Recent Posts

Cancer
Plugging Cell Biology Into a Genomic World
Jan 21, 2015 By Adam Marcus, PhD, Director of Emory School of Medicine-Winship Cancer Institute Integrated Cellular Imaging Core

(This blog was originally posted on January 15, 2014 on the American Association for Cancer Research website) Personalized oncology epitomizes the concept of interdisciplinary research where pathologists, bioinformaticians, oncologists, and biologists work together to identify and ultimately target drivers of cancer. We gather at tables to collaborate across disciplines and try to speak the same language with the goals of advancing knowledge and helping patients. As a cancer cell biologist at the Winship Cancer Institute, I have been privileged to be a part of these conversations and to contribute to our efforts to understand tumor biology. When most researchers talk about personalized (or precision) oncology, genomics is usually an important part of the conversation. Genomic technologies can yield tremendous amounts of information in a relatively unbiased and high-throughput [...]

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Cancer
Why Winship?
Jan 14, 2015 By Catherine Williams, Senior Communications Manager for Winship Cancer Institute

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University“For every question that we answer or seek to answer, new questions arise.” Winship’s executive director, Wally Curran , MD, said that in answer to an interview question about Winship, and I think it provides insight on the incremental way that progress is made against cancer. It also helps describe the dedication of cancer doctors and researchers who are willing to keep pursuing answers to this vastly complex puzzle. The communications team at Winship has been asking another type of question lately: “Why Winship?” The answers we got are now the basis of a website, social media and poster campaign highlighting stories that show how our doctors, researchers and healthcare staff make discoveries and translate the latest breakthroughs in cancer research into better treatments for patients. The stories are told through the words and thoughts of people who have [...]

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Cancer
A Look Back at Winship Cancer Institute’s Extraordinary 2014
Jan 5, 2015 By Winship Cancer Institute

Since 1937, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has provided cancer patients throughout Georgia, the Southeast and beyond, with outstanding patient care and research, and 2014 was no exception. From several national recognitions to record-setting fundraising goals, Winship at Emory continues to be among the leaders in the state of Georgia and the nation in finding ways to defeat cancer. While we enter 2015 with excitement and expectancy, the administrators, physicians and researchers of Winship at Emory have taken time to celebrate the remarkable last year. Click on the “Year in Review” video below to see some of Winship’s highlights from 2014, including: Key 2014 milestones:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked cancer care at Emory University Hospital through Winship among the 25 best in the country.
  • Nurses at Emory University Hospital and Emory Saint
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Cancer
Robotic Surgery Allows for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Colon and Rectal Cancers
Dec 29, 2014 By Emory Johns Creek Hospital

Robotic Surgery for Colorectal CancersColon and rectal cancer affects 140,000 Americans each year and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. For most patients, surgery is recommended at some point in their care as it is the only curative treatment, and tremendous advances in surgical technique have been achieved during the past 20 years. Most notable has been the dramatic increase in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, and transanal endoscopic microsurgery. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery for patients include shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, more positive cosmetic outcomes, and shorter recovery time at home, allowing earlier return to work and normal activities. Importantly, minimally invasive techniques allow patients to resume their other postoperative treatments (i.e., chemotherapy) sooner, with less [...]

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Cancer
Progress and Thanks for Five Years of Phase I Clinical Trials
Dec 19, 2014 By R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, FCCP BCOP, director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s Phase I Clinical Trials Unit

Phase I AnniversaryPatients. Clinical trials. We cannot have one without the other. The Phase I Clinical Trials Unit at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University opened in 2009, a time when a significant expansion of clinical trial efforts was underway to support the National Cancer Institute cancer center designation. Over this rapid five-year period, a truly collaborative culture has led to a cutting-edge, early drug development program at a nationally recognized, top 25 cancer center. None of this has been possible without patients putting their trust in our physicians, nurses, scientists, and many others, to deliver optimal care while asking critical questions about novel drugs and approaches. When I think about the impact of our Phase I unit on patients and their families, I recall a recent conversation with a seasoned oncologist here at Emory. He said, “Donald, if I saw anyone [...]

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Cancer
Every Cancer is Personal
Dec 9, 2014 By Adam Marcus, PhD, Director of Emory School of Medicine-Winship Cancer Institute Integrated Cellular Imaging Core

As a cancer researcher, I've delivered plenty of lectures, but nothing compares with a talk I gave in October to an audience of 500 strangers. My TEDx address focused on how the treatment and diagnosis of cancer is becoming more personal. Scientists across the world are going all-in on determining the driving genetic changes for each individual cancer to better personalize treatment for each patient. In my talk, I tried to emphasize where hope lives for cancer treatment in the next 5-10 years based upon this approach and how my laboratory at the Winship Cancer Institute is contributing to this effort. Although I went into the day looking to impact others, I never expected the event to have such an impact on me. There were a dozen speakers that day with talks ranging from robotics and mathematics to tap dancing and beatboxing. The day of mass-education concluded with an impromptu [...]

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Cancer
Key Steps for Coping with Cancer-Related Fatigue
Dec 4, 2014 By Emory Johns Creek Hospital

cancer fatigueFatigue is one of the most common side effects reported by cancer patients, and symptoms of cancer- related fatigue differ significantly from the fatigue patients experienced before cancer diagnosis. Cancer-related fatigue is not only caused by the disease itself, but cancer treatment as well as the emotional and psychological effects of fighting cancer can also contribute. Described by patients as more pronounced during treatment, cancer-related fatigue can leave patients feeling wiped out by simple and small activities. It can also last years after treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, characteristics of cancer-related fatigue include:

  • Extreme tiredness that may vary in severity from day to day
  • Weakness, weariness or lethargy even after sleep
  • Feeling worn out after simple tasks like standing up from a chair or getting out of bed
  • Heaviness in arms
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Cancer
HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers on the Rise
Dec 2, 2014 By Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, Chief of Head and Neck Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Head Neck CancerHead and neck cancer causes almost 200,000 deaths each year and is now recognized as one of the major health concerns both in the United States and worldwide. In particular, there has been a noted increase in the incidence of oropharynx cancer (OPC), mainly tonsil and base of tongue cancers, that are linked to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). According to the National Cancer Institute, HPV infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections in the US and more than half of sexually active people are infected with one or more HPV types at some point in their lives. Most HPV infections occur without any symptoms and go away without any treatment over the course of a few years. However, HPV infections sometimes persist for many years and can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. The human papilloma virus 16 (HPV16) infection linked to [...]

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Cancer
Enjoy Holiday Food without Regret
Nov 26, 2014 By Tiffany Barrett, MS, RD, CSO, Clinical Dietician

Eating Thanksgiving with CancerEating healthy during the holidays can be a challenge for most of us, but for many cancer patients it’s a struggle just to eat. If you’re currently going through cancer treatment, eating might not be the first thing on your mind. However, staying nourished during treatment is extremely important. Your body needs more nutrients than normal to repair the effects of treatment. We are all well aware that holiday foods tend to be fatty and sugary with many strong flavors. If you are having symptoms such as nausea, low appetite, taste changes or pain with swallowing, many of the traditional holiday foods will be unsettling. Avoid heavy cream sauces or gravies if you have a sensitive stomach. Also, stay out of the room where food is being cooked because cooking smells can make you nauseous. Turkey breast, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and basic vegetable dishes should be well [...]

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Cancer
Easing the Tension of Traveling for Cancer Treatment
Nov 17, 2014 By Joy McCall, LCSW

Travel for TreatmentAs a social worker at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, I see many patients who travel from out of the state and the country in order to receive medical care. Their cancer treatment can sometimes be scheduled every day for six weeks or more. This can add a lot of stress to an already difficult situation. It can be daunting to arrange all the transportation and lodging logistics, especially for an extended period of time. Patients and caregivers are also faced with being away from the comforts of their own home and support of loved ones who may live close by. Here are a few tips to consider if you have to travel for treatment:

  1. Contact your medical insurance company regarding travel benefits. Some insurers will provide transportation and lodging benefits in the form of reimbursements if patients must receive treatment a great distance from their home.
  2. Discuss
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