Frontiers Winter 2010

Role Change: Providing an opportunity for leaders to experience life with cancer

Cancer still kills more than 560,000 Americans every year. Progress against this deadly disease is linked hand-in-glove with funding for cancer research. Higher funding levels are needed, and that requires the support of the public and of state and federal legislative leaders.

One of my initiatives as president of the American Association of Cancer Institutes is to promote an advocacy program called Project Cancer Education. Developed here at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), this two-hour curriculum offers legislative and opinion leaders an opportunity to experience life as a cancer patient or caregiver. They also gain a greater understanding of translational research, the relationship between research and patient care, and the need for clinical trials access and additional cancer research funding. For information about Project Cancer Education, write to us at

I am pleased to report that the OSUCCC-James leukemia program achieved distinction this summer when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded a five-year, $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to principal investigator John C. Byrd, MD, and co-principal investigators Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, and Guido Marcucci, MD. This is only the second SPORE grant to be directed at leukemia research. This issue of Frontiers as information about the outstanding research this grant supports.

This issue’s cover story describes the work of Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, an OSUCCC – James researcher who has done much to establish the link between oral human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancer.

Finally, travel to a Borneo rainforest, then back to The Ohio State University laboratory of A. Douglas Kinghorn, PhD, DSc, to follow the discovery of a natural product that shows unique antileukemic activity.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Frontiers as much as we enjoy presenting the research it describes.

Direct-to-Consumer Genomics

It is difficult to watch television these days without seeing advertisements for pharmaceuticals. Recently, companies began marketing another type of healthcare product directly to consumers: genetic testing.

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Translational Teamwork

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute a five-year, $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study and treat leukemia.

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Accrual Under Way

A targeted, oral, anticancer drug developed by cancer researchers at The Ohio State University is being tested in a phase I clinical trial to assess its safety and early evidence of activity.

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By the Numbers

Plastic surgeons at The Ohio State University are turning to mathematics to ensure that live tissue selected to restore damaged body parts has enough blood and oxygen to survive the surgical transfer.

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Under the Influence

A study led by Ohio State University cancer researchers is the first to show that gene alterations in stromal fibroblasts can foster tumor growth. This work provides the first mouse model that accurately represents the tumor microenvironment found in human breast cancer.

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Viral Vexation

A virus discovered in a rare skin cancer also has been found in people with the second most common form of skin cancer among Americans.

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Receptor Role Revealed

A study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reveals how malignant prostate tumors gain the ability to progress in the absence of androgen.

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Of Note

A listing of the recent recognitions of OSUCCC – James physicians and researchers.

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Shedding New Light

The throat seemed an odd site for a virus linked to cervical cancer, yet several small studies published in the 1990s reported finding human papillomavirus (HPV) in squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx.

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Fractionating Forests

In August 2000, Drs. Soedarsono Riswan and Leonardus B.S. Kardono, both of the Indonesian Institute of Science, led a small crew into a remote rainforest of Indonesian Borneo on a plant-collecting expedition for a U.S. National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group (NCDDG) project.

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The Right Collaboration

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia among adults in the United States, have few therapeutic alternatives despite decades of research.

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Bench to Bedside: From the Laboratory to the Pharmacy

The overall survival of patients with advanced HCC who have progressed following sorafenib therapy, or who are intolerant to it, will be superior for those randomized to receive brivanib plus best supportive care as compared with patients who receive placebo plus best supportive care.

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Breaking Ground

In September, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved architecture and construction plans for ProjectONE, a $1 billion expansion project that will include a 17-story tower to house a new 276-bed James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute spread over seven floors.

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Helping Hands

The Clinical Treatment Unit and the Clinical Trials Processing Laboratory (CTU/CTPL) Shared Resources provide support to investigators conducting phase I and phase II clinical translational research studies at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

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Ride Wraps Up

The 2,265 cyclists who participated in the inaugural Pelotonia bicycling excursion came from 31 states and Canada. The youngest rider was 11 and the oldest was 77, and they included renowned cycling champion and honorary chair Lance Armstrong.

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