DF/HCC eNews
Fall 2006

Spotlight: B-Cell Lymphomas
News and Events
Foci of Cancer Research Research Highlights
More on Cores New Faces
Nodes and Synergies Save the Date




New funding accelerates research on B-cell lymphomas
  Grants and philanthropic donations -- the fiscal engine of cancer research -- fuel scientific discoveries in the lab and new therapies in the clinic that might otherwise remain stalled. Recently, researchers in the DF/HCC Lymphoma and Myeloma Program gained greater traction on the battlefield against B-cell lymphomas from three sources: the competitive renewal of an NCI program project grant, a new Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a generous gift from a private donor. more




BIDMC: Exploiting biology to outwit cancer

  "Our central vision in the Cancer Center is translating the research of basic scientists into the solution of clinical problems," says Lowell Schnipper, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as deputy associate director for Clinical Sciences and member of the Executive Committee at DF/HCC. To fulfill that vision, numerous research programs are driving discovery from the bench to the bedside at this 100-year-old institution. Three areas of excellence, in particular, are exploiting the biology of cancer -- to outwit it. more




Analyzing the pathology of tumors


"Detailed analysis of tumor tissue plays an essential role in cancer research, from discovery of disease mechanisms to evaluation of new therapies," says Jon Aster, director of the Specialized Histopathology Services Core. Two sites (Longwood and MGH) perform a spectrum of tissue-based services including processing, histological staining, and immunohistochemistry. Longwood also offers in situ hybridization, automated blood-cell counting for rodent and non-human primate samples, and access to a laser-capture microdissection system; both sites offer expert pathology consultation and interpretation assistance. For information about the Longwood Core, contact Donna Skinner, for the MGH Core, contact Candice Romany. To create a new account, visit our website and follow these instructions (PDF).



  Searching the proteome for answers

When translational researchers recently sought to identify biomarkers for hepatocellular cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome, they knew exactly where to turn. The Cancer Proteomics Core uses the most advanced functional proteomics tools to profile, fractionate, identify, and quantify proteins and to discover and validate biomarkers from a variety of samples (serum, plasma, urine, CSF, tumor tissue, cell lysates). The Core's comprehensive services also include customized consultation and education. For more information, visit our website or contact Core director Towia Libermann or John Asara.


  Applying the art of communication to your science
  Do you need a recruitment poster or an educational booklet? An interactive website or a CD-ROM? The Health Communication Core can help. The Core's creative team -- with expertise in writing, graphic design, website development, translation coordination, and a host of other unique communication services -- will help you connect more effectively with the audiences that benefit from your research. For information on how your studies can become more successful through the art of communication, e-mail Core manager Brad Kaiser.




DF/HCC members now lead 7 SPOREs, 32 PO1 grants

Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) promote interdisciplinary collaboration that moves basic research findings from the laboratory to clinical settings, while program project grants support multidisciplinary, long-term efforts directed toward a range of problems with a central research focus. For more information, see SPOREs and PO1s.



Cores' services help advance cancer research

Core Facilities -- central laboratories that each perform a specific set of services -- serve DF/HCC members across all seven institutions to increase interactivity among investigators, execute project-related experiments, and provide expert advice and consultation. Because Cores play a key role in facilitating multi-investigator, inter-institutional collaboration, they are essential elements of disease programs as well as SPORE and PO1 grant activities. For more information, see List of Cores and List of Core Directors.

  DF/HCC launches Disparities website for researchers
  The DF/HCC Initiative to Eliminate Health Disparities (IECD) has many programs but one primary goal -- to eliminate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in cancer care and prevention. The IECD recently launched a website to disseminate information and support researchers' efforts to end cancer disparities. We invite you to explore the website to learn more about IECD events - and how to get involved.




DF/HCC External Advisory Board Meeting

October 17-18, 2006
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (10/17) and

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (10/18)

Smith 308, DFCI


DF/HCC "Pipelines in Oncology"
Note:  These presentations are designated for DF/HCC members only.

October 19

4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Dana 1620, DFCI  (videoconference to Haber Room, MGH)

December 19

4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Dana 1620, DFCI  (videoconference to Haber Room, MGH) 


Welcome to the third edition of eNews

Providing cancer researchers "news to use" and informing individuals who have an interest in supporting DF/HCC's innovative research programs.


Please send us your feedback


Submit story ideas

Previous edition




Four DF/HCC scientists elected to the Institute of Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences announced October 9 that Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD (CHB), Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH (BWH/HSPH), Stephen Elledge, PhD (BWH), and Robert Martuza, MD (MGH), were among 65 new members elected to the Institute of Medicine. Upon election, one of the most prestigious honors in medicine and health, members commit to serving on IOM study committees, which advise policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. more


Segal wins Pioneer Award for studies of mitogenic niche

In September, Rosalind Segal, MD, PhD (DFCI), professor of neurobiology, received the 2006 NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a five-year, $2.5 million grant given to an outstanding scientist who pioneers new approaches to biomedical research. Segal's research has shown, in studies of the developing brain, that a well-characterized mitogenic niche (the microenvironment of stem cells) requires carbo- hydrates to develop and grow normal cells - as well as tumor cells. more


Interdisciplinary symposium targets PI3K pathway

On October 4, the Center Scientific Council (CSC) hosted a symposium titled "Targeting the PI3K Pathway for Cancer Therapy," the first of a quarterly series of workshops on emerging avenues of interdisciplinary research. Chaired by Lewis Cantley, PhD (BIDMC), the event featured presentations on PI3K/PTEN in breast cancer, identifying PI3K-activated tumors, mouse models for PI3K-driven tumors, and clinical trials of PI3K inhibitors. more

Program matches mentors to minority students

Capping a rigorous nine weeks of research, 21 students recently presented their findings to an audience of scientists and lab mates, family and friends. Under the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, sponsored by the NCI, promising high school and college students from under-
represented populations can sample the intellectual excitement of biomedical research firsthand.



For details, click on links.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center -- Rapamycin shown to inhibit angiogenesis

Brigham and Women's Hospital -- New tool helps determine risk of colon cancer

Children's Hospital Boston -- Genetic profile predicts outcomes in some cancers

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute -- Study suggests novel way of preventing skin cancer

Harvard Medical School -- Hunt for DNA amplified in cancers uncovers target gene

Harvard School of Public Health -- Analyses confirm breast density estimates breast cancer risk

Massachusetts General Hospital -- Prostate cancer drug raises heart, diabetes risk


New Faces


Eleven new members join DF/HCC community
Since June, 11 individuals from our seven member institutions and academic partners have joined DF/HCC -- adding new expertise to the collaborative effort to conquer cancer. To learn more about these scientists and their areas of research interest,
click here.

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
DF/HCC Office of Communications
44 Binney Street, BP332A
Boston, MA 02115