TGen News & Press Releases : TGen receives $50,000 to find genetic origins of rare breast cancer

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in Scottsdale, Ariz., is enrolling pancreatic cancer patients in two clinical trials

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - July 8, 2011 - Cancer patients involved in clinical trials conducted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) will participate in the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game Fantasy Camp.

The patients will have opportunities to participate in real drills, practices and workouts. They will be coached by MLB Legends, and participate in a real game at Chase Field, the same field as the 2011 MLB All-Star Game and home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also will attend the MLB All-Star Weekend activities through a generous gift from MasterCard Worldwide and MLB.

The patients include those participating in two clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in Scottsdale, Ariz., a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Howard Young, an Atlanta businessman and pancreatic cancer survivor, is one of the fantasy camp participants: "I could not be more pleased to participate in the MLB All-Star Game Fantasy Camp presented by MasterCard. This is a way to have some fun and show others who are battling pancreatic cancer that you can beat it and return to an active lifestyle."

SU2C is the charitable initiative generating public awareness and support for groundbreaking research aimed at accelerating new cancer treatments to patients. In 2009, it funded five interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Dream Teams including one focused on developing new techniques to address pancreatic cancer. Daniel Von Hoff, M.D., TGen's Physician-In-Chief and Chief Scientific Officer at the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, leads this Dream Team with Craig Thompson, M.D., President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"Stand Up To Cancer's ability to bring together some of the nation's top researchers to focus on developing cutting-edge therapeutics would not be possible without the generous and continuous support of Major League Baseball, a founding donor of SU2C, and MasterCard Worldwide, a newer donor," said Rusty Robertson, SU2C Co-founder.

"All of us at TGen and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare are thrilled to be part of the 355 scientists and other professionals from 55 institutions collaborating across the country through Stand Up To Cancer. We are excited that our patients will have the opportunity to participate in the MLB All-Star Game Fantasy Camp presented by MasterCard," said Ramesh Ramanathan, M.D., Medical Director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and a senior researcher at TGen.

Michael Barrett, Ph.D., a TGen researcher involved in the clinical trials, also will join the fantasy camp, held July 10 to 13 in Phoenix. "This is a great opportunity to have some fun, meet the game's most outstanding players and provide the public with a novel way to learn how they can help defeat cancer," said Barrett, Associate Professor in TGen's Clinical Translational Research Division.

Also participating in the fantasy camp are pancreatic cancer patients Roberta Landis of Tampa, Fla., and Gary Filan of Tempe, Ariz.

The pancreas is a banana-shaped gland behind the stomach that secretes enzymes into the upper part of the small intestine to help digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also produces hormones, including insulin, which helps regulate the metabolism of sugars. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more than 35,000 Americans each year.

There are two clinical trials related to the SU2C pancreatic dream team currently underway at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

One is a Phase II trial of GDC-0449, produced by Genentech, a drug that is given in combination with already established therapeutics, Gemcitabine and nab-Paclitaxel, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The other is a Phase II clinical trial using molecular profiling to identify, based on a patient's tumor DNA, the best course of treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.

Both studies are open and enrolling patients who could benefit from these treatments. To participate in clinical trials, please contact Joyce Schaffer, Cancer Care Coordinator for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, 10510 N. 92nd Street, Suite 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85258. She can be reached at (480) 323-1339 or (877) 273-3713, or at [email protected]

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About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. Scottsdale Healthcare is the nonprofit parent organization of 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. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

Press Contact:
Jamie Houston
Public Relations Coordinator
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
480-323-1387
[email protected]


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