Health & Beauty

Montefiore-Einstein Participates at ASTRO 2016

Members of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and Albert Einstein College of Medicine's NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center is presenting new study findings at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) that will advance treatment of pancreatic and anal cancers.

According to a media release, researchers will also lead a discussion about implementing a cost efficient workflow for treatment of the most advanced forms of throat cancer.

These are some of the highlights at ASTRO 2016, which is taking place at the Boston Convention Center through September 28.

"For too long people with pancreatic cancer have faced poor prognoses, with immunotherapies offering little hope," said Shalom Kalnicki, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore-Einstein. "By combining radiation therapy and immunotherapy we have obtained promising results that indicate that we can change how the body reacts to cancer cells and that we have the potential to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapies in fighting diseases that are difficult to treat. We are excited about this progress, which we believe represents the future of effective cancer therapies. We look forward to sharing these findings and presenting new recommendations for effectively treating several cancers."

Following are the oral presentations Montefiore-Einstein investigators will deliver at the meeting, which are embargoed until the time of presentation. Additionally, Dr. Kalnicki will be one of ten individuals honored with the ASTRO Fellows designation for his significant contributions to the field of radiation oncology and improving patient outcomes.

Investigators are available for interviews specific to their presentation or to comment on other reports of interest at ASTRO 2016.

1. Epigenetic Priming and High-Dose Radiation for Enhanced Immune Response in Pancreatic Cancer - Presented by Kartik Mani, M.D., Ph.D., chief resident, Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. Tuesday, September 27 at 2:55pm. Biology Track - Room #257 A/B - Presentation 196.

-Immunotherapy aims to boost the body's immune system. So far it has helped improve outcomes in lung cancer, bladder cancer and melanoma. However, people with cancers such as pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and triple negative breast cancer have not benefited from this treatment. Those cancers do not trigger an immune response because their cells don't display key proteins (antigens) that the immune system needs to recognize in order to launch an attack. Montefiore-Einstein researchers speculated that the genes responsible for making these antigens had been epigenetically "turned off" so the researchers developed a novel one-two punch to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy: (1) a drug to "turn on" the genes that cause cancer cells to make antigens; and (2) a single high dose of radiation. The researchers found that this combination significantly bolstered the immune response against pancreatic cancer cells. This novel approach offers new hope for people suffering from pancreatic cancer and holds promise for making immunotherapy effective against diseases that are difficult to treat.

2. Radiation Therapy Compliance/Quality Assurance (QA) in Two Phase II Trials of Cetuximab Plus Combined Modality Therapy (CMT) including Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy (RT) for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anal Cancer (SCCAC) in Patients with (AMC045) - Presented by Madhur Garg, M.D., clinical director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and professor of clinical radiation oncology at Einstein. Tuesday, September 27 at 5:15pm. Gastrointestinal Track - Room #160 A/B/C - Presentation 239

-Cases of anal cancer are on the rise, with most people being diagnosed in their early 60s. Effective treatments exist for this disease, but some patients--particularly people who are HIV positive--are not being cured. Montefiore-Einstein researchers led two national studies, involving both HIV-negative and HIV-positive patients, that evaluated dosages of targeted therapies combined with chemotherapy and radiation. The studies found that HIV-positive patients can tolerate treatment well and have comparable cure rates with non-HIV patients.

3. Patterns of Failure and Origin of Recurrence on PET/CT for Laryngeal Cancer Patients Treated with Definitive IMRT- Discussion led by Rafi Kabarriti, M.D., attending physician, Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and assistant professor of radiation oncology at Einstein. Wednesday, September 28 at 11am. Physics Track - Room #052 B - Presentation 1135.

-New therapies have improved treatment of laryngeal cancer and enhanced the quality of life for patients with this disease, but treatment of advanced laryngeal cancers remains a challenge. This is largely because of cancer recurrence. Advanced laryngeal cancers have cure rates of only 62 percent compared with cure rates of around 90 percent for less-advanced cases. To gain insight into why treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer often fails, Montefiore-Einstein researchers studied patients whose laryngeal tumors had recurred following intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Using CT-PET scans and software tools, the researchers pinpointed where in the treated tumor the cancer recurrence had originated. Eighty six percent of the recurrences originated in tumor regions treated with high-dose radiation. This finding will help identify patients who are at high risk of recurrence and lays the groundwork for a clinical trial using this novel treatment regimen.

More information:

((Comments on this story may be sent to


  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Papyrus Joins Forces with Designer Lela Rose

    Papyrus is looking to bring the “elegance and style” of fashion to its greeting cards via a new designer collaboration series.

    According to a release, the collaboration marks the first time a fashion design house and greeting card brand have joined forces to develop a custom greeting card collection.

    Papyrus said it is partnering with American fashion designer Lela Rose to introduce the series. Rose will feature her "sophisticated yet modern style" in the debut card and gift collection, slated to launch during New York Fashion Week. The collection will be available in New York City Papyrus stores and select retailers in September, with availability expanding to all Papyrus locations and retailers in October.

    "The fashion designer collaboration series is a celebration of the commitment Papyrus has to the arts, including a focus on the fashion industry, quality craftsmanship and trend-forward design," said Christy Kaprosy, President of Papyrus-Recycled Greetings. "We are delighted to have Lela Rose's elegant line lead the first Papyrus fashion designer collaboration program, and we are excited to bring more fashion designers to our loyal customers in the future."

    The company noted the collection, which draws inspiration from some of Rose's recent runway designs, consists of 16 cards and five gift accessories, including gift bags, gift tissue, roll wrap and a gift tag set. It also will be available online at

    "I'm thrilled to be the first designer to collaborate with Papyrus on their exclusive new fashion series," said Lela Rose. "This is a unique way to showcase our designs, silhouettes and prints, and extend the brand into a new category."



Ebola Philanthropy

Ebola Philanthropy

  1. Big Gift: Bill Gates, founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has committed $50 million to fight the epidemic.
  2. Early Donation: In August, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation donated $2.8 million toward the outbreak in West Africa.
  3. Latest Pledge: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan this month pledged $25 million to the CDC.
  4. Corporate Funds: World Bank Group in August pledged up to US $200 million in emergency funding to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone contain the spread of infections.
  5. Crowdfunding: Scripps Research Institute's Erica Ollman Saphire seeks to raise $100K for equipment to speed her work, partially funding by U.S. government.