WCM/NYP Partners with LLS to Host Blood Cancer Survivorship Event

Thanks to a valued partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (WCM/NYP) were proud co-hosts of “Life Beyond Blood Cancer,” a free educational event for patients and caregivers. The program explored various aspects of survivorship as experienced by people with lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma and other blood cancers.

The event drew in nearly 100 members of the New York metropolitan area’s blood cancer community for an evening of shared information and inspiration. Speakers included a range of experts across the WCM/NYP cancer care team, as well as blood cancer survivors who shared their experience and insight into living with Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Here are a few highlights:

WCM/NYP Lymphoma Program Chief Dr. Peter Martin explained that innovative advancements in personalized medicine, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy have positively influenced blood cancer survival rates. Almost 1.5 million people in the United States are living with lymphoma, leukemia or myeloma. Dr. Martin noted that as patients are living longer, more clinical attention should be focused on treating the whole patient and his/her needs, as opposed to treating just the cancer cells within the body.

Alan Astrow, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, explained that a cancer diagnosis can affect a patient’s life in ways that exceed the strictly medical, and many patients welcome discussion about their spiritual, religious and existential concerns. Dr. Astrow advocated for increased communication between physicians and patients regarding spiritual needs, since a clear understanding of a patient’s hopes, fears and values can provide guidance when making decisions in the face of medical uncertainty.

Kelly Trevino, PhD, a clinical psychologist at WCM/NYP with a specialization in psychosocial oncology, discussed strategies for managing the anxiety that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis. Threatening situations like cancer can lead to worry and nervousness, muscle tension, shortness of breath, tingling/numbness and difficulty concentrating – all of which can have a negative impact on quality of life. Coping strategies include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, pursuit of distracting activities and even scheduled “worry time” to prevent anxious thoughts from infiltrating the entire day.

Three survivors across varying ages and diagnoses then shared the ups and downs of their treatment and post-treatment journeys and provided the audience with insight into life beyond cancer.

We at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are honored to be able to offer educational programs and resources to people affected by cancer, and we are committed to doing our best to address the needs of our patient community throughout all stages of the cancer journey.

LLS
The event concluded with an interactive question-and-answer session between the speakers and audience, moderated by WCM/NYP outpatient oncology social worker Susan Marchal, LCSW.

 

OncLive State of the Science Summit

We’re proud to share that Dr. Peter Martin and Dr. John Leonard are co-hosting a State of the Science Summit on Hematologic Malignancies with OncLive in Queens on May 4, 2017.

This free event will feature educational sessions and a dinner and networking reception. All healthcare practitioners are welcome. Seats are limited, so register today: http://ow.ly/dfIx308iTis

OncLive State of the Science Agenda_Flyer

Weill Cornell Researchers: Velcade + PD 0332991 Weaken & Defeat Myeloma Cells, Potential for Lymphoma

In laboratory experiments, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have demonstrated that the cancer fighting effects of Velcade (bortezomib) and PD 0332991  were exponentially multiplied when used together in their laboratory studies on multiple myeloma tumor cells.

The normal cellular growth cycle is derailed in cancer. Uncontrolled growth and multiplication is often the result. The researchers found that PD 0332991 stops the cellular cycle in a vulnerable moment, leaving the cancer cell wide open for cellular destruction by Velcade.

The study, published online last month by the journal Blood, is the first to show that precise timing of therapies that target a cancer cell’s cycle — the life phases leading to its division and replication — disables key survival genes, resulting in cell death. The drug that delivers the weakening jab at the cell cycle is the experimental agent PD 0332991, which allows Velcade, a proteasome inhibitor already approved for use in myeloma and lymphoma, to land the final defeating blow at lower than normal doses.

Dr. Selina Chen-Kiang, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College was the lead scientist on the study. In an interview Dr. Chen-Kiang said:

“Because robust functioning of the cell cycle is crucial to cancer growth and survival, this mechanism-based strategy could theoretically be used against many kinds of cancers.”

The same combination is being tested in patients with mantle cell lymphoma in a Weill Cornell investigator-initiated study led by Dr. John Leonard. Click here for more information about the mantle cell lymphoma study.