Cancer Currents for February 2011

News and Notes from the Director
Logo: American Cancer Society Cancer Center and ACS Finalize New 2-Year Collaborative Agreement

The Cancer Center's leadership and executives from the American Cancer Society (ACS) have signed and renewed the official Collaborative Agreement between the organizations. This signing marks the third update and renewal of the partnership. Among other benefits the partnership brings the Cancer Center, ACS is providing information and services to Cancer Center patients through the Cancer Resource Volunteer Program in Lebanon, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and will soon be doing the same at the Cancer Center in Manchester, NH. Peter Ames, ACS state vice president of health initiatives, noted that this agreement is ACS's first with a facility in New England. "Our number one focus is connecting cancer patients and their families with every available resource," he said. "Last year within Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon and Manchester, we connected more than 1,000 patients and their families with resources."

New CME Priorities for 2011

As part of its mission, the Cancer Center is committed to helping keep members aware of cutting-edge developments and translational research relevant to cancer. To this end, and to ensure that NCCC Grand Rounds meet the expectations of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education for intentional programming, the NCCC Executive Committee has recommended that we address the following priority educational gaps/needs in the objectives for our 2011 Grand Rounds program:

  1. Cite new bench science findings with relevance to patient care
  2. Identify patient care observations in need of new basic studies
  3. Demonstrate attention to patient-centeredness considerations; e.g., caregiver support, ethical conduct of trials, fulfillment of IRB protections
  4. Support population-based dissemination of best practices;
  5. Describe examples of interdisciplinary collaborations in the preceding areas
New Research Awards

New Pilot and Hopeman awards have been announced. These awards and the research they fund keep the Cancer Center at the forefront of funded cancer research in the U.S. The Pilot awards are made possible through the generosity of Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center and participants in The Prouty.

Congratulations to these Cancer Center principal researchers whose projects won approval from the Hopeman Foundation for funding:

New Pilot awards were announced for the following principal investigators:

New Collaborative Cancer Research Program Grants with UMass

New collaborative research grants in basic, clinical, population-based, and translational cancer research for members of the UMass Memorial Cancer Center of Excellence (UMMCCoE) and Norris Cotton Cancer Center are now available. This is the first commitment of institutional resources dedicated to promoting these collaborations, and the initiative builds on the expectation that such initiatives across institutions in the New England region can help establish a critical mass of collaborating researchers here.

Every grant requires UMMCCoE and Norris Cotton Cancer Center co-principal investigators, with significant parts of the work done on each of these campuses. Each 12-month grant will be co-funded by the UMMCCoE and Norris Cotton Cancer Center at a maximum of $80,000. Second-year funding requires justification by progress and development of a satisfactory plan for continuation of the program, as well as a strategy for obtaining long-term extramural support. All applications for funding or renewal will be reviewed for scientific excellence by a panel of UMMCCoE and Cancer Center investigators whose prioritization of proposals for funding will be advisory to the Cancer Center directors, who will make the awards.

Requests for the initial round of funding must be submitted electronically by March 15, 2011, to:
Priscilla Vazquez, Coordinator
UMass/Dartmouth Cancer Center Collaborative Research Program

Manchester Welcomes Carmen L. Pisc, MD
Photo: Carmen L. Pisc, MD

Carmen L. Pisc, MD

Fellowship-trained hematology-oncology provider Carmen L. Pisc, MD, has joined the clinical staff at the Cancer Center's Manchester location, bringing board-certified internal medicine and medical oncology care to our southern location. Her special interests include breast cancer, gynecologic oncology, women's health, and solid tumors.

Dr. Pisc graduated from Carol Davila Medical School before completing her internal medicine residency program at University Hospital, both in Bucharest, Romania. She attended UMass Memorial Health Care, University Campus in Worcester, MA, where she also completed an internal medicine residency program and her hematology-oncology fellowship.

Photo: Deb Steele, MA

Deb Steele, MA

Creative Arts Program Recognition

An abstract submitted by Deb Steele, MA, manager of Patient and Family Support Services, for a poster session highlighting the Cancer Center's Creative Arts Program has been accepted by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare (SAH) for presentation at SAH's annual conference called "Advancing Patient-Centered Arts." This year's conference is hosted by Stanford Hospital and Clinics in California. Congratulations, Deb!

Flow Cytometry Symposium February 9

The DartLab Flow Cytometry Symposium, sponsored by Beckman Coulter, will provide an opportunity to learn about the latest applications in flow cytometry from experts in the field. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. in Room 658W in the Borwell building at DHMC in Lebanon, with sessions filling the morning. Attendees will also have a chance to participate in an optional wet lab beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

Translational Research Symposium February 26

On Saturday, February 26, a free full-day program designed especially for early-career investigators and others interested in learning about clinical translational science will be held in Auditorium G at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Titled, "Translational Research: The Bridge from Discovery to Clinical Practice to the Community - a SYNERGY Research Training Introductory Program," the symposium will be of particular interest to clinicians who may be applying for SYNERGY Program pilot grants or the SYNERGY K-12 program at Dartmouth. The symposium begins at 7:15 in the morning and will conclude at 2:15 in the afternoon. Online registration only.

Photo: Daffodils Daffodil Days are Coming: Can You Help?

The American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days program is coming to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center the week of March 14. We are in need of two more Daffodil Days Coordinators to help build awareness and coordinate online orders and deliveries within DHMC. Timewise, this will involve a few hours spread throughout February and the first part of March. If you like seeing lots of yellow daffodils and are interested in volunteering, please contact Mollie White at or call her at (603) 616-6701.

—Mark Israel, MD