City of Hope in the News

CITY OF HOPE OPENS NEW CANCER CENTER IN TORRANCE [FULL ARTICLE]
NBC 4 Los Angeles
  • City of Hope has expanded into the South Bay with its new cancer center in Torrance, California. City of Hope | South Bay, which opened on Aug. 27, occupies two floors of a new $80 million ambulatory health care clinic owned by Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers.
  • City of Hope has now expanded to 30 locations across Southern California. The 25,000-square-foot cancer center features 20 exam rooms and infusion areas for chemotherapy patients. Patients also have access to City of Hope’s cancer diagnostics, treatments and clinical trials.
  • “City of Hope brings new, research-driven treatment options to the South Bay,” said Harlan Levine, M.D., president of strategy and business ventures at City of Hope. “We want to ensure patients have the premier care they deserve and still be close to home.”
  • Additional coverage appeared in Los Angeles Business Daily, Daily Breeze, ABC Radio Los Angeles and Easy Reader News.
 
'WICKED' COMPOSER STEPHEN SCHWARTZ TO RECEIVE ICON OF HOPE AWARD AT SONGS OF HOPE XIV [FULL ARTICLE]
Billboard
  • On Aug. 29, City of Hope announced that Stephen Schwartz, composer of stage productions such as “Wicked,” “Godspell” and “Pippin” would receive the Warner/Chappell Music Icon of Hope award at Songs of Hope XIV.
  • Songs of Hope XIV, presented by Spotify, was held in Sherman Oaks, California, on Sept. 14. Last year's event raised more than $400,000 for City of Hope.
  • This year, Benny Blanco and Mike Will Made-It received the Clive Davis Legend in Songwriting award, Sarah Aarons received the Martin Bandier "Vanguard" award and James Newton Howard received the Electronic Arts Composer of the Year award.
  • Additionally, the Songs of Hope Beverly and Ben Horowitz Legacy award was presented to Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, leader, Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at City of Hope. The award included $100,000 to support research by Forman and his team.
  • Additional coverage appeared in Music Connection, Variety, Hits Daily Double, Pollstar and All Access Music Group.
 
TOMMY LASORDA TO BE HONORED WITH CELEBRATION OF LIFE AWARD [FULL ARTICLE]
ABC 7 Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Dodgers legend and former general manager Tommy Lasorda was honored with the Celebration of Life award at the second annual Fred Claire Celebrity Golf Classic on Aug. 20 at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, California.
  • All proceeds of the event were donated to City of Hope’s head and neck and thyroid cancer programs in honor of the late Kevin Towers, the former major league baseball general manager who died of thyroid cancer in January 2018.
  • A group of City of Hope experts attended the event: Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, leader, Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute; Morganna Freeman, D.O., assistant clinical professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research; Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Michael Friedman Professor in Translational Medicine, vice president and deputy director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, director, Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center; Badri Modi, M.D., assistant clinical professor, Division of Dermatology, Department of Surgery; and Thomas J. Gernon, M.D., associate clinical professor, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery.
  • Additional coverage appeared in KTLA 5 Los Angeles, Fox 11 Los Angeles, Pasadena Outlook, Dodgers Nation, Petros & Money and Spectrum SportsNet. Dodgers Nation also created a webpage dedicated to raising funds for City of Hope.
 
HEALTH CARE HEROES: BENJAMIN PAZ, M.D., CITY OF HOPE
Business Life
  • Business Life Magazine featured Benjamin Paz, M.D., executive vice chair and clinical professor, Department of Surgery at City of Hope, as one of its Health Care Heroes for his work in Tanzania.
  • As part of the nonprofit project, Alliance for Global Clinical Training, Paz spends a month at a time in Tanzania training and educating doctors, nurses, administrators and support staff at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar Es Salaam.
  • “Ben Paz is a brilliant oncologic surgeon who brings to the table vast clinical experience, technical expertise and scientific knowledge,” said Alliance founder and president William Schecter, M.D. He noted that Paz has been a key educator in introducing 14 new surgical procedures to the Alliance’s Tanzanian colleagues.
 
THIS KIND OF DIET MAY LOWER THE RISK OF DYING FROM BREAST CANCER [FULL ARTICLE]
TIME
  • In anew study published inJAMA Oncology, researchers found diet may lower the risk of dying from cancer. Lead author Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D.,research professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope, and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 48,000 women. All of the women were cancer-free at the start of the study, and nearly 20,000 were randomly assigned to change their diet and lower their fat intake to about 20 percent of their daily calories.
  • After 8.5 years of follow up, researchers found that among the women diagnosed with breast cancer, those in the low-fat diet group lowered their risk of dying from the disease by 22 percent, compared to women in the regular diet group.
  • “What we see is a pretty remarkable effect,” said Chlebowski. “What we’ve shown is that it looks like dietary intervention after diagnosis [of breast cancer] was more important than dietary intervention before diagnosis.”
  • Chlebowski is continuing studies to see if he and his colleagues can isolate the processes that tie diet to improved cancer survival, and investigate whether these can be turned into treatments that can increase people’s chances of surviving diseases like breast cancer.

10 SUPERHERO NURSES MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE – WALKING THE WALK: PAMELA MCTAGUE [FULL ARTICLE]
O, The Oprah Magazine
  • Pamela McTague, R.N., clinical research nurse at City of Hope, was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine’s May issue as one of 10 nurse superheroes.
  • In her position, McTague meets patients after their diagnosis and shepherds them through clinical trials, explaining processes and procedures, like radioactive-isotope injections and monitoring their prognosis. Beyond her role at City of Hope, McTague maintains ongoing relationships with her patients, checking in at three months, six months, a year, even five years.
  • But what really makes McTague a “superhero nurse” is her perspective and hope as a breast cancer survivor herself. She was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in October 2016, then had a lumpectomy, radiation and plastic surgery.
  • McTague credits her cancer with making her better able to prepare patients for the aftermath of treatment.

OPTING FOR HOPE [LINK N/A]
Orange County Business Journal
  • As of June 9, Annette Walker, former president of strategy at Providence St. Joseph Health, ended her role at the Washington-based health system to take on the presidency of City of Hope, Orange County.
  • The $200 million cancer center will be built in the Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine, Orange County, on a 1,300-acre, mixed-use project of FivePoint Holdings. FivePoint is donating the land for the 70,000-square-foot cancer center.
  • The center will house leading-edge technology –“radiation, advanced imaging diagnostics, a women’s center, and infusion and supportive services, including genetic counseling,” said Robert W. Stone, president and chief executive officer at City of Hope. “It will also offer preventive education, including wellness and nutrition advice, which aim to impact lives before they are even diagnosed with cancer.”
  • In Walker’s new position, she will have full control in driving the development of City of Hope, Orange County. “This is not a role I went out and advertised for and looked at multiple people –I designed the role for Annette Walker,” said Stone.
  • “City of Hope’s mission called to me to extend my personal mission to the community I call home,” said Walker.
  • Additional coverage appeared in five articles, including a print Los Angeles Business article and Modern Healthcare.

BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT REUNION [FULL ARTICLE]
NBC 4 News Los Angeles
  • On May 11, two cancer survivors and City of Hope patients met, for the first time, the bone marrow donors who saved their lives.
  • In 2015, when Arturo Martinez was 11 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and needed a transplant. Nick Martinez (no relation), then 27, had signed up for the bone marrow registry after encouragement from a friend whose relative had died of leukemia. Thanks to Nick’s donation, Arturo received a bone marrow transplant in 2012.
  • In 2012, Gary Stromberg, father of two and co-founder of GIBSON & STROMBERG, a large and influential music public relations firm, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Only a couple months after his diagnosis, he received his lifesaving bone marrow transplant from Alex Kikas,a Russian native who immigrated to Israel.
  • Today, both Arturo and Gary are cancer-free thanks to their bone marrow donors.
  • There were eight additional stories on the BMT Reunion, including ABC 7 Los Angeles and Univision.
 
COULD A VACCINE BE THE END OF TYPE 1 DIABETES? [FULL ARTICLE]
Los Angeles Magazine
  • The Los Angeles Magazine Top Doctors column featured Bart O. Roep, Ph.D., Wanek Family Project Director, professor and founding chair, Department of Diabetes Immunology, Chan Soon-Shiong Shapiro Distinguished Chair in Diabetes at City of Hope.
  • Determined to improve the odds for people living with diabetes, Roep left the Netherlands to join City of Hope in 2016 and now leads the Wanek Family Project for Type 1 Diabetes with the goal of curing type 1 diabetes in six years. City of Hope supports Roep’s goal and research with a $50 million grant from the Wanek Family and anonymous donors.
  • About 1.5 million Americans are affected by type 1 diabetes, and the search for its cause has turned up many possible hereditary and environmental factors.
  • Roep and his team are now working on a solution: a diabetes vaccine. A trial to assess safety and tolerance looks promising in the Netherlands, and the vaccine’s effect on blood sugar regulation will be tested on City of Hope patients this year.
  • “We teach immune cells to suppress their response,” Roep explained.
 
THE CROWD: CITY OF HOPE EVENT SHARES CANCER SURVIVAL STORIES AND RAISES FUNDS [FULL ARTICLE]
Los Angeles Times
  • On April 7, City of Hope patients Frank DiBella and Donna Porter shared their cancer survival stories with more than 400 friends at the fourth annual Let's Be Frank About Cancer event at Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.
  • The event was created by DiBella, who was diagnosed with metastatic bladder cancer in 2011 and told by doctors at several different hospitals that he had months to live. Finally, DiBella ended up at City of Hope where he was treated by Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D.,associate clinical professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, co-director, Kidney Cancer Program. Now, seven years later, Pal joins DiBella and friends at the event each year.
  • Steven T. Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer, also attended this year’s event, which raised $1 million for City of Hope. The funds are earmarked for Pal's research into improved treatment and ultimately, a cure.
 
WILL YOU CHANGE HOW YOU TREAT LUNG CANCER? [FULL ARTICLE]
MedPage Today
  • Results from a group of metastatic nonsquamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) trials presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting could have practice-changing implications.
  • MedPage Today invited top specialists in oncology to discuss the data, including Karen Reckamp, M.D.,co-director, Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program at City of Hope, who shared her thoughts on use of tumor mutational burden (TMB).
  • According to Reckamp, doctors perform next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing as a standard of care for lung cancer patients (and a TMB is reported with most NGSs), but do not currently use TMBs to plan treatment since the data is based on small subsets.
  • Data presentations on studies using ipilimumab and nivolumab showed that new populations may benefit from immune checkpoint inhibition with TMB testing.
 
AGE-RELATED CHANGES IN BREAST TISSUE MIGHT INCREASE CANCER RISK [LINK UNAVAILABLE]
MD Alert
  • Age-related changes in subsets of breast tissue might increase susceptibility to breast cancer, according to a study led by Mark A. LaBarge, Ph.D., professor, Department of Population Sciences at City of Hope.
  • The findings, published in Cell Reports, may help scientists better understand how breast cells change during the aging process, enabling doctors to catch the signs of cancer earlier.
  • Previous studies have shown that, as women age, the composition of their breast tissue changes and multipotent progenitors build up in the body.
  • “We hypothesized that accumulation of those progenitors is one of the mechanisms that underlies increased susceptibility to breast cancer with age,” explained LaBarge. “We saw a glimpse of this in past data, but this is the first study to identify these age-related differences at such high resolution.”
 
CITY OF HOPE PROPOSING $200 MILLION CANCER CENTER IN IRVINE NEAR ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK [FULL ARTICLE]
Orange County Register
  • City of Hope is planning to build a $200 million cancer center, which would anchor a future medical campus south of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
  • The new outpatient center would open on land donated by FivePoint, which is overseeing the development of about 10,000 homes around the Great Park. It would be City of Hope’s first Orange County location.
  • Harlan Levine, M.D., president of strategy and business ventures at City of Hope, said the cancer center would be designed to accommodate up to 75,000 patient visits in a year, and provide services such as medical, surgical and radiation oncology, advanced diagnostic imaging and an infusion center.
  • In the past five years, City of Hope has grown to 29 locations across Southern California.
  • Additional coverage appeared in Orange County Business Journal, Connect Media and California Healthline Daily Edition.
 
CITY OF HOPE RESEARCHERS DEVELOPING BREAKTHROUGH LEUKEMIA TREATMENT [FULL ARTICLE]
ABC 7 Los Angeles 
  • Guido Marcucci, M.D., chair and professor of the City of Hope Department of Hematologic Malignancies Translational Science, and director, Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research at City of Hope, and Bin Zhang, Ph.D., associate research professor in the Department of Hematologic Malignancies Translational Science at City of Hope, are developing a treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The drug called miristen targets leukemia stem cells, and in animal studies, researchers found that combining it with a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor made cancer cells disappear.
  • According to Marcucci, the treatment could potentially send CML into permanent remission. It would be taken as a pill that would keep the leukemia in check and allow people with CML to live a normal life.
  • While it will take about one to two years to bring miristen to human clinical trials, Marcucci says the initial studies in the lab look very promising. City of Hope researchers believe this combined therapy could also treat other forms of leukemia, as well as other types of cancer.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM WITH TODAY'S HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS [FULL ARTICLE]
Fortune
  • The cost to develop and gain approval for a new drug today is more than $2.5 billion, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Driving much of the cost are human clinical trials — and yet, experts at the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference agreed there aren’t enough adult patients enrolling in them.
  • Part of the issue is getting the right patient, which can be difficult, said Linda Malkas, Ph.D., the M.T. & B.A. Ahmadinia Professor in Molecular Oncology at City of Hope.
  • Malkas also emphasized patients’ desire to participate in trials close to home. “We’re almost getting a two-tier system here —those that have access to a major medical center and those that do not.”
  • Another problem facing trials is that researchers conduct a lot of studies that are not worth doing, explained Malkas. “There are too many people and organizations making minor adjustments and launching new trials instead of looking at the big picture. That’s not going to move the ball down the field,” she said.
  • “You don’t need 100 trials,” she added. “You may get an answer in 10 if you do it carefully.”

WHY ALL COMMUNITIES SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY CANCER CARE [FULL ARTICLE]
Future of Personal Health
  • In a byline, Michael A. Caligiuri, M.D., president, City of Hope National Medical Center, and the Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair at City of Hope discussed the need for ways to ensure that all individuals, no matter their background, benefit from quality cancer care.
  • There have been incredible advances in cancer research and treatment in recent years. However, cancer incidence and mortality still disproportionately affect certain communities within society, such as African-American men, who are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer compared to men of all other racial backgrounds.
  • A major focus during Caligiuri’s term as president of the American Association for Cancer Research has been to facilitate progress to eliminate these cancer disparities through providing easy access to high quality care and genomic sequencing in underrepresented populations.
  • Additional coverage appeared in MD Alert and Cure Today.
 
CAN GENE THERAPY BE HARNESSED TO FIGHT THE AIDS VIRUS? [FULL ARTICLE]
Associated Press
  • Approximately 100 people living with HIV have been able to stay off AIDS/HIV drugs for a couple years thanks to an innovative gene-editing treatment.
  • Now researchers think they can improve the treatment and try tackling HIV with genetically modified DNA. The gene editing tool, which is called zinc finger nucleases, can cut DNA at a precise spot to disable the HIV entryway gene.
  • John A. Zaia, M.D., Aaron D. Miller and Edith Miller Chair in Gene Therapy, program director, City of Hope Alpha Clinic, is among researchers taking this approach to treating HIV. However, Zaia is testing the approach with a twist: He’s using blood stem cells. “Once a stem cell is altered, the benefit should multiply and last longer,” Zaia said.
  • Additional coverage appeared in Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Business Insider, ABC News, STAT News, U.S. News & World Report, NY Daily News, SF Gate and Miami Herald. *An additional 174 articles are available upon request.
 
EARLY PROSTATE CANCER KEPT AT BAY IN TWO STUDIES FOR HIGH-RISK MEN [FULL ARTICLE]
Bloomberg
  • In two separate studies, Johnson & Johnson’s experimental drug apalutamide and Pfizer’s enzalutamide delayed progression of early-stage prostate cancer in patients who were at high risk of metastasis by more than 70 percent compared with a placebo.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s study, called Spartan, showed men treated with apalutamidewent for 40 months, or 3.3 years, before the cancer metastasized, compared with 16 months in the placebo group. Additionally, men treated with Pfizer’s enzalutamidesurvived for a median of 36 months before the cancer spread, compared with 14.7 months for those given a placebo.
  • “These patients can have a poor prognosis, and until now, the optimal management of their cancer remained an enigma,” said Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D., associate clinical professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, co-director, Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope, who reviewed the findings of both studies on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “These findings suggest there may finally be a treatment that holds real promise for extending their health.”