Tag Archive | "Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center"

Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship

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Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship


Ronan T. Swords, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Leukemia Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received the Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia. The endowment comes from The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research, a volunteer organization that raises money solely for cancer research at Sylvester.

To date, The Pap Corps has donated more than $51 million to Sylvester, including this year’s record-setting $4.5 million as part of an overall pledge of $25 million to UM’s Momentum2 campaign. That makes the organization the fifth-highest University donor in overall giving.

The endowed professorship was celebrated at a ceremony at Sylvester on October 23 that was attended by leaders from the University of Miami and The Pap Corps, and several of Swords’ colleagues.

“With a focus on patient-oriented research and multidisciplinary clinical care, Dr. Swords is poised to become a leader in the field of hematologic malignancy,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “An endowment makes it possible for Sylvester to support extraordinarily talented physician-researchers such as Dr. Swords, who will make that next life-changing discovery.”

“Endowed professorships offer many benefits, not just to the recipients, but to the entire University community,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “This gives us a chance to honor our brightest stars. It is an opportunity to invest in the future, and investing in Dr. Swords’ research and clinical care is absolutely critical to creating a world-class cancer center.”

Swords, a native of Ireland, received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the National University of Ireland Galway. Following a residency in general internal medicine, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in 2002 and a fellow in 2011. After a fellowship in hematology, Swords became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in London. He came to the U.S. in 2009 for an advanced fellowship in drug development at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Swords joined Sylvester in 2012.

“An endowed professorship is one of the top accolades in a physician-scientist’s career,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “This funding will surely allow Dr. Swords to take his work to the next level. His multidisciplinary approach to clinical challenges demonstrates an inventive and very curious mind that will continue to uncover and develop new strategies.”

To commemorate the occasion, Swords was presented with a plaque and a new white coat embroidered with the title of his endowed professorship. In his acceptance remarks, he thanked The Pap Corps for its support of his work, calling the endowed professorship “a great privilege and honor. The Leukemia Program now has a nucleus of really talented people in the laboratory and the clinic,” Swords said, “and it is going to be nationally and internationally competitive.”

Despite the praise for her organization’s giving, JoAnne Goldberg, President of The Pap Corps kept Sylvester’s achievements in the spotlight.

“Thank you for all that you do,” she said. “It is our pleasure to work for you.”

Nimer repaid the compliment, saying that The Pap Corps’ consistently high level of funding has enabled Sylvester’s physicians and researchers to directly impact the lives of patients.

“Because of you, we have had the funding necessary to encourage early research, open clinical trials and increase our community outreach and education,” he said. “The money you raise helps us recruit top-notch physicians and scientists, and now your support is taking us another step forward.”

Swords also acknowledged Nimer and another Sylvester colleague who was present, Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Medicine, as invaluable mentors.

“This endowment is a wonderful opportunity for me to really focus my efforts almost entirely on research,” he said. “We have a very large, diverse patient population, and this will help us get more patients into more clinical trials. It will enable us to establish large tissue banks and learn much more about the biology of the disease, which hopefully will lead to new treatments.”

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Learn About Lung Cancer Treatment and Prevention at Sylvester’s Lung Cancer Awareness Fair November 20


In observance of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Thoracic Site Disease Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will host a health fair on lung cancer awareness on Thursday, November 20, for health care providers, staff, faculty, students, and anyone in the community interested in learning about the latest on lung cancer. Open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in room 1301 at Sylvester, the fair will provide information on lung cancer detection, surgery, treatment, and prevention, including lung cancer screenings, which are now covered by UM’s Aetna insurance. Registration is not required, and walk-ins are welcome. For more information, contact Yohanna Zaldumbide, thoracic nurse navigator, at 305-243-0720 or Marie J. Charles, lung cancer screening coordinator, at 305-243-9069.

 

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Registration Opens for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s ‘WellBeingWell’ Conference


Special to UM News

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to present the third WellBeingWell conference sponsored by Chico’sFAS. The one-day event will take place Thursday, November 6, at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The highlights include keynote speakers Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., scientist and Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

With presentations from Sylvester physicians, scientists, and other nationally recognized leaders in the healthcare community, guests will be immersed in a series of panel discussions and seminars. Topics will cover a wide variety of timely cancer issues, including men’s and women’s health, preventive healthcare, nutrition, exercise, genetics, clinical trials, and cancer treatment and survivorship.

WellBeingWell is one of the many ways that Sylvester can share its expertise with the community,” said Vivian Urbieta, conference co-chair. “As the only academic-based cancer center in South Florida, Sylvester has a unique set of experts who can provide key insights to help all of us live healthier lives.”

WellBeingWell is devoted to sharing the latest research-based approaches to becoming and staying healthy over the course of a lifetime. “We know that there are critical steps we can all take to stave off many diseases, including cancer,” said Nimer, professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “In hosting WellBeingWell, we hope to share those messages with as many people as possible, before they ever need to see us as patients. This conference is for people who want to learn about cancer prevention, healthy living, cancer detection, and the latest individualized treatments.”

Nelly M. Farra, vice chair, hopes the conference inspires attendees. “We think the variety of topics and depth of information will be transformative, enabling guests to come away with life-changing advice.”

Following Nimer’s keynote address during breakfast, guests will be able to customize their conference experience by choosing which breakout sessions to attend. Among the topics are “Updates: Genetics and Cancer;” “Eat Right, Do Right, Feel Right;” “The ‘Skinny’ on Healthy Skin;” “Cancer in the Environment;” “The Importance of Sleep and Stress;” “Lifestyles to Promote Well Being;” and “Coping with Cancer.”

Mukherjee’s luncheon keynote address promises to be as engaging and illuminating as his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, which was listed as one of the 100 most influential books written in the last 100 years by TIME magazine. A hematologist-oncologist at Columbia University, Mukherjee’s research has centered on finding therapies for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelogenous leukemia and exploring the difference between normal stem cells and cancer cells.

The presenting sponsor of the event, Chico’s, has been committed to community leadership since it was founded as a small Florida boutique in 1983. Chico’s unique and sophisticated quality apparel, coupled with exceptional service, is delivered with a deep appreciation of their customers. David Dyer, president and CEO of Chico’sFAS, said, “The fight against cancer is something that touches everyone, and Chico’s is very proud to support Sylvester’s groundbreaking work on that front.”

For more information and to purchase tickets ($125 each), contact Katie Repici at  krepici@med.miami.edu or 305-243-9088, or click here to register online.

 

 

 

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Aetna Insurance Plans Now Cover Lung Cancer Screenings for High-Risk Individuals


Lung cancer screenings are now a covered service under Aetna Health Plans, allowing UM employees and their dependents who are at high risk for lung cancer to take advantage of this new approach for diagnosing the deadliest of all cancers.

Lung cancer does not show any symptoms until its late stage and, as a result, kills more people than breast, cervical, colon, and prostate cancer combined. But here’s the good news: The 2011 National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that screening high-risk individuals with a series of low-dose CT scans over time can detect the disease in its early stages, allowing treatment to ensue and decreasing mortality by 20 percent.

As a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends lung cancer screening, which is not a single test, but a series of tests performed over time, for high-risk individuals. High-risk candidates are:

  • People between 55 to 80 years of age who have smoked 30 or more packs of cigarettes a year
  • Current and former smokers who have quit during the past 15 years

The screenings are 100 percent covered by UM Aetna Health Plans for those who meet the USPSTF criteria. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Marie Charles, the coordinator of the lung cancer screening program, at 305-243-9069 or mcharles4@med.miami.edu.

 

 

 

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All Pinked Out: Zeta Tau Alpha Battles Breast Cancer


From a Survivors Celebration to T-shirt sales benefiting cancer research, the UM chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha kicked off Think Pink Week on the Coral Gables campus.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 8, 2014) – The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha had always organized and participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, passing out pink ribbons, collecting yogurt lids as part of Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, and donning running shoes and shorts for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. But this year they ramped up their efforts by bringing to the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus some of the many survivors who have conquered a disease that is the most common form of cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Teaming up with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UM chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a Survivors Celebration Tuesday as part of its Think Pink Week of activities. Wearing T-shirts that read “Think Pink,” survivors joined ZTA sisters on the Foote Green to form a human pink ribbon, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness.

“We have so many sisters who have been directly impacted by this disease,” said Laura Zebib, director of philanthropy for the UM chapter of the women’s fraternity that has made breast cancer awareness its key focus. “Education is really the key to prevention, especially in young women.”

To that end, breast cancer survivors Lainey Kieffer, a UM family nurse practitioner, and author Paula Holland Delong spoke, respectively, about early diagnosis in college-age women and life after breast cancer.

As part of ZTA’s Think Pink Week, the fraternity also spearheaded efforts to turn UM into a pinked-out campus with the Coral Gables campus’s iconic fountains illuminated in pink, tree trunks festooned with pink ribbons, and pink-lit signage—all of which will remain through October.

In addition, ZTA is selling T-shirts and $20 tickets to the October 21 Miami Heat game against the Houston Rockets, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer research and education through the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation.

 

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