Posts tagged ‘City of Hope’

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.

» Continue Reading

Community members come together to advise City of Hope

June 27, 2015 | by

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a village. No man is an island.

community benefit advisory council

Patricia Duff Tucker, left, and Viki Goto are co-chairs of City of Hope’s new Community Benefit Advisory Council. With their help, and that of the other council members, City of Hope is determined to improve the health of its community.

Choose your aphorism: It’s a simple truth that collaboration usually is better than isolation. That’s especially true when you’re trying to introduce healthful habits and deliver health care to people at risk of disease and with little access to care.

City of Hope knows that reaching the most vulnerable residents of the Greater San Gabriel Valley requires what the military might call boots on the ground — people working within the community who are invested in its well-being. That’s where City of Hope’s new Community Benefit Advisory Council comes in. The council’s goal is to identify issues that affect the area’s vulnerable populations – and support strategies to solve those issues.

The council works within a web of intersecting lines to craft policy and pass judgment on how the hospital pursues its community benefit mission. It’s made up of 28 community members, plus six nonvoting City of Hope representatives. The council’s next big decision is in July, when it will decide which community groups will receive funds from City of Hope’s Healthy Living Grant Program.

“Many of the final decisions the council makes are based on the broader community,” said Nancy Clifton-Hawkins, community benefit manager at City of Hope. “They’re not from on high.” » Continue Reading

New scholarship for nurses pays special tribute to exceptional care

June 17, 2015 | by
Scholarship-for-nurses winner Lauryn Elffers

Lauryn Elffers, left, is one of four recipients of a scholarships for nurses. At right is Anne Bourque, clinical nursing director in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Ask any patient: Nurses are as pivotal in their care as doctors. They answer the call of a patient in the middle of the night, they hold the patient’s hand as he or she takes on yet another round of treatment and, in the best-case scenario, they wave goodbye as the patient leaves the hospital, healthy and happy.

When everyone has gone home for the day and the family is finally sleeping, nurses remain. No matter what road a patient takes, nurses are the constant, supporting them along the ride.

Now, the spouse of one former City of Hope patient is giving back to the institution’s nurses in a big way. » Continue Reading

Pediatric picnic helps young patients ‘feel normal for a day’

June 13, 2015 | by

Cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can be overwhelming experiences for adults. For children, who lack the life experience and context to put their diagnosis in perspective, the treatment and follow-up can be especially isolating. City of Hope’s youngest patients recently got a chance to overcome that isolation.

annual pediatric picnic at City of Hope

Six-year-old Samantha Urias and her family make a stop at the photo booth during City of Hope’s annual pediatric picnic.

More than 1,700 guests — City of Hope’s pediatric patients and survivors, plus their families — gathered on City of Hope’s Duarte campus for a special celebration of life, complete with kids, adults, doctors and nurses, all of whom understand the impact of treatment for cancer and other diseases.

The “Pacific Paradise”-themed pediatric picnic featured carnival-style games, comic artists, a face-painting booth, themed play zones, performances, and special appearances by cast members from Disney Channel’s comedy series “K.C. Undercover” and “Girl Meets World.” Festivities even included a “City of Hope’s Got Talent” variety show featuring pediatric cancer survivors.

Most important, the picnic gave patients and their families the chance to have a good time with other patients and families who had experienced, or were still experiencing, the treatment journey. It also gave patients a chance to connect with their doctors, nurses and other health care providers in a nonclinical environment. » Continue Reading

City of Hope cheers for jockey Victor Espinoza

June 6, 2015 | by
Victor Espinoza

Jockey Victor Espinoza, a supporter of City of Hope, shows a signed card of support from patients during a recent visit. 

Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2015

On Saturday, for the second consecutive year, jockey Victor Espinoza attempted to capture the historic Triple Crown of horse racing. As in 2014, after wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Espinoza rode in the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, in an attempt to claim a title not won since 1978. This time, riding American Pharoah, he won, capturing the Triple Crown.

As before, Espinoza has promised to donate a portion of his winnings to City of Hope, continuing his record of support of the institution’s groundbreaking research and lifesaving, patient-focused care. Espinoza often visits City of Hope campus, sharing smiles, gifts and stories of his more than 3,200 career victories with patients.

“Good health — that’s what I want for everyone. With good health, people can enjoy life and do those things that make them happy,” Espinoza said. “By working to defeat cancer, City of Hope’s researchers and doctors are bringing a greater chance of health and happiness to people everywhere.”

In Southern California, fans cheered on Espinoza track side at neighboring Santa Anita Park.


Learn more about giving to City of Hope.


Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion 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.