Frontiers Spring 2016

Year Two and Looking Forward

This is our second spring in the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and we can say that this transformational facility is living up to its promise of furthering our research-based patient care.

Following a five-year site review by a National Cancer Institute (NCI) survey team in May 2015, our program again earned an “exceptional” rating, the NCI’s highest descriptor, and we have retained our designation as one of only 45 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers. Accompanying that distinction will be a multimillion NCI grant, which supports the OSUCCC – James scientific leadership and administration, shared research technologies, development of scientific goals, and continued collaboration among our more than 300 interdisciplinary researchers.

Through these exciting times, the pulse of groundbreaking research at the OSUCCC – James has remained steady, as stories in this new Frontiers will show.

Our cover story, for example, examines work by four OSUCCC – James researchers who want to understand the composition and function of the bacterial community, or microbiome, in the mouth, and its role in cancer. The collaborating researchers have evidence that a food-based approach, using a novel black raspberry drink, might help prevent oral cancer. They want to learn whether, and how, the microbiome contributes to this possible preventive effect.

Another story notes that medical advances of the past few years have doubled the one- to two-year survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer—one of the deadliest malignancies—and looks at key contributions of OSUCCC – James researchers in this vitally important but still underfunded area of study.

Reflecting our global reach, a third feature reveals how an OSUCCC – James physician-researcher is contributing to his father’s program to improve education and health care in a village in the West African nation of Cameroon. Their effort is a model of educational improvement, economic development and sustainability.

The OSUCCC – James is in a better position than ever to help change the landscape of cancer care and research in Ohio and beyond as we continue pursuing our vision of a cancer-free world.

Slow on the Uptake

We have a safe, effective vaccine that prevents cervical cancer – let’s use it!

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Do the MATH

A new method for measuring genetic variability within a tumor could help doctors identify patients with aggressive cancers that are more likely to resist therapy, according to a study led by researchers now at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

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Impediment Pathway

A study led by researchers at the OSUCCC – James has identified a regulatory pathway in natural killer (NK) cells that impedes their maturation and homing behavior. NK cells are one of the body’s first lines of defense against viruses and cancer.

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Prostate Prognosticators

A new study has identified a group of molecules in prostate cancer cells that doctors might one day use to distinguish which patients should be treated with radiation therapy (RT) if rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels indicate their cancer has recurred after prostatectomy.

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Mismatch Mutations

Biological changes that knock out genes involved in the repair of damaged DNA might predict who will respond to certain immunotherapy drugs, according to data from a proof-of-principle study co-authored by scientists at the OSUCCC – James.

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Benevolent Biomarker

New findings suggest that a gene called IDH might be a prognostic marker for a rare form of brain cancer. Patients in this study who had a mutated IDH gene lived an average of 7.9 years after diagnosis vs. 2.8 years for patients with unaltered IDH.

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Small Wonders

Nanoparticles packed with a clinically used chemotherapy drug and coated with an oligosaccharide derived from the carapace of crustaceans might target and kill cancer stem-like cells, according to a study led by researchers at the OSUCCC – James.

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Of Note

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

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Ecosystem Restoration

Eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells have long enjoyed positive, intimate associations—including the most intimate of relationships.

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Advances in Pancreatic Cancer

Medical advances of the past few years have doubled the one- to two-year overall survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer, a specialist at The Ohio State University reports.

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Giving Back

An OSUCCC – James physician-researcher contributes to his father’s program to improve education and health care in an African village.

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Bench to Bedside: From the Bench to the Pharmacy

AR-42, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), in combination with an immunomodulator will increase response to therapy in patients with refractory multiple myeloma.

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Biospecimen Services Shared Resource

The OSUCCC Biospecimen Services Shared Resource (BSSR) supports OSUCCC – James researchers by storing, organizing and dispensing biospecimens such as tumor and normal tissue, blood and serum samples, and associated clinical data.

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Michael A Caligiuri MD Elected to Top AACR Leadership Position

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, has been elected president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for 2016-17.

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Bloomfield Gains Major Honors

Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, a Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State, received the 2016 Margaret L. Kripke Legends Award.

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