Committed to Excellence in Cancer Research, Education and Patient Care
Inroads
November 2018
Prostate Cancer Patients Target of New
$1.6M Tulane Study
J. Quincy Brown, associate professor of biomedical engineering, will work with engineers, mathematicians and clinicians to develop a tool to assure that tumors are completely removed during surgery. (Story by Barri Bronston; photo by Ryan Rivet)
A Tulane University researcher has won a $1.6 million grant to develop a tool that could lower tumor recurrence in cancer patients, especially those with prostate cancer.

J. Quincy Brown, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering, will join forces with what he calls an interdisciplinary “dream team” of engineers, mathematicians and clinicians to develop a rapid microscopy scanner to assure that tumors are completely removed during surgery.

The four-year grant is from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

“Cancer patients often undergo surgery to remove the tumor as a first strategy for cure,” Brown said. “Removing the tumor completely during surgery is an important goal to achieve. Yet it is difficult to determine in real-time if tumor removal is successful due to the lack of available tools. Leaving tumor behind in the patient can contribute to the cancer coming back and need for additional harmful treatment.”

Brown said assuring total tumor removal is especially important in prostate cancer surgery, during which the surgeon is trying to remove all of the cancer while leaving behind nerves and vessels that are important for the patient’s quality of life after surgery.

If successful, the new device will scan the entire prostate surface for residual tumor within 10 minutes of removal. It will provide a Google maps-style image of the entire organ surface that will enable doctors to determine, down to the single cell level, whether any tumor has been left behind in the patient. Once completed, Brown and his team will test the device on 250 patients.

Tulane collaborators on the project are pathologist Dr. Andrew Sholl, urologist Dr. Jonathan Silberstein and mathematics professor Michelle Lacey. The team also includes Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and Dr. Jonathan Epstein, a pathologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
“Cancer patients often undergo surgery to remove the tumor as a first strategy for cure. Removing the tumor completely during surgery is an important goal to achieve.”
-J. Quincy Brown, PhD
Tulane Opens Novocure Trial for Patients with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The Novocure Trial evaluates the safety and efficacy of Tumor Treating Fields in combination with standard of care treatment for some stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer patients who have progressed during or after platinum-based treatment.
Tulane Cancer Center is offering a new clinical trial for some patients who have been diagnosed with progression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) during or after platinum-based therapy.
 
The Novocure Trial is a phase III randomized study that will evaluate the safety and efficacy of tumor treating fields (TTFs) when added to either an immune checkpoint inhibitor or docetaxel, which are normally given to patients in this condition.
 
TTFs are low-intensity electric fields delivered using a small device. The fields are directed to the body region where the cancer is located and are intended to kill dividing cancer cells.
 
The therapy is delivered using transducer arrays, which attach to the skin of the patient. The arrays are completely hidden beneath clothing and are replaced two to three times per week with the help of a caregiver or device support specialist. The treatment is continuous until the patient or physician decides it should stop.
 
The device generating TTFs - the NovoTTF-100L - is lightweight, user-friendly and portable, allowing patients to maintain most of their daily routines.
 
"Anything we can do to improve outcomes for patients with lung cancer makes a huge impact. This trial is unique and I'm excited that we are able to offer it to our patients,"  said Kendra Harris, MD , interim chair of Radiation Oncology and principal investigator on the study, which will enroll 534 patients across approximately 100 centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel.
 
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups:
 
The TTF Group - Patients receive chemotherapy or immunotherapy with TTFs
 
The Control Group - Patients receive chemotherapy or immunotherapy alone
 
For more information on the Novocure Trial, including inclusion criteria, please contact Dr. Kendra Harris at 504-988-6300; 504-988-1070; 504-439-1111 or kharris11@tulane.edu . Or contact Study Coordinator Elise Tatje at 504-988-2987 or etatje@tulane.edu .
The Great American Smokeout ® -
Quitting Starts Here!
Tulane Cancer Center encourages smokers to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by making a plan to quit smoking during the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout ® - November 15, 2018.

“The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit smoking cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco,” said Prescott Deininger, PhD, director of the Tulane Cancer Center. “We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to quit.”

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined.

Quitting is hard. Getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications can double or triple your chances of quitting successfully. Support is also important. Smoking cessation programs, telephone quit lines, the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors or coaches can be a great help.

Tulane Cancer Center is partnering with the American Cancer Society, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support as people make their plan to quit. More information is available at cancer.org/smokeout or by calling 1-800-227-2345.
8th Annual Blue Ribbon Soiree Sets Record,
Raising $130K for Prostate Cancer Research
Dr. Oliver Sartor (second from right) toasts and thanks the members of the Blue Ribbon Soiree Organizing Committee for a record-setting fundraising year!
Our deepest thanks go to the organizing committee members, donors, volunteers and other supporters of the 8th Annual Blue Ribbon Soiree , which raised a record $130,000 this year to support prostate cancer research, screenings and patient care.

Dr. Oliver Sartor's Prostate Cancer Research Program is the primary beneficiary of this event, which has raised a cumulative total of approximately $700K since their first year.
 
Several hundred guests packed the grand ballroom of the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, enjoying a food and wine experience, including a menu of scrumptious bites and all varieties of spirits from over 20 local vendors, as well as live and silent auctions, raffles, a cork pull and more!

The event is held each year in memory of Joel Nasca and Larry Ferachi, dear friends of many of the organizing committee members and former patients of Dr. Sartor's, who unfortunately lost their battles with prostate cancer.
 
"It's difficult to adequately express my gratitude for the support provided by the Soiree or the importance of this effort to my team's research progress," said Oliver Sartor, MD , assistant dean for oncology and head of Tulane's Prostate Cancer Research Program. "To have the commitment and resolve of such a tremendously motivated group behind us is simply invaluable to our efforts. We know you are with us every step of the way, and that level of encouragement pushes us forward and sharpens our focus each and every day. We can't say 'thank you' enough!" 

Join us next year! Visit www.blueribbonsoiree.com for more information!
Jolene Thompson, Joleen Hays, and Gracie Rigell prepare a champagne welcome for Soiree guests as they enter the ballroom.
The Blue Ribbon Soiree is a year-long labor of love for planning committee members (back row, from left) Jude Bernhard, Ricky Lato, Gretta Blankenship, Ronnie Maranto, and Daniel Williams, and (front row, from left) Jen Hebert, Heather Termini, Kathy Lato, Janey Nasca, and Joleen Hays.
Pictured above are long-time Soiree supporters (from left) Frances and Gary McConnell and Jo and Brad Lanehart.
Krewe de Pink Celebrates New Orleans-Style, Donating $35K to Breast Cancer Research!
Members of Krewe de Pink presented Tulane Cancer Center with a check at their recent Breast Cancer Survivors and Supporters Second Line & Party at the French Quarter Hard Rock Cafe.
Krewe de Pink , a local grassroots organization dedicated to raising awareness and important breast cancer research funds, donated $35,000 to Tulane Cancer Center at their recent survivors and supporters party and check presentation at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The event, which included a celebratory second line throughout the French Quarter, capped off another successful year of fundraising for the organization, which hosts two signature events - the Pink Bra Run, held annually on the Saturday before Mother's Day, and the Pink Prom, held in the Fall. Since 2016, Krewe de Pink has donated a cumulative total of $65,000 to Tulane's Breast Cancer Research Fund.

“At a time when federal funding for biomedical research is harder and harder to come by, philanthropic support is more important to our goals than ever before,” said Bridgette Collins-Burow, MD, PhD , associate professor of medicine, whose research is partially supported by Krewe de Pink. “It bolsters me and my research team to know that we have such dedicated and enthusiastic partners and friends assisting us along the way.” 

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 266,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.

"On behalf of our breast cancer researchers and the community we serve, I salute the exceptional Krewe de Pink members," said Prescott Deininger, PhD , Tulane Cancer Center director, "and I pledge that their efforts will continue to meaningfully impact the course of breast cancer research at Tulane and throughout Louisiana."
Members of Krewe de Pink prepared to celebrate another successful year of raising awareness and important research funds for breast cancer research....
...New Orleans-style!
Accolades
Janan Jayawickramarajah, PhD, professor of chemistry, Mellon Fellow and Tulane Cancer Center contributing faculty member (right), assisted Tulane Mellon Fellow and PhD candidate Taofeeq Adebayo and his collaborators in translating a science textbook from English into Yoruba. The text will be used in Nigerian classrooms beginning this month. To learn more about the project, please click here.
Nutrition Professor and Tulane Cancer Center associate member Diego Rose, PhD, MPH, RD, and collaborators recently released a guide to the best local food and nutrition work. The team wants to assist groups — such as those growing, distributing and marketing food, as well as those educating about healthy choices — to stay informed about what others are doing, in the hope of building synergies through collaboration. To learn more, click here.
Many thanks to the Tulane University Marching Band for proudly wearing pink plumes on their hats in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month during the Tulane Green Wave's home football game on October 20. Band staff also wore pink ribbon lapel pins and the dance team used pink pom poms as symbols of solidarity with those who have been impacted by this disease. (Photo by Bruce France Photography & Videography)


A huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in NOLA Bluedoo 2018, which raised approximately $193,000 for Tulane's Prostate Cancer Research Program!

Enjoy this look back at the fun and the funky...
Calendar of Events
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Friday, December 7, 2018
Saturday, February 16, 2019


Saturday, March 30, 2019
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.
Quick Links
La. State Rep. and breast cancer survivor Julie Stokes served as honorary chair of Krewe de Pink fundraising events this year!