not to start mobilizing our friends, families, and communities for action. With Gear Up Day (and springtime weather!) just around the corner, it’s time for us to focus on one goal: to register and prepare to conquer cancer, together.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
2 Comments

Early results from a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer who have received a combination of the chemotherapy drug docetaxel and hormone therapy lived longer than patients who received hormone therapy alone.

The study enrolled 790 men with metastatic prostate cancer who received a form of hormone therapy known as ADT (androgen deprivation therapy). ADT reduces the levels of male hormones called androgens, which can stimulate prostate cancer cells. In addition to the hormone therapy, some men received docetaxel. Sixty-nine percent of men who received the combo chemo and hormone therapy were alive at three years compared with 52.5 percent of men who received hormone therapy alone.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center expert, Michael Carducci, M.D., is the Genitourinary Cancers Chair for the ECOG-ACRIN who, in collaboration with SWOG, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and NRG Oncology designed and conducted the trial known as E3805.

Further follow-up will be performed on patients with less extensive metastatic disease who participated in E3805 in order to define the effect of this treatment combination on these patients.

More information

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
2 Comments

**This post was contributed by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center development staff member Allison M. Rich.

Cancer is more than just a physical diagnosis. Here at Hopkins, we know that preserving the dignity of our patients means providing them with the tools they need to confront the impacts that cancer has on all aspects of their lives. While palliative care programs can do just that, myths about the efficacy and necessity of palliative care abound – myths which are perpetuated by uninformed associations with terminology such as “death panels.” This misinformation makes it absolutely vital that we emphasize in both the clinic and the classroom that palliative care does not comprise “death panels” at all, but is instead an integral part of quality cancer care. Interestingly, it is philanthropy that provides the perfect vehicle for this much needed shift in how we view cancer treatment.

The palliative care approach to cancer treatment can be summarized as the recognition that cancer does not exist within a vacuum, but within a person. Rather than focusing primarily on the tumor, palliative care focuses on the whole person and the relief of physical, psychological, and social symptomatology. While conventional thinking might dictate simply writing a prescription to manage a given symptom, the palliative care approach utilizes psychosocial techniques as diverse as pain management, supportive counseling, meditation, and spirituality, to get to the root of patients’ experiences of cancer.

In 2007, philanthropic giving allowed Hopkins to establish the Harry J. Duffey Family Pain and Palliative Care Program to provide the most holistic, supportive care for our patients and families. From fostering facts-based dialogue about a range of palliative care topics to advancing our understanding of palliative care through clinical trials, the Program allows Hopkins physicians to illustrate to the entire medical community that palliative care has a positive, quantifiable impact on cancer treatment outcomes. In fact, palliative care allows our patients to not just live better, but to live longer as well.

Dr. Tom Smith, the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and the Director of Palliative Medicine here at the Kimmel Cancer Center, describes these positive outcomes in contexts where palliative care is normalized as part of a patient’s treatment plan. Palliative care is more than just a one-time conversation, and in cases where the cancer has advanced or there is a heavy burden of symptom management implementing palliative care and disease treatment concurrently has undeniable benefits. Dr. Smith often cites a 2010 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who received palliative care concurrently with their cancer treatment not only had a better quality of life, but longer average survival outcomes than those who did not receive palliative care.

While the Harry J. Duffey Family Pain and Palliative Care Program allows Dr. Smith and the rest of our oncology team to demonstrate the efficacy of palliative care here at the Kimmel Cancer Center, the reality is that the approach will not become universal until it is a key component of medical curricula. Restructuring cancer treatment to include palliative care across the treatment continuum necessitates a new approach to training doctors. Placing emphasis on relevant, interdisciplinary skills during medical training—such as communication, guiding patients through the decision-making process, helping patients navigate the healthcare system more broadly, and providing emotional and spiritual resources to patients and families—is absolutely vital to better integrating palliative care into standard oncologic practice.

Newly philanthropically funded programs like the MacMillan Family Fellowship Program in Oncology allow Hopkins to equip tomorrow’s oncologists with the skills necessary to navigate the delivery of cutting edge cancer care while never losing sight of the person in each patient. Increasing the depth and breadth of palliative care is dependent not only upon research findings, but on a concerted effort to educate doctors and patients alike about its capacity to improve cancer care outcomes. Philanthropy provides the tools our clinicians and scientists need to help bridge the gap between status quo and our promise towards progress. Without the generous, targeted giving of our donors, palliative care would not be nearly so integral a part of the treatment that the Kimmel Cancer Center provides.

**More resources:
On the Fine Print of Cancer video series, our social workers discuss palliative care.
Drs. Thomas Smith and Ronan Kelly discuss health care costs and palliative care.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
2 Comments

This blog is the final in our four-part  “Cancer-Free Mondays” series about how the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund is helping Maryland Citizens.

ConquestCRF programs have improved the health of Marylanders, and CRF research has greatly advanced the understanding of cancer.  This work has earned scientific recognition and awards, been published in science journals and been the subject of media reports. Careers, products, and businesses have been launched. Revenue has been made for our state. There are countless success stories to tell.  Here are a few that had far-reaching impact.

Reducing Maryland’s Cancer Burden:

Working together, researchers and elected officials reclaimed and reformed Maryland’s legacy.  Maryland went from having the highest cancer death rates in the nation to 30th since the implementation of the Maryland Cancer Control Plan and the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund. Cancer death rates in our state are below the national average and rates for certain types of cancer are declining faster than the national rate, and this drop coincides directly with the timing of these two initiatives. All of the major cancer killers—lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers—and all of cancers targeted through the CRF are on a downward trend in Maryland. Maryland’s efforts did not go unnoticed. In 2002, Maryland received recognition from the U.S. Congress for establishing the Maryland CRF and became the first state—at the time, the only state—to use its tobacco settlement funds to fight cancer.

Pioneering the First True Tests for Cancer:

Victor Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., and Luis Diaz, M.D., launched their careers with seed funding from the CRF. Velculescu relocated to Maryland from California, and Diaz from Michigan to become part of the research team that led the world in deciphering the genetic blueprints for cancer.  Their work has led to pioneering new cancer tests that can detect the earliest genetic changes that precede cancer development in blood, urine, cervical fluids, sputum and other bodily fluids.  The ability to detect these initial changes would permit early interventions and could potentially make many cancers curable.  Their success led Velculescu and Diaz to form, and in 2013 expand, the Maryland company Personal Genome Diagnostics.  In 2014, their research team leveraged these and other discoveries and received a  gift from Ludwig Cancer Research for cancer genetics research and translation to new cancer treatments.

Taking on the Leading Cancer Killer:

In the inaugural year of the CRF at Johns Hopkins, Shyam Biswal, Ph.D., received support to construct a cigarette exposure facility.  He used mouse models to study smoke-induced lung cancer and uncovered genetic biomarkers that may be useful in the early detection of lung cancer, the leading cancer killer.  With this discovery, Biswal began collaborating with University of Maryland investigator Geoffrey Gurnin to identify drugs that target the genes affected by cigarette smoke and could potentially be used to prevent lung cancer. The demand for his cigarette smoke facility and lung cancer expertise led Biswal to expand his laboratory and create Cureveda, a Maryland biotechnology start up company that employs 20 people.  His work resulted in one patent already, and two patents are pending. In addition, Biswal leveraged the findings from his initial CRF support to earn grants from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) and the National Institutes of Health to continue his work.

 Cancer Prevention:

When the CRF was established, Maryland, and particularly Baltimore City, had some of the highest prostate cancer death rates in the nation.  As a result, prostate cancer was named a CRF priority.  In pioneering research in an emerging new field known as translational epidemiology that combines population research with interventions, Johns Hopkins CRF investigator Elizabeth Platz, Sc.D., uncovered a connection between cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins and a decreased risk of developing aggressive and deadly prostate cancer.  She later collaborated with CRF investigators William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., and Vasan Yegnasubramanian, M.D., Ph.D., to reveal that the commonly used heart drug digoxin halted prostate cancer cell growth in laboratory studies and that men taking the drug to treat their heart disease had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. The CRF team is now working to better understand the cellular mechanisms to identify drugs that could safely prevent prostate cancer.  Other cancer prevention successes include CRF investigator Kala Visvanathan, M.B.B.S., who harnessed the power of broccoli sprouts to stave off cancer.  She is heading cancer prevention clinical trials of broccoli-sprouts tea and other preparations, rich in the carcinogen detoxifier sulforaphane.  CRF researcher Michael Carducci, M.D., is studying pomegranate extract, muscadine grapes, and other natural compounds that may have the ability to prevent prostate cancer.  The work of these investigators is revealing inexpensive and non-toxic ways, many of them from the grocery store shelves, which show promise in preventing cancer.

Growing Research Dollars for Maryland:

Though he had no connections to Maryland or Johns Hopkins, in 2002, Sidney Kimmel chose Johns Hopkins as the recipient of his historic $150 million gift to cancer research and care. At the time of his gift, Mr. Kimmel stated that Johns Hopkins captured his attention with its unique combination of scientific leadership with economic leadership. He specifically cited the partnership between the Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and the state of Maryland to use the Cigarette Restitution Fund to finance cancer research.  This is one of many incidences where CRF investigators and CRF-supported research played an important role in bringing additional funding to Maryland. Multi-million grants from Ludwig Cancer Research, Stand Up To Cancer, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Avon Foundation, The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, the Department of Defense, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are among the groups investing in Maryland science and medicine at Johns Hopkins.  For every CRF research dollar spent, $10 has been brought back to our state through business contracts and other economic development.

Part 1:  Maryland and Johns Hopkins – A Partnership that Works for Maryland Citizens

Part 2: Maryland and Johns Hopkins - Teaming Up to End Smoking

Part 3: The Maryland CRF and Johns Hopkins in the Community

 

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
2 Comments