Committed to Excellence in Cancer Research, Education and Patient Care
May 2018
Tulane Cancer Center Now Offering
Imaging Tool to Detect Recurring Prostate Cancer
Oliver Sartor, MD, heads the Prostate Cancer Research Program at Tulane Cancer Center.
Tulane Cancer Center is one of the first in the region to offer the latest PET imaging tool to detect recurring prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men. While most primary prostate cancer is successfully treated through surgery and/or radiation therapy, the disease recurs in up to one-third of patients and can metastasize to other parts of the body.

“Once a patient has undergone traditional prostate cancer treatments, we continue to monitor them with periodic PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood tests,” said Dr. Oliver Sartor , medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center . “If the cancer comes back, we can detect that through the PSA test, but the whereabouts of the recurring cancer cannot always be located through conventional imaging.”

Axumin™ (fluciclovine F-18) is an FDA-approved molecular imaging agent that is designed to specifically target prostate cancer cells. The drug is administered to a patient prior to a PET scan via an injection.

“Axumin is a synthetic amino acid that is drawn like a magnet to prostate cancer cells,” said Dr. Olga P. Molchanova-Cook, chief of nuclear medicine in the Tulane University School of Medicine Department of Radiology. “The prostate cancer cells absorb the drug, making the cells visible on a PET scan so we can see if and where the cancer is located and how quickly it’s spreading.”

“The more accurately we can detect the location of recurring prostate cancer, the better we can potentially pinpoint treatments – which can increase the chances of a more positive outcome,” Dr. Sartor added.

Beginning at age 50, men at average risk (those with no family history) for developing prostate cancer should begin to discuss the pros and cons of screening with their doctor. Men at high risk for developing prostate cancer should begin discussing screening even sooner.
"The more accurately we can detect the location of recurring prostate cancer, the better we can potentially pinpoint treatments..."
Oliver Sartor, M.D.
Grant Supports Smoking Cessation Education for Outpatient Mental Health Facilities
Michael Hoerger plans to combine statewide data analysis, stakeholder input and resources such as the Louisiana QUITLINE to design a smoking cessation education program for outpatient mental health facilities.
Michael Hoerger, PhD, MSCR, assistant professor of psychology, psychiatry and oncology, was recently awarded a one-year, $63,000 pilot grant from the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium to develop a smoking cessation education program for outpatient mental health settings.

"There is a tremendous need for psychologists to get involved in research focused on smoking cessation so that we can prevent advanced cancers, such as lung and head and neck cancers," said Hoerger. "Of people who have a mental health diagnosis, including mood disorders, depression, anxiety or adjustment disorders, half smoke cigarettes. This is much higher than the national average of 16-20% of American adults who smoke."

So Hoerger and his team, including PhD student Brittany Cullen, aim to partner with the Louisiana Public Health Institute to analyze data from the statewide Adult Tobacco Survey - a detailed questionnaire completed by thousands across the state regarding their smoking habits - what they're smoking, how many cigarettes they smoke in a given time period, how many quit attempts they've had, etc. This will provide insight about the behavior of individuals who say they are ready to quit - "an important goal because when we design an intervention, it will be based on what smokers' habits actually look like so we're meeting them in the right place," said Hoerger.

Once the data analysis is complete, Hoerger and his team will discuss their findings with a "stakeholder advisory board" consisting of people who have mental health diagnoses, as well as clinicians, and family members to get their opinions on the data as well as suggestions on how best to support mental health outpatients in quitting.

"Our ultimate goal is to bring together the data findings, the stakeholder opinions and other statewide smoking cessation resources, such as the Louisiana QUITLINE, to develop an educational program specifically tailored to a setting where many people are smoking," said Hoerger. "Hopefully, over time, this effort will help reduce the incidence of advanced cancers due to tobacco use in this state."
It's All About The Pink -
3rd Annual Pink Bra Run Supports Breast Cancer Research
These Pink Ladies - including Krewe de Pink President Carol Osborne (third from the left) and State Representative Julie Stokes (fourth from the left) - definitely got into the spirit of the occasion.
A huge "Thank You" and "Congratulations" to all the members of Krewe de Pink!

Their Third Annual Pink Bra Run, held Mother's Day Weekend, was a huge success - raising not only important research dollars, but breast cancer awareness and the spirits of everyone who attended this fun and meaningful event!

Over 200 walkers and runners - many of them sporting pink bras, blinged out and otherwise - followed State Representative and breast cancer survivor Julie Stokes onto the 5K course along the Mississippi River levee in Algiers. As participants crossed the finish line, they received a special medal plus the satisfaction of knowing they are part of a team working together to cure breast cancer.

Proceeds from this event plus Krewe de Pink's "Pink Prom," which takes place in the fall, benefit the Breast Cancer Research Fund at Tulane Cancer Center. To date, the organization has contributed $30,000 to support Dr. Bridgette Collins-Burow's work on triple-negative breast cancer.

"I am truly humbled by Krewe de Pink's generous donation," said Collins-Burow, associate professor of medicine. "It's amazing to witness their dedication and passion, and their support has been incredibly important to our research."

You can help support Krewe de Pink's mission by "going to the Prom" with them on Saturday, September 29! Visit for details.

To view's coverage of the Pink Bra Run, please click here .
Attending last fall's Krewe de Pink check presentation were (from left): Matthew Burow, PhD; Bridgette Collins-Burow, MD, PhD; Carol Osborne; Prescott Deininger, PhD, and Julie Sanford.
Cancer Crusaders Donate $169,000
to Tulane/LSU Cancer Research Programs
2017 Cancer Crusaders Co-Presidents Mickey Rodriguez (second from left) and Brenda Higgins (second from right) presented LSU's Augusto Ochoa, MD, (far left) and Tulane Cancer Center Director Prescott Deininger, PhD, (far right) with a check for $169,100 at the organization's recent General Membership Meeting.
The Cancer Crusaders recently presented Drs. Augusto Ochoa of LSU and Prescott Deininger, Tulane Cancer Center director, with a check for $169,100, proceeds from the organization's 2017 fundraising initiatives.

This non-profit, all volunteer group was founded in 1976 for the purpose of raising funds for cancer research in the New Orleans area. Because Louisiana has such a high incidence of cancer mortality, the Crusaders feel it is imperative that priority be placed on research conducted and supported by those to whom it directly relates and whom it will ultimately benefit. Proceeds raised - which are in excess of $4 million to date - are split equally and donated annually to the cancer research programs at Tulane and LSU.

"To say that their annual gift is critical to our mission is an understatement," said Deininger. "It not only provides vital discretionary funds that we can use where they’re needed most at any given time, but equally as important, it represents a vote of confidence. We promise to continue to use this funding judiciously in the pursuit of our joint mission to eliminate cancer through research, and I am deeply thankful for the faith they have placed in our work."
Prescott Deininger, PhD, Tulane Cancer Center director, received the 2018 Pioneer Award as part of the NIH-sponsored Advanced Training Course Frontiers in Stem Cells in Cancer, held recently at Xavier University. This annual program instructs promising trainees from predominantly under-represented communities in sophisticated technologies for clinically relevant discoveries in cancer. Dr. Deininger lectured on Genetic Instability of the Human Genome in Cancer as part of the program. The goal was to provide experience in laboratory techniques, career mentoring, and awareness of the ethical-legal-societal impact of cancer and stem cell research.
Tulane dermatologist Erin Boh, MD, was recently named the Outstanding Physician/Clinician of the Year by the National Psoriasis Foundation for her tireless efforts to help patients and advance new treatments for the chronic autoimmune disease. Dr. Boh, chair of the Department of Dermatology, has ongoing clinical trials for cutaneous T- cell lymphoma, as well as psoriasis and other dermatologic diseases . She has authored many chapters in dermatology textbooks and is an outstanding advocate for psoriatic patients, as well as those with lymphoma, skin cancer and other dermatologic conditions.
Each year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recognizes 10 "Belles" and 10 "Beaus" who are among the top in their fields due to their education, experience, community service, and commitment to the American Cancer Society mission. This year, Tammuella Singleton, MD, Tulane pediatric hematologist oncologist, has been selected as a "Belle" honoree. Dr. Singleton and her fellow honorees will be formally recognized at the annual ACS Belles & Beaus Ball, taking place September 28 at Mardi Gras World. Proceeds benefit the ACS Hope Lodge, a unique home-away-from-home for cancer patients who travel to New Orleans for treatment.
Michele Fradella, RD, CSO, LDN, was recently honored by the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (LAND) as a Recognized Young Dietition of the Year.
Fradella, who is a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, is also 2017-2018 president of the New Orleans Dietetic Association and a LAND Board member. She was nominated by colleagues for her leadership in nutritional legislation, research, public relations, education, community outreach, and management . Formal recognition of this honor was made at the LAND Business Meeting and Awards Breakfast, held April 10 in Baton Rouge.
Calendar of Events
Saturday, September 15
Thursday, October 11
Tulane offers free prostate screenings - a PSA blood test - on the second Tuesday of each month at Tulane Comprehensive Cancer Clinic, 150 S. Liberty St., New Orleans. To make an appointment, call 504-988-6300 or 1-800-588-5800.
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