Cancer Currents for November 2013

News and Notes from the Director
Mark Israel

The last several decades have led to unprecedented advancements in the biological sciences. The sophistication now required to conduct cutting-edge research requires a very expensive, complex, and specialized infrastructure, one that provides not only equipment but the people and processes needed to pursue the most important research challenges.

The news that Dartmouth has been awarded $18 million by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) highly competitive Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program is especially important for NCCC. Dartmouth will now have enhanced access to tools, resources, and collaborative academic partnerships with 60 medical research institutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The greater Boston area CTSA consortium members include Harvard University, Boston University, Tufts University, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

This award provides exciting new opportunities to enhance and expand our research infrastructure. A particular focus will be on advancing problem-based research, and on research that utilizes emerging stores of "big data" to evaluate both complex problems and large populations we previously have been unable to interrogate.

The five-year NIH CTSA grant will be matched by $20 million from Geisel and Dartmouth-Hitchcock, creating a $38 million investment in translational research to improve our disease prevention efforts and to develop new treatments, cures, and improvements in patient care.

—Mark Israel, Director

Read more about the CTSA Grant: NIH Grant is a "Game Changer" for Translational Research at Geisel

17 Comprehensive Cancer Centers Visit NCCC for Quality improvement Consortium
C4QI meeting

Seventeen cancer centers attended the Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium of Quality Improvement (C4QI) at NCCC October 8-10.

On October 8-10 a group of physicians, nurses, and operational leaders from NCI designated cancer centers around the country visited NCCC for the two-day fall meeting of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium of Quality Improvement (C4QI).

While here they shared best practices, challenges, and presentations on improving outcomes for oncology patients, as well as a tour of the Patient Safety Simulation Center. Seventeen cancer centers attended, including: City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Duke Cancer Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (Johns Hopkins Hospital), The James at Ohio State University, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Siteman Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Yale Cancer Center.

NCCC Teams Receive Top D-H Quality Recognition Awards.
Evelyn Schlosser

Evelyn Schlosser, member of the NCCC Advance Directives Improvement Project team, receiving Quality Recognition award.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock celebrated National Healthcare Quality Week during the week of October 21-25. The 2013 celebration, Quality: The Voice for Healthcare Improvement, offered educational sessions, showcased this year's improvement projects at a poster fair, and (new this year) presented five quality recognition awards—two of which were earned by NCCC teams:

  • Project ICE received the Excellence in Patient Service award for improving patient experience within the NCCC clinic and infusion suite areas.
  • The Advance Directives Improvement Project received the Excellence in Quality award for improving the documentation of Advance Directives for oncology patients.

Seven NCCC projects were displayed at the poster fair: Neuro-oncology Pathway Development (Phase 2a), Bone Marrow Biopsy Relocation to OSC, Head and Neck Oncology Post-Treatment Scheduling: Evaluation of a Process Change, Developing System-wide Infusion Metrics to Match Process, System-wide Infusion Improvement: ICE, System-wide Infusion Improvement: PRISM, NCCC Advance Directives.

Amos Leads Lung Cancer Consortium of New International Cancer Research Group
Christopher Amos, PhD

Christopher Amos

Dartmouth-affiliated researchers have joined a new consortium to identify the genetic basis of the five most common types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, and colorectal cancer. The project will involve hundreds of scientists from several different countries, including France, China, and Australia. Christopher Amos, community and family medicine professor and head of Dartmouth's Center for Genomic Medicine, leads the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium.

Read moreNew Discoveries for Cancer Risk: Researchers Worldwide Take Part in one of History's Largest Scientific Consortium

FDA Center for Tobacco Products to Deliver 2013 C. Everett Coop Distinguished Lecture
Mitchell Zeller

Mitchell Zeller

FDA Center for Tobacco Products Director Mitchell Zeller, J.D. will present "Keeping the Koop Vision Alive: Science-Based Tobacco Product Regulation in the 21st Century" on Tuesday, November 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in Auditorium E.  Zeller, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the American University Washington College of Law, became director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products in March 2013 and  has been working on FDA issues for more than 30 years. Because space is limited, seating will be on a first-come basis for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth faculty, clinicians, students, and staff. You can also view the lecture live or archived webcast online.

Gerlach Named Vice Chair of NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration Board

NCCC Associate Director for Administration and Scientific Affairs Robert Gerlach has been named vice-chair of the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC), a partnership of individuals and organizations working together to eliminate cancer. He has served on the NHCCC board since 2011

Robert Gerlach

Robert Gerlach

"I am pleased to be associated with such important work, appreciate their willingness to rely on me, and look forward to partnering with the President, Barbara Kimball, to facilitate the work ahead," said Gerlach.

The NHCCC developed the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, 2010-2014 to address the following priorities:

  • Prevent cancer by creating environments that support a healthy lifestyle;
  • Increase early detection and prevention of cancer through screening;
  • Improve the treatment of cancer and quality of life for people living with cancer; and
  • Report on the latest cancer research.

Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW Donates to Norris Cotton Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Research

On October 3, 2013, the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW presented a check for $3,514 to NCCC for prostate cancer research.

Ladies Auxiliary

L to r: Donna L. Fischer, National District Council member #1 of New Hampshire and Maine; Annie Pawlick, past state president of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW; Linda Kennedy, NCCC associate director of Community Affairs and Jean Brown, executive director, Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Telling our Stories through Word and Image: Pubic Reading and Art Display November 5

Please join us for the third annual public reading of works written by patients, family members, and NCCC staff on Tuesday, November 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Auditorium G, Level 4, Rubin. There will be a reception before the reading with time to view the displayed multimedia art work of patients and family members in the atrium outside the auditorium.

NCCC Nashua Healing Garden: Many Forms of Comfort

The Healing Garden outside a wall of windows in the infusion suite at NCCC Nashua is a special spot for patients, families, and staff. Flowering bulbs bloom from the first warm days through to late spring, and patients have brought in perennials from their own gardens, an enduring gift that takes on special meaning if the original owners have lost their battle with cancer.


Harvest from the NCCC Nashua Healing Garden

"We wanted a place for patients and families to be able to connect outside," said Deborah Bowie, R.Ph., MBA, one of the initial planners of the healing garden. "This is especially important for cancer patients, who have to spend long periods in treatment."

In summer the staff plants and tends a vegetable garden in a sunny section of the plot. Now in its second year, new traditions have surfaced: harvested tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, and watermelon were placed on public tables for patients, staff and their families. Sometimes they returned, transformed into prepared foods for sharing.

Be Well Weekly Brings News and Tips to 2K and 3K Patients

A new weekly newsletter, Be Well, is now distributed each Friday to patients, staff, supporters, and visitors in 2K and 3K. It offers a quick overview of supportive offerings and events at NCCC, including general public events like the flu shot clinics. Pick up the next issue and check out the weekly health maintenance and recovery tips, and book reviews.

Benefit Enrollment Season Ends November 4!

2014 Annual Enrollment elections for the 2014 plan year are due on November 4, 2013.

The United Way

The 40th Dartmouth Campaign for Granite United Way is underway. Each year they provide 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

Turkey Trotters Take Note!

The third annual Castleton Health Runs / Turkey Trot takes place on November 24, 2013 at the Castleton College Spartan Athletic Complex in Castleton, Vt. to support Castleton Men's Cross Country and Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Choose from two different race lengths: 15K or a 5K. Plus there's a 1-mile Fun-Run for children under 11. Registration: $20 if completed online before November 24 and $25 on event day (check-in and/or register beginning at 9 am). All participants receive a Turkey Trot T-Shirt and prizes will be given to the first male and female finisher in each race. Random drawing for prizes follows the award ceremony. Starting times: Fun Run 10:45 a.m., 15K race 11 a.m., 5K at 11:10 a.m. and awards at 12:30. For information and a copy of the race maps call John Klein at (802) 468-1282 or email Register at

Mullets in Movember

Come get your MULLET and MUSTACHE at the annual "Mullets in Movember" Monarchs game, on Saturday, November 16, 7 p.m. In partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center and The Movember Foundation, the Monarchs will pay tribute to hockey hair while also showing some love to the coveted mustache. It is tradition, not only in the Monarchs locker room but locker rooms throughout the world, for the players to go unshaven on their upper lip throughout the month of November to raise awareness and funds for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Join us! For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Dartmouth XC Ski 2014 Season Trail Passes

The Oak Hill staff has been busy preparing for the 2014 season. Take a walk, run or bike to see the mowing and cutting back of the trails. Visit to download your application or come to Robinson Hall to pick one up at the front desk.

Skiway Children Sunday Afternoon Ski/Ride Program

Skiway Sunday Program: AGES 4-12. Each Sunday, January 12 - March 9, from 1:30 to 3:30. Cost: $199 (includes lift access) or $149 for pass holders. Program is for a variety of abilities of recreational skiers and riders, designed to develop competent, safe, and happy lifelong skiers and riders, taught by professional instructors. Children must be able to ride the J-bar, and ski from the top of the J-Bar unassisted prior to the first day. HELMET USAGE IS MANDATORY. More info at

Other Happenings

Check out d2u for listings like these on classes and events around campus:

  • Events Calendar Information session for anyone who manages or publicizes events sponsored by Dartmouth organizations, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1-2 pm, Carson 61
  • See Dartmouth's orchid collection at a greenhouse tour: Saturday, November 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m.; Tuesday, November 12, 5 to 6:30pm FREE

Other information links: Geisel Insider ; DH-Today

Dates to Note:

October 29, 2013
Marilyn K. Bedell Distinguished Lecture
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Auditorium E, Level 3, Barbara E. Rubin Building

November 19, 2013
2013 C. Everett Coop Distinguished Lecture
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Keeping the Koop Vision Alive: Science-Based Tobacco Product Regulation in the 21st Century
Mitchell Zeller, J.D., director FDA Center for Tobacco Products
Location: Auditorium E, Level 3, Barbara E. Rubin Building

December 10, 2013
Cancer Nanotechnology Symposium
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Organization: Intranet Events - General Events
Location: Auditorium G (formally known as the James C. Chilcott Conference Center

Grand Rounds

Norris Cotton Cancer Center typically holds Grand Rounds lectures on Tuesdays from 12 to 1 p.m. 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.