Uconn cancer dialogue spring 2002
Volume 1 Spring 2002
EDUCATION, RESEARCH & CLINICAL CARE
By Carl Malchoff, M.D.
In our laboratory, Dr. Diana Malchoff andI investigate the molecular basis ofpapillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). It isour goal to understand the defectivegrowth control mechanisms of thyroid
and therapeutic approaches to patientcare can be developed. It is anticipated
of the Future
that principles of malignant behaviorlearned from these neoplasms will beapplicable to other malignancies.
susceptibility gene(s) for familial papil-
Vitamin E Cancer
ndocrine neoplasia refers to growths
A New Approach to
a routine clinical evaluation uncovered a
duce large amounts of potent hormones. susceptibility. This very unusual familialThe Endocrine Neoplasia Service at the
is dedicated to the evaluation and treat-
Made of Synthetic
consequences of endocrine neoplasia.
Peptides and Antigen
cultivated expertise in a wide variety of
that clinical expertise is not static. New
and papillary renal neoplasia (PRN).
develop and improve patient outcome.
Coming in our Next Issue:
familial association of PTC enriched with
Mucosal Injury in
continued from page 1
Cancer Center Director:
Associate Director, Clinical:
with the identification and investigation
Associate Director, Education:
Associate Director, Research:
with a susceptibility for PTC and PRN are
the necessary resources for this effort.
Health Center is the only one of its kind
multiple experts with diverse talents for
investigating the molecular basis of this
from Boston to San Francisco. Reviewof the known genes mapped to this
or to arrange a patient consultation.
To refer a patient for participation in a
Familial nonmedullary thyroid carcinoma.
Semin Surg Oncol, 1999. 16: p. 16-18.
is published quarterly
2. Malchoff, D., et al., Familial papillary
thyroid carcinoma is genetically distinct
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington CT 06032
3. Malchoff, C.D., et al., Papillary thyroid
renal neoplasia: genetic linkage analysis
of a distinct heritable tumor syndrome.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2000. 85:p. 1758-1764.
S P O T L I G H T
Molecular Medicine for the Future
By Andrew Arnold, M.D.
including inflammatory bowel disease.
Andrew Arnold, M.D.
Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine
he Center for Molecular Medicine
and genetic causes of human disease.
Since its inception in 1997, researchers Ph. D., Associate Professor of Medi-
Center’s growing cadre of clinicians.
laboratories are located in the Martin L.
clinical fruition is a huge challenge, but
from morphological, to molecularcharacteristics. They have also identi-fied genes involved in the predisposi-tion to several bone dysmorphology
Selenium and Vitamin E
By Peter Albertsen, M.D.
Professor of Surgery
Cancer Prevention Trial—
and Brian Kessler, M.D.
n the United States, prostate cancer is
that activities of selenium and vitamin E
synergistically to inhibit carcinogenesis.
The SELECT trial is not the first attempt
in chemoprevention of prostate cancer.
trial is evaluating the effect of the drug
finesteride. Finasteride is a testosterone
at a younger age in African Americans.
years, with results expected in 2004.
including a vitamin D analog, eflornithine
inhibits lipid peroxidation, specifically
activity which is relevant to carcinogen-
The University of
Connecticut is one
by calling the University of Connecticut’s
of two research
sites in Connecticut
cancer cell lines can be inhibited by
1. Clark L.C., Combs GF Jr, Turnbull B.W.,
tion for cancer prevention in patients with
ized, placebo-controlled clinical trials in
into the SELECT
the cancer literature led to the initiation
controlled trial. Nutritional Prevention of
Cancer Study Group. JAMA 276:1957-1963, 1996.
trial over the next
2. Heinonen OP, Albanes D, Huttunen JK, et
trial. J. Natl Cancer Inst 90:440-6, 1998
By Bruce Mayer, Ph.D.
A New Approach to Profiling Cancer
Associate ProfessorGenetics and DevelopmentalBiology
ancer is not a homogeneous disease
SH2 Binding Protein in Cancer Cells After Gel Electrophoresis
with a single underlying cause. We nowunderstand that many different combina-tions of molecular changes can ulti-mately lead to the uncontrolled growththat is the hallmark of a tumor. Thisheterogeneity is also reflected in thecourse of disease, as two tumors withsuperficial similarities may have verydifferent outcomes. One tumor maygrow rapidly and resist even the mostaggressive therapy, while another maygrow very slowly and need not betreated at all. Therefore, any methodthat could help us to classify a patient’stumor based on its biological proper-ties, and to accurately predict itsbehavior, would be very useful inplanning the patient’s treatment. For this
reason, the development of new molecu-lar diagnostic tools to classify tumors is
now a high priority in cancer research.
phosphorylated sites on other proteins.
method of profiling tumors based on the have different binding specificities,
“SH2 Profiling,” after a small protein
cell to the interior, where the signal is
“read” by the binding of specific SH2
critical cell behaviors as proliferation,
insight into the biology of a patient’s
“fingerprint” of the cell (see Figure 1).
of tyrosine phosphorylation is sensed by them. Our assumption is that the more
more similar their SH2 profiles will be.
Cancer Vaccine made of Synthetic
By Bijay Mukherji, MD
Professor of Medicine
Peptides and Antigen Presenting Cells.
inaugurated the concept of a “vaccine”
infinitely easier. Gallo’ s group discov-
activated—was already established.
species by “pre-inoculating” them with
ex vivo cultured antigen presenting cells
introduced a different form of “immuno-
Knuth from Dr. Lloyd Old’s group shortly
useful in the treatment of lung cancer.
vaccine. The following figure depicts the
tion with primary tumors, Coley’s toxin,
Killing of tumor cells
findings were published in the Journal of
from the National Institutes of Health.
“magic bullet”, yet he believed that the
initiated similar studies and showed that
this was the first description of a tumor
field had just learned that there are two
1) (published in Science). Earlier, Dr.
for B and T cells to react against them.
cells as well as B cells of a given cancer
patient can respond, have been defined.
activity (i.e., tumor-specific antibodies)
as well as T cell activities (e.g., T cell
with melanoma reactive killer T cell lines
long peptide that the killer T cells recog-
UConn Cancer Center Announces
By Christine Kaminski, BGS
Administrator, UConn Cancer
New Seminar Series
inding a cure for cancer is a monumental task that requires the collaboration of scientists and medical professionals around
the world. It is this belief and our mission to integrate research and education that has prompted the UConn Cancer Center, in
collaboration with the Lea’s Foundation, to present a new seminar series in cancer research.
The UConn Cancer Center Seminar Series
is a monthly lecture program that will attract scientists of national prominence
to our campus. They will present innovative and thought provoking theories & protocols to help expand the understanding of
cancer to Health Center faculty, staff, and community physicians and researchers. By enriching the knowledge of the cancer
research community, the UConn Cancer Center hopes to develop and, in some cases, collaborate with faculty on cutting-edge
clinical trials that will be available to residents of Connecticut.
The seminar series has been fully sponsored through a generous grant from the Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research ofHartford, CT. The Foundation conducts many notable fundraising events to enable scientists to find a cure for leukemia andits related diseases of lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.
The UConn Cancer Center Seminar Series is currently established through the month of June 2002. The seminar series willresume in the Fall with the first annual Lea’s Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Cancer Research.
Date & Time
Drew Pardoll, MD, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, MD
For time and location regarding the UConn Cancer Center Seminar Series
or to schedule an appointment to meet with any
of our speakers, please contact: Christine Kaminski, BGS UConn Cancer Center Administrator, Telephone: (860) 679-1173,
E-mail: [email protected]
.continued from page 6
objective is to define the rules underly-ing an efficient activation and robustexpansion of these tumor reactive killerT cells against cancer cells and totranslate this work to the clinic. Timewill tell if this basic approach can finallyovercome the understandable pessi-mism relative to “cancer vaccines” inthe medical community and establishthis type of immunotherapy as a usefuladjunct to other forms of treatmentsfor cancer.
How To Reach Us
Scheduling Patient Consults
From Northbound Route 9
If you would like to schedule a patient with the Cancer
Take Exit 32 (left exit) onto I-84 West and stay in the right
Center, you may call the center between 8:00 a.m. and
lane. Take Exit 39 (first exit). Turn right at first traffic light
onto Route 4 East (Farmington Avenue). At third trafficlight, turn right to enter the Health Center campus.
To Return to Route 9
Directions To UConn Health Center
Exit the Health Center campus via Munson Road. At the
end of Munson Road, turn left onto South Road. At next
stop sign, turn right and follow signs to I-84 East, staying
From Bradley International Airport
in the right lane to exit onto Route 9 South.
Follow Route 20 to I-91 South to I-84 West Hartford. Follow
Special Events Parking
I-84 West about 7 miles to Exit 39 which is after 39A. Turn
Signs will be posted on roads directing people to special
right at first traffic light onto Route 4 East (Farmington
event parking. Shuttle service is provided from lower lots.
Avenue). At third traffic light, turn right to enter the HealthCenter campus.
After 5 p.m., visitors attending seminars, lectures, etc. inthe Green or Blue Auditorium may park in the lots adjacent
Take Exit 39 (if coming from I-84 West, Exit 39 is after 39A).
If Your Destination Is In The Main Building . . .
Turn right at first traffic light onto Route 4 East (Farmington
Stop by the Hospital Information Desk located in the Main
Avenue). At third traffic light, turn right to enter the Health
Lobby. It is staffed with trained volunteers who will give
263 Farmington AvenueFarmington, Connecticut 06032
Remedies Herb-Nutrient-Drug Column Chemotherapy Support and Cautions By Karolyn A. Gazella According to the American Cancer Society, of the more than 2.5 million peoplediagnosed with cancer each year in the United States, most of them are given one or morechemotherapy drugs at some point in their treatment [1, 7]. Presently, there are more than50 different chemotherapy drugs used to treat c
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