Ruth Leff Siegel Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research Excellence Accepting Nominations
The Pancreas Center and The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center have been entrusted by the Siegel family to identify the investigator who has made the most significant contribution to the understanding and/or treatment of pancreatic cancer over the past year.
The work can be in any field of pancreatic cancer research including but not limited to basic biology, population biology, public health and translational science.
Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Passes in the U.S. Senate
UPDATE! President Barack Obama made history in the fight against pancreatic cancer by signing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act into law on Thursday, January 3, 2013.Read More Here
The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, has passed in the Senate December 4, 2012.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed its version of the act September 19, 2012.
Now that the Senate has passed its version, the two houses of Congress will meet to reconcile their versions of the act, after which the bill will be presented to President Obama to sign.
Beetroots (more commonly known as beets) are not a common food in everyone's diet Deborah Gerszberg but they should be! Beets are a dark red-purple vegetable, but come in other colors too, such as golden yellow.
Beets get their deep color from the betanin (a phytonutrient) and betacyanin (antioxidant) found in them. There are many phytonutrients and antioxidants found in plant based foods, teas, and herbs.
These special compounds help fight cancer by getting rid of free radicals in your body.
This is one of the many reasons it is important to consume a colorful and varied plant-based diet.
Advances in Treating Pancreatitis: Autologous Islet Cell Transplantation
Beth Schrope, MD, PhD, FACS
NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is the first center in the New York metropolitan area to offer autologous islet cell transplantation.
Patients who need a total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis or other benign diseases may be eligible for this procedure to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Pancreatic Disease and Treatment, By the Numbers Columbia University Department of Surgery
Out of view of the exam and treatment rooms at the Pancreas Center, a host of other staff are hard at work every day performing jobs that most patients never think about.
Among these are Allison Villacis and Kimone Crossley, the data managers for the center.
Without their efforts, vital functions of the center would cease to exist.
In this interview, Allison and Kimone explain how collecting and analyzing data contributes to optimal treatment as well as to the center's ongoing research of pancreatic diseases.
Kenneth Olive, PhD directs the Olive Laboratory, which is dedicated to understanding the mechanisms of pancreatic cancer and applying that understanding toward finding cures.
In this interview, Dr. Olive describes recent advances in pancreatic cancer research and explains his optimism about what has long been regarded as an insurmountable disease.
We are excited that NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has joined The Pancreas Center in support of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's declaration of November 16, 2012 as "Purple with a Purpose Day."
Help to raise pancreatic cancer awareness by wearing purple! Snap photos of yourself, your office, your family and friends wearing purple and then email them to firstname.lastname@example.org to be posted on our Facebook page OR you can upload your photos to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's website.
Pancreatic Cancer Research: the Epidemiological Approach
Jeanine Genkinger, PhD
Jeanine Genkinger, PhD is an epidemiologist at NYP/Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health who focuses a significant portion of her time studying the causes of pancreatic cancer.
In the following interview, Dr. Genkinger explains how prospective studies such as the Pancreas Center's PREDICT registry may help to identify causes of the disease or factors that affect patients' response to therapy. Read more here.
Annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, the Pancreas Center and the Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics Program proudly hosted this year's annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day on November 3, 2012.
Lecture topics included genetic testing, Whipple procedure & total pancreatectomy, chemotherapy, GTX & Folforinox, and endoscopic ultrasound/ERCP.
New to this year's patient education program were gripping patient and family testimonials following each clinical lecture.
Following these talks, participants enjoyed a health fair with refreshments and vendors who provided useful information and giveaways.
This year's vendors included The Lustgarten Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as well as our internal staff and NP's providing information on nutrition, genetics, epidemiology, pain management and more.
Despite Hurricane Sandy, we still had a good turnout at this year's event.
We are grateful to those who came to support our patients and The Pancreas Center.
Patients and Physicians Lobby for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act
On September 19, 2012, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (H.R. 733), formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act.
The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act will require the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to identify cancers such as pancreatic cancer that have low survival rates, to evaluate the current research, and develop a comprehensive framework to address these diseases.
This framework will specifically focus on ways to improve prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.
The legislation is a measured and balanced approach that complements ongoing research efforts at the NCI and brings a much-needed spotlight on pancreatic cancer, which has historically received inadequate attention and relatively little funding for research.
There are certain things that everyone should know about pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cancer treatment options.
A panel of former patients, family members, and staff will answer questions about how to navigate the care process, how to build a support network, and how to be a good caregiver while taking care of yourself.
Based on personal experience, they will answer your questions live, such as:
With an overwhelming amount of information and options today, how do I decide what treatment is correct for me?
What can I do to better prepare myself for doctor appointments?
What are examples of different ways I can be there to support a loved one?
How do I maintain a positive attitude and increase my chances for survival?
How do I connect with others who have been through this?
New York Magazine Recognizes 16 Top Docs at NYP/Columbia
Congratulations to sixteen surgeons at the Department of Surgery for being named top doctors by New York Magazine.
This annual list recognizes 1160 physicians from NewYork, New Jersey, and Connecticut who are considered top in their fields of expertise.
This year, the magazine recognized faculty from nine divisions at NYP/Columbia Department of Surgery: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Endocrine Surgery, Abdominal Organ Transplantation, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, and Thoracic Surgery.
Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk: Guest Speaker Ken Olive, PhD
Ken Olive, PhD
On Sunday, May 6, The Lustgarten Foundation will have its 2nd Annual NYC Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk.
Prior to the start of the walk our very own Ken Olive , PhD, will talk about the recent progress made in pancreatic cancer research.
Please come join us on Sunday, May 6th, as we raise awareness and funding to help find a cure to this disease.
Ride of My Life: How a second opinion turned a devastating diagnosis around
What would you do if your doctor diagnosed you with inoperable pancreatic cancer?
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed, this amazing story of survival will move you, amuse you, and instill hope in your heart.
Written by a patient at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and published in November 2011, The Ride of My Life recounts a 'regular guy's' journey from diagnosis to remission. Available at http://bobbrownsurvivor.com/, amazon.com, and other retail book sellers.
Ken Olive, PhD, Receives Award from Lustgarten Foundation
Ken Olive, PhD
Ken Olive, PhD, has received the 2011 Lustgarten Foundation Translational Innovator Award, a one-year grant for novel, "out of the box" translational and basic research.
The one-year, 100,000 grant will support the Olive laboratory in conducting a preclinical trial to evaluate analogs of Erastin.
The original Erastin compound was identified in a high throughput screen for chemicals that selectively kill cells with mutations in Ras.
Such mutations are found in 90% of all pancreatic tumors.
This work will focus on newly developed analogs of Erastin that have improved drug properties, with the goal of evaluating their efficacy in a clinically-predictive, genetically engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer.
Patients and Physicians Lobby for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act
Ralph Cheney on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on June 14, 2011, where he delivered a message emphasizing the need to fund talented researchers at centers such as the Pancreas Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. According to Mariann Cheney, "Gloria Su and Ken Olive were powerhouses in the Senate Meetings."
Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial Opens at NYP/Columbia's Pancreas Center
One of the most promising areas of research entails development of vaccines to harness the immune system to fight the cancer from within. An important study of a new vaccine, developed specifically to target pancreatic cancer cells, is now moving this concept one step closer to reality.
The first Manhattan Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk, held April 3, 2011, was a resounding success!
On a sunny, windy day, over 2,000 walkers arrived at Riverside Park to raise money for pancreatic cancer research and to walk/run in honor of their loved ones.
Our own Dr. John Chabot joined Senator Charles Schumer and actor Michael Ealy in addressing the participants about the importance of pancreatic cancer research.
To date Lustgarten has raised $365,000!! Donations can still be made online here.
The website will be up for a least 2 more months...let's help Lustgarten reach their goal of $400,000!
Proceeds from this walk will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation, where 100% of every dollar goes to pancreatic cancer research.
Pancreatic Cancer: Prevention and Genetics
Until now, screening for pancreatic cancer has never become routine because testing the pancreas is invasive and costly.
As a result, pancreatic cancer has traditionally been detected in its latest stages, when it is almost uniformly fatal.
Now, advances in understanding cell biology and genetics have led to the development of new methods of screening at The Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics Program, a specialized center dedicated entirely to detecting and preventing pancreatic cancer.
Using this method, the program is able to find and cure premalignant and malignant pancreatic lesions.
Four New Cancer Trials Now Enrolling Patients at the Pancreas Center
To achieve its mission of improving detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer, the Pancreas Center maintains a rigorous research program.
Patients seeking treatment at the center may be eligible to participate in one or more trials, including the first trial of a non-invasive method of screening for pancreatic cancer.
By participating in trials, patients can gain access to screening and therapeutic modalities before they are available elsewhere, and their participation helps to advance research efforts in pancreatic cancer.
M. Wasif Saif, MD, MBBS, has been named America's Top Oncologist for 2010 by the Consumers' Research Council of America.
Dr. Saif is Medical Director of the Pancreas Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
This is the second consecutive year that the council has honored Dr. Saif with this award.
Learning More at Fine Lecture
Dr. Robert Fine, The Pancreas Center Director of Medical Oncology recently spoke at a lecture provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network that was held in downtown NYC at Gilda's Club.
The event, Understanding Pancreatic Cancer Educational Lecture, was attended by 52 people.
Dr. Fine's presentation aimed to update the public on translational research and treatment initiatives regarding pancreatic cancer.
Click here for the presentation.
Annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, The Pancreas Center and The Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics program proudly hosted this year's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day on November 13, 2010.
This patient education program addressed the latest information with regard to screening and early detection, and provided a forum for patients and their families to learn about treatment options as well as available sources of support.
Topics included; Genetics and prevention, surgical options, novel diagnostic imaging, current and future therapy breakthroughs, psychosocial care, nutrition, and more. View Pictures
July 28TH, 2010 marked the first Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Night at Citifield, after months of planning by the volunteers of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN) and The Pancreas Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
The New York Mets were very enthusiastic in their support of this worthy cause, and local media outlets, such as WFAN radio, helped to spread the word.
The Pancreas Center director, Francine Castillo, and several volunteers came out to greet fans during the Mets game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
They distributed informational literature from tables throughout the ballpark.
Before the game, the Mets held an on-field ceremony during which three survivors, Alyson Peluso, Alia Juman and Ruth Diamond, and Pancreas Center nurse practitioner Nicole Goetz all received Mets Spirit Awards.
Ruth Diamond became a PCAN volunteer after attending a Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day seminar at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in November 2008.
She was a patient there in 2005.
She says, ... "As a longtime Mets fan, I wanted to see pancreatic cancer included in the Mets 2010 Health Awareness schedule.
Based on the large attendance of previous PCAN events [e.g., PurpleStride and Cookin' Up a Cure], I felt confident that there would be substantial support for a Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Night.
It's always inspirational to meet the many PCAN volunteers who are survivors, their family members and caregivers."
In addition to the group's 342 attendees sporting purple attire, several Mets vendors and the Girl Scouts, who sang the national anthem, proudly wore purple ribbon pins.
The Mets donated $1,415 from the proceeds of the tickets sales to PCAN.
Special thanks go to Francine Castillo, Bonnie Badenchini, Brandi Thompson, Sarah Cambria and Lisa Pursell for their help in making this event a success.
The Pancreas Center and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Partner to Raise Over $300K During PurpleStride Manhattan Fundraising Walk
The Pancreas Center was proud to partner with Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to co-sponsor the first annual Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PurpleStride Manhattan fundraising walk in Riverside Park on November 8, 2009.
The hard work and generosity of all of those involved from volunteers to walkers and sponsors helped make PurpleStride Manhattan the most successful inaugural walk in PanCAN history with over 2,000 walkers and over $300,000 raised for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Even mother nature played a part in PurpleStride's success by supplying near seventy degree weather and blue skies which provided the perfect backdrop for an event which created awareness, raised funds and enabled participants to meet others who share the same goal: to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Ask an Expert: Genetic Counseling & Testing
Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics Program Director, Dr. Harold Frucht, is featured in the Lustgarten Foundation's "Interview with an Expert" Winter 2009 publication on genetic counseling and testing.
The article defines genetic testing and genetic counseling and explains how they might be useful to individuals concerned with or at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer."
The Pancreas Center was invited by the Manhattan Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN) to the second annual Cookin' Up a Cure food tasting event, which took place on May 19, 2009 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Attendants enjoyed culinary delights prepared by some of New York City's finest chefs and bid on items in auctions where all proceeds went to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Our own Medical Director, Dr John Chabot was a guest speaker and our basic science researcher, Dr Gloria Su was also honored.
The Pancreas Center Team provided brochures and information about the Pancreas Center and Muzzi Mirza Prevention and Genetics Program.
It was wonderful to take part in an event for patients, family members, and supporters for research and spreading awareness of pancreatic cancer.
Media Consult Pancreas Center Specialists on High Profile Cases
In a quote provided for a May 29, 2009 ABC national news segment, Dr. Chabot called pancreatic cancer the silent killer because there are often few, if any symptoms.
The segment focused on actor Patrick Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer and unfounded rumors that the actor had died.
Following the announcement on February 5, 2009, that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was being treated for pancreatic cancer, Dr. John Chabot interviewed with ABC News and CBS Evening News, Dr. John Allendorf, with USA Today and CBS Newsradio 88, and Dr. Beth Schrope with CNN.
During the week of January 5, 2009, Pancreas Center gastrointestinal specialist Dr. Harold Frucht was cited in articles on ABC News.com and the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) regarding the health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Dr. Frucht said that, based on available information, Jobs did not require a Whipple procedure to remove a large portion of the pancreas.
Instead, he said, it was more likely that Jobs's surgeon performed an enucleation a procedure in which the tumor is scooped out of the pancreas, leaving the organ largely intact.
On January 6, 2009, Business Week ran an article extensively quoting responses of Pancreas Center oncologist Robert Fine, MD, on the same topic.
Also on January 6, ABC News profiled actor Patrick Swayze's experience with metastatic pancreatic cancer, including a comment from Pancreas Center surgeon Dr. John Chabot, "One of the most important problems is we tend to diagnose it late," said Dr. Chabot.
"Fifty percent of people, when they're diagnosed, the cancer has already spread to other organs, and there's almost no chance of cure with current treatments."
Inherited gene mutations play a role in up to 25% of cases of pancreatic cancer.
There is up to a 20-fold increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer in individuals with a family history of the disease.
At least five distinct cancer syndromes account for a number of inherited pancreatic cancers.
The Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention and Genetics Program of the Pancreas Center at Columbia University, under the leadership of Harold Frucht, MD, Program Director, analyzes family and personal medical history and provides recommendations for pancreatic cancer screening, genetic counseling, and testing as appropriate.
Ask an Expert: Managing Your New Life After Surgery
Pancreas Center nurse practitioner Nicole Goetz is featured in a Q&A with Virginia Cravotta, Award-winning journalist and Senior Affairs Correspondent for News 12 Long Island.
The article provides detailed information about pancreas surgery from the hospital experience to the recovery process to seeking out psychosocial support over the long term.
Dr. Chabot was interviewed for a June 24, 2008, ABC News.com article regarding life expectancy of pancreatic cancer patients in general, and the apparent health of actor Patrick Swayze and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, both of whom have been treated for pancreatic cancer.
"Averages don't predict the outcome for any one individual," said Dr. Chabot, who emphasized that overall health, emotional wellbeing and fitness levels may play a role.
Dr. Fine Praised in Newsweek Feature
Dr. Robert Fine was featured in a June 14, 2008 Newsweek magazine feature about the human connection between patients and their oncologists.
The article reported on Dr. Fine, his clinical ingenuity, and his considered and compassionate care of Pancreas Center patient Linda Goodman, 58, who was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in 2006.
Dr. Fine, utilizing an innovative chemotherapy regimen has been credited for increasing Ms. Goodman's survival by 50% beyond the average prognosis for pancreatic cancer that spreads to the liver, as in the case of Ms. Goodman.
Ms. Goodman praises Dr. Fine's kindness and compassion.
Her gestures of thanks range from magnanimous to small acts of consideration.
With her family, she has raised $185,000 in support of his laboratory.
Meanwhile she brings him his favorite foods, a corned-beef sandwich and a chocolate éclair, on her chemotherapy days.
The article quotes Dr. Fine as saying, "I want my patients to live their life living. . .I don't want them to liver their life dying."
Family and Friends of Muzzi Mirza Support Pancreas Center with $2M Gift
Family and friends of the late Muzzi Mirza, have made gifts and pledges totaling more than $2 million in support of the Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics Program at the Columbia University Pancreas Center.
The campaign that established the program was led by Mr. Mirza's wife, Susan, and his former business associates, Stephen Berger, Paul Barnett, Douglas Hitchner, William Hopkins, Brian Kwait, and Douglas Rotatori.
Muzzi Mirza, an investment banking entrepreneur who emigrated to the U.S. from Lahore, Pakistan in 1958, succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2007.
Patients visiting NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center will frequently see and hear the term "multidisciplinary center."
While the significance of the term may go unrecognized by some, the presence of such centers can be vital, if not lifesaving, for conditions requiring comprehensive care across multiple specialties.
Such is the case with the Pancreas Center.
Directed by John A. Chabot, MD, FACS, this special team treats patients with pancreatitis, pancreatic and duodenal cancer, as well as precancerous conditions of the pancreas and duodenum.
For patients with pancreatic tumors, clinical management has become increasingly complex, with the advances in surgical, oncologic, and endoscopic techniques.
At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is not only vital to providing surgeons with crucial information regarding treatment options for patients with pancreatic diseases, but it is also expanding therapeutic options.
Thirty-five percent of people who develop pancreatic cancer are considered inoperable because the cancer invades blood vessels surrounding the pancreas, such as the portal vein.
At many hospitals, patients are turned down for surgery even though their cancer has not spread to other organs.
Surgeons at the Columbia University Pancreas Center have developed special surgical protocols that enable them to successfully operate on the vessels to completely remove patients' cancer.
Insulinomas are rare tumors of the pancreas that produce too much insulin.
Usually less than two centimeters in size, insulinomas are benign (noncancerous) in 90% of cases.
Without treatment, however, the extra insulin causes patients' blood sugar to drop, and can cause symptoms such as weakness, tremors, anxiety, hunger, headache, and in severe cases, coma or even death.
In a recent case, surgeons at the Columbia Pancreas Center were able to spare a patient from having to undergo major surgery by devising a completely novel solution.
The Columbia University Pancreas Center, nationally known for its superior surgical procedures, innovative chemotherapy treatment, and pioneering prevention program, routinely relies on PET imaging (positron emission tomography), to guide treatment decisions.
For tracking pancreatic cancer and its metastases to other organs, say Columbia faculty, PET's sensitivity is often superior to any other type of imaging procedure.
Pancreatic cancer is known to resist chemotherapy, forcing oncologists to use second and third lines of defense.
To meet this challenge, Robert Fine, MD, Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medicine, an oncologist who works with the Pancreas Center to treat its patients, has developed several multiple-drug chemotherapy regimens.
What to expect from an appointment with a specialist:
Pancreas Center patients have access to a highly experienced, multi-disciplinary team of gastroentorologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, nurse practitioners, geneticists, genetic counselors and nutritionists.
You can play a more active role in your own health care, gain access to innovative therapies before they become widely available, and help others by contributing to advancements in medical research by participating in clinical trials.