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Moving On

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Susan Hahn is moving again – into a new home and into a new stage of life after cancer. The Chicago native had moved to Nashville in January 2009. She was engaged by that July and quickly began planning a big wedding. She and her fiancé had also just begun plans to tear down and [...]

Keeping Up With Cancer

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The long-term forecast for the fight against cancer is indeed gloomy if a predicted shortage of oncologists comes to pass. The impending shortage, predicted recently by a study commissioned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), could result in a shortage of as many as 4,000 oncologists by 2020, causing cancer patients to travel [...]

Divide And Conquer

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

When the United States declared a “War on Cancer” 40 years ago, the endeavor was envisioned as a strategic battle, with doctors and researchers employing overwhelming force and lethal technology in a straightforward march to victory against a disease that claimed millions of lives. Scientists have made progress in the ensuing years, yet the enemy [...]

“Did You Smoke?”

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

When Martha McCann Lesnick’s granddaughter was about 6 years old, she asked her grandmother about the yellow LiveStrong wristband she wore. Lesnick explained that she wore it because she was fighting lung cancer. Her granddaughter replied: “oh yeah, that’s because…what did you do?” “She was talking about smoking,” says Lesnick, a Nashville songwriter and four-year [...]

Words to Live By

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Fingers speeding across a keyboard, Sigourney Cheek watched letters appear on the computer screen as she composed an electronic message that would mark a new chapter in her life. Pausing to find the right words, Cheek wondered if an e-mail was the proper way to tell close friends that she had just been diagnosed with [...]

DNA Mechanics

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Picture a railroad track, running across the countryside. DNA looks something like that track. Its “rails” are chains of chemicals called nucleotides, each pairing with a partner on the opposite chain to form the “ties.” To ensure timely train traffic – and prevent catastrophic derailments – the railroad track needs regular maintenance. So does DNA. [...]

Cancer Care Gets Personal

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has become the first cancer center in the Southeast and one of the first in the nation to offer adult cancer patients routine “genotyping” of their tumors at the DNA level. The recently launched Personalized Cancer Medicine Initiative will personalize cancer treatment by matching the appropriate therapy to the genetic changes, or [...]

Gut Reaction

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Richard Peek, M.D., laughs at the memory of his introduction to Helicobacter pylori – a twisted sausage-shaped bacterium that takes up residence in the human stomach. He was a medical student at the time – around 1987 – and was following a patient with a bleeding ulcer. The patient had an endoscopy procedure to view [...]

Cancer 2.0

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

On iTunes U, a lecturer predicts that we will one day be routinely giving drugs to computers. When you get sick, someone will load your medical history and your genome sequence (and perhaps other selected data about your biochemical composition) into a simulator. As various drugs are entered, you’ll learn of their predicted effects in [...]

Sowing the Seeds of Innovation

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

In an economic crisis that has led to some of the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression, Sergey Ivanov, Ph.D., is very relieved to have found a position at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Ivanov’s wife had accepted a new position at Vanderbilt, so the couple moved from New York to Nashville in 2009. But Ivanov [...]