See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sachiko & Tohru present at AACR Brain Tumor meeting

Sachiko and Tohru recently attended the AACR special conference on the Genetics and Biology of Brain Tumors in San Diego. This conference had a high content of adult cancer research, especially glioblastoma multiforme, but also had notable pediatric brain tumor representation including that of our collaborator, Dr. Richard Gilbertson of St Jude. At the meeting Sachiko presented her work on the ubiquitin-proteasome system in medulloblastoma, and Tohru presented his work on the cell of origin of pituitary tumors.

[ above right: Tohru and Sachiko ]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lab Holiday Lunch in Helotes

Today we had our seasonal lab holiday party at the John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, Texas. It has been a great year, with seven peer-reviewed publications in print or in press... so needless to say - everyone has worked very hard and has a much deserved few weeks of rest ahead. We were pleased that our alumist, Dr. Aoife Kilcoyne, could come back from her Radiology residency in Ireland to join us for the lab lunch (front left in the picture). We have a lot of faith in Aoife bringing a research-oriented approach to pediatric and adult cancer one day. We also celebrated the successful Masters thesis defense of Melinda Garcia (on the right, one person back), as well as Corrine Chua who successfully defended her thesis but couldn't be with us today. And as per our tradition, we'll be making a group contribution to the local women and children's shelter.

[ not shown are lab members Sachiko Ohshima and Tohru Hosoyama, who are at an AACR Brain Tumor conference. ]

Friday, December 11, 2009

NCI Rare Cancer Workshop

Pediatric sarcoma research had good representation at the NCI Rare Cancers with High Mortality: Challenges for Cancer Prevention and Treatment workshop in Bethesda yesterday and today. This workshop of more than 200 investigators, consumer advocates, patient advocates and policy makers examined approaches that might be taken to promote the development of resources and infrastructure necessary for new therapy development (ie, biorepositories, cancer genome and epi-genome studies, mouse models, clinical trials infrastructure and patient advocacy networks. At the workshop, Charles presented a main session talk on Mouse Models, and colleagues Drs. Frederic Barr (rhabdomyosarcoma, U Penn) and Jeff Toretsky (Ewing's sarcoma, Georgetown University) were moderators for a breakout session.

[above right: Jeff, Charles and Fred]

Monday, December 7, 2009

Steve Lessnick visits GCCRI

We are grateful to our colleagues, Dr. Stephen Lessnick from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, to have given a seminar on Ewing's Sarcoma at GCCRI. Steve is a fellow pediatric hematologist-oncologist and physician-scientist who studies the genetics and biochemistry of the Ews:Fli translocation product in Ewing's Sarcoma. Steve also plays an important role in the Children's Oncology Group, demonstrating his commitment to move new findings from the bench to the bedside.

[above right: Steve and Charles at Mi Tierra, a favorite San Antonio breakfast spot.]

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dr. Catchpoole visits from Australia

It was an absolute pleasure to have had Dr. Daniel Catchpoole visit GCCRI from the Childhood Cancer Research Unit at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia. Dan presented results of his studies of novel topoisomerase inhibitors that have specific efficacy in rhabdomyosarcoma. Part of this work was done in collaboration with our laboratory as well, with more studies together to come. If you have time, please visit Dan's childhood cancer tumor bank website. Dan is one of the key people across the world working to increase the access that researchers have to tumor material -- so that scientific discovery and better treatments are found more quickly.

[ above right, top:  Dan is a cave guide.  Here he is braving a very narrow passage at Jenolan Cave, Australia ]

[above right, bottom:  Dan at the Far Country Cave, Australia ]