Tag Archives: Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center

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Scottsdale hosts second Cure Corridor Event

Scottsdale economic development will be hosting the second annual Cure Corridor Event at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This event features a significant lineup of Cure Corridor partners sharing their insight into the future of the Cure Corridor and Bio-Life Sciences Industry. Keynote speaker Elizabeth Holmes – founder and CEO of Theranos, which recently located at Scottsdale’s SkySong, will headline the event.  Ms. Holmes was recently featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and debuted on Forbes 400 as the youngest self-made woman billionaire.

The first annual Cure Corridor event was launched in September 2013 and entertained hundreds of attendees with strong presenter content. The City of Scottsdale’s goal is to raise awareness about the innovation activity taking place in the community while supporting business growth and collaboration among industry partners.

This year’s event brings together a multitude Scottsdale industry partners in bio-life science to share recent happenings in their core areas of research in a rapid fire presentation format. The current line-up of noted rapid fire speakers include:

• Martin Shultz – Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee
• Dr. Michael Gordon – Medical Director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare
• J.D. Weir – Primus Pharmaceuticals
• David Bennett – Orion Health
• Dr. Robert Greenes – ASU and Mayo Clinic
• Walter Cooper – Matrix Medical Network

“Our healthcare and life science community in Scottsdale is a vital economic sector and is as a key driver for job growth in our community,” said Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “More importantly, leading life science innovators call Scottsdale “home.” This means that the people of our community have access to the best possible healthcare services, cutting edge research, and other opportunities that will benefit the people of Scottsdale today and for generations to come.”

The Cure Corridor is not only a location but a concept designed to promote the innovative activities occurring around the concentration of the Bio-Life Sciences sector throughout Scottsdale. This sector is a major driver of the innovation economy in the State of Arizona, Greater Phoenix region and City of Scottsdale. According to the Flinn Foundation, the biosciences in Arizona “develop treatments for health afflictions, design diagnostics to gauge and prevent illness, strengthen our food supply, develop alternative fuel sources, and much more.”

The Scottsdale Cure Corridor is more than a brand or location. This strategic concept includes activities designed to promote the innovative practices occurring around the concentration of biotech and life sciences industries from Shea Boulevard to the Scottsdale Airpark and throughout Scottsdale. The bio-life science sector has a strong presence in the city’s economic health, with Scottsdale housing 13 percent of all Phoenix Metro area bio-life sciences employment. The Scottsdale bio-life sciences activity includes a workforce of about 27,700 people and a direct economic output of $2.5 billion and indirect output of $3.5 billion annually anchored by companies such as TD2, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Mayo Clinic.

The Cure Corridor isn’t just home to some of the world’s most prestigious clinical research facilities it is also home to pharmaceutical companies such as Primus, Prismic and West Pharmaceuticals.

The health-service industry burst in 2014 with major location and expansion announcements by some of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.  Companies such Orion Health, ZocDoc, Zenefits and Accolade have all chosen Scottsdale because of its skilled workforce, high quality of life and a booming industry cluster which is drawing national recognition.

TGen fundraising event moves to Scottsdale

The 9th annual stepNout Run, Walk Dash, a major fundraising event for pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), is moving to the Scottsdale Sports Complex.

More than 1,000 participants have attended stepNout in each of the past few years, and even more are expected to attend this year’s morning-long event on Nov. 2 in Scottsdale, featuring fun, competitive races for all ages and abilities, including the event’s signature 5K run.

“We are thrilled to announce that our enormously successful stepNout event will come to the City of Scottsdale. By partnering in this new way with the City of Scottsdale, TGen is generating answers and hope in the search for new treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer,” said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff.

Vowing to “fight pancreatic cancer, one step at a time,” stepNout organizers plan to raise more than $150,000 this year on the way to eventually surpass the $1 million mark in fundraising. Participants have donated more than $750,000 since the event started in 2006 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe.

One of TGen’s goals is to develop a method of early detection for pancreatic cancer. Currently, there are no tests to catch this disease in its early stages. As a result, it often is not diagnosed until its late stages, making it more difficult to treat.

Pancreatic cancer this year will take the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans, the nation’s fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death.

TGen’s pancreatic cancer research is led by Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, TGen’s Distinguished Professor and Physician-In-Chief, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with TGen.

Dr. Von Hoff is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on pancreatic cancer. He and his team have helped develop three different treatment regimens to improve survival for people with advanced pancreatic cancer. If applied earlier, these regimens have the potential to make an even more powerful impact against the disease.

“We are proud to add stepNout to the calendar of exciting and meaningful events that call Scottsdale home. TGen is one of the most significant contributors to Scottsdale’s Cure Corridor of research and medical facilities, offering world-class healthcare opportunities to residents of Scottsdale and all Arizona citizens,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane.

Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive, is a state-of the-art, 71-acre competitive sport facility offering tournament level playing conditions. The facility accommodates a variety of flat field sports such as soccer, lacrosse, football, Ultimate Frisbee and rugby. In addition to sports fields, the complex has a lighted basketball court, a shaded playground, multi-use paths, open park space and two restroom facilities.

If you go to stepNout


What: TGen’s 9th annual stepNout Run/Walk/Dash for pancreatic cancer research.
Where: Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive, northeast of Hayden and Bell roads, between Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.
When: 7-11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. Registration starts at 7 a.m.; races begin at 9 a.m.; an awards ceremony is set for 10 a.m.; and a kids’ dash is planned for 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Registration fees range from $15 to $35, depending on age and competition. Children ages 4 and under are free.

Registration: Register at the event, or register online by Oct. 28 by visiting www.tgenfoundation.org/step.
Parking: Free.

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Scottsdale Healthcare Shea in ‘100 Great Hospitals’

Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center was recently named one of the “100 Great Hospitals in America” by healthcare industry trade publication Becker’s Hospital Review.

With its selection of Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, the editorial team from Becker’s noted several positives including surgical expertise, patient safety, education and research capabilities.

Editors also highlighted the hospital’s orthopedic programs and involvement in drug development research through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, which led to new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer and basal cell carcinoma being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center is one of the economic anchors of the city of Scottsdale’s Cure Corridor along Shea Blvd. near Loop 101. The 433-bed medical center is designated as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

“This recognition is for the dedicated team of physicians, staff, volunteers and leaders who provide the care, support, research and resources that make honors like this possible,” said Gary Baker, chief executive officer of Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center. “We do not go about our work seeking these recognitions; it is truly a byproduct of the wonderful team that provides care in this community.”

To develop its list, the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team conducted research, considered nominations and evaluated reputable hospital resources such as Truven Health Analytics, Healthgrades, American Nurses Credentialing Center, The LeapFrog Group and other resources.

“Defining a hospital today, let alone a great hospital, has become an unusual sort of challenge. A hospital is no longer just a facility where people go to have a baby or undergo surgery. It’s become an organization that coordinates care for the masses and ensures patients stay healthy in the future,” editors noted in announcing the 2014 “100 Great Hospitals in America” list.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, each of listed institutions has a rich history, strong credentials and a growing focus on how to best care for patients in an era of reform. “These organizations have played home to some of the greatest medical advancements in U.S. healthcare history, and they are also the bastions of their respective communities — serving the roles of academic hubs or local mainstays,” said Becker’s editors.

Scottsdale Healthcare is an affiliate of Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, and includes Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care centers and the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

medical.research

TGen, SHC begin clinical trial for anti-tumor drug

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) are studying the safety and effectiveness of a new drug, AG-120, for treatment of patients with solid tumors, especially those with brain tumors and gallbladder bile duct cancer.

“AG-120 is designed specifically for those patients who carry the IDH1 gene mutation,” said Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, Distinguished Professor and Physician-In-Chief at TGen, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen that delivers new treatments to cancer patients based on precision medicine.

The IDH1 gene mutation is most commonly found in gliomas, which make up the largest group of “primary” brain tumors, those that start in the brain. Gliomas include all tumors arising from the gluey or supportive tissue of the brain. They represent about 30 percent of all brain tumors, and about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors.

As with all brain cancers, gliomas are difficult to treat and many grow back after surgery, radiation and standard of care chemotherapy. Many drugs cannot get to the brain because of a filtering mechanism in the body called the blood-brain barrier.

“There is a great need for more effective treatments for patients with gliomas and other solid tumors, such as gallbladder bile duct cancer,” said Dr. Von Hoff, who is the Principal Investigator for AG-120 clinical trial. This study will enroll as many as 50 patients. Researchers will use precision medicine to match treatments to patient’s specific genomic, or molecular, makeups.

Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2, originally discovered in 2008, occur in the vast majority of low-grade gliomas and secondary high-grade gliomas. IDH mutations are oncogenic, meaning they have the potential to cause cancer. These mutations occur early in the formation of gliomas and in gallbladder bile duct cancer.

AG-120 is produced by Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass.

IDH1 is a metabolic enzyme identified by Agios as a protein that is mutated in a wide range of malignant tumors. Agios and its collaborators recently demonstrated that IDH1 mutations initiate and drive cancer growth by blocking differentiation, or maturation, of primitive cells. According to Agios, the inhibition of these mutated proteins may lead to clinical benefit for those cancer patients whose tumors carry them.

bioscience

Pancreatic cancer drug successfully tested by TGen

A clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), showed that a new drug called MM-398, given in combination with 5-flourouracil (5FU) and leucovorin, produced a significant overall survival rate in patients with advanced, previously-treated pancreatic cancer.

The NAPOLI-1 (NAnoliPOsomaL Irinotecan) Phase 3 study — a final confirmation of a drug’s safety and effectiveness — was conducted among patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who previously received gemcitibine, which has been the standard-of-care therapy for such patients.

The study, sponsored by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, evaluated 417 patients enrolled at more than 100 sites in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, including patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. Merrimack expects to submit a New Drug Application this year to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the MM-398 combination regimen.

“This demonstration of a survival benefit from the MM-398 plus 5-FU and leucovorin combination is particularly important given that we have very few treatment options for patients in this tough clinical setting,” said Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, global principal investigator of the NAPOLI-1 study, Chief Scientific Officer for Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at TGen. “The results of the NAPOLI-1 study are important because of the critical need to help patients with this devastating illness and move forward towards FDA approval.”

The combination of MM-398 with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin achieved an overall survival of 6.1 months, a 1.9 month improvement over the 4.2 month survival demonstrated by the control arm of 5-FU and leucovorin alone.

Each year in the U.S., nearly 46,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and more than 39,000 patients die, making it the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Only about 1 in 4 patients survive more than one year after diagnosis, and only 6 percent survivor more than five years.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually do not appear until the cancer is in its late stages, making it difficult to treat. Once the disease spreads to other parts of the body, most patients are not candidates for surgery and receive chemotherapy as their primary treatment.

This study will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology World Conference on Gastrointestinal Cancer being held June 25-28 in Barcelona, Spain.

Patients seeking information about research studies may contact the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare at 480-323-1339 or toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or e-mail: clinicaltrials@shc.org.

cancer

Scottsdale Healthcare cancer programs honored

The cancer programs at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, including the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, have been awarded the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award by the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC).

The award acknowledges cancer programs that achieve excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. Scottsdale Healthcare has the only two cancer programs in Arizona and is among a select group of 74 healthcare facilities across the U.S. to receive the CoC national Outstanding Achievement Award.

“This award is a reflection of the dedication and expertise of our cancer care team, who have dedicated their careers to caring for cancer patients and work tirelessly to provide comprehensive, high quality and compassionate care to our patients,” said Gary Baker, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network senior vice president and CEO of Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

Scottsdale Healthcare’s cancer programs were evaluated on 34 standards categorized within five activity areas: clinical services, quality improvement, cancer committee leadership, cancer data management and cancer conferences. Eligibility for the Outstanding Achievement Award requires achieving a rating of compliance in each of the 34 standards and a rating of commendation in seven additional standards.

“We are proud of this honor,” said Selma Kendrick, director of operations for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. “It’s an important accomplishment because it recognizes our dedication to providing world-class cancer care for our patients through a variety of disciplines and the high standards we have operationally.”

According to the Commission on Cancer, the purpose of the award is to raise awareness on the importance of providing quality cancer care at healthcare institutions throughout the U.S. In addition, it is intended to:

• Motivate other cancer programs to work toward improving their level of care.
• Facilitate dialogue between award recipients and healthcare professionals at other cancer facilities for the purpose of sharing best practices.
• Encourage honorees to serve as quality-care resources to other cancer programs.
• Educate cancer patients on available quality-care options.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix to offer comprehensive cancer care and research through clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists.

Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and related entities are affiliates of the non-profit Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. For more information on cancer services at Scottsdale Healthcare, visit shc.org. 


Honor Ball co-chairs Margot Knight and Robynn Sussman present a check for $940,000 from event proceeds to Mark Slater, PhD, chief executive of Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, and Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, chief scientific officer for Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare.

Honor Ball raises $940,000 for Scottsdale Healthcare

The 38th Honor Ball presented by Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation broke event records by raising $940,000 to support patient services and clinical research at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare.

“Congratulations to all of The Honor Ball 2014 community volunteers for raising $940,000 in net proceeds – a record-amount in the Ball’s 38-year history,” said Laura Grafman, executive vice president of Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation.

The Honor Ball 2014 recognized Peggy J. Reiley, RN, PhD, former Scottsdale Healthcare senior vice president and chief clinical officer who made a tremendous impact on nursing at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The Honor Ball is one of the Valley’s most enduring, fun and successful black-tie events, and was held Jan. 25 at The Phoenician Resort. More than 25,000 have attended since 1977, raising more than $12 million to support patient and community services at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix to offer comprehensive cancer treatment, research, diagnosis, prevention and support services in a single location. The center quickly developed a national reputation for innovative care and access to many first-of-its-kind cancer treatments.

Cancer patients from across Arizona and the U.S. seek care at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. It is noted for expertise and experience in treating certain less common cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, and is one of four U.S. cancer centers named as a Community Resource Center in the Association of Community Cancer Centers Improving Quality Care in Pancreatic Cancerproject.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer treatment and research through clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital and related entities are part of the non-profit Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. For more information, visit www.shc.org. 


From left: Dr. Mark Slater, Chris Suppes, Barb Swift, Elyse Newton and Dr. Daniel Von Hoff.

Mirabel donates $260K for cancer research

Mirabel recently completed its Sixth Annual Hope for the Cause Charity Classic and presented Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute with a check for $260,000. The two week-long series of events included a 5k, men’s and women’s golf tournaments, a ladies’ tennis match, and bridge. The event began with a panel of Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute physicians who shared their most recent advances. The closing event was a reception with a live and silent auction. In the past six years, Hope for the Cause has donated more than $930,000 to benefit the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Healthcare.

The donated funds are dedicated to supporting patients in the Cancer Clinical Trials program. These trials are the first steps for receiving drug approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The event also represents a significant commitment both in time and resources from the Mirabel membership, staff, friends and community.It reflects the overall dedication of the Mirabel community to help those in need.

In honor of their tremendous support throughout the years, the Patient Treatment/Infusion Suite at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare was dedicated and officially named The Mirabel Clinical Trials Infusion Suite. The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix, offering comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading researchers and community oncologists.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare is known worldwide for its expertise in studying new treatments for pancreatic cancer. It is a co-lead site with Dr. Von Hoff as the principal investigator for Stand Up to Cancer’s Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team comprised of scientists working to develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer. An affiliate of the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, is designated by the Association of Community Cancer Centers as a Community Resource Center for Pancreatic Cancer and holds Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

Michael Gordon MD

Gordon named clinical trials medical director

Michael S. Gordon, MD, one of the greater Phoenix area’s leading medical oncologists and cancer researchers, has been named the new Medical Director for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare. Dr. Gordon will oversee the center’s internationally recognized Phase I clinical trials program, which is known for its leadership in first-in-human studies of new cancer therapies.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with TGen, is a leading clinical research site for Phase I studies of new cancer drugs. It is often among the first in the world to offer a new investigational drug for eligible patients with a broad range of cancers.

Dr. Gordon is a medical oncologist who serves as CEO of Pinnacle Oncology Hematology, a division of Arizona Center for Cancer Care, in Scottsdale, focusing on translational research and the care and management of cancer patients seeking phase I and phase II clinical trials. He is a Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and is actively engaged in the education of medical students as co-director of the Oncology Block.

Dr. Gordon’s principal research interests are in development of new cancer therapies with a focus on targeted and immunologic therapies as well as drugs that affect angiogenesis (tumor blood vessel supply). Avastin®, Perjeta® and Neumega® are among the drugs Dr. Gordon has helped validate for FDA approval. His disease focuses include kidney cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and ovarian cancer.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, through its relationships with top physician scientists, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies world wide, offers a variety of early-phase cancer research studies providing local impact to the citizens of Arizona, according to Dr. Gordon.

“The care and management of patients with cancer and associated diagnoses is rapidly evolving. The ability to provide patients with cutting-edge treatments has the potential to transform the way cancer care is delivered. The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare has always been a leader in this regard and its relationships with its community partners defines Scottsdale Healthcare’s commitment to our patients and our community,” said Dr. Gordon.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues and to the evolution of a new dynamic as we work to accelerate the access to new cancer drugs to our patients in need. By focusing on innovation in a collaborative spirit with our community physicians, we reinforce our primary commitment to our patients and their families,” he continued.

Dr. Gordon specifically noted the strength of the talent in Scottsdale and their commitment to excellence. “Our programs have a tremendous core of individuals at all levels of clinical research and primary patient care who ensure that we do the best work possible, drawing greater focus on Scottsdale as the “go to” place for cancer drug development.”

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute are known for collaborations with leading genomic scientists, academic centers and community-based physicians such as the Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Palo Verde Hematology Oncology and Arizona Oncology Associates, said Mark Slater, PhD, chief executive, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.

“We will continue to collaborate with our community physicians, our partners at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Translational Drug Development (TD2), nationally recognized universities and others to better serve our community and accelerate breakthrough innovations for cancer treatment,” added Dr. Slater.

Examples of recent successes in accelerating new drug development at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center are skin cancer drug Erivedge® and the use of Abraxane for treating pancreatic cancer. Both worldwide studies were led in Scottsdale by Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, chief scientific officer of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen Physician-in-Chief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Erivedge® for advanced basal cell carcinoma in January 2012 and approved Abraxane in combination with standard therapy for pancreatic cancer in September 2013.

“We are honing in on the pathways to help tailor the right drug to the right patient at the right time,” said Dr. Von Hoff. “This is an exciting era of precision medicine and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare provides unprecedented access to new therapies for people in our community.”

Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, an investigator at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials specializing in treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, agreed that the program will benefit from the inclusion of Dr. Gordon.

“My passion is cancer research and I look forward to growing our program along with Dr. Gordon, Dr. Von Hoff and everyone involved in this important work at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. I’m optimistic that we can continue our strong track record of success as we battle this disease,” said Dr. Ramanathan, who is also a senior investigator and Clinical Professor at TGen and the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.

“Our campus is becoming the epicenter of research activity across the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, and we are creating an infrastructure that continues to attract top talent to our organization,” added Gary Baker, senior vice president and CEO, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

Baker noted that the depth of science through the diagnostic and genomic capabilities available to local cancer patients is a key benefit of the inclusiveness and collaborative spirit fostered within the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.

“It’s a great example of locally based, yet nationally respected leading researchers, community physicians and clinical teams working together to develop new therapies and innovative treatments that benefit patients here in Arizona and across the United States,” concluded Ron Korn, MD, PhD, medical director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix, offering comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading researchers and community oncologists.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare is known worldwide for its expertise in studying new treatments for pancreatic cancer. It is a co-lead site with Dr. Von Hoff as the principal investigator for Stand Up to Cancer’s Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team comprised of scientists working to develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, an affiliate of the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, is designated by the Association of Community Cancer Centers as a Community Resource Center for Pancreatic Cancer and holds Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

dan-von-hoff

SHC’s Von Hoff honored for cancer advances

In association with its 50th anniversary, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has named Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., FACP, one of ASCO’s 50 Oncology Luminaries, celebrating 50 doctors who over the past half-century have significantly advanced cancer care.

Dr. Von Hoff is Chief Scientific Officer for Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). He is an internationally recognized physician and scientist whose research during the past 30 years has contributed to the development of many anticancer agents that are routinely used in clinical practice. Among these drugs are fludarabine, mitoxantrone, paclitaxel, docetaxel, irinotecan, topotecan, nelarabine, gemcitabine, vismodegib, and nanoparticle paclitaxel.

ASCO was founded in 1964 by oncologists to improve the care of cancer patients. Profiles of the 50 Oncology Luminaries are being featured on the ASCO website, and their accomplishments will be celebrated at ASCO’s 50th annual meeting, May 30-June 3 in Chicago.

Although it is difficult to pick one highlight of his career, Dr. Von Hoff and his team played an instrumental role in the development of gemcitabine, the first drug to improve the survival of patients with stage IV pancreatic cancer. In 1997, they published the results of a clinical trial that showed that gemcitabine not only increased the rate of clinical benefit in patients with pancreatic cancer compared with fluorouracil (5-FU), but it also improved overall survival.

This work was followed by recognition of the activity of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine against pancreatic cancer with the recent finding that that regimen also improved survival for patients with stage IV pancreatic cancer. On Sept. 6, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nab-paclitaxel as a frontline therapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

International clinical trials that led to the FDA’s approval were led by Dr. Von Hoff at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership of Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen, at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Dr. Von Hoff has also been instrumental in the concept of development of personalized therapy for patients with refractory cancer based on using molecular techniques to profile their cancers. This work included the initial clinical trials to determine what percentage of patients could benefit from that approach.

Dr. Von Hoff has spent the past 30 years of his career leading teams in phase I trials and the development of new therapies, first as the founding director of the Institute for Drug Development at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio, then as the director of the Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona. He also is Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic and serves as Chief Scientific Officer for US Oncology.

When Dr. Von Hoff was awarded ASCO’s David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award in 2010, he took several minutes at the beginning of his lecture to memorialize all of the patients that he and his team had lost during phase I trials the previous year, mentioning several of them by name. The gesture reflected what Dr. Von Hoff named as the greatest accomplishment of his career: working hard to help as many people as he could.

“I have been extremely fortunate to have many great (and incredibly patient) teachers, mentors, and co-workers,” Dr. Von Hoff said. “Truly though I think the greatest teachers and mentors for me have been those I have been privileged to care for.”

cancer.ytratment

Old Town Scottsdale gets new Cancer Care Center

Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC), a multispecialty group of Arizona’s most recognizable names in cancer treatment and technology, has announced that it has officially opened at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Medical Center location.

“We are pleased to welcome AZCCC to the Osborn Medical Center location and look forward to continuing to work together to provide exceptional oncology care at both of our Scottsdale Healthcare facilities,” said Lindsay Thomas, director of oncology for Scottsdale Healthcare.

Earlier this year AZCCC opened a facility at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Shea Medical Center location, allowing doctors to accommodate an increased volume of patients and bring leading-edge cancer care technology to Scottsdale Healthcare.

The facility is an outpatient single story building at 337 E. 2nd St. on Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Campus.

“The goal was to bring the best physicians together to offer the best comprehensive care to patients,” said Thomas. “Both the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea and Osborn Centers share a commitment to clinical excellence and our partnership with AZCCC has enabled us to broaden our services in this region.”

Aside from additional exam and procedure rooms, the now complete facility renovations include:
* The addition of state-of-the-art radiation therapy services such as RapidArc Sterotactic Radiosurgery, which will allow for short courses of pin-pointed radiation
* The installation of a new iX Linear Accelerator manufactured by Varian, the industry leader in radiation equipment, capable of delivering precision Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy

“Radiation therapy technologies such as IMRT/ IGRT and Radiosurgery help deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors with fewer complications and less immediate and long-term side effects,” said Dr. Diane C. Racine, a partner at AZCCC and member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff.

Dr. Racine has been providing services at the AZCCC Virginia G. Piper location, but will soon bring her services and expertise to the new facility at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. In addition to her current role, Racine practiced at and served as director of residency programs for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and has both taught radiation oncology courses at the University of Chicago and served as assistant professor of radiation oncology at Rush Medical College.

Joining Racine at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center will be fellow radiation oncologist Dr. Luci Chen. . Chen also brings experience from her time as clinical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital and as assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Chicago. She has also been awarded a Fellowship by the American Cancer Society for her clinical research in cancer care.

“With a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to radiation therapy now available through both Scottsdale Healthcare locations, patients will have the best chance for achieving optimal treatment results with the added convenience of the two local centers,” said Chen.

For more information, please visit www.arizonaccc.com.

Medical Director Mike Janicek, MD, Clinical Manager Sherry Razo and VP/Administrator Kim Post cut the ribbon the dedicate the Women’s Health and Healing Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital.

Women's cancer unit dedicated at Thomspon Peak Hospital

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital dedicated its new Women’s Health and Healing Unit with a ribbon cutting and celebration for staff.

Located on the hospital’s third floor, it provides a comforting environment to support the needs of women receiving treatment for gynecologic cancers including ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer.

Nursing staff are specially trained in gynecologic cancers and include a dedicated gynecologic oncology-trained Nurse Practitioner, bringing an added layer of care, comfort and expertise to the upgraded and relocated unit.

The Women’s Health and Healing Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital was specially decorated to create a warm, soothing environment and designed for enhanced communication among the care team.

“In terms of a medical facility, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is very different and unique. It represents a sanctuary,” says Mike Janicek, MD, medical director of the Women’s Health and Healing Unit and gynecologic oncologist on staff at Arizona Oncology.

“Many of these patients are traumatized and going through a physically and emotionally difficult time,” he explains. “This unit helps with their journey. It’s not as much about the bricks and mortar as it is about the staff and the way they treat patients. The nursing staff, the operating room team – everyone here is phenomenal.”

“It not only has the latest in high-tech equipment, but it’s a very relaxing and comforting place as well. For me and my patients, Thompson Peak Hospital really combines the best of both worlds – the small hospital experience with the medical expertise of a larger facility,” adds Janicek.

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is a leader in minimally invasive surgery – often a major part of the treatment plan in a patient with gynecologic cancer – and is home to the daVinci robotic surgical system, the world’s most technically advanced surgical robot.

And while the state-of-the-art equipment and advanced expertise of the physicians and staff at the hospital are impressive, the calming, patient-friendly atmosphere is also worth noting.

The hospital itself was designed from the patient’s perspective and reflects a new generation of concierge-focused healthcare facilities. Visitors and patients can stroll through the soothing and award-winning healing gardens, shop in the boutique or enjoy works of art created by local artists. Patients can even enjoy a visit from their favorite pet to make them feel more at home and assist in the healing process.

“It truly is the pinnacle of a healing environment. It gives patients such a sense of comfort coming to a place they know and trust,” says Janicek.

Scottsdale Healthcare is a community-based, non-profit health system that includes Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care centers, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and other entities. A leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, Scottsdale Healthcare was founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

Medical Director Mike Janicek, MD, Clinical Manager Sherry Razo and VP/Administrator Kim Post cut the ribbon the dedicate the Women’s Health and Healing Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital.

Women’s cancer unit dedicated at Thomspon Peak Hospital

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital dedicated its new Women’s Health and Healing Unit with a ribbon cutting and celebration for staff.

Located on the hospital’s third floor, it provides a comforting environment to support the needs of women receiving treatment for gynecologic cancers including ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer.

Nursing staff are specially trained in gynecologic cancers and include a dedicated gynecologic oncology-trained Nurse Practitioner, bringing an added layer of care, comfort and expertise to the upgraded and relocated unit.

The Women’s Health and Healing Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital was specially decorated to create a warm, soothing environment and designed for enhanced communication among the care team.

“In terms of a medical facility, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is very different and unique. It represents a sanctuary,” says Mike Janicek, MD, medical director of the Women’s Health and Healing Unit and gynecologic oncologist on staff at Arizona Oncology.

“Many of these patients are traumatized and going through a physically and emotionally difficult time,” he explains. “This unit helps with their journey. It’s not as much about the bricks and mortar as it is about the staff and the way they treat patients. The nursing staff, the operating room team – everyone here is phenomenal.”

“It not only has the latest in high-tech equipment, but it’s a very relaxing and comforting place as well. For me and my patients, Thompson Peak Hospital really combines the best of both worlds – the small hospital experience with the medical expertise of a larger facility,” adds Janicek.

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is a leader in minimally invasive surgery – often a major part of the treatment plan in a patient with gynecologic cancer – and is home to the daVinci robotic surgical system, the world’s most technically advanced surgical robot.

And while the state-of-the-art equipment and advanced expertise of the physicians and staff at the hospital are impressive, the calming, patient-friendly atmosphere is also worth noting.

The hospital itself was designed from the patient’s perspective and reflects a new generation of concierge-focused healthcare facilities. Visitors and patients can stroll through the soothing and award-winning healing gardens, shop in the boutique or enjoy works of art created by local artists. Patients can even enjoy a visit from their favorite pet to make them feel more at home and assist in the healing process.

“It truly is the pinnacle of a healing environment. It gives patients such a sense of comfort coming to a place they know and trust,” says Janicek.

Scottsdale Healthcare is a community-based, non-profit health system that includes Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care centers, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and other entities. A leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, Scottsdale Healthcare was founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

134127959

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.

head.injury

$100,000 grant aids rapid cancer detection program

A one-of-a-kind rapid cancer detection program developed through collaboration between local physicians, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Scottsdale.

The Rapid Detection and Assessment of Response (RADAR) program uses high-tech radiologic imaging and advanced analysis to quickly assess whether a tumor is responding to treatment. RADAR provides physicians with information to make timely decisions about a treatment’s effectiveness and whether an alternate treatment is appropriate, according to Ronald Korn, MD, PhD, medical director of Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

“Through RADAR we hope to be able to rapidly detect cancers before they become incurable,” said Dr. Korn. “Once the cancer is detected and treatment has started, we hope to be able to rapidly assess the response rate to the current treatment plan. With this rapid detection, we will be able to change the course of treatment and make sure patients have the right treatment.”

Dr. Korn added that revolutionary methods of advanced imaging and analysis have the potential to detect treatment responses as early as hours after the start of therapy.

“We have entered into a whole new era of treating cancer,” explained Dr. Korn. “Scottsdale Healthcare is one of the few centers in the country, if not the world, that will be developing and using advanced imaging technologies and analysis to deploy its RADAR program. It is just one example of our efforts to lead Arizona in targeted therapies and personalized medicine through the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.”

“The Industrial Development Authority is honored to provide this critical funding to the RADAR program,” said Marc Grayson, president of the IDA Board of Directors. “The IDA believes that the RADAR program will have a positive impact on cancer services for our community and ultimately many patients will benefit from this.”

“The work being doing today through RADAR is paving the way for a new future where physicians will have a better understanding of effective, personalized cancer treatment and offer hope to many patients and families,” said Dr. Korn.

Patients with cancer should consult with their personal physician to determine eligibility for participation in the RADAR program. Additional information is available by contacting a research patient care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713; or via email at clinicaltrials@shc.org.

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Scottsdale is committed to expanding economic development and business enterprise for Scottsdale, Arizona by making grants from income raised though the issuance of tax-free bonds for qualified applicants in the fields of education, research, health care, housing, non-profit, manufacturing and others. The primary mission of the IDA is to promote the retention, expansion and attraction of businesses and commercial enterprises in Scottsdale and to expand employment opportunities. The IDA is also committed to supporting projects that impact the social, cultural, environmental and physical needs of the Scottsdale community and therefore improving the quality of life for its citizens.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers comprehensive cancer diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. The Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute is committed to accelerating breakthrough therapies for treating devastating and debilitating disorders to improve patients’ health and quality of life through working with leading researchers, physicians and clinical teams.

Scottsdale Healthcare is a community-based, non-profit health system that includes Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Primary Care centers, the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and other entities. A leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, Scottsdale Healthcare was founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

clinical research advantage - vaccines

TGen-Scottsdale Healthcare battle tumor growth

The safety and preliminary efficacy of a new class of tumor fighting drugs were reported by Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Early results from the phase I, first in-human study of an RNA interface (RNAi) drug were announced during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2013, April 6-10, in Washington, D.C. The drug, TKM-080301 (also known as TKM-PLK1) is being developed by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The study was conducted at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with TGen. It found that the RNAi drug acts by silencing the PLK1 gene involved in tumor growth and can be safely administered in humans.  Most patients tolerated the drug well; some showed therapeutic benefit.

“RNAi therapies are a unique approach to cancer treatment as they have the potential to ‘turn off’ the genes’ coding for proteins involved in cancer cell division,” said Dr. Ramesh K. Ramanathan, Medical Director of Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and deputy director of the Clinical Translational Research Division of TGen. “Using a lipid nanoparticle, the RNAi drug can be delivered to a cancer cell to block the expression of specific proteins involved in tumor growth.”

TKM-080301 targets a specific gene called polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), which codes for a protein involved in tumor cell growth. Prior research has shown that high levels of PLK1 are present in many types of cancer, including many of the more aggressive forms.

“Our preclinical results have shown that by decreasing PLK1 levels in cancer cells, we can stop tumor growth and kill the cancer cells,” Dr. Ramanathan said.

He and his colleagues have been enrolling patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma into the ongoing multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation study. Sequential cohorts of three to six patients have been assigned to escalating doses of TKM-080301 as a 30-minute intravenous infusion. To date, the researchers have assigned 23 patients to the drug at doses ranging from 0.15 mg/kg per week to 0.9 mg/kg per week.

The most common drug-related adverse events have been mild to moderate and include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Dose-limiting toxicities were observed at the 0.9 mg/kg per-week dose. One patient with a history of asthma experienced shortness of breath and hypoxia; another patient had thrombocytopenia. The researchers subsequently reduced the maximum dose to 0.75 mg/kg per week.

Two patients have been assigned to TKM-080301 for more than six months and have shown no evidence of cumulative toxicity. One of these patients has stable disease and the other has a durable confirmed partial response.

“RNAi therapies, such as the one used in our study, have the potential to make a significant and broad impact on how we treat cancer because we have the ability to target virtually any protein involved in the disease,” Ramanathan said. “This approach has the potential to augment the currently available cancer treatments to improve outcomes for the patient.”

bike

Bike Week Blast-Off benefits Scottsdale Healthcare

Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Gift of Life Lodging Program is beneficiary of Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and Go AZ Motorcycles’ Annual Arizona Bike Week Blast-Off  Party on Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Festivities include motorcycle stunt riders, food and live music, a motorcycle giveaway, trials of the Nation’s first commercial motorcycle simulator and much more! Legendary rock group John Kay and Steppenwolf will end the night with a free concert.

Anyone with a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license qualifies for Free admission for themselves  and their passenger. Non-motorcycle riders can get in with a $20 donation fee with 100% of the proceeds going to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Gift of Life Lodging program.

Offered through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and Country Inn & Suites of Scottsdale, the Gift of Life Lodging Program provides a home-away-from-home for cancer patients seeking care at Scottsdale Healthcare.

“What a great way to celebrate the motorcycle community – all travelers and local riders alike! Our 2nd Annual Bike Week Blast-Off Party is dedicated to building and celebrating our rider heritage and giving back to our community,” said Bob Parsons, CEO/founder of Go AZ Motorcycles and Harley-Davidson® of Scottsdale. “We want everyone to come out and join in the fun!”

“We are so grateful for the ongoing support of our dear friend, Bob Parsons and everyone at Harley-Davidson® of Scottsdale and Go AZ Motorcycles. Thanks to their efforts, these patients and their families have support during their cancer journey,” said Joanne Gain, vice president of Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation.

Event info: http://www.hdofscottsdale.com

Gift of Life Lodging Program info: http://www.shc.org/Medical+Services/Cancer+Care/Gift+of+Life+Lodging+Program

medical.research

FDA approved thyroid cancer drug tested by TGen

The FDA has approved a thyroid cancer drug successfully tested at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership of Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved cabozantinib for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), a rare endocrine gland cancer affecting the thyroid. Previously, MTC patients had limited treatment options.

“This was a really exciting trial. We have a drug that blocks the gene that causes a rare type of cancer,” said Dr. Michael Demeure, the Site Principal Investigator on the Phase III clinical trial and endocrine surgeon at Scottsdale Healthcare. “We’re trying to do more tests like this to try to bring innovative and exciting new cancer drugs for our patients.”

More than 56,000 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year, and 1,780 will die from the disease. About 4 percent of thyroid cancers are medullary, a form of carcinoma that originates from the parafollicular, or C, cells, which produce the hormone calcitonin. Physicians are able to confirm a diagnosis of MTC by detecting elevated levels of calcitonin in the blood.

MTC often is not detected until its late stages. And unlike 90 percent of differentiated thyroid cancers, MTC does not respond to the most common treatments, making it difficult to manage.

The RET gene, which is part of the family of tyrosine kinase proteins, plays a role in the development of MTC. Cabozantinib is an inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, including RET, MET and VEGFR2.

“Cabozantinib targets tyrosine kinases that are important in medullary thyroid cancer, including RET, MET and VEGFR2. When such tyrosine kinases — which are known to play a role in tumor growth and metastasis — are also the drug target, that gives you hope that you can impact favorably on the disease,” said Dr. Demeure, contrasting MTC with other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, where the precise genetic source of the cancer remains unconfirmed or unknown.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare enrolled two patients with MTC as part of an international randomized clinical trial of more than 300 patients.

FDA’s approval on Nov. 29 was based on demonstrating improved progression-free survival (PFS). The estimated median PFS was 11.2 months for patients taking cabozantinib, compared to 4 months for patients taking placebo. The drug is sold as COMETRIQ and marketed by South San Francisco-based Exelixis, Inc.

One patient who continues to benefit from clinical trial treatments at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials is Gordon Hunt, 68, a retired life-insurance salesman from Phoenix.

Hunt said he started noticing discomfort in his neck several years ago. After seeing a series of specialists, a calcitonin test finally confirmed that he had an advanced case of MTC.

Hunt endured several surgeries that included the removal of his thyroid and lymph nodes in his neck and chest. Following his most recent surgeries more than two years ago, performed by Dr. Demeure, Hunt’s calcitonin levels dropped from a one-time high of 3,300 picograms per milliliter, when he was first diagnosed, to about 500 pg/ml.

After receiving cabozantinib since February 2011, Hunt’s calcitonin levels are down to about 250 pg/ml, indicating that the cancer might still be in his system, but he has had no detectable tumors.

“I feel like he saved my life,” Hunt said of Dr. Demeure, who suggested he take part in the cabozantinib clinical trial.

“I’m just thankful for it, because I’m sure I’d be probably ready for another surgery of some sort if I hadn’t been on the medication,” said Hunt, who also expressed gratitude to the entire staff of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. “They’ve been responsive to my every need.”

Hunt said he at first suffered side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, weight loss and constipation. But by lowering his dosage, the side effects eventually diminished, he said. Dose reduction was required in 79 percent of clinical trial patients, according to the FDA.

Hunt receives monthly doses of the drug along with tests for calcitonin, as well as quarterly scans for tumors.

Between doses, he and his wife Nancy, a retired schoolteacher, travel extensively, including trips in the past year to California, Texas, Missouri and Australia.

“We’re still active, so that’s a good thing,” said Hunt, noting that the couple, who have lived 47 years in Phoenix, still go regularly to the gym and are active in their church.

“I’m excited. I played a part in making it (FDA approval) happen,” Hunt said. “I thank God that I was chosen to take part in obtaining the approval of the medication. If it works for me, it’s going to work for other people, and that’s good.”

In addition to treating MTC, cabozantinib is being explored as a therapy for numerous tumor types, including prostate, ovarian, brain, melanoma, breast, and non-small cell lung cancers.

woman pinching stomach

Are The Symptoms You're Feeling Early Signs Of Cancer?

Reading the signs: Are the symptoms you’re feeling early signs of cancer? Why women ignore the signs, and what they may mean.


While women are busy caring for their children, their clients or both, there’s one important individual they tend to neglect — themselves. More frequently than not, women don’t make their own health a priority, ignoring symptoms that could be early signs of cancer.

“Women frequently ignore symptoms because they are simply busy,” says Dr. Daniel Maki, M.D., director of breast imaging at Scottsdale Medical Imaging (SMIL). “They are head of the household, often responsible for so many others that they put their own health on the back burner.”

What’s worse is some women believe the symptoms will just go away, so they ignore or deny the symptoms, according to Dr. Clayton Palowy, M.D., medical oncologist with Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in Chandler.

“It’s human nature to ignore symptoms because you don’t want to view the worst, and you start rationalizing them as natural causes,” says Dr. Mike Janicek, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment Program at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center. “I would say it’s the slowness of some of the symptoms that may sneak under the radar and makes it difficult for women to pay attention to symptoms, when in retrospect, it’s clear to them.”

Many symptoms such as bloating, irregular vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain seem typical, but, in reality, these and a few common symptoms that could be signs of various types of cancers.

Breast cancer

The stats:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the U.S. in 2012, it was estimated by the National Cancer Institute that there were nearly 227,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 39,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

The most common complaint or symptom is a lump in the breast.

“Depending on what the lump (cancer) invades during its growth, it may cause a variety of different symptoms based on what it grows into,” says Dr. Maki.

“If the lump invades into the nipple or skin, it can begin causing retraction or dimpling,” he adds. “If the lump invades a blood vessel and milk duct, it can cause blood to be discharged from the nipple. If it invades nerve fibers, it can cause pain. If it invades the skin, it can cause thickening or change in texture of the skin itself.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the nipple (particularly a bloody discharge)
  • Nipple inversion or retraction
  • Skin dimpling (along one edge of the breast) or retraction

“Sometimes patients even describe simply a ‘thickening’ of an area of the breast rather than a discrete lump,” says Dr. Maki.

Palowy says that breast changes such as a red breast is an early sign of inflammatory breast cancer and can be mistaken for infection.

Symptoms mistaken for:

Many of the symptoms are often attributed to cysts or one’s menstrual cycle, according to Maki. And in a large number of patients with lumps or pain, the assumption may often be correct.

“However, occasionally these symptoms do unfortunately represent early stages of breast cancer, and any new breast symptoms should always be brought to the attention of one’s doctor,” Dr. Maki says.

Prevention:

Mammograms and screenings are the best way to find breast cancer early. Also, be aware of your family history and risk factors. The National Cancer Institute has a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool helps estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Visit cancer.gov/bcrisktool.

Cervical cancer

The stats:

All women are at risk for cervical (uterine cervix) cancer, which forms in the tissue of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) and is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. However, it occurs more often in women over the age of 30.

In the U.S. in 2012, the National Cancer Institute estimated more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

  • Bleeding with intercourse: This is often mistaken for “just too much friction,” according to Dr. Deborah Wilson, M.D., of Scottsdale.
  • Bleeding after intercourse: Mistaken for the start of one’s period.
  • Irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding pre-menopausal: Mistaken for an abnormal period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.
  • Bleeding after menopause: Mistaken for an unexpected period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.

Prevention:

Two tests can help prevent or find cervical cancer early: a Pap test (or a pap smear) and the HPV test.

Ovarian cancer

The stats:

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the ovary, with most ovarian cancers either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were more than 22,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 15,000 deaths in 2012 in the United States.

The symptoms:

  • Bloating: Mistaken for gas pain.
  • Pelvic pain: Mistaken for indigestion.
  • Early satiety
  • Chronic indigestion: Mistaken for food intolerance.

Prevention:

As with breast cancer, know your family history and inherited risk and changes, such as changes in the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, according to the CDC, most breast and ovarian cancers are primarily due to aging, the environment and lifestyle.

“Ovarian cancer has no screening test, so that’s the one that most people focus on the symptoms,” says Janicek. “By the time you get bloating and some of the other symptoms, it’s often in its advanced stages.”

Know your history

The No. 1 symptom to consider? Family history, according Janicek.

“Family history is an unusual but very important symptom,” says Janicek. “And it’s not just for breast, but for ovarian and lynch syndrome. People don’t think of family history as a symptom, but it is. If you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may be at genetic risk for cancer.”

Compile your family’s health history, and go as far back as three generations. Janicek says to let other family members know when another family member gets cancer. Not only will you and your family be informed, but it will also help the doctor look for any patterns of disease in the family.

Visit My Family Health Portrait’s website at familyhistory.hhs.gov to help collect and track your family health history.

Collect the following information about both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family:

  • Number of close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer: mother, sister(s), daughter(s), grandmothers, aunt(s), niece(s), and granddaughter(s)
  • Ages when the cancers were diagnosed
  • Whether anyone had cancer of both breasts
  • Breast cancer in male relatives
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry

For more information about cancer treatment and prevention, visit:

Scottsdale Medical Imaging
Scottsdale Medical Center
3501 N. Scottsdale Rd., #130, Scottsdale
(480) 425-5081
esmil.com

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
695 S. Dobson Rd., Chandler
(480) 821-2838
ironwoodcrc.com

Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center
Scottsdale Gynecologic Oncology
10197 N. 92nd St., #101, Scottsdale
(480) 993-2950
arizonaoncology.com

Deborah Wilson, M.D., Gynecology
8997 E. Desert Cove,  #105, Scottsdale
(480) 860-4791
drwilsonobgyn.com

Scottsdale Living Magazine Winter 2013

medical.research

TGen, Scottsdale Healthcare lead pancreatic cancer study

A new cancer drug combination demonstrated significant improvement in overall survival of late-stage pancreatic cancer patients compared to those receiving standard treatment, according to results of a Phase III clinical trial led by physicians from Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Physicians at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare were first to design a clinical trial to determine the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) in combination with the standard drug gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Results of that multicenter study chaired by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff were encouraging enough that it led to one of the largest international studies ever done in pancreatic cancer, with 861 patients.

Full results are expected to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in Jan. 24-26 in San Francisco.

“This is a great example of rapid bench to bedside development of new treatments for cancer. We’re ecstatic that we will have a new treatment for patients with late stage pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Von Hoff, international lead investigator and Chief Scientific Officer for the Virginia G. Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen’s Physician-In-Chief.

The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that secretes enzymes into the upper part of the small intestine to help digestion. It also produces hormones, including insulin, which helps regulate the metabolism of sugars. Advanced pancreatic cancer is fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States and throughout the world. It is a difficult to diagnose and treat cancer with the lowest survival rates among all cancer types.

Nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) is an albumin-bound formulation of paclitaxel, produced by Celgene Corp. Dr. Von Hoff said that results of the MPACT (Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial) study will lead Celgene to submit for FDA approval.

“Pancreatic cancer incidence is increasing worldwide with almost 220,000 cases per year, and we are optimistic that this will have worldwide impact for treating advanced pancreatic cancer,” added Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan, Medical Director of Virginia G. Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and principal investigator for the United States.

Dr. Von Hoff credited the support of Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer and the Seena Magowitz Foundation for advancing the study at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. He noted that TGen and International Genomics Consortium scientists in collaboration with scientists from Abraxis Bioscience found that in pancreatic cancer, an albumin-binding protein called SPARC was present at high levels in cells within the pancreatic tumor microenvironment. They hypothesized that the albumin formulation of nab-paclitaxel may be taken up by tumor and surrounding cells with high SPARC expression.

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or via email at clinicaltrials@shc.org.

SkySong

Innovation unites Arizona’s economic engines

When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, it was easy to identify its economic engines, those industries, innovators and locations that drove the state’s economy and employment.

They all started with C — copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate.
A decade later, it’s not so easy.

“We must find ways to diversify our economy, including investing in bioscience and technology, health science and innovation,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says. “We are coming out of the recession, and we need to move forward in a strategic way.”

Today’s economic engines are doing just that. They innovate, they collaborate, and the only one that starts with C is CityScape, and the only copper you’ll find there is Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen and the cotton is at Urban Outfitters.

But today’s economic engines have to clear vision and direction for driving Arizona’s economy during its second century.

The Biodesign Institute at ASU
What it is: The Biodesign Institute at ASU addresses today’s critical global challenges in healthcare, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products and clinical practices.
Economic impact: The Biodesign Institute has met or exceeded all of the business goals set in mid-2003 by attracting more than $300 million in external funding since inception, and generating more than $200 million in proposals advanced in 2011 alone.
Companies it has helped grow: Licensed next-generation respiratory sensor technology to a European medical device developer; executed an exclusive license agreement for DNA sequencing technology to Roche, which includes a sponsored research agreement to develop devices in collaboration with Roche and IBM; and launched two Biodesign Commercial Translation companies.
Latest news: Led by electrical engineer, Nongjian Tao, ASU researchers have formulated a new sensor technology that will allow them to design and create a handheld sensor that can contribute to better diagnosis of asthma.
Michael Birt, director of the Center for Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at ASU: “By establishing biosignatures centers, we hope to build a global network that will provide the scale necessary to overcome scientific limitations while creating a global platform to share methods, results and experiences.”

CityScape
What it is: A highrise mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix consisting of residential, retail, office, and hotel components. The project covers three downtown Phoenix city blocks and is located between First Avenue and First Street, and between Washington and Jefferson streets.
Economic impact: Officials credit the evolution of Downtown Phoenix — led by CityScape — with helping the Valley land the 2015 Super Bowl, which will bring an economic impact of an estimated $500 million.
Companies it has helped grow: In addition to entertainment venues and top-notch restaurants, business leaders calling CityScape home include Alliance Bank, Cantor Law Group,  Fidelity Title, Gordon Silver, Gust Rosenfeld, Jennings, Strouss and Salmon, PLC, Polsinelli Shughart, RED Development, Squire Sanders and UnitedHealthcare.
Latest news: The 250-room boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix by Kimpton, opened in June.
Jeff Moloznik, general manager, CityScape:  “The most progressive and entrepreneurial talent in the Valley have convened at CityScape. The impact our tenants’ businesses have brought to Downtown Phoenix is noticeable and significant. In an area that once lacked a central core, there is now energy, creativity, enterprise and excitement all day, every day in once central location.”

Intel

What it is: Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.
Economic impact: Since 1996, Intel has invested more than $12 billion in high-tech manufacturing capability in Arizona and spent more than $450 million each year in research and development. Intel is investing another $5 billion in its Chandler site to manufacture its industry-leading, next-generation 14 nanometer technology.
Companies it has helped grow: Intel has been a catalyst for helping to create Chandler’s “tech corridor,” which includes Freescale, Microchip Technology, Orbital Sciences, Avnet, Amkor, and Marvell Technologies.
Latest news: Intel and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) are developing a customized engineering degree for some of the chip maker’s Arizona-based employees. The program is based on CTI’s modular, project-based curriculum and upon completion will provide a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from ASU, with a focus in materials science.
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny: Intel likes the partnership it has with Chandler, likes doing business in Arizona, and they’re a very good corporate citizen.”

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport

What it is: Formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), it is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of Mesa.
Economic impact: The airport helped generate $685 million in economic benefits last year, and the airport supports more than 4,000 jobs in the region.
Companies it has helped grow: Able Engineering & Component Services, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer, CMC Steel, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc..
Latest news: The Airport Authority’s Board of Directors announced Monday the airport will undergo a $1.4 billion expansion. There is also an effort to privately raise $385 million to build two hotels and office and retail space near the airport.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith: “Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has gone through tremendous growth and expansion and has truly arrived as a major transportation center in the Valley.”

SkySong

What it is: A 1.2-million-square-feet mixed use space that gives entrepreneurs and innovators the resources they need  to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off.
Economic impact: Projected to generate more than $9.3 billion in economic growth over the next 30 years, according to an updated study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Companies it has helped grow: Emerge.MD, Channel Intelligence, Adaptive Curriculum, Alaris, Jobing.com/Blogic, webFilings.
Latest news: Jobing, an online company that connects employers and job seekers nationally, relocated its corporate headquarters from Phoenix to SkySong.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane: “It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute. SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

Talking Stick

What it is: This economic engine encompasses a complex that includes the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River, Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort, Talking Stick Golf Club, and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring training home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Economic impact: Salt Rivers Fields аt Talking Stick accounted fоr 22 percent оf the the attendance for Cactus League baseball, which generates more thаn $300 million а yeаr іn economic impact tо the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy.
Companies it has helped grow: In 2011, nearby Scottsdale Pavilions — which features 1.1 million square feet of select retail and mixed-use properties — became The Pavilions at Talking Stick. Pavilions has added Hobby Lobby, Mountainside Fitness, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters.
Latest news: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will be one of the ballparks selected to host the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the spring.
David Hielscher, advertising manager, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort: “Our property’s diverse, entertainment-driven culture and convenient locations allow us limitless opportunities for future expansion and development.”

Translational Genomics Research Institute

What it is: TGen is a non-profit genomics research institute that seeks to employ genetic discoveries to improve disease outcomes by developing smarter diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.
Economic impact: TGen provides Arizona with a total annual economic impact of $137.7 million, according to the results of an independent analysis done by Tripp Umbach, a national leader in economic forecasting.
Companies it has helped grow: TGen researchers have collaborated with Scottsdale Healthcare, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Ascalon International Inc., MCS Biotech Resources LLC, Semafore Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silamed Inc., Stromaceutics Inc., SynDevRx Inc., and Translational Accelerator LLC (TRAC). and many others.
Latest news: When TGen-generated business spin-offs and commercialization are included,  Tripp Umbach predicts that in 2012 TGen will produce $47.06 for every $1 of state investment, support 3,723 jobs, result in $21.1 million in state tax revenues, and have a total annual economic impact of $258.8 million.
Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals: “TGen is one of this state’s premier medical research and economic assets, and is a standard-bearer for promoting everything that is positive and forward-looking about Arizona.”

University of Arizona’s Tech Park

What it is: The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) sits on 1,345 acres in Southeast Tucson. Almost 2 million square feet of space has been developed featuring high tech office, R&D and laboratory facilities.
Economic impact: In 2009, the businesses that call Tech Park home had an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Pima County. This included $1.81 billion in direct economic impacts such as wages paid and supplies and services purchased and $861 million in indirect and induced dollar impacts. In total, the Tech Park and its companies generated 14,322 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced).
Companies it has helped grow: IBM, Raytheon, Canon USA, Citigroup, NP Photonics, and DILAS Diode Laser.
Latest news: A 38.5-acre photovoltaic array is the latest addition to the Solar Zone technology demonstration area at Tech Park. Power generated from the facility will be sold to Tucson Electric Power Co., providing power for  about 1,000 homes.
Bruce Wright, associate vice president for University Research Parks:  “By 2011, the park had recaptured this lost employment (resulting from the recession) with total employment increasing to 6,944. In addition, the number of tenants had expanded from 50 to 52 reflecting the addition of new companies in the Arizona Center for Innovation and the development of the Solar Zone at the Tech Park.”