September 06, 2006

TAMPA, Fla. – H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute’s doctors and researchers are available to comment on different aspects relating to ovarian, prostate, breast, and lung cancer as well as leukemia and lymphoma.


September is ovarian cancer awareness month.Dr. Johnathan Lancaster, Leader of the Gynecologic Oncology Program, and his team have developed a genomic approach to tailor therapy for patients with ovarian cancer. Currently, it is not possible to predict which patients will or will not respond to individual chemotherapy drugs for ovarian cancer. Moffitt is using microarray analysis to look at a genetic fingerprint that is unique to each patient’s cancer to identify which therapy may work best for that specific patient and they can use genetic signatures of the patients who are not responding to traditional chemotherapy to identify new biologic agents to kill previously chemo-resistant cells.

September is leukemia & lymphoma awareness month. Dr. Magda Melchert, member of the Malignant Hematology Program, and her team are recruiting patients for a trial to see if they will live longer and have a lower rate of leukemia recurrence when treated with a certain drug. Eligible participants must be older than 60 with acute myeloid leukemia in complete remission following initial chemotherapy. Also, Melcher and her team will be recruiting patients with myelodysplastic syndrome to try a new drug to find safe dosage, safety, and response rates.

September is prostate cancer awareness month. Dr. Julio Pow-Sang, Leader of the Genitourinary Oncology Program, can comment on prostate cancer rates, treatment and research initiatives.


October is breast cancer awareness month. Dr. W. Bradford Carter, Leader of the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program, can comment on breast cancer rates, treatment and research initiatives.


November is lung cancer awareness month. Dr. George R. Simon, member of the Thoracic Oncology Program, can comment on lung cancer in older patients. He and his


team are recruiting patients for a non-small cell lung cancer study who are 70 years of age or older who have Stage IIIB disease (fluid around the lungs which is caused by cancer) or Stage IV disease (cancer is now in other organs besides the lungs). Participants eligible for this study must have never been treated for lung cancer. A combination of three medications will be tested and evaluated – Alimta and Bevacizumab

(given through an infusion in the vein) and Tarceva (given in pill form).

Dr. Melvyn Tockman, member of the Thoracic Oncology Program, can comment on lung cancer prevention for people with increased risk. Beginning in October, Tockman and his team are recruiting participants for a lung cancer prevention study. Eligible participants must be between45 – 79 years of age, current smokers or have stopped within the past year. Participants must be free of lung cancer. The purpose of this study is to find out what effects sulindac has on the risk of developing lung cancer. Sulindac is a drug typically used for arthritis It is expected that each participant will be enrolled in the trial for about six months, and may be contacted by telephone after this treatment period to check on overall health status.

Dr. Gerold Bepler, Leader, Thoracic Oncology Program, can comment on lung cancer prevention for former smokers. In October, Bepler and his team will be recruiting for a new trial for former smokers. Eligible participants must be 45 years of age or older and be former smokers who have stopped smoking for more than a year. The purpose of this trial is to develop a treatment that prevents the development of lung cancer and to identify changes in airway cells that may lead to lung cancer. The trial uses an investigational drug, Enzastaurin, and it is expected that each participant will be enrolled in the trial for approximately six months, but may be contacted by telephone up to one to two years after completion of treatment to check on overall health status.

Great American Smokeout (Nov. 16)

Thomas Brandon, Ph.D., Director of the Tobacco Research & Intervention Program, says it is well know that certain cues or triggers can cause cravings among smoking addicts. For a smoker who is ready to quit, just seeing a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray can be a powerful source of temptation. Brandon and his team of researchers are recruiting about 150 smokers for a study to develop and test new forms of “cue exposure therapy” to help smokers avoid the urges associated with these triggers. In addition to nicotine patchesand counseling sessions, participants will receive training to resist the sight of common smoking triggers presented on a video monitor, including personal triggers that they photographed with a digital camera. The study is funded by the American Cancer Society.


David Drobes, Ph.D. – Associate Director of Tobacco Research and Intervention Program, and his team are recruiting cigarette smokers for several short-term studies to examine their reactions to words and pictures. Eligible participants are not trying to quit smoking, have no major health problems, and are not taking medications. Participants

will have physiological measures taken while looking at pictures on a computer screen, or they will be asked to press a button when certain pictures or words appear. Each study lasts from one to three hours, and compensation is provided

In 2001, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute earned NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to

clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the

National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top cancer hospitals in America. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.