City of Hope chooses winners of Healthy Living grants

August 13, 2015 | by   

And the winners are … everyone in the San Gabriel Valley.

The recipients of City of Hope’s first-ever Healthy Living grants have been announced, and the future is looking healthier already. In selecting San Gabriel Valley organizations to receive the grants, City of Hope’s Community Benefits Advisory Council chose seven projects most likely to help residents make healthy lifestyle choices, thus reducing their risk of cancer and diabetes.

Healthy Living grants from City of Hope

Winners of City of Hope’s Healthy Living grants display the objects of their competition. Next step: Creating a healthier San Gabriel Valley.

The grants will support the organizations’ efforts to encourage residents to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, reduce the likelihood of tobacco use, and otherwise improve their physical and mental health.

“City of Hope is committed to a healthier community, one with a lower risk of cancer and diabetes and, to get there, we needed to address some of the surrounding issues of health, health care and access that are not in our wheelhouse,” said Community Benefit manager Nancy Clifton-Hawkins. “That means helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle.”

As a biomedical research institution and cancer treatment center, City of Hope is well-positioned to support other established organizations already working within the community to improve health. Supporting those institutions was a logical step.

“The San Gabriel Valley has many wonderful nonprofits, government agencies and other organizations that help people on a daily basis, and we wanted to help them take their work to the next level,” Clifton-Hawkins said. » Continue Reading

Prostate cancer survivor Barry Leshowitz: My advice to others

August 12, 2015 | by   

Barry Leshowitz is a former City of Hope patient and a family advisor for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.

prostate cancer survivor shares some tips

Former City of Hope patient and prostate cancer survivor Barry Leshowitz shares his tips and advice for newly diagnosed patients.

It’s been almost seven years since I checked into a local hospital in Phoenix for a hip replacement, only to be informed by the surgeon that he had canceled the surgery. An MRI had indicated a “hot spot” of unknown origin in the pelvic area.

Knowing that my prostate specific antigen (PSA) level recently had increased, the surgeon expressed concern that this hot spot might be related to my prostate situation.

The next day I called my urologist to inform him of my concerns and to request that he perform a biopsy immediately. He agreed, and a few days later I received word that I indeed had prostate cancer, which needed to be addressed as soon as arrangements could be made. » Continue Reading

Graduate school earns 10-year accreditation

August 11, 2015 | by   

When it comes to science, the best graduate schools don’t just train scientists, they prepare their students for a lifetime of learning, accomplishment and positive impact on society. At City of Hope, the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences goes one step further – by preparing students to transform the future of health.

City of Hope graduate school

Students in the Irell & Manella Graduate School come from across the country and the world to prepare for high-achieving careers in the biological sciences.

That reputation for excellence in translational medicine is garnering accolades – and an impressive accreditation. The school recently received its first 10-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Part of the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities, the association is the regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

The school was commended for “its increasingly strong contribution to the field of translational research by preparing capable researchers to engage productively in finding cures for some of society’s more intractable health issues.”

Although the graduate school is young, having been founded in 1994, it offers a rigorous program of coursework and laboratory research culminating in a Ph.D. degree. The faculty of 75 scientists train a select number of students recruited from across the country and the world, preparing them for high-achieving careers at universities, research institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Genentech Inc., Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, and New England Biolabs Inc. » Continue Reading

Surviving cancer: What do I do now? (w/PODCAST)

August 10, 2015 | by   
life after cancer

Elizabeth Lynn Meyering is an assistant clinical professor in the in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope’s Simi Valley location.

Cancer affects not just the cancer patient, but everyone around him or her, even after treatment is complete.

The challenges can include the fear of cancer recurrence, coping with cancer’s economic impact and the struggle to achieve work-life balance post-treatment. Family members and loved ones of cancer patients often share these challenges, especially the fear of cancer recurrence.

That’s why City of Hope developed the Center for Cancer Survivorship – a long-term follow-up program designed to create a bridge between cancer treatment and community medical care.

Here, Elizabeth Lynn Meyering, M.D., discusses the next steps in surviving cancer, explaining what cancer survivors can do to promote a healthy lifestyle at home and meet their need for follow-up care and treatment. She also explains what families can do to help everyone through these tough times.




For other interviews with City of Hope experts,  go to our list of City of Hope podcasts.


Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what’s required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

Bladder cancer: What you need to know (w/INFOGRAPHIC)

August 7, 2015 | by   

Bladder Cancer Infographic


» Continue Reading

Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course: Get answers to your questions

August 6, 2015 | by   

Women with ovarian cancer have questions about the most promising treatment options, revolutionary research avenues, survivorship and, of course, the potential impact on their personal lives. Now, together in one place, are experts who can provide answers.

Ovarian cancer answers

Ovarian cancer experts will gather on Sept. 12 to provide answers and information about ovarian cancer.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the 2015 Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course will offer leading-edge expertise from some of the most knowledgeable scientists and physicians in the field, not only from City of Hope but also University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California and elsewhere. Sponsored by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, and supported by City of Hope, the course will provide women with the opportunity to network, ask questions, interact with gynecologic oncologists and researchers, and share their experience with other women. Even better, family members, friends and caregivers are welcome as well.

The foundation offers the course across the country throughout the year, and the one at City of Hope promises to be especially illuminating.

Among the sessions:

  • Ovarian Cancer: State of the Art Treatment and Importance of Enrollment in Clinical Trials
  • New Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Ovarian Cancer Treatment
  • Treatment of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
  • Effect of Nutrition and Physician Activity on Cancer Survivorship
  • Hereditary Component of Ovarian Cancer
  • Gender Matters: Cancer as a Catalyst for Couples Inspiring Their Relationship
  • And more …

» Continue Reading

In the news: Intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer

August 5, 2015 | by   

Delivering chemotherapy directly to the abdomen in women with advanced ovarian cancer is part of an effective treatment regimen that’s too little used. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

ovarian cancer treatment

Intraperitoneal chemotherapy can benefit many women with advanced ovarian cancer, experts say. Too often, a study finds, it isn’t offered. Illustrated here: female reproductive system, with the ovaries at the upper left and right.

The technique, known as intraperitoneal, or IP, chemotherapy, has been linked to extended survival when delivered with traditional intravenous, or IV, chemotherapy. In fact, the National Cancer Institute in 2006 actively encouraged use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer in the wake of a study concluding that women who received the combination approach had a 16-month improvement in median overall survival.

City of Hope experts are well-versed in the regimen and offer IP chemotherapy to appropriate patients. But, says the new study by researchers at City of Hope and elsewhere, fewer than 50 percent of eligible patients in a recent study of select institutions received IP/IV chemotherapy.

“Increasing IP/IV chemotherapy use in clinical practice may be an important and underused strategy to improve ovarian cancer outcomes,” wrote the study authors, which included City of Hope’s Mihaela Cristea, M.D., associate clinical professor of medical oncology, and Joyce C. Niland, the Edward and Estelle Alexander Chair in Information Sciences. » Continue Reading

City of Hope experience proves ‘enlightening’ for Caltech students

August 4, 2015 | by   
Cal Tech students

From left: Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope Vice Provost and Associate Director David Horne, students Galen Gao, May Hui and Lauren Li, City of Hope Provost and Chief Scientific Officer Steven T. Rosen, students Peter Noh and Cynthia Sung, and Deputy Director of Basic Research Linda Malkas.

Internship programs are a rite of summer for many high-achieving students. For five Caltech pre-med students, each hoping to make a mark in medicine, that rite led them to the City of Hope campus in Duarte, California, for an exceptional learning experience.

The collaboration between the two high-profile research institutions marked the renewal of a successful venture that was in place between 2007 and 2009. And while that program was a shadowing experience, known as a preceptorship – in which students discreetly trail doctors through rounds – this version of the program offered a broader agenda.

The idea behind the latest program – as envisioned by Steven T. Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope – involved not only shadowing but a strong educational component, with each participating department setting a curriculum that included lectures, visits with physicians and other medical personnel, as well as engagement with patients.

“We are delighted to renew this wonderful connection with Caltech,” Rosen said, adding: » Continue Reading

Urologic cancers and urinary stones (w/PODCAST)

August 3, 2015 | by   
urologic cancer

Donald Hannoun, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope ǀ Antelope Valley, explains the changes in his field, and explains what urinary stones are and what patients need to know about them.

Urinary tract stones are hard masses, or calculi, that form in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding or an infection, or even block of the flow of urine. Urinary tract stones begin to form in a kidney and may enlarge in a ureter or the bladder.

Depending on where a stone is located, it may be called a kidney stone, ureteral stone or bladder stone. But stones aren’t the only common urinary tract condition. Urologic cancers include cancers of the bladder, kidney, prostate and testicles, and are all relatively common.

The treatment of urologic cancers, including bladder cancer, is rapidly evolving.

In this podcast, urologic oncologic surgeon and kidney stone specialist Donald Hannoun, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope | Antelope Valley, explains the changes in his field, what urinary stones are, and what  patients need to know about them.



For other interviews with City of Hope experts,  go to our list of City of Hope podcasts.


Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what’s required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

Blood donations needed in summer, too

August 1, 2015 | by   

Every summer, hospitals nationwide experience a shortage of blood donations. This summer is no exception.

Nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year,  and many of those patients will need blood transfusions during their treatment. Patients at City of Hope alone rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their treatment and survival.

blood donations

The summer and winter months are the most difficult time for blood donations, due to travel and changes in donor’s schedules.

“Due to the nature of our patients and treatments here at City of Hope, we require more transfusion support than your typical hospital,” said Kasie Uyeno, manager of blood donor recruitment at City of Hope’s Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center.

This summer, the Blood Donor Center especially needs O positive and O negative blood types, as well as platelets, which are always in demand because of their short shelf life.

Uyeno said the summer and winter months are the most difficult time for collections, due to donors’ travel and changes in their schedules. » Continue Reading