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Please note: This article is part of the Cancer Center's News Archive and is here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.

News Archive: Michigan Oncology Journal Summer 98

Of Interest


Your Needy Patients Can Get a Lift to U-M
If you have financially needy patients who require tertiary health care, the University of Michigan Health System and AirLifeLine are teaming up
to help them by offering free flights to Ann Arbor. AirLifeLine is a national organization of private pilots who donate their time and fuel to fly needy patients to medical centers. The U-M is the only institution in the state teaming up with AirLifeLine.

Patients must live between 150 and 600 miles from the U-M to qualify for the program. Pilots will transport ambulatory patients in need of life-sustaining treatments, and their family members to the U-M at no cost. Pilots are available day or night to transport patients. They also will transport human organs and time-critical medical cargo. AirLifeLine’s 850 pilots have flown more than 10,000 medical missions. They are supported solely by donations.


Cancer Center Named Finalist in Quality Cup Competition
The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer has reached the finalist level in the health category of the annual Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and USA Today Quality Cup Competition. This national award recognizes teams making significant contributions to the improvement of quality products or services in an organization by applying principles of quality management.

In preparation for opening a new outpatient facility in May 1997, the Cancer Center undertook a complete work redesign of the structure and process for diagnosis and treatment of cancer outpatients. Redesign concepts included the creation of six physician-lead teams organized by cancer type, improved throughput processes for infusion patients and the creation of a clinic coordinator position to coordinate all scheduling and customer service training for staff.

Prostate Cancer Genetics Project Continues Recruitment

Investigators at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are actively involved in the study of the genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. Research has shown that men with first or second degree relatives with prostate cancer may be at an increased risk for the development of this disease. Analysis of some families with an excess of prostate cancer has suggested that there may be a gene(s) inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern that results in early-onset prostate cancer. The first potential inherited prostate cancer susceptibility gene, called HPC1 and located on the long arm of chromosome 1, was described in the fall of 1996. Last summer, data from the U-M Prostate Cancer Genetics Project, lead by Drs. Kathleen Cooney and James Montie, confirmed the contribution of HPC1 to prostate cancer susceptibility using an independent set of families. This result was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To determine possible genetic causes of prostate cancer, the Prostate Cancer Genetics Project is continuing to recruit individuals and/or families with a possible genetic risk for prostate cancer. This may include individuals with early-onset prostate cancer (men affected prior to the age of 55 years) and/or with other family members affected with the disease. Patients may be enrolled without coming to Ann Arbor, and the cost of enrollment will be covered by the investigators. Participants in this study will be asked to provide medical and family history information, to contact other affected family members and to donate a small blood sample. DNA will be extracted from whole blood and analyzed using a panel of linked markers spanning the human genome with the goal of identifying a gene(s) that is important in the development of prostate cancer.

Clinical Trials

Randomized, open-label, multicenter study comparing the safety and efficacy of Iodine-131 Anti-B1 Antibody to unlabeled Anti-B1 Antibody for the treatment of chemotherapy-refractory low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Seventy-eight patients will be randomized to receive Iodine-131 Anti-B1 Antibody (Arm A) or unlabeled Anti-B1 Antibody (Arm B). Patients randomized to receive unlabeled Anti-B1 Antibody may crossover and receive radiolabeled Iodine-131 Anti-B1 Antibody following progression of their lymphoma. Response in both arms will be assessed at 6 weeks, 3 months, and then at 3-monthly intervals for up to two years.

Vaccine protocol for pediatric malignancies using dendritic cells to generate immune response.
In the study’s first phase, dendritic cells are generated and pulsed with autologous tumor and given in a series of interdermal vaccinations. Chemokines (chemo-attractant cytokines) then are delivered locally at the vaccine site by combining dendritic cells with chemokine-secreting fibroblasts prior to vaccination. Chemokines are essential for leukocyte trafficking and inflammatory process, and appear to enhance dendritic cell function. Eligibility criteria: recurrent neuroblastoma, sarcoma or Wilm’s tumor; failed standard therapy; source of autologous tumor; and good performance status. Exclusion criteria: relapse at primary site for which radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy are potentially curative; previous allogeneic transplantation; or autoimmune disease.


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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.
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