Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Masonic Cancer Center Update Newsletter

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Update is available on the web at

Update is an official newsletter of the Masonic Cancer Center for faculty, members, staff, colleagues, and friends. All submissions for the next issue must be sent to Sandi Sherman,, by noon on Thursday for publication the following Monday.

November 24, 2014

Tuesday's Seminar 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 9-10 a.m., 1-125 CCRB
Co-clinical approach to kinase inhibitor development in cancer therapy: Targeting the tumor cell and its microenvironment
Akash Patnaik, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

Faculty candidate, Division of Hematology, Oncology Transplantation 

This meeting will be simulcast in 450 MCRB. 

A peek at next week’s seminar:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 9-10 a.m., 1-125 CCRB
Opportunities and challenges for TGF beta inhibition in cancer therapy
Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Radiation Oncology and Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine

Host: Kaylee Schwertfeger, Ph.D. 

View the calendar for a complete schedule.

In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Program Meetings

Professional Education



Members in the news

Todd Tuttle, M.D., Prevention and Etiology Program, was quoted in a WKZO story about research demonstrating that women with gene mutations have a higher risk of developing a second breast cancer and this risk rises over time.

Reuben Harris, Ph.D., Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program, is mentioned in a HealthCanal story on research in his lab that reveals why some people may be immune to HIV-1. The study was published in Plos Genetics.

Members in the journals
Research from the laboratory of Kalpna Gupta, Ph.D., co-leader, Tumor Miroenvironment Program, is featured in a review article on pain and sickle-cell disease in the current issue of Nature. The article included a figure from her research.


Kathryn Luk, from the laboratory of Kalpna Gupta, has been selected as an American Society for Hematology (ASH) Outstanding Abstract Achievement Award recipient. The abstract received the highest rating in the category of Undergraduate Student. She will receive a $500 honorarium along with complimentary hotel stay up to 2-nights and coach-class airfare up to $500. Her abstract, “Mast Cell activation in sickle mice stimulates endothelial dysfunction,” is scheduled for oral presentation at the ASH meeting December 5-9, 2014 in San Francisco.

Jinny Pau, Gupta laboratory, received a $500 Abstract Achievement Award from ASH to help defray travel costs for the annual meeting. Her abstract, "Heme induced spinal microglial cell activation by TLR4 and endoplasmic reticulum stress in sickle mice,” is scheduled for oral presentation.

Arts and medicine conference
Barbara Porwit, Division of Hematology/Oncology staff member, presented her Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project at the Arts and Healthcare Regional Symposium at the Mayo Clinic November 15-17 in Rochester. Paintings from the series were featured in the Masonic Cancer Clinic as "Superhero of the Month" from March-July 2014. The paintings were hung strategically in the clinic on a wall in front of a chair where patients sit waiting for labs to be drawn. Clinic supervisor Leslie Ferguson is working with artist Barbara Porwit on a proposal to bring interactive art therapy to the Masonic Infusion Center to engage patients and family members in creating their own superhero imagery.

University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center construction making progress
The one-time parking lot at 909 Fulton Street SE in Minneapolis is now a hub of activity, as workers from McGough Companies make steady progress on a new 330,000-square-foot, $160 million University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center. The Center will house the new Masonic Cancer Clinic along with many outpatient clinics and an outpatient surgery center once it’s completed in 2016.

Want to catch all the action? Check out the time-lapse “WorkZone Cam” to see our progress on the new structure.

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Clinical Trials

The following clinical trials conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members were recently opened:


COG AALL1231 - A Phase III Randomized Trial Investigating Bortezomib (NSC# 681239; IND# 58443) on a Modified Augmented BFM (ABFM) Backbone in Newly Diagnosed T- Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) and T- Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (T-LLy)
PI: Gordon, Peter M

COG ADVL1315 - A Phase I Study of the VEGF Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Axitinib (INLYTA, IND#123101) in Children with Recurrent or Refractory Solid Tumors
PI: Greengard, Emily

(11-PIR-09 ) An Open-Label, Multicenter, extension study of NKTR-102 in subjects previously enrolled in NKTR-102 studies
PI: Greeno, Edward W

For more information on clinical trials contact Marva Bohen, R.N., B.S.N. ( , 612-624-2620).

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Program Meetings

BMT Program Meeting
Monday, November 24 and December 1, 2014, 1:15-2:15 p.m., 450 MCRB
ASH Practice Talks

For a schedule of meetings, visit the website.

Tumor Microenvironment Program Meeting
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 3-150 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, Biomedical Discovery District
Program planning

Cell Signaling Program Meeting
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 9-10 a.m., 656 MCRB
Carol Lange will present program project grant development plans

For a schedule of meetings, visit the website.

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Professional Education

December 4, 2014: New Directions in Medical Malpractice Reform: 2014 Deinard Memorial Lecture on Law & Medicine
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center
Speaker: Michelle Mello, J.D., Ph.D., Professsor of Law, Stanford Law School and Professor of Health Research and Policy, Stanford Medical School
Commentator: Jon B. Christianson, Ph.D., Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

Co-sponsored by the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology and the Center for Bioethics.

1.5 standard CLE credits are approved. Event ID: 197531. CME credits are pending. For more information and to register, visit the website.

December 10, 2014: Mouse Necroscopy Workshop
9-11:30 a.m., 495 Animal Science/Veterinary Medical Center
The Masonic Cancer Center Comparative Pathology Shared Resource (CPSR) is sponsoring a hands-on mouse necropsy workshop. Led by CPSR board-certified veterinary pathologists Drs. Ramesh Kovi, and Gerry O’Sullivan, it is designed for individuals who are doing in-vivo studies in mice with endpoints necessitating necropsy and collection of tissues, and is appropriate for principal investigators, postdocs, graduate students, and technicians. Participants will learn how to necropsy mice and identify and collect tissues of interest. Issues related to optimum handling and fixation of tissues will be emphasized. The registration fee is $75. To reserve a place, e-mail Places are limited and reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information, e-mail or contact Josh Parker at 612-625-9770.

January 22, 2015: Writing Winning Grant Proposals
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
Want to write successful health research grants? Then don't miss "Write Winning Grant Proposals," a day-long seminar that's back by popular demand.

March 27, 2015: Transforming Cancer Survivorship Through Research and Best Practice
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, 151 Goodman Drive, Cincinnati, OH
Keynote speaker: Julia H. Rowland, Ph.D., Director, NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship
Speakers include: Patricia Ganz, M.D. – UCLA; Michael Stubblefield, M.D. – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D. – University of Pennsylvania; Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D. – University of Alabama; Timothy Ahles, Ph.D. – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Registration information and abstract submission information is available on the website.

April 23, 2015: SAVE THE DATE! Inaugural Kersey Lecture
4-5 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
Jennifer Grandis, M.D., will speak.

Visit the Education and Training Opportunities web page for more conference and special lecture listings.

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November 28, 2014: Remembrance Rock Friday Benefit for Pancreatic Cancer Research at the University of Minnesota
6:30-10:30 p.m., Minnetonka Country Club Ballroom
Remembrance Rock Friday- A benefit concert for Pancreatic Cancer-Wellner Fund

Fran Cosmo (former BOSTON lead singer)
Alex Ligertwood (former SANTANA lead singer)
HEADLINER featuring special guest Greg Armstong of Fabulous Armadillos
Special Opening Performance TBA
Special RIP Dedication for Jimi Jamison & Fergie Ferderiksen
Reserved Seats $40 advance/$50 door (if not Sold Out)
General Admission $25 advance/$35 door (if not Sold Out)
Table Sponsorship $300...VIP seating for 8-Table Sponsorship
100% of all proceeds go to pancreatic cancer research at University of Minnesota/Wellner Fund in honor of Gary Wellner and all of those affected by this deadly disease. Purchase tickets at or contact Mike Woodley at 612-386-0082 for more information.

December 11 and 12, 2014: KS95 for Kids Radiothon
Mall of America

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

None submitted this week.

Visit the Funding Opportunities Web page to see listings previously published in Update. A list of organizations that provide funding for cancer research is also provided there.

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  • Last modified on November 24, 2014