Read the latest news from the Division of Hematology/Oncology including awards, publications and announcements.
A team of scientists has demonstrated the mechanism by which ETO2-GLIS2, a gene fusion, promotes the development of an aggressive form of pediatric leukemia. The findings, published in Cancer Cell, also reveal an opportunity for the development of therapeutics.
The study was co-authored by John Crispino, PhD, the Robert I. Lurie, MD, and Lora S. Lurie Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology.
Children with allergies to vaccines, and individuals with weak or compromised immune systems, rely on "herd immunity" for protection from disease. "Statistically, there are significant increases in vaccine-preventable diseases during modern times when the numbers of vaccinations in certain areas dropped," says Shikha Jain, M.D., a hematologist and oncologist at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In other words, when everyone else is vaccinated, it provides "indirect protection to those who are unable to receive the vaccine," she says. that survivors are living longer.
A new study has provided yet more evidence that survivors of endometrial cancer should be closely monitored for cardiovascular disease. These women are at higher risk for various long-term cardiovascular problems compared with their cancer-free counterparts, especially phlebitis and thrombophlebitis, pulmonary heart disease, hypotension, and atrial fibrillation.
In providing a rationale for their study, the research team from New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital, Northwestern Medicine, and the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, pointed to the “particularly concerning effect” posed by cancer therapy–related cardiac dysfunction now that survivors are living longer.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) might help identify bladder cancer patients who may not be cured by radical cystectomy alone, researchers in Germany suggest.
Dr. Sabine Riethdorf of University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf told Reuters Health, “Analyzing peripheral blood for CTCs has gained attraction not only for detection of occult micrometastatic disease and estimation of prognosis, but also for therapeutic decision-making.”
“As results of our study show,” she said by email, “the presence of CTCs before radical cystectomy might identify urethelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) patients in need of aggressive adjuvant chemo-, radio- or targeted therapy irrespective of histological subtype of the tumor.
Dr. Shikha Jain of Northwestern Medicine in Chicago told Reuters Health, “This study had a small sample size with short-term follow up. There were limited patients in the variant UCB histology group, which the authors agree may have affected the results. Patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy were also not included in this study.” -
Genetic testing in its various forms may be used to identify increased risk of health problems, choose treatments, or assess responses to treatment.
From the clinician side, more investigation is necessary to optimize the use of biomarkers. “Although the technology is available, a significant investment in bioinformatics is necessary to achieve analytical and technical validity of testing,” says Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, associate director for precision medicine and translational research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Furthermore, linking clinical data to genomic data will ultimately prove the clinical utility of testing and provide the rationale for identifying biological information—in view of the fact that testing will reflect disease biology and represent a false negative or false positive result.” On the positive side, “The rate of error is decreasing tremendously due to the large number of patients being treated and improvements in technology.”
Northwestern Medicine scientists showed how bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family proteins regulate collagen I production and fibrosis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the deadliest cancer.
This study was co-lead by Krishan Kumar in the Munshi Lab. Other Northwestern Medicine co-authors include Brian DeCant and Kazumi Ebine, members of the Munshi Lab, David Bentrem, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, and HG Munshi, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine. Read more
- On September 26, faculty of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine presented a panel discussion on gastrointestinal (GI) cancer research, treatment, and novel trials to supporters and friends of Northwestern Medicine. In welcoming the attendees and panel, Frank Giles, MD, professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Deputy Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, noted that a key focus at Northwestern University and Northwestern Medicine was to advance the array of sciences needed to understand human malignancies while translating such insights into better therapies for our patients. “We are a patient-first group,” he said.
Expert Addresses Common Misconceptions About Medical Marijuana Use in Patients With CancerThe use of medical marijuana, which is available in more than a dozen states across America, is surrounded by stigma, questions and misconceptions.
After polling our readers on what they would like to know about the substance and its use for patients with cancer, CUREinterviewed Judith Paice, Ph.D., R.N., research professor, Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
Paice discussed the process, cost, usage and benefits of marijuana usage for patients with cancer.
Lefkofsky startup takes on cancer
Eric Lefkofsky is bringing his genomics startup, Tempus, out of stealth mode, announcing today its first partnership, with Northwestern University's cancer center.
Several other hospital collaborations are expected to be announced soon as the chairman and former CEO of Groupon embarks on his most ambitious venture ever—utilizing Big Data to help physicians tailor cancer treatment based on a patient's own genetic profile.
Lefkofsky, who co-founded Groupon and such other e-commerce companies as InnerWorkings and Echo Global Logistics with longtime business partner Brad Keywell, launched the health care software startup late last year. Since then, he quietly has built a company with a headcount approaching 100, heavy on Ph.D.s and data scientists, and a 20,000-square-foot genomics lab in the River North building that houses Groupon and Lightbank, the partners' venture fund.