Research Findings

Childhood Cancer Researchers Receive Award from Steven G Fund!

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CAC2 CONFERENCE Speakers and Participants

CAC2 Pediatric Cancer Research Conference – 2016

“From Bench to Bedside and Beyond:

Uniting the childhood cancer community

in a collaborative forum to advance research for childhood cancers”

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, NY

October 30 – November 2, 2016

The Steven G AYA Cancer Research Fund was honored to award $500 to the following scientists for their work in Childhood Cancer Research:

Angela Waanders (center) from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Research Title: Cavatica: empowering research with a pediatric genomic cloud.

Angela Waanders, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, NeuroOncology Program (in center) from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Research Title: Cavatica: empowering research with a pediatric genomic cloud.

 

Sunitha Rangaraju,Ph.D Precision Medicine Liaison Global Medial & Diagnostic Affairs for IGNYTA. Research Title: Pediatric phas 1/1b dose-finding trial of entrectinib with expansion into patients with primary brain tumors, neuroblastoma, NTRK, ROS1, or ALK fusions.

Sunitha Rangaraju,Ph.D Precision Medicine Liaison Global Medial & Diagnostic Affairs for IGNYTA. Research Title: Pediatric phase 1/1b dose-finding trial of entrectinib with expansion into patients with primary brain tumors, neuroblastoma, NTRK, ROS1, or ALK fusions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIGHT! CONQUER! CURE!!!

Critical Mass Research Poster Awardees

Each year Critical Mass:YA Cancer Alliance, holds an important conference bringing together stakeholders in the field of YA Cancer. Researchers, doctors, nurses, non-profit administrators, survivors and caregivers come together to learn from each other. This year the conference was held in Chicago.

As a Critical Mass partner, and strong advocate for YA Cancer Research, our foundation annually awards researchers in two categories: Innovative Research and Clinical Trials and Innovative Programs and Services. The top three research posters are selected within each category and given a cash award.

We strongly believe that good research is an important step towards finding the best way to cure and treat cancer. FIGHT CONQUER CURE!!

Below are the names of the individuals awarded at the Critical Mass Conference 2015.

Innovative Research                                    Innovative Programs

First Place $500        DEBORAH MOROSINI,MD                       MEGAN BIANCHETTI, MSW

Second Place $300    THERESA KEEGAN, PH.D                         KATHLEEN VILLA, PH.D

Third Place $150        JEANNE ERICKSON, PH.D                       MARIA CABLE, RN

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MARIA CABLE RN Title: “Just In Case”: the Fertility information needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer.

 

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MEGAN BIANCHETTI, MSW Title: Distress in AYAs with Cancer: Components and Covariates

 

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THERESA KEEGAN, PH.D Title: Sociodemographic disparities in survival for adolescents and young adults with cancer differ by health insurance status: a population based-study in California, 2001-2011

 

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JAMES L. BAKER PHARM.D (for Kathleen Villa) Title: A Modeling Analysis of the Risks and Benefits of a Pediatric-Inspired Protocol Compared with a Hyper-CVAD Protocol in the Treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults with Philadelphia-Negative Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Jeanne Erickson, Ph.D. Title: The Pain Experience of Hospitalized Young Adults with Cancer

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MARK BAILEY PH.D. AND VINCENT MILLER MD (for Deborah Morosini) Title: Comprehensive genomic profiling of sarcomas from 203 adolescents and young adults reveals a distinct spectrum of targetable genomic alterations.

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PAT TAYLOR: Advocate, Parent, and Friend Organization: 3 LITTLE BIRDS 4 LIFE

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CHRISTABEL CHEUNG, MSW: Researcher and Survivor and new friend:) AND HER THERAPY DOG CALVIN.

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HERNAN BARANGAN: Movie Producer, Artist and Survivor (Check out his work on YouTube) Organization: TEEN CANCER AMERICA

EVIDENCED BASED CARE FOR AYA’S – AMELIA BAFFA

CONGRATULATIONS TO AMELIA BAFFA, CLINICAL ONCOLOGY NURSE, AYA PATIENT NAVIGATOR AT RAINBOW, BABIES & CHIMG_5577ILDRENS’ HOSPITAL AND SEIDMAN CANCER CENTER FOR HER CONTINUED EFFORTS TO IMPROVE CARE TO ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULT CANCER PATIENTS,

AMELIA RESEARCH POSTER WAS PRESENTED AT THE ACADEMY OF ONCOLOGY NURSE
NAVIGATOR CONFERENCE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA LAST WEEK.

OVER 700 ONCOLOGY NURSES ATTENDED THE CONFERENCE, AND MOST OF THEM WERE WORKING VERY HARD TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE NEEDS OF AYA CANCER PATIENTS DURING AND AFTER TREATMENTS.

THANK YOU AMELIA FOR YOUR DEDICATED WORK!!!

FIGHT! CONQUER! CURE!!!

GO FOR THE GOLD – CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

FRIENDS

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT SEPTEMBER IS CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. 

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVORS BECOME ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS WITH SECONDARY ILLNESSES 

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT EACH DAY PARENTS ARE MOURNING THE LOSS OF THEIR CHILD AS A RESULT OF CANCER.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT PEDIATRIC CANCER IS THE #1 DISEASE RELATED KILLER OF KIDS IN THE UNITED STATES.

KNOW THAT THE NIH (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH – WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS GO) GETS $30 BILLION FOR RESEARCH ANNUALLY, YET CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH GETS LESS THAN $200 MILLION. THE DEADLIEST CHILDHOOD CANCERS GET LITTLE OR NO FUNDING.

IT’S NOT A MATTER OF MORE MONEY, IT’S A MATTER OF PRIORITIES.ribbon

 

 

 

 

WE MUST MAKE CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH A NATIONAL PRIORITY AND GIVE KIDS PEDIATRIC CURES, TREATMENTS, PROTOCOLS AND HOPE!!!

fight! conquer! CURE!!!

New Cancer Publication Supported by SGAYA Cancer Fund

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT RESEARCHERS IN HUANG LAB AT THE CASE MEDICAL SCHOOL HAVE PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE

TITLED

“FOCAL TRANSIENT CNS VESSEL LEAK PROVIDES A TISSUE NICHE FOR SEQUENTIAL IMMUNE CELL ACCUMULATION DURING THE ASYMPTOMATIC PHASE OF EAE INDUCTION.”

Purgert

Robert Purgert

Dr. Askew

Dr. David Askew

Two of our Scholarship recipients, Dr. David Askew and Robert Purgert, assisted in the research study and article development.

According to Dr. Alex Huang results of the study help researchers better understand…

1) how immune cells cross the blood-brain barrier during the development of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis can be a knowledge base for improving anti-tumor immune cells to cross the same blood brain barrier when used to fight cancers in the brain.
And,
2) how immune cells (lymphocytes such as T cells and B cells) cross the blood brain barrier will also help us understand and prevent leukemia cells crossing the blood brain barrier from the blood to CNS metastasis.
And, of course, there is always the curiosity of how things actually work in this wonderful body that God gives to each of us!

Below please find the Bibliography details and the link ( Barkauskas Exp Neurol 2015 ) to the article.

Article title: Focal transient CNS vessel leak provides a tissue niche for sequential immune cell accumulation during the asymptomatic phase of EAE induction
Reference: YEXNR11938
Journal title: Experimental Neurology
Corresponding author: Dr. Alex Yee-Chen Huang
First author: Dr. Deborah S. Barkauskas
Final version published online: 28-FEB-2015
Full bibliographic details: Experimental Neurology  (2015), pp. 74-85
DOI information: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.02.018

 

fight conquer cure

2014 Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Symposium

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PLEASE JOIN US!!!

SAVE THE DATE!!

OCTOBER 30-31, 2014

IRIS S. & BERT L. WOLSTEIN RESEARCH BUILDING

2103 CORNELL ROAD

CLEVELAND, OHIO 44106

 

The symposium is sponsored by the Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, UH Seidman Cancer, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute.

(REGISTRATION FORM aya symposium 2014)

The focus of this two-day symposium is advancing AYA-related research, increasing federal funding, and exploration of scientific, clinical and psychological considerations in the AYA population.

KEY NOTE SPEAKER:

Clifton Leaf, Deputy Manager Editor, Fortune Magazine and Author, The Truth In Small Doses – Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer – and How to Win It.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: AYASYM2014@UHHOSPITALS.ORG 

 

 

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS IS AWESOME!!! By Lauren Mostardi

 

Lauren and Miles

Lauren and Miles

 

On April 23rd, 2014, I boarded an airplane in Cleveland, Ohio, and flew to Las Vegas for the first time in my life.  This was thanks to the financial support of the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund.  The fund’s generous travel scholarship paid for me to attend the OMG!  Stupid Cancer conference for young adult cancer survivors, which was held at the Palms Casino Resort.  The conference is a wonderful event that allows cancer survivors in the 18-40 age range meet, network, and have a good time over a long weekend.  It is so life affirming to meet others that share your life experiences, especially when a major challenge for young adult survivors is the loneliness you often feel, because it seems you are the only one going through what you are.

The conference is a nice blend of official, cancer related events, and free time to explore and enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer.  The event included an official tour of The Strip, a pool party, dancing on the 55th floor of the Palms, and even pub trivia with your fellow attendees!  There were great speakers and talks on topics like Genomics, being LGBT with cancer, meditation, and managing your anger.  The conference was inclusive and welcoming, and was a great chance to really air your feelings, and feel like you matter.  My favorite event of the entire weekend was the Just For Gals: Nothing is Taboo talk, which included guest speaker Tamika Felder, who is a personal inspirational figure of mind, on both cancer survivorship and body image.  Like the entire conference, this session was patient focused, and emphasized being able to speak freely about issues that can be difficult to talk about, such as fertility, reproduction, body image, family relationships, and friendship.

In addition to meeting some great people, my boyfriend (who attended with me) and I rode the High Roller Observational Ferris Wheel, which just opened in early April 2014.  It gave a perfect view of the Strip, as well as the surrounding red rock and mountain-filled desert.  The Las Vegas Strip is truly a unique experience that must be experienced to be believed.  Only in Vegas can you see the Eiffel tower, the New York Skyline, and an exploding volcano, all within one mile!

I view this experience as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was given because of the philanthropy of those that run the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund.  I think this is a very worthwhile charitable action on the part of this group.  Research can be scientific to be sure, but it also includes meeting and networking with those that share your experiences.  It was also great to have a representative from Ohio present, to bring even more diversity to the conference.  I am forever grateful to this organization for helping to give me such a wonderful experience.

 

Lauren Mostardi

 

Are We Ever Cancer Free?

When Steven was diagnosed with a secondary cancer, (AML), and then had a Bone Marrow Transplant I often wondered if he would be free of cancer. We were told that time would tell and just to enjoy the moment.

Time has passed.

This year, happily, Steve was told that he is five years out from his Bone Marrow Transplant: AND THAT IS A VERY GOOD THING!!! Good Bye Cancer!!!

But ARE WE EVER CANCER FREE?

Like many childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors Steve struggles with secondary effects that cause unexplained aches and pains, and chronic fatigue-like symptoms. There is always the fear that something new will pop up and change his life forever. We just don’t know.

I am not sharing this information to make you feel sorry for Steven but to remind you that survivorship often has a price.

Please take time out of your busy schedule to write to your congressmen and senators about how important it is to support Childhood Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research!

Tell them they need to support the Carolyn Pryce Walker Childhood Reauthorization Act. Read more here: cac2.org/legislation/caroline-pryce-walker-conquer-childhood-cancer-reauthorization-act-h-r-2607s-1251/

Tell them they need to support  the Childhood Cancer Survivors Quality of Life Act. Read more here: cac2.org/legislation/childhood-cancer-survivors-quality-of-life-act-h-r-2058s-1247/

Tell them they need to stop the National Cancer Institute from cutting funding to Childhood Cancer Research. Read more here: cac2.org/legislation/funding-for-the-national-cancer-institute-nci/

Tell them to support the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act. Read more here: http://cac2.org/legislation/patients-access-to-treatments-act-h-r-460/ This will  sure insurers charge no more for specialty drugs than they currently charge for non-specialty tier brand drugs.

I am asking you as a parent, caregiver and advocate to support these Legislations that impact our children’s future. Your future.

Thank You,

Angie

LET’S FIND A BETTER WAY TO                                                                                   TREAT AND CURE CANCER!!!

 

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Our Research Dollars In Action – Update From Grant Recipient Dr. David Askew

Dear Friends,

We are gratified to provide an update from Grant Recipient Dr. David Askew (Research Accomplishments for 2012-2013).  Dr. Askew is a member of the Huang Lab at Case Medical School (http://www.huanglab.com/ ). Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult  (PAYA) Cancer Research is costly and very time consuming. A dedicated PAYA Cancer Researcher, like Dr. Askew, often makes great sacrifices monetarily and personally. The SGAYA Cancer Research Fund is committed to assist our Researchers to find a better way to treat and cure PAYA Cancer!

Below please find Dr. Askew’s Report:

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Thanks to the support of the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Grant, I have been able to successfully transition from Dr. Kenneth Cooke’s laboratory into Dr. Alex Huang’s laboratory in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine since November 2012. Below is a summary of my research activities since joining Dr. Huang’s laboratory during year 1 of the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Grant funding period.
Project 1: Promoting the development of memory T cells in cancer vaccines.
While immune therapy has been used to fight certain cancers and has shown early promise, there is often a failure to maintain the response against the cancer. This suggests that there is an inability to establish memory T cells that keep an immune response active over a period of time. In previous studies from our laboratory, we identified an important role for a protein called CCR5 in T cells that leads to the development of memory T cells. I am currently identifying the mechanisms that regulate the expression of CCR5 in T cells in order to enhance the development of memory T cells.
Project 2: Preventing the relapse of T cell leukemia.
One major problem with T cell leukemia is the presence of a few cancer cells that remain in the brain (central nervous system; CNS) or bone marrow (BM) after treatment. The presence of these cancer cells can lead to the return of the cancer (relapse). Using a model of T cell leukemia that was developed in our lab, I am characterizing the ability of these tumor cells to move into the CNS and BM. The goal is to eventually identify new targets for intervention that may reduce cancer relapse.
For many proteins to be turned on or off functionally in the cell, they need to be modified chemically. When there is a failure in the chemical modification, the proteins become overly active and cancer can develop as a result. In collaboration with Dr. Gutham Narla at the Harrington Institute at Case Western Reserve University, I am examining the effects of a novel class of drugs that promotes this chemical modification. These drugs are derived from FDA approved medications that are not currently being used to fight cancer. I have shown that one of these compounds can suppress the growth of T cell leukemia and promote death of these tumor cells. We are testing this drug in animal models to look at its ability to limit relapse of leukemia.
When standard treatment for leukemia fails, patients are given very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill cancer cells. One result of the treatment is that the patient’s bone marrow, a source of blood cells, is also destroyed and must be replaced. This is known as a stem cell or bone marrow transplant (BMT). Two major complications of this treatment is that the cancer returns or there is a failure of the new bone marrow cells to function in the patient. In collaboration with Dr. John Letterio, I am examining the effects of a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs known as the triterpenoids in preventing leukemia relapse and enhancing stem cell engraftment after BMT. We believe that, when provided as a dietary supplement after BMT, the triterpenoids can improve survival in patients that receive BMT for the treatment of leukemia.
Project 3: Relieving graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
Another complication that can occur after BMT is a situation in which T cells from the donor bone marrow attach the recipient/patient’s body. This is known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and can be a significant source of illness and death in patients who have received BMT. In collaboration with Dr. John Letterio, we are examining how a protein known as Cdk5 can affect donor T cells function shortly after BMT. In previous work, I showed that Cdk5 dramatically influences the ability of T cells to travel to the lymph node where these T cells become overly active to attach patient’s tissues. I am examining how Cdk5 affects the ability of donor T cells to cause GVHD with a goal to establish Cdk5 is a potential new target in BMT to minimize the risk of developing GVHD.
Summary:
Through the support of the Steven G AYA Research Grant, my ultimate goal as a researcher is to understand the interaction between tumor cells and the immune system to identify novel strategies that will result in better treatments. While tumor cells exhibit several mechanisms to subvert or hide from the immune system, we are increasing our ability to understand these mechanisms with the goal of enhancing the power of the patient’s immune system to eliminate the tumor. Support from the Steven G AYA Research Grant has given me this tremendous opportunity to work with Dr. Huang and the lab environment that he has created, which is the BEST environment possible to achieve these goals.

Poster Presentations
Askew D, Su CA, Barkauskas D, Myers J, Liou R, Chang N, and Huang AY. 2013. Dynamic regulation of CCR5 expression in naïve T cells within inflamed lymph nodes is essential for memory CD8 T cells. Case ShowCase

Askew D, Othman Y, Durand D, Barkauskas D, Myers J, Wang G, Zhou L, and Huang AY. 2013. Identification and characterization of CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells generated through constitutive expression of intracellular NOTCH1. Case Cancer Center Retreat
Askew D, Othman Y, Durand D, Barkauskas D, Myers J, Wang G, Zhou L, and Huang AY. 2013. Identification and characterization of CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells generated through constitutive expression of intracellular NOTCH1. Case Immunology Training Program (Selected as 1 of 3 Best posters)
Askew D, Othman Y, Durand D, Barkauskas D, Myers J, Wang G, Zhou L, and Huang AY. 2013. Identification and characterization of CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells generated through constitutive expression of intracellular NOTCH1. Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance
Manuscripts (In Press)
Scrimieri, F, Askew D, Corn DJ, Eid S, Bobanga ID, Bjelac JA, Tsao ML, Othman YS, Wang SG, Huang AY. Murine Leukemia Virus Envelope Gp70 is a Shared Biomarker for High-sensitivity Detection and Quantification of Murine Tumors. OncoImmunology 2013 (In Press).

Manuscripts in Preparation
1. Askew D, Pareek T, Eid S, Myers J, Keller M, Guirdo-Wolff R, Huang AY, Letterio JJ and Cooke KR. A novel role for lymphocyte expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in the generation of allogeneic T cell responses after BMT.
2. Askew D, Su CA, Nthale J, Liou R, Barkauskas D, Myers J, and Huang AY. Transient surface CCR5 expression in naïve T cells within inflamed lymph nodes is dependent on LFA-1 and augments helper T-cell dependent memory response
3. Askew D, Eid S, Keller M, Guirdo-Wolff R, and Cooke KR. Conventional splenic dendritic cell subsets direct development of graft-versus-host disease.

Research Support

Current
1. NIH R01 – HL111682 – Novel Mechanism of immune activation following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. P.I. John Letterio
2. Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Grant (2012-2013; $15,000)
Pending
NIH R21 –NCI. Role of triterpenoids in regulating relapse and engraftment after stem cell transplant. P.I. – David Askew

HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR!

Dear Friends,

As 2012 comes to a close it is not uncommon to reflect on what the New Year will bring us.  We create a list of goals to accomplish and try to prioritize them. If you were to ask me what was at the top my list there would be one word:

 HOPE!

HOPE for our children (young and old).

HOPE for our RESEARCHERS as they spend endless hours in the laboratory trying to find ways to isolate and stop cancer in its tracks!

HOPE for our ONCOLOGISTS as they treat our children with latest methods available.

HOPE for our NURSES, SOCIAL WORKERS and PSYCHOLOGISTS as they endlessly care for our children.

HOPE for the helpless PARENTS who ache for their CHILDREN.

HOPE IS MY PRIORITY. 

WITHOUT HOPE WE HAVE NOTHING!

Please join us in creating HOPE as we continue to support our researchers, doctors, and staff in 2013!

We will fight cancer!

We will conquer cancer!

We will cure cancer!

FIGHT! CONQUER! CURE!!!

See you on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 for our Annual Fundraiser as we

TAKE A BITE OUT OF AYA CANCER!!

Thank you,

Angie

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