Posts tagged ‘City of Hope’


Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma survivor now wants to ‘give back’

September 1, 2015 | by
Sebastian Sanchez-Luege spent his summer in a City of Hope lab studying T Cells, as part of City of Hope’s Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy.

Sebastian Sanchez-Luege spent his summer in a City of Hope lab studying T cells as part of City of Hope’s Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy.

Sebastian Sanchez-Luege knows too well how crucial cancer research is in saving people’s lives.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare condition that accounts for just 2 percent of blood cancers, when he was just 6 years old.

When standard treatments didn’t work, he came to City of Hope for a stem cell transplant. The procedure was successful and now, 13 years later, the native of Tustin, California, is cancer-free.

“That experience just changed my life so much that I know I want to give back to society as a whole,” Sanchez-Luege said in an interview with the Orange County Register.

And this summer, he got to do just that at City of Hope’s Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy.

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Breast cancer survivor/yoga therapist Rachel Divine: Tips for patients

August 21, 2015 | by
yoga and cancer

Breast cancer survivor and yoga therapist Rachel Divine shares helpful tips for cancer patients and caregivers on using yoga to relieve stress and anxiety.

Rachel Divine is a yoga therapist and patient leader for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. She’s also a former City of Hope patient.

When someone you know has cancer, even the word “cancer” can make you feel nervous, sleepless, depressed or more. But, as a yoga teacher for 15 years and a breast cancer survivor of two years, I’ve found that exercise, even for five minutes a day, can offer a world of relief.

Doctors and scientists are now using yoga and meditation to help cancer patients and caregivers alike. Some responses from patients and caregivers on on how yoga has helped them include:

  • “Yoga helps my anxiety.”
  • “I have better balance.”
  • “Relaxes my body and restores my spirit.”
  • “Calms me and I am able to fall asleep better.”

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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


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 …

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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


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


Clinical trials need older adults, ASCO says. City of Hope’s Arti Hurria explains

July 30, 2015 | by

Few clinical cancer trials include older adults – and yet, more than 60 percent of cancer cases in the United States occur in people age 65 and older. The result is a dearth of knowledge on how to treat the very population most likely to be diagnosed with cancer.

older adults in clinical trials

Older adults don’t respond to cancer treatment the same way that younger adults do. Further, their functional age, not just their chronological age, must be taken into account.

Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued landmark recommendations directed at ending this inequity. The organization is urging federal agencies and the cancer research community to include more older adults in clinical trials. The call to action was published July 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

City of Hope’s Arti Hurria, M.D., director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope, was a co-author of the ASCO position statement, “Improving the Evidence Base for Treating Older Adults with Cancer.”

“We need to see clinical trials enroll a patient population that mirrors the age distribution and health risk profile of patients with cancer,” Hurria said. “ASCO has laid out a multipronged approach to expand the participation of older adults in clinical trials, ensuring that we will develop the evidence base so that patients across all ages can receive high-quality, evidence-based cancer care.”

The statement highlights these core recommendations: » Continue Reading


#LastChemo: Ovarian cancer survivor shares hope with ‘survivor bell’

July 28, 2015 | by
Patient donates Survivor Bell

Maria Velazquez-McIntyre, a 51-year-old ovarian cancer patient from Antelope Valley, shares hope with other patients through her donation of Survivor Bells to the Antelope Valley clinic and the Duarte campus.

Upon completing her final round of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer earlier this month, Maria Velazquez-McIntyre, a 51-year-old Antelope Valley resident, celebrated the milestone by giving other patients a symbol of hope – a Survivor Bell.

The bell may look ordinary, but for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, ringing it is far from routine. The ringing of the bell signifies the end of active treatment and the beginning of a life free of cancer.

“The bell represents hope and a sense of accomplishment,” said Velazquez-McIntyre, who donated one bell to the Antelope Valley clinic and another to the main City of Hope campus in Duarte. “My goal is to give someone else going through chemotherapy that hope. If I can ring that bell, so can you.” » Continue Reading


Some breast cancer survivors face increased risk of weight gain

July 25, 2015 | by
weight scale

A recent study suggest women who have survived breast cancer tend to gain more weight than women who are cancer-free.

As breast cancer survivors know, the disease’s impact lingers in ways both big and small long after treatment has ended. A new study suggests that weight gain – and a possible corresponding increase in heart disease and diabetes risk – may be part of that impact.

In the first study to evaluate weight change in women with a family history of breast cancer, those who had survived breast cancer were found to gain more weight than women who remained cancer-free. The research, comparing 303 breast cancer survivors with 307 cancer-free women matched by age and menopausal status, was published July 15 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

According to the study, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath in Baltimore, breast cancer survivors gained significantly more weight than their cancer-free counterparts in the first five years after diagnosis – an average of about 4 pounds. Women who had been diagnosed with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer gained an average of 7 pounds more than women who had never had cancer.

Further, women who had received chemotherapy were twice as likely, compared to cancer-free women, to have gained at least 11 pounds. The findings raise new questions about life after cancer and how to better prepare women for new challenges and risks.

Laura Kruper, M.D., director of the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center at City of Hope and head of breast surgery service, put the findings in perspective in an interview with HealthDay» Continue Reading


This science camp tackles the art and science of medical diagnosis

July 18, 2015 | by

There’s science camp, and then there’s “mystery” science camp. City of Hope’s new science camp for middle school students is of the especially engaging latter variety.

scienc camp

Junior medical investigator Natasha Kearl participates in City of Hope’s first science camp for middle school students.

From Monday, July 13, to Friday, July 17, rising middle-school students from across the San Gabriel Valley were presented with a “patient” with an undiagnosed disease. From there, they tackled the art and science of medical diagnosis.

The junior medical investigators explored the potential illnesses from which the patient might be suffering and then conducted tests that would eliminate potential diseases.

Alexandra Race, Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program coordinator at City of Hope, told the Los Angeles Daily News that what sets this science camp apart from others is that it has more of a medical focus.

“We combined both the medical aspect of City of Hope and the research aspect,” Race said in the interview. “They’re diagnosing a patient with this mysterious illness and they’re doing medical tests, but also using some of the principles of research.”

For 12-year-old Natasha Kearl from Glendora, California, who’s considering a career in the medical field, the science camp was a perfect fit.

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