Dec. 20, 2018:

In this month’s Across the Consortium, we are inspired by Big Ten cancer researchers making significant discoveries in improving treatment and quality of life for cancer patients. We also recognize those who have received grants for their work.

University of Illinois Cancer Center

Computer applications come in a variety of forms: computer vision, autonomous vehicles, text mining, health monitoring mobile apps. G. Elisabeta Marai is taking it further. She is designing computer programs that will assist medical professionals in determining the best treatment options for cancer patients, specifically those suffering from head and neck cancer.
Read more.

Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center

A $1.2 million Department of Defense grant has been awarded to an Indiana University School of Medicine physician whose research explores a cascade of events that decreases quality of life and treatment responses for patients with metastatic bone cancer.
Read more.

University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer survivor Shilo Dahlgren shares her story and why she chose to receive treatment at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Read more.

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

Chemotherapy is a high-volume, high-risk clinical intervention that involves the care of an interprofessional team. Interprofessional training can improve quality and safety of healthcare services. The Multiprofessional Oncology Safety and SimulationTraining (MOSST) course will be delivered in a blended format, combining an in-person workshop with online activities to improve knowledge and skills, promote clinician behavior change, and highlight benefits to healthcare organizations and patients.
Read more.

Michigan State University Breslin Cancer Center

Cancer doesn’t care if you have a gold medal. Legendary figure skater Scott Hamilton has been diagnosed with cancer three times. In 1997, Hamilton, who won gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics, was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer, which had spread to his stomach.
Read more.

Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

Robert Turesky, PhD, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, has been appointed as the Masonic Chair in Cancer Causation. Turesky is well known for his participation in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report linking processed and grilled meats to increased incidence of colorectal cancer.
Read more.

Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska)

How do you explain the work being done at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center to a retired Air Force brigadier general? Charles Enke, MD, explained it to Rep. Don Bacon this way: “From the military standpoint, this is the war on cancer.”
Read more.

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered that an enzyme called EZH2 can activate expression of the androgen receptor gene, which drives prostate cancer growth. The function is distinct from the enzyme’s already well-established role in silencing tumor-suppressor genes.
Read more.

Penn State Cancer Institute

For people with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, treatments can be limited. Enter a new treatment called Yescarta. Yescarta, or axicabtagene ciloleucel, can be nothing short of “miraculous” for these patients, according to Dr. Shin Mineishi, a medical oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute. Based on the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Cancer Institute is the only hospital in central Pennsylvania that offers this last-resort treatment for certain cancer patients.
Read more.

Purdue University Center for Cancer Research

Purdue University researchers have developed a technology aimed at making it easier to deliver cancer treatment to the right “address” in the body while also easing the painful side effects of chemotherapy on patients.
Read more.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey researcher “Jessie” Yanxiang Guo, PhD, has received a $150,000 grant from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) to investigate the role of a cell survival mechanism known as autophagy in the development of lung cancers driven by mutations in tumor suppressors known as LKB1 and oncogene KRAS. The aim is to provide new therapeutic approaches to treating non-small cell lung cancer, a sub-type of lung cancer that is active of KRAS and deficient of the LKB1 gene.
Read more.

University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center

The 60th annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the world’s premier radiation oncology society, featured a strong Wisconsin presence. Paul Harari, MD, of the UW Carbone Cancer Center is president of the society, and gave a keynote address Monday, October 22, on the topic, “Radiation Oncology at a Crossroads.” The talk highlighted the scope and complexity of the global cancer problem and the promise of future breakthroughs.
Read more.

Information for this story was compiled from Big Ten CRC member websites, news releases, and social media.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit