Tag Archives: george mason university

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TGen-TD2-Scottsdale Healthcare study benefits patients

The Side-Out Foundation’s breast cancer pilot study, led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Translational Drug Development (TD2) and Scottsdale Healthcare, has shown that cancer patients do better when their treatment is guided by molecular profiling.

Specifically, 52 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer received clinical benefit – meaning their disease was controlled for a longer time – when their cancer was treated based on addressing the abnormal proteins in their tumor, according to the study conducted at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership of Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen.

Each patient’s treatment was “personalized,” meaning that the therapy they received was based on their individual tumor biology.

“This study demonstrates the feasibility of personalized cancer treatment, and shows that this approach merits further investigation in future studies,” said Gayle Jameson, Nurse Practitioner at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and the study’s Principal Investigator.

“The success of this pilot study will lead to a larger study and hopefully greater clinical benefit for more patients with advanced breast cancer,” said Jameson, who presented the results of the study in June at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive results, a new study incorporating additional technology for tumor analysis, Side-Out II, will open at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in the near future for patients with advanced breast cancer.

“The success of our pilot proof-of-concept study has established a firm launching pad for the upcoming Side-Out II study, which involves a more in-depth investigation of tumor biology with an expanded repertoire of tests to direct personalized treatment,” said Dr. Jasgit Sachdev, M.D., a breast cancer specialist and Associate Professor at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials.

“By showing the significant advantages of molecular profiling, this pilot study has enabled us to move forward with a project that should strengthen the evidence for using this approach in routine clinical care.”

The recent pilot study built on previous studies by Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen that showed the value of guiding treatment based on molecular profiling, in which each patient’s tumor was analyzed for protein abnormalities that may “drive” the cancer’s growth. The results pointed investigators toward specific genetic changes that might be addressed by specific medications.

Beyond molecular profiling, the pilot study also included mapping proteomic pathways within the tumor tissue so each patient could receive a highly targeted regimen designed to impede their cancer growth.

All of the patients in the recent study had advanced breast cancer that had progressed following multiple previous chemotherapy treatments. Of the 25 patients, 13 received clinical benefit as a result of molecular profiling. For all 25 patients, the therapy selected based on their tumor analysis was different than what they would have received in their next planned treatment, if they had not participated in the study.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare was the lead site in the 2-½ year pilot study. In addition, patients in the study were treated at Virginia Cancer Specialists, US Oncology, in Fairfax, Vir.; and at Evergreen Hematology & Oncology in Spokane, Wash.

Translational Drug Development (TD2), a TGen company, managed the pilot clinical trial, and will also oversee the follow-on study, Side-Out II.

“This was an exciting study for TD2,” said Linda Vocila, BSN, RN, Director of Clinical Operations at TD2 and co-author of the study. “It demonstrates that close collaboration between physicians and scientists leads to greater clinical benefit for patients with cancer.”

Two labs analyzed tissue: the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) at George Mason University in Manassas, Vir.; and Caris Life Sciences in Phoenix.

The Side-Out Foundation of Fairfax, Vir., sponsored the study.

To participate in a clinical trial at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, please contact Patient Care Coordinator Joyce Schaffer at 480-323-1339 or joschaffer@shc.org.

AzHHA Conference - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

AzHHA Conference Addresses Challenges Facing Health Care Industry

The health care industry has undergone its fair share of challenges in the past, but 2011 has proven to be an exceptionally tough year. The difficult climate has set the stage for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association’s (AzHHA) Annual Membership Conference, which will tackle the challenges head-on with the all-too appropriate theme, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

“This year’s conference theme is applicable to many of the challenges facing the health care community today … including the implementation of health care reform, shrinking revenue streams, and the state and national budget woes,” says LeAnn Swanson, vice president of education services for AzHHA. The conference also will cover relevant topics such as advocacy, patient safety and quality, and governance.

The goal of the event, which will take place Oct. 20-21 at the Buttes Resort in Tempe, is to engage AzHHA’s members and keep them educated about pertinent issues affecting the industry. This year’s timely message is sure to make an impact on the audience of chief executive officers, hospital administrators, physician and nurse leaders, hospital trustees, operational leaders and all other members of the hospital family.

“Arizona hospitals and health systems find themselves in a time of both challenge and change,” Swanson says, “and the 2011 annual membership conference is designed to help your organization meet these challenges and changes head-on with instructive knowledge and a hopeful spirit.

“The conference is brimming with energizing and stimulating speakers providing the latest information and insights on the issues you care most about, to ensure your time away from the office is time well spent,” Swanson adds.

The event will begin with a keynote session titled, “From Success to Significance,” presented by Nido Qubein, president of High Point University and chairman of a national retail company. Qubein brings with him a rags-to-riches story of perseverance and business triumph, and will share a powerful message about the fundamentals that contribute to success.

“We are in difficult times and the future is challenging on many levels,” Qubein says. “Today’s health care professional is faced with a myriad of hard decisions that demand tenacity and experience.”

Following Qubein’s keynote will be the conference’s general session titled, “Healthcare Reform: Where are We Now, Where are we Going?” presented by Len Nichols, PhD., the director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics and a professor of health policy at George Mason University.

Joe Tye, CEO and head coach of Values Coach, a consulting, training and leadership coaching company, will lead the informative session “The Florence Prescription (for hospitals and health care)” that will challenge audience members to reignite the spirit of the electrifying Florence Nightingale and her health care pioneers. Tye promises to bring his audience back to basics by reminding them of the importance of focusing on things such as employee engagement and patient satisfaction.

“They will learn specific strategies for building a culture of ownership, which is ultimately the only sustainable source of competitive advantage,” Tye says. He adds that attendees “will be challenged to think as deeply about the cultural blueprints of their hospitals as they do about blueprints for new buildings.”

John Foley, founder and president of CenterPoint Companies, which provides business performance training to Fortune 500 corporations, professional associations and educational organizations around the world, will close out the conference with a presentation on maximizing performance excellence.

There are also a few changes in store for the 2011 event. The conference no longer will feature an awards luncheon and instead will introduce the Honoring Our Professionals of Excellence (HOPE) Award. Deserving members of the health care community will receive recognition for their work, including a Caregiver Award, presented to an individual or care-giving team that has shown commitment to the delivery of quality care; and the Healthcare Leader Award, given to a deserving hospital executive or trustee who has demonstrated a history of noteworthy leadership at the state and/or national level.
The highly informative conference has been a benchmark event for AzHHA, helping to keep members educated and ready to face the challenges ahead.

“Times are difficult and budgets are tight, but your team still needs continuing education to stay current on the latest regulations and trends in the health care industry,” Swanson says.

Fortunately, AzHHA’s educational outreach efforts don’t end with the annual conference. The organization also hosts a multitude of webinars and other events throughout the year to keep their members informed and prepared in the dynamic health care industry.

“I have a depth of admiration for AzHHA and its members and I am most grateful for the continuing valuable work that they do to contribute to a better tomorrow for us all,” Qubein notes.

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AzHHA’s 2011 Annual Membership Conference

Oct. 20-21
The Buttes Resort
2000 Westcourt Way
Tempe, AZ 85282
azhha.org

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Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011

 

Sustainable America

How Does America Feel About Sustainability?

In a previous blog post I wrote about the amount of money being set aside for sustainability in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act — $467 million to be exact.

With so much money being spent, are you wondering what the American people really think about sustainability-related matters? Me too. As luck would have it, a research team from the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,164 Americans to get some insight. Titled “Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences and actions” the survey included various matters relating to “issue priorities for the new administration and Congress, support and opposition regarding climate change and energy policies, levels of political and consumer activism, and beliefs about the reality and risks of global warming.” The survey was conducted in September and October of 2008.

Obviously, the biggest issue on the minds of most Americans right now is the economy. Hence, some of the survey results were to be expected (76 percent of Americans rated the economy as a “very high” priority). Yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that global warming was a “high” or “very high” national priority for a majority of Americans. Also, 72 percent said the issue of global warming is important to them personally.

When asked who should act to address global warming, 76 percent of respondents said corporations and businesses should do more, or much more. Another 67 percent said Congress should do more to address global warming. Yet, 72 percent believe that citizens themselves are responsible.

Who’s right?

I don’t think there’s a right answer to this one; collaboration is the only path to a truly more sustainable way of life. Still, these findings are definitely a positive sign in my opinion.

Some other notable positives the study found:

• 92 percent of Americans surveyed supported more funding for research on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
• 85 percent supported tax rebates for people buying energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels.
• 79 percent supported a 45 mpg fuel efficiency standard for cars, trucks and SUVs.

Here’s the kicker: 79 percent of respondents supported this 45 mpg fuel efficiency standard EVEN if this meant a new car could cost up to $1,000 more. Now that’s dedication!

Unfortunately, though going green can sometimes be a bit more expensive upfront, hopefully with time these costs will be lowered and these kind of vehicles (and other green initiatives) will become the norm.

Overall, what I gathered from this study is that Americans do indeed care about the environment. Although our country is in a precarious time, sustainability hasn’t been entirely forgotten.