myCommunity Update
  3rd Quarter, 2012
 In This Issue 

  Cancer Center Member Spotlight
  Clinical Trial Spotlight
  Contact Us
  Countdown to CCSG Progress   Report
  Did You Know?
  Director's Corner
  DOT Highlight
  Feature Story
  Funding Opportunities
  Help Us Help You
  In the News
  Latest Grant Awards
  New Faces
  Program Highlight
  Recent Publications
  Shared Resource Highlight
  Social Networking Tools
  You are Invited...

 Countdown to CCSG Progress Report 


42 days until our Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) Progress Report (non-competing) is due on Nov. 21, 2012.
 Did You Know?  


At any given time, UC Irvine researchers participate in approximately 100 NCI-approved clinical trials for cancer patients, with half developed by UC Irvine faculty members.

 You are Invited...  


Colon DOT Meeting
Oct. 23, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center

Building 3, Room 101

Women’s DOT Meeting
Nov. 9, 11 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 55, Room 212

Scientific Retreat
Nov. 16-17
Hyatt Regency Suites, Palm Springs

Colon DOT Meeting
Nov. 27, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 22, Room 2103

Cancer Connection Holiday Celebration for Adult Cancer Survivors
Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m.
DoubleTree Hotel, Orange

Women’s DOT Meeting
Dec. 14, 11 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 56, Room 113

 Funding Opportunities  


National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Department of Defense (DOD)
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Funding Opportunities

 Latest Grant Awards  


Awards listed are cancer related and more than $100,000 (direct).

Vasan Venugopalan (CPP)
“IGERT: Biophotonics Across Energy, Space, and Time (BEST).”
Total Award: $371,208

Ken Cho (SPT)
“Deciphering BMP Signaling and the Role of Schnurri Transcription Factors using a Deep Sequencing Approach in Xenopus.”
Total Award: $310,751

Bruce Tromberg (OIB)
“Multi-Frequency Synthesis and Orientation Control in SFDI.”
Total Award: $300,000

Alessio Pigazzi (SPT)
“Robotic versus Laparoscopic Resection for Rectal (ROLARR) cancer: An international, multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, unblinded, parallel-group trial of robotic-assisted versus laparoscopic surgery for the curative treatment of rectal cancer”
Total Award: $209,756
University of Leeds

Daniela Bota (CPP)
“UCI 12-01: A Ph II Study of Rindopeplmut/GM-CSF In Patients with Relapsed EGFRvIII-Positive Glioblastoma”
Total Award: $109,404
CellDex Therapeutics

 Recent Publications  


Montorsi F, Wilson TG, Rosen RC, Ahlering TE (CPP), Artibani W, Carroll PR, Costello A, Eastham JA, Ficarra V, Guazzoni G, Menon M, Novara G, Patel VR, Stolzenburg JU, Van der Poel H, Van Poppel H, Mottrie A. “Best Practices in Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy: Recommendations of the Pasadena Consensus Panel.” Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):368-81. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Hopkin AS, Gordon W, Klein RH, Espitia F, Daily K, Zeller M, Baldi P (SPT), Andersen B (SPT). “GRHL3/GET1 and Trithorax Group Members Collaborate to Activate the Epidermal Progenitor Differentiation Program.” PLoS Genet. 2012 Jul;8(7):e1002829. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Chang SJ, Bristow RE (CPP), Ryu HS. “Impact of Complete Cytoreduction Leaving No Gross Residual Disease Associated with Radical Cytoreductive Surgical Procedures on Survival in Advanced Ovarian Cancer.” Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Buchbinder D (CPP), Mertens AC, Zeltzer LK, Leisenring W, Goodman P, Lown EA, Alderfer MA, Recklitis C, Oeffinger K, Armstrong GT, Hudson M, Robison LL, Casillas J. “Cancer prevention and screening practices of siblings of childhood cancer survivors: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Jul;21(7):1078-88. Epub 2012 May 10.

Chen JH (OIB), Chan S, Liu YJ, Yeh DC, Chang CK, Chen LK, Pan WF, Kuo CC, Lin M, Chang DH, Fwu PT, Su MY (OIB). “Consistency of breast density measured from the same women in four different MR scanners.” Med Phys. 2012 Aug;39(8):4886-95.

Pinn-Bingham M, Puthawala AA, Syed AM, Sharma A, Disaia P (CPP), Berman M (AS), Tewari KS (CPP), Randall-Whitis L (SPT), Mahmood U, Ramsinghani N (AS), Kuo J (AS), Chen WP, McLaren CE (CPP). “Outcomes of High-Dose-Rate Interstitial Brachytherapy in the Treatment of Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer: Long-term Results.” Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jul 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Stringari C, Edwards RA (SPT), Pate KT, Waterman ML (SPT), Donovan PJ (SPT), Gratton E (OIB). “Metabolic trajectory of cellular differentiation in small intestine by Phasor Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy of NADH.” Sci Rep. 2012;2:568. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Flick K, Kaiser P (SPT). “Protein degradation and the stress response.” Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Jul;23(5):515-22. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Shim MS, Kwon YJ (OIB). “Stimuli-responsive polymers and nanomaterials for gene delivery and imaging applications.” Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2012 Aug;64(11):1046-59. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Zhang L, Lander AD (SPT), Nie Q (SPT). “A reaction-diffusion mechanism influences cell lineage progression as a basis for formation, regeneration, and stability of intestinal crypts.” BMC Syst Biol. 2012 Jul 31;6:93.

Mues AC, Korets R, Graversen JA, Badani KK, Bird VG, Best SL, Cadeddu JA, Clayman RV, McDougall E, Barwari K, Laguna P, de la Rosette J, Kavoussi L, Okhunov Z, Munver R, Patel SR, Nakada S, Tsivian M, Polascik TJ, Shalhav A, Shingleton WB, Johnson EK, Wolf JS Jr, Landman J (SPT). “Clinical, Pathologic, and Functional Outcomes After Nephron-Sparing Surgery in Patients with a Solitary Kidney: A Multicenter Experience.” J Endourol. 2012 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Liu F (AS), Gomez Garcia AM, Meyskens FL Jr. (CPP) “NADPH oxidase 1 overexpression enhances invasion via matrix metalloproteinase-2 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in melanoma cells.” J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Aug;132(8):2033-41. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.119. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Arai H, Glabe C, Luecke H (CSB). “Crystal structure of a conformation-dependent rabbit IgG Fab specific for amyloid prefibrillar oligomers.” Biochem Biophys Acta. 2012 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang J, Cieplak P, Li J, Cai Q, Hsieh MJ, Luo R (CSB), Duan Y. “Development of polarizable models for molecular mechanical calculations. 4. van der Waals parametrization.” J Phys Chem B. 2012 Jun 21;116(24):7088-101. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Jia Z, Wang Y, Hu Y, McLaren C (CPP), Yu Y, Ye K, Xia XQ, Koziol JA, Lernhardt W, McClelland M (CPP), Mercola D (CPP). “A Sample Selection Strategy to Boost the Statistical Power of Signature Detection in Cancer Expression Profile Studies.” Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2012 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Mehta RS (OIB), Barlow WE, Albain KS, Vandenberg TA, Dakhil SR, Tirumali NR, Lew DL, Hayes DF, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Hortobagyi GN. “Combination anastrozole and fulvestrant in metastatic breast cancer.” N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 2;367(5):435-44.

Ou SH (SPT). “Second-generation irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs): A better mousetrap? A review of the clinical evidence.” Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012 Sep;83(3):407-21. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Eskander RN (AS), Randall LM (SPT), Sakai T, Guo Y, Hoang B (SPT), Zi X (CPP). “Flavokawain B, a novel, naturally occurring chalcone, exhibits robust apoptotic effects and induces G2/M arrest of a uterine leiomyosarcoma cell line.” J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2012 Aug;38(8):1086-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2011.01841.x. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Patel VR, Eckel-Mahan K, Sassone-Corsi P (SPT), Baldi P (SPT). “CircadiOmics: integrating circadian genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.” Nat Methods. 2012 Jul 30;9(8):772-3. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2111.

Kaneko TS, Sehgal V (AS), Skinner HB, Al-Ghazi MS (AS), Ramsinghani NS (AS), Marquez Miranda M, Keyak JH (OIB). “Radioactive bone cement for the treatment of spinal metastases: a dosimetric analysis of simulated clinical scenarios.” Phys Med Biol. 2012 Jul 7;57(13):4387-401. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Kent EE, Sender LS (CPP), Morris RA, Grigsby TJ, Montoya MJ, Ziogas A (CPP), Anton-Culver H (CPP). “Multilevel socioeconomic effects on quality of life in adolescent and young adult survivors of leukemia and lymphoma.” Qual Life Res. 2012 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Lu JV, Walsh CM (SPT). “Programmed necrosis and autophagy in immune function.” Immunol Rev. 2012 Sep;249(1):205-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065X.2012.01147.x.

Donavan KC, Arter JA, Weiss GA (CSB), Penner RM. “Virus-Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) Biocomposite Films.” Langmuir. 2012 Aug 28;28(34):12581-7. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Biegler KA, Anderson AK, Wenzel LB (CPP), Osann K (AS), Nelson EL (OIB). “Longitudinal Change in Telomere Length and the Chronic Stress Response in a Randomized Pilot Biobehavioral Clinical Study: Implications for Cancer Prevention.” Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Wu N, Kong X, Ji Z, Zeng W, Potts PR, Yokomori K (SPT), Yu H. “Scc1 sumoylation by Mms21 promotes sister chromatid recombination through counteracting Wapl.” Genes Dev. 2012 Jul 1;26(13):1473-85.

Rial NS, Zell JA (CPP), Cohen AM, Gerner EW. “Clinical end points for developing pharmaceuticals to manage patients with a sporadic or genetic risk of colorectal cancer.” Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Aug;6(4):507-17.

Ge L, Cornforth AN, Hoa NT, Delgado C, Chiou SK, Zhou YH (SPT), Jadus MR (SPT). "Differential glioma-associated tumor antigen expression profiles of human glioma cells grown in hypoxia.” PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e42661. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Dellinger TH, Planutis K, Jandial DD, Eskander RN (AS), Martinez ME, Zi X (CPP), Monk BJ, Holcombe RF. “Expression of the Wnt antagonist Dickkopf-3 is associated with prognostic clinicopathologic characteristics and impairs proliferation and invasion in endometrial cancer.” Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Aug;126(2):259-67. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

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 Help Us Help You

Employee Bulletin
If you have a new grant, were recently published, won an award, or have other newsworthy items, please let us know so we can publicize them in the newsletter and other media outlets. You deserve the accolades!

Send items to:

 Contact Us  

Jennifer Ivask
Community Outreach Specialist

Alisz Demecs
Extramural Awards Analyst

Jacqueline Tidball
Associate Director, CCSG Administration

 Useful Websites 

UC Irvine Links:
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
   Research Programs
   Shared Resources
   Disease Oriented Teams
Cancer Research Institute
Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS)
Beckman Laser Institute
Network for Translational Research Optical Imaging (NTROI)
Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute (GERI)
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
UC Irvine Healthcare
UC Irvine Health Affairs
UC Irvine School of Medicine
UC Irvine

Organizational Links:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Cooperative Links:
American College of Surgeons Oncology Group
Gynecologic Oncology Group
National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Southwest Oncology Group

 Director's Corner

Sheldon Greenfield, M.D.
Interim Director, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Greenfield As interim director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the cancer center through this time of change and transition. We are currently in the process of a national search for the next director, which is being led by a first-rate search committee.

I have an active role as executive co-director (with my wife, Dr. Sherrie Kaplan) of the Health Policy Research Institute (HPRI) and as Donald Bren Professor of Medicine. The HPRI has made considerable contributions to cancer-related disparities research in the area of medical outcomes and healthcare economics. With more than $3 million in grant funding, Dr. Kaplan and I oversee a vigorous research program.

I was chair of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on Cancer Survivorship. I have also been a leader in studying the impact of comorbidity on patients with prostate cancer, and am now a co-investigator on a national study to perform head-to-head comparisons of prostate cancer treatments, including radiation therapy, in a diverse national sample. The principal contributions by Dr. Kaplan and myself lie in the patient reports of adverse events, and in the heterogeneity of treatment response as determined by factors external to the cancer. In addition to my passion for research and medical education, I still see patients in my primary care practice at Gottschalk Medical Plaza.

I am pleased to work with the cancer center team of dedicated, talented clinicians, scientists and staff who are committed to working together to provide quality patient care and to pursue innovative cancer research that will have the greatest impact on cancer prevention and treatment. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the outstanding basic science and clinical care here at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and I am eager to share new ideas and advances with our cancer center members, colleagues and patients in the next issue of CAncer REsearch.


 Feature Story  
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and CSUF Awarded P20 Grant

Hubbell Congratulations to F. Allan Hubbell, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of medicine, public health, and nursing science at UC Irvine, and Sora Park Tanjasiri, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., professor of health sciences at CSUF, for their P20 grant awarded by the National Cancer Institute. Their project, "CSUF and UCI-CFCCC Partnership for Cancer Health Disparities Research," will establish a collaborative partnership to develop pilot research projects between faculty members at CSUF and UC Irvine's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. This partnership will generate preliminary data for R01 or other competitively funded grant applications and, as part of these projects, will mentor and train early stage investigators at both institutions in cancer health disparities research.

 In the News  

15th Annual Scientific Retreat

Cancer CenterWe are looking forward to seeing you at the 15th annual Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Scientific Retreat. It begins at noon on Friday, Nov. 16 and ends the evening of Saturday, November 17. The retreat will be held at the Hyatt Regency Suites in Palm Springs. The goal of our retreat is to foster scientific and social interactions among faculty, post-docs and students affiliated with the cancer center. Click on the link below to register for the retreat.

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New Deputy Director for Mentoring, Education and Training for Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Lari WenzelThe Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Senior Leadership Council is delighted to announce that Lari Wenzel, Ph.D., is the newly appointed deputy director for mentoring, education and training, beginning September 1.

Wenzel will provide leadership and oversight for the development and administration of the cancer center’s Faculty Mentoring Program. In addition, she will serve as liaison with department chairs and mentoring facilitators.

The Faculty Mentoring Program (FMP) will provide a foundation for the success of junior faculty members (up to assistant professor) at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mentors will include tenured/full clinical and research scholars. Our mentors will have the ability to contribute significantly to the development of their mentees’ research, teaching and clinical skills, particularly with respect to career satisfaction, career management and networking opportunities. The purpose of the FMP is to transition, assist and propel junior members and promote the advancement and retention of the mentees into our next generation of cancer focused academic physicians and research leaders.

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UC Irvine researchers find cause of chemotherapy resistance in melanoma

Lari WenzelUC Irvine dermatologist Dr. Anand Ganesan and colleagues found a genetic pathway in melanoma cells that inhibits the cellular mechanism for detecting DNA damage wrought by chemotherapy, thereby building up tolerance to cancer-killing drugs. Targeting this pathway, comprising the genes RhoJ and Pak1, heralds a new approach to treating the deadly skin cancer, which claims nearly 10,000 U.S. lives each year. Study results appear online in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Greenfield named interim director of Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Greenfield Prof.Dr. Sheldon Greenfield, executive co-director of the Health Policy Research Institute (HPRI) and Donald Bren Professor of Medicine, has been appointed interim director of Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, effective September 1. Greenfield joined UC Irvine in 2003, when he and his wife, Dr. Sherrie Kaplan, were recruited to co-direct the HPRI. Together, they started a Master of Science program in evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research at the School of Medicine. A national search for the next cancer center director is underway.

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Drug combo better for breast cancer

Mehta Postmenopausal women with the most common type of metastatic breast cancer now have a new treatment option that lengthens their lives, according a study led by UC Irvine oncologist Dr. Rita Mehta and conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group. A combination of the two anti-estrogen drugs anastrozole and fulvestrant extended the median survival time of women with stage IV hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer by more than six months, compared to those who underwent standard treatment with anastrozole alone. Both drugs are currently used to treat breast cancer, though not in combination. The researchers think the combination is effective against hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, a subtype that accounts for more than half of all breast cancers.

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Therapy robot's effect on chemo patients

PARO Oncologists at UC Irvine Medical Center are pairing "Paro" — a robotic baby harp seal — with women receiving chemotherapy to study whether the cuddly mechanical creature can ease pain and stress. Researchers plan to enroll 100 women during the yearlong study. Some will read, rest, play video games or watch TV during chemotherapy treatments, while others will be selected to interact with one of four Paro robots donated by the manufacturer. Kirsten Osgood (pictured) is the first patient enrolled in the trial. She recently underwent a grueling 7½-hour chemotherapy session that included a blood transfusion. Paro kept her company. "It was really very comforting," Osgood said of the robot. "The chemo can sometimes be stressful, but the seal made the time fly."

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New UC IRB Reliance Registry

TestTubes The UC IRB Reliance Registry is a new online application designed to facilitate the approval of human subjects research to be conducted under the UC Campuses Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The UC MOU allows human subjects research to be reviewed by one UC IRB rather than submitting for IRB approval at each UC campus where the research will take place.  For more information about when a UC Irvine investigator may request that another UC IRB review his or her application (there are specific criteria that apply) and further details and instructions on the process, please contact Cynthia Mann, regulatory affairs specialist.

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New Vice Dean for UC Irvine School of Medicine

DashDr. Frank Meyskens, founding director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of medicine and the Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. Endowed Chair, has accepted the position of vice dean for UC Irvine School of Medicine. Meyskens has been with UC Irvine for more than two decades. He brought the first National Cancer Institute support grant to UC Irvine nearly 15 years ago and has successfully renewed it twice. In his role as vice dean, Meyskens will work alongside Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the School of Medicine, on matters related to education, research and clinical operations.

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 Clinical Trial Spotlight  
UCI-11-65: “RObotic versus LAparoscopic Resection for Rectal cancer An international, multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, unblinded, parallel-group trial of robotic-assisted versus laparoscopic surgery for the curative treatment of rectal cancer"

Principal Investigator: Alessio Pigazzi, M.D., Ph.D.

The ROLARR trial is an international, multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, parallel-group trial of robot-assisted versus laparoscopic surgery for the curative treatment of rectal cancer. The setup is designed on a "hub-spoke-site" basis with regional spokes in North America (UC Irvine), Southeast Asia (Singapore), and Europe (University of Leeds) feeding into the central Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) located at Leeds. The primary aim of this worldwide trial is to determine whether robotic assistance facilitates rectal cancer resection, as measured by the need to convert to open surgery. Secondary aims include an analysis of the surgical accuracy, safety profile of the two techniques, quality-of-life assessment and preservation of the pelvic organ function, and an analysis of the cost-effectiveness. These short-term outcomes will be analyzed after the last randomized patient has had 6 months of follow-up to provide a timely assessment of the new technology, and made available to the public, clinicians and healthcare providers to inform healthcare decision making. Longer-term outcomes will concentrate on oncological aspects of the disease and its surgical treatment with analysis of disease-free and overall survival and local recurrence rates at 3-year follow-up.

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 Cancer Center Member Spotlight  

The Cancer Center Member Spotlight recognizes the diverse contributions made by the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members in research, education and patient care. The members profiled are examples of the great work being done here, and the dedication and values we possess. To suggest someone to be profiled, please contact Jacqueline Tidball at

Daniela Bota, M.D., Ph.D. (CPP)
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology

Co-Director, Brain Tumor Program

Anand Ganesan Dr. Daniela Bota, a neurological oncologist, is the medical director of UC Irvine’s Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program. She specializes in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors. For the last five years, Bota has led the program in search for effective treatments for neurologic malignancies through both preclinical, translational research and investigator-initiated and consortium, NCI supported clinical trials. Bota continues to engage in cutting-edge bench-to-bedside research in malignant gliomas, leads in the search for effective cancer treatments and develops methods to reverse the prominent cognitive deficits caused by chemotherapy. Bota is the principal investigator for a number of brain tumor clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients at UC Irvine Medical Center.

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 Program Highlight  
Cancer Prevention & Prognosis (CPP)
Program Leaders:
Christine McLaren, Ph.D.
Dan Mercola, M.D.
Working Group Leader:
Michael McClelland, Ph.D.
The Cancer Prevention and Prognosis (CPP) research program held its annual retreat on September 28 to discuss research opportunities and possible collaborations between CPP program members and other research programs at the cancer center. The retreat included several presentations from cancer center members related to their research. In addition, the retreat featured breakout groups discussing projects related to the Health Policy Research Institute, cancer prevention research, personalized medicine, adolescent & young adult cancers, cancer etiology & genomics, and women’s health. The CPP research program continues to benefit cancer research at UC Irvine by actively engaging its membership through this third retreat and impending monthly meetings. The enthusiasm of the program leaders has spread to the members, and new collaborations and discussions for future research projects are evolving.

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 Shared Resource Highlight  
In-Vivo Functional Onco-Imaging Shared Resource Facility (IVFOI)
Director: Gultekin Gulsen, Ph.D.

GillenThe mission of the In-Vivo Functional Onco-Imaging (IVFOI) Shared Resource (SR) is to enhance and support basic and clinical cancer researchers by providing them with the necessary expertise, imaging instrumentation and image analysis techniques. The major achievements during this funding cycle are:
  • Provided high-quality image acquisition and data analysis services for translational clinical studies
  • Established several multi modality imaging systems to support innovative imaging studies
  • Developed several cutting-edge technologies for quantitatively accurate and high-resolution small animal imaging.

Services Provided

In the next cycle we will continue to develop along these areas to support various scienti­fic needs of the investigators at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in performing in-vivo imaging studies. These include:

  • Design imaging studies into current project
  • Assist in the preparation of materials for future grant applications
  • Start up imaging protocol
  • Obtain imaging data acquisition/gather prospective, retrospective data sets
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 Disease Oriented Team (DOT) Highlight  
Prostate DOT (P-DOT)
Leader: Thomas Ahlering, M.D.

Ahlering The Prostate Disease Oriented Team (P-DOT) is a multidisciplinary group composed of UC Irvine affiliated investigators and researchers from the disciplines of radiology, pathology, molecular biology/biochemistry, epidemiology and biostatistics, urology, electrical engineering, and computer science. The P-DOT investigators have an interest in translational science, comparative effectiveness, research in surgical interventions, healthcare disparities and drug discovery in prostate related disease and cancer. This multidisciplinary team will meet quarterly with the objective to identify collaborations and new funding opportunities. In addition, the P-DOT will encompass the schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The P-DOT will carry out clinical and translational research under the auspices of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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ZellWeian Zhao, Ph.D. (OIB)
Weian Zhao, Ph.D., UC Irvine Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, member of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and member of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, has been recognized by MIT's Technology Review as a TR35 honoree for 2012. The TR35 is the magazine's annual list of the world's top 35 innovators under the age of 35, spanning biotechnology, computer and electronics hardware and software, energy, the Web and nanotechnology, among other emerging fields. Zhao, 32, was honored for his breakthrough work creating sensors that are attached to stem cells, letting researchers track how the cells migrate through living tissue. Zhao's sensor technology could aid the development of more effective and safer drug delivery systems using stem cells for such treatments as chemotherapy.

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LinskeyFrank Meyskens, M.D. (CPP)
Frank Meyskens, M.D., has been named chair-elect of ASCO’s Cancer Prevention Committee for a period of one year (2012-2013), followed by a one-year term as chair (2013-2014) and immediate past chair (2014-2015).

Michael J. Stamos, M.D. (CPP)

Ninh T. Nguyen, M.D. (AS)
Michael J. Stamos, M.D., and Ninh T. Nguyen, M.D., have been named president-elect of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, respectively. Both will assume the presidency of their organizations in 2013.

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MarketingMarketing & Communications Department
The Marketing & Communications Department recently won a number of awards from regional and national healthcare marketing associations. In national competition for Healthcare Marketing Awards, given by the industry publication Healthcare Marketing Report, the department won top honors for the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center brochure in addition to a number of other awards. The Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Association, a Southern California organization, presented a gold award for the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center brochure in the collateral materials category. The department also won honors in other categories.


 New Faces  
Please Join Us in Welcoming our New Cancer Center Members!

AgrawalAnshu Agrawal, Ph.D.,
is an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine and Immunology. Her major focus is to identify immunotherapeutic agents that have a potential to work as anticancer agents either alone or in conjunction with other therapies. Another major focus of her laboratory is to study the age-associated changes in dendritic cell (DC) functions in aged humans. The incidence of cancer increases exponentially with age. DC-based immunotherapeutic vaccines are emerging as novel anticancer treatments. Knowledge of the age-associated alterations of DC function is essential in predicting the efficacy of such vaccines in the elderly. Agrawal has been appointed as an associate member.

BoikoAlexander D. Boiko, Ph.D.,
is a postdoctoral fellow, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology.  Boiko’s primary research interest is in melanoma, more specifically human melanoma tumor initiating cells (MTICs).  These cells have recently been isolated in his lab as a CD271+ subpopulation.  His lab aims to further characterize this cell population in human melanoma surgical samples and identify additional cell surface markers expression using advanced fluorescent activated cell sorting and in-vivo tumor transplantation assays.  Additional focus of the lab is to characterize genetic and/or epigenetic alterations that lie at the root of MTIC's function by studying specific gene candidates identified during global gene expression analysis of MTICs using microarray and chip technologies.  Another important aspect of research is devoted to identification of the melanoma cell of origin in the mouse model of neural crest cell lineage tracing using genetic engineering and high resolution fluorescent microscopy.  Boiko has been appointed as a full member in the Chemical and Structural Biology Research Program.

Chung-LeeRamez Eskander, M.D.,
is currently a fellow in the Gynecologic Oncology Training Program at UC Irvine Medical Center. In addition, he serves as a clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology. Eskander’s interests focus on quality of life and therapeutic paradigms in patients with ovarian cancer. His current projects focus on beta-blocker use in ovarian cancer patients, impact of delayed initiation of chemotherapy on survival, and the potential effect of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia on oncologic outcomes. He is also investigating the impact of the Paro robot on ovarian cancer patient quality of life during chemotherapy. Eskander's works have resulted in several national presentations and 11 peer-reviewed publications.  Eskander has been appointed as an associate member.

Chung-LeeCynthia Lakon, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an assistant professor in the Program in Public Health. Lakon’s research examines adolescent social networks and social processes exerted though these networks, including social support and social influence, which impact adolescent cigarette smoking. Another stream of her research focuses on injection drug user social networks, including the structure of these networks and the social processes exerted through these networks, which impact needle-use behaviors. Lastly, her research also focuses on social support networks formed on the social networking utility site, Twitter, for the purposes of helping adults quit smoking. Lakon’s theoretical interests also include ecological models of health and systems science. Lakon has been appointed as a full member in the Cancer Prevention and Prognosis Research Program.

Chung-LeeCharlotte Lee, R.N., O.C.N., CON(C), Ph.D.,
is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Nursing Science. Lee is a health services researcher with interests in quality improvement, particularly in studying the impact of teamwork on patient care outcomes in ambulatory care settings. Her doctoral dissertation examined and validated a link between provider relationships and informal coordination in outpatient clinics. Having a clinical background in oncology (she is a certified oncology nurse through the Oncology Nursing Society), she is currently working to expand her research focus to examine outcomes in oncology outpatients, including outcomes that are sensitive to teamwork and nursing. Her ultimate goal is to develop quality improvement interventions based on a thorough understanding of the antecedents and outcomes associated with interpersonal relationship and teamwork processes. Lee has been appointed as an associate member.

Chung-LeeChung Lee, Ph.D.,
is an adjunct professor in the departments of Pathology and Urology.  Lee has devoted over 40 years in prostate cancer research.  Currently, his major area of interest is in the role of TGF-beta in prostate cancer progression and treatment.  Lee has been appointed as a full member in the Cancer Prevention and Prognosis Research Program.

Chung-LeeMichael Phelan, Ph.D.,
is currently facilities manager of the Biostatistics Shared Resource of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal statistician with the Center for Statistical Consulting at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Skin DOT and is involved with the Skin SPORE grant and Chris Hughes' Program Project Grant applications. In addition, Phelan is developing a biostatistical methods grant on statistical designs for novel 3-D tumor models. Phelan has been appointed as an associate member.