See also our related blogs for the Keller Laboratory and the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


A worldwide candlelighting for families that have lost children will be held Sunday at 7pm in every time zone.  For more information,click here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Citizen Scientists

"that's my data"?  an update of this topic appeared in today's Wall Street Journal.The trend? To give patients access to their own research data.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Creates Some Buzz on the International Stage

Set against Auckland, New Zealand’s backdrop of black sand beaches and ocean for as far as the eyes can see, the 43rd Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) provided experts from 93 countries an opportunity to come together. We’re proud to announce that two of our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology team members, Sue Lindemulder, MD and Amy Frohnmayer, were in attendance.
“The attention devoted to the AYA-specific concerns at this conference was an indication of the growing interest this field is cultivating. There is a lot of work to do, and it’s energizing to know that the mission of our program is shared by a larger network of providers, researchers, and advocates worldwide.” - Amy Frohnmayer, Research Assistant, AYA Oncology Program
There were multiple and varied sessions dedicated to AYA including five symposia, and the final keynote address. Ms. Frohnmayer presented on the fertility preservation decision-making process of adolescent and young adult women with cancer. Other topics ranged from long-term survivorship and care to the transition from pediatric to adult care, and AYA-specific disease physiology.
It wasn’t all serious business though. The exuberant atmosphere that AYA survivors bring to everything they do undoubtedly livened up the conference as many from Canteen New Zealand were in attendance as volunteers. The fun also included movie night and a screening of Wrong Way to Hope.
They AYA Program also had three posters presented at the conference.
AYA Fellowship
AYA Case Study
AYA Treatment & Survivorship Cohort

Adolescents and young adults with cancer have different needs from other patients. The Knight Cancer Institute is proud to offer Oregon’s only program designed exclusively for people ages 15-39. Our internationally-recognized, award-winning Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program is dedicated to ensuring all AYAs with cancer have access to services tailored to their specific needs.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pediatric Grand Rounds: COG Chair, Dr. Peter Adamson

Dr. Adamson will be giving the Robert C. Neerhout MD lecture on Thursday Nov 3 at 8am in the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Vey Auditorium (11th floor).  His lecture will be entitled, "Childhood Cancer Research: 21st Century Science, 20th Century Clinical Trials."
for a stream of the archived lecture, click here.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Patient access to their own research data?

" Key objectives: Enable patients to obtain their own data back from samples they donate to trials "
For more about the Portable Legal Consent Project at Sage Bionetworks, click here.  

update 3/22/2012:  "DNA donor rights affirmed"... see what an NIH working group now says about patients' right to know on incidental findings.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dr. Abraham presents at DIPG Conference (NIH)

Last week PCB senior scientist, Dr. Jinu Abraham, presented his invited talk entitled, "Rapid Preclinical development of targeted therapy combination for DIPG" at the DIPG Consensus Conference, which was held October 6-7th at NIH's Bethesda campus.  A subject of the conference was determining the role of biopsy in the standard of care for this form of brainstem high grade glioma.  Noted to be equally important, however, is the search for a combination of targeted agents that makes this tumor a uniformly survivable condition.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hemophilia Program Fundraiser

This fundraising event is in cooperation with the Hemophilia Foundation of Oregon and all proceeds are shared.  Funds generated from this event are typically used for program research efforts

Please join us on October 16th.  Admission is $150 per person.  Please also share this invitation with anyone you think might be interested in attending and supporting the Hemophilia Center and the Hemophilia Foundation of Oregon.  RSVP to 503-209-7539 or

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pediatric Cancer Teleconferencing to Anchorage & Medford

Through the The Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008 (3R01CA133229-4S1), the National Cancer Institute has funded purchase and installation of Video Teleconferencing equipment at two community-based pediatric practices that refer the greatest number of pediatric sarcoma and other childhood cancer patients to OHSU.  These practices are Providence Alaska Medical Center (Anchorage, AK) and Medford MD (Medford, OR).  The new equipment allows two way video conferencing but has also camera capability to use for face to face patient consultation as well. The Alaska site routinely participates in tumor board and a bi-weekly teleconference to review shared patients, and the Medford site uses this resource for general education as well as participating in tumor board and care conferences.  Since the implementation of videoconferencing this year, twelve new pediatric cancer patients from Alaska have been referred for coordinated care or consultation by the OHSU multi-disciplinary physician team.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update: Legacy Gift workshop at COG

This afternoon's workshop on the value of autopsy in finding new treatments was very well received, if not at times slightly tearful in a happy way.  Oncology social worker Caroline Macuiba and PCB researcher Jen Alabran presented results of a 60 family survey of how, if ever, it would be appropriate to discuss the topic of autopsy for donating a tissue from which childhood cancers could be better understood & treated.  Interview participants were from families of children affected with sarcomas, brain tumors, or other pediatric cancers.  Two mothers, Sandy and Kim, who themselves are cancer survivors presented their families experiences with tissue donation after their sons passed away from brainstem gliomas.  Remarkable people, but what they relate is the closure and altruistic value of such gifts.  
This study and workshop was funded by NCI in response to the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008 (3R01CA133229-4S1) in partnership with the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.  This project's inspiration was the efforts of Nancy Goodman and .  
For more information, visit or email Jen,  alabran (at)  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

COG Workshop: Overcoming Autopsy Barriers in Pediatric Cancer Research

Providing Hope For Tomorrow's Cures
Roswell Room, Atlanta Conference Level, Hyatt Regency Hotel

(runs concurrently with the Children's Oncology Group Meeting)
Tumor samples obtained by an autopsy offer a potentially important scientific impact and creates a positive outlet to a grieving family. This workshop addresses the current barriers to obtaining an autopsy consent and provides guidelines on how to overcome these barriers at your institution.
Refreshments will be provided.
rsvp to Jen Alabran,  alabran (at)

A joint venture of OHSU PCB and the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.  For details, click here

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stories from the Vineyard - Portland 2011

VineyardStories from the Vineyard is an annual fundraising event held in Portland to support patients and families living in the Pacific Northwest who are diagnosed with sarcoma.  This event is held by the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation and sponsored by NW Natural.  

Saturday, September 17
6 - 10 pm
Northwest Sarcoma FoundationNW Natural Headquarters
Downtown Portland

For more details, click here.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dr. Keller leads team that focuses on the incurable 20 percent in pediatric cancer

[ re-posted from the story in OHSU School of Medicine News by Jennifer Smith ]

08/29/11 Portland, Ore.

Keller_PCB_teamCharles Keller, MD, FAAP, knows what he wants. Or rather, he knows what the children and families of those with rare, incurable pediatric cancers want – effective, personalized treatment. The cure rate for childhood cancers as a group is approaching 80 percent. The Pediatric Cancer Biology (PCB) Program in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU addresses the causes of mortality in the remaining 20 percent of children. Their work is getting noticed – just a year after joining OHSU, research by Dr. Keller and the PCB team have published 16 papers in high-impact scientific journals.

“We’re looking for the quantum leap for the diseases that can’t be cured,” said Dr. Keller, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Sada and Rebecca Tarshis Professor in Pediatric Hematology Oncology.

Hepatoblastoma is one of four diseases of priority for the PCB Program, which Dr. Keller leads; the others include sarcomas, brain stem gliomas and neuroblastoma.

“With the leading researchers we already have and the right recruiting focus, we can create the first-ever U.S. lab to study liver stem cell biology in a focused, results-driven way,” said Dr. Keller.

A number of factors led to Dr. Keller’s vision for a program with a focus on Hepatoblastoma when he joined OHSU in August 2010. He recognized the rich environment for liver stem cell research at OHSU in the Oregon Stem Cell Center, led by Center Director Markus Grompe, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Keller also recognized the paucity of U.S. labs dedicated to such focused research. Perhaps the best known work on Hepatoblastoma, he said, is found in the lab of Dr. Marie Annick Buendia at the Pasteur Institute in Paris; other notable research is being done in Germany, Thailand, Japan and Australia.

OHSU’s growing focus on molecular-targeted therapy, in particular at the OHSU Knight Cancer Instiute, also attracted Dr. Keller. Conventional treatments – chemotherapy, surgery and radiation – are not generally effective for the most devastating childhood cancers.

The research necessary for personalized therapy requires coordinated efforts on several fronts. The Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative (PPTI), a part of the PCB Program, investigates new drugs for treating childhood cancers. The PCB Program launched the Knight-affiliated Childhood Cancer Registry for Familial and Sporadic Tumors (CCuRe-FAST), a tumor bank and registry, in May which will inform the creation of pediatric personalized cancer therapy. CCuRe-FAST is open to all pediatric cancer patients at Doernbecher and OHSU, and has successfully established 34 primary cell cultures as of mid-August.

Dr. Keller is wasting no time in assembling a team of researchers whose expertise can contribute to a productive understanding of rare childhood cancers in order to create a plan to tackle the diseases. His team comes from all types of backgrounds – he enlists biochemists, biomedical engineers, molecular biologists and electrical engineers – and focuses as much on creativity as on science. For example, they are the first National Cancer Institute affiliate to use genetically-engineered mouse models to study tumor growth and to explore treatment options.

And he’s not stopping yet. “It’s my goal to recruit two additional high caliber investigators in the next five years,” said Dr. Keller. “Two additional labs – one focusing on glioma and one on neuroblastoma biology – would move us significantly closer to finding innovative treatments for pediatric cancers.”

Abraham_Keller_HuangIn February, Cancer Cell published a landmark study, in which Dr. Keller and the PCB team discovered the cell of origin for childhood muscle cancer. In March, PCB researchers, led by Jinu Abraham, PhD, identified a promising new approach to overcoming drug resistance in children with an extremely aggressive childhood muscle cancer known as alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. This study was first published online and graced the April cover of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. And as an unexpected result, their laboratory published in June in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that an antibiotic that inactivates a gene responsible for preventing eye cancer in children can actually improve muscle stem cell generation, with implications for muscular dystrophy, but not apparently putting those patients at risk for rhabdomyosarcoma.

Part of the PCB team’s research takes multi-disciplinary science to a new level – a new species, to be exact. The characteristics of osteosarcoma in canines are remarkably similar to the disease’s pattern in humans, although it is naturally occurring and 10 times more frequent in the four-legged species. Teaming up with Oregon State University veterinarian Bernard Seguin, Dr. Keller and colleagues study drug response in dogs and hope to find treatments that translate to human patients.

As a member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Dr. Keller works closely with other Knight researchers and supports Knight programs, such as the Knight Seminar Series, which brings experts from across the country to OHSU, with a focus on translational research.

Dr. Keller’s lab, the PCB Program and the PPTI have active blogs, which you can find on the Charles Keller Lab website. The passion and vision Dr. Keller has for his work is evident in person and online. One of his first posts after joining OHSU ended with these words: “Where there is a will, there is a way. Change can be tangible. And we are accountable.”

Pictured above: (top) Dr. Keller and the PCB team, (bottom) Dr. Abraham, Dr. Keller and Elaine Huang, MS, in the lab

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dept of Radiation Medicine - An Essential Partner in Research

The OHSU Department of Radiation Medicine is led by Chairman Dr. Charles Thomas and encumbers a strong heritage in basic and clinical cancer research.  For a list of recent visiting speakers click here or here.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Check Out How the National Cancer Institute Has Gone All AYA Style

“Young people with cancer can no find relevant information from the NCI all in once place – in the Adolescent and Young Adult portal. This portal was designed to reach newly diagnosed AYA patients with evidenced-based information that will help them learn about treatment options, explore clinical trial options, get emotional support, and learn about organizations that serve young people with cancer. It now has videos and links to a special AYA issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin. The portal was inspired by the many organizations, and incredible young people, who make up the LAF Young Adult Alliance; many are listed in the Organizations and Resources section of the portal.” – Carol Sienche, Senior Program Manager, National Cancer Institute
This one-stop shop of videos, articles and links galore is available now. Search around, and you’ll be sure to find our AYA Medical Director, Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD in a few of those videos and articles.
Adolescents and young adults with cancer have different needs from other patients. The Knight Cancer Institute is proud to offer Oregon’s only program designed exclusively for people ages 15-39. Our internationally-recognized, award-winning Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program is dedicated to ensuring all AYAs with cancer have access to services tailored to their specific needs.
re-posted from ayavoice blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pediatric Cancer NanoCourse Participants

Congratulations to NanoCourse graduates Ailin Jiang, Raha Kannan, Marissa Peterson, Victoria Reinke and Teagen Settlemeyer. We are grateful to them for their terrific questions and hard work this month!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011 Inaugural Brody Borlaug Memorial Golf Tournament

On September 23rd the Brody Borlaug Foundation will present the 2011 Inaugural Brody Borlaug Memorial Golf Tournament and Crab & Crawdad Feed to help raise awareness of rare and complex immune disorders.  This event is in memory of their three year-old son, Brody.  Funds raised with benefit an Immunology Center of Excellence at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. To rsvp, please contact Jeff Borlaug at tracyborlaug (at)  

Monday, August 8, 2011

CureSearch Walk - Portland

On Saturday August 6th families, patients and childhood cancer survivors gathered for the CureSearch for Children's Cancer walk in Sellwood Riverfront Park.  PCB program members Emma, Janelle and Jen were early rising volunteers.  The event was inspiring to see the young childhood cancer patients telling their stories, survivors showing that childhood cancer is an often survivable disease - but also to see the way in which children who have not been so fortunate are remembered and honored (in this case, with a butterfly release).  Speaking were both OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division chief, Dr. Linda Stork, and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director, Dr. Brian Druker.  The event raised more than $36,000 for childhood cancer clinical research nationally and in Portland.  
[ right:  Dr. Stacy Nicholson (neuro-oncologist and OHSU Chair of Pediatrics); Linda Stork; DCHF mascot "Dolly" ]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NCI Provocative Questions Workshop

Today the NCI held one of its first "Provocative Questions" workshops off the NIH campus.  Moderated by Harvard faculty Dr. Ed Harlow, thought leaders in cancer research from Seattle and Portland discussed important and often unaddressed cancer biology questions for potential future focus of the National Cancer Institute.  The event was held at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.  Pediatric Oncology was well represented!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The New

CureSearch for Children's Cancer recently launched their exciting and information-rich new website,  The website happens to feature exciting recent research at OHSU's Pediatric Cancer Biology Program.  OHSU is also proud to be the only COG/CureSearch Phase I Clinical Trials program in the state of Oregon, making the most newly developed cancer therapies available to the children in Portland, Southwest Washington and the state of Oregon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at OHSU

The Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship program at OHSU is an exciting one with not only an outstanding clinical training experience, but  superb research training as well.  More information about this ACGME-accredited can be seen here, including a video about the childhood cancer program at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.  You can also contact program director, Dr. Michael Recht, rechtm (at) .   

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sarcoma Conference in Kyoto

An international conference on sarcoma for surgeon-scientists has been organized this year by Dr. Junya Toguchida as the 44th Annual Musculoskeletal Tumor Meeting of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association.  The science presented by the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) and other Japanese centers and institutions has been outstanding.

A key point made during the conference from the Sarcoma Multi-Disciplinary Teams of the United Kingdom is that for best outcomes (and to prevent adverse outcomes) sarcoma care should be centralized to key care facilities with a dedicated team of orthopaedic oncologists, specialized sarcoma pathologists, sarcoma oncologists, radiation oncologists and patient support personnel (2 or greater for each subspecialty).  In Portland, OHSU is proud to be the only such team - and a particularly experienced one for pediatric sarcomas, and the only such program to integrate the most cutting-edge research and Phase I clinical trials made available to Oregon's sarcoma patients.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

AYA Voice: Our Program Director Talks Survival Gaps

Issues in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology was a hot topic at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago. Our Program Director, Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, blogged about the highlights last week.
He then joined fellow experts, Archie Bleyer, MD, and Karen Albritton, MD to discuss the survival gap in adolescents and young adults with cancer for the ASCO Post.
“Survival is worse for young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) than it is for children with ALL. Similarly, in breast cancer, survival rates are worse for women under 40 than for older women.” – Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD
Check out what the all the experts had to say here.

[ this entry re-posted from Knight News ]
[ Update!  see Brandon's guest editorial of the NCI Cancer Bulletin! ]

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wilm's Tumor Clinical Scientist, Dr. Douglas Weeks

Pediatric embryonal tumors of the kidney often have very good outcomes, yet stratification to a particular treatment regimen depends to the great extent on the careful eye of a specialized pathologist. At OHSU, Department of Pathology Chairman, Dr. Douglas Weeks, is one such key Wilms tumor pathology expert.  Having such a pioneer and active participant of the National Wilms Tumor Study Group at OHSU is of enormous value to the study of this childhood cancer -- and other tumors of embryonic origin.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pediatric Hematology & Coagulation at OHSU

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology are seamlessly linked in the treatment of children with blood disorders and leukemia.  The care of patients with bleeding predispositions is an important component of this mission.  Directed by Michael Recht, MD, PhD,  the Hemophilia Center at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is 1 of 12 regional grantees nationwide that receive grant funding from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Funding received from MCHB directs Hemophilia Centers to provide comprehensive care for bleeding & clotting disorders. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

OHSU PCB and NW Sarcoma Foundation partnership

Northwest Sarcoma FoundationWe are excited to announce that the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital are partnering to raise awareness about sarcoma treatment and research in the Pacific Northwest thanks to a grant from the National Cancer Institute and the Carolyn Price Walker Act. 
"Together we will work to raise awareness that early access to specialized, clinical trial-driven sarcoma care greatly benefits children, adolescents and young adults with sarcomas and that increased regional awareness of sarcoma treatment and research also benefits these age groups, and the sarcoma community as a whole," said Charles Keller, M.D., leader of Pediatric Cancer Biology Program in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.  This awareness campaign has already begun in the following ways:
Participation In and Website Broadcast of StoryCorps:  StoryCorps shares recorded stories to foster connection between people of all backgrounds, teach the value of listening, and nurture the appreciation that every life matters. OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation were invited to represent the State of Oregon for StoryCorps' National Day of Listening. On November 26, 2010, our alliance participated in The Legacy Initiative, designed to preserve and share the stories of people with life-threatening conditions.
Our program interviews with sarcoma patients included:
§  a parent of a child in treatment talking to a parent whose child has had a sustained remission
§  a child currently in treatment talking with his adult advocate 'ChemoPal'
§  a female high school student talking with a female college student  - both of whom have had sarcoma
§  as well as other stories that are now available on the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation website
Online Community: The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation's website now includes an Online Community that will allow sarcoma patients and their families to reach out to others in the sarcoma community. The Online Community features focus groups discussing topics from the importance of seeing a sarcoma specialist, Legacy Gifts, bone or soft tissue sarcoma, financial assistance, grief support, as well as the ability to create discussion groups about issues important to each patient's sarcoma experience.
Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) Telemedicine: One of the major issues in improving sarcoma care in the western U.S. is increased access. OHSU is the only major academic medical center between Sacramento and Seattle.

With this grant, the multi-disciplinary sarcoma physician team at OHSU will host a weekly Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Tumor Board via teleconference.  Currently the Anchorage Providence Hospital in Alaska is participating.  ASANTE Rogue Valley pediatric oncologists will begin participating in July.  

Through the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation website,, we will raise awareness that cures for tomorrow's sarcoma patients may come from the selfless actions of sarcoma patients whose sarcoma experience resulted in loss of life, despite state-of-the-art treatment and increased awareness of research opportunities. 

Leaving a Legacy:  In the past few decades, pediatric cancer treatments have improved leading to increased survival rates; however, rare and more progressive cancers lag behind promoting the need for tumor samples to be used for research. Our knowledge of how childhood cancer forms and progresses is minimal making it necessary to use these invaluable samples to increase our understanding and identify new treatments. To find more information on "Leaving a Legacy", please visit the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation website.

We are excited about this partnership and the ability to reach out to the sarcoma community in the Pacific Northwest. Please visit our website to learn more about these programs and information we provide.

Monday, May 23, 2011

US News & World Reports 2011 Ranking

The OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital has been ranked in the Top 50 of Children's Hospitals nationwide, with special recognition in the specialties of Cancer, Cardiology and heart surgery, Diabetes and endocrinology, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology and neurosurgery, Pulmonology and Urology.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Upcoming Knight Seminar Speakers

OHSU Main Hospital 8th Floor Conference Room 8B60

4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, 2011
James M. Ford, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics & Genetics
Stanford University School of Medicine
Targeting DNA Repair for the Treatment & Prevention of Triple‐Negative Breast Cancer
hosted by Charles Lopez, MD, PhD, Cell & Developmental Biology ‐ OHSU
4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2011
William Stratford May, Jr. , MD, PhD
Henry E. Innes Professor of Cancer Research
UF Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida
TNK1/KOS1: A Protein Tyrosine Kinase with a Tumor Suppressor Function
hosted by Jeffrey Tyner, PhD, Knight Cancer Institute

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NYT: Parent & Child Patient Voices

New Year Times staff Karren Barrow, David Ahntholz, Kevin Moloney and Michael Stravato have created an heartwarming and heartbreaking collection of vignettes in the voices of children with cancer, and their parents.  These articulate families relate how far childhood cancer treatment has come, but in some cases how urgently new research is needed.  For the stories, click here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tumor Bank & Registry Launches

Our sincere thanks to Miriam Douhit and the entire multidisciplinary team who made possible the IRB-approved protocol, Childhood Cancer Registry for Familial and Sporadic Tumors [CCURE-FAST].  This Tumor Bank & Registry offers families the opportunity to have leftover tissue be used for childhood cancer research. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Upcoming Lectureship on Canine Osteosarcoma

Dr. Bernard Séguin will present the first annual Scott Carter Memorial Pediatric Cancer Therapeutics Lectureship 4pm on Tuesday May 3 in the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Vey Auditorium (11th floor).  Dr. Bernard Séguin is Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery & Surgical Oncology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University.  Dr Seguin received his DVM from the Université de Montréal, and thereafter performed residency at Washington State University and Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Colorado State University.  Dr. Seguin’s area of expertise is cancer surgery and his research interests are surgical oncology and osteosarcoma, a primary tumor of bone. He has a strong interest in developing novel limb-sparing surgical techniques, which are aimed at removing the tumor from the limb while preserving its function.  Dr. Seguin will discuss the similarities between treating human and dog patients with osteosarcoma, and a new study designed to offer personalized cancer therapy with novel new drugs that are specifically chosen for each patient based on the biology of their tumor. This work is a collaboration between the OSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the OHSU Pediatric Cancer Biology Program and Knight Cancer Institute.  Dr. Séguin’s seminar presentation is entitled, “Why Treating Man’s Best Friend Benefits Everyone – The Osteosarcoma Story”.

This lectureship is presented in the memory of Scott Carter, a young man who inspired his family and community to find better treatment options for children with cancer.  This annual lectureship is supported by the Scott Carter Foundation.   
[ update 5/6/2011:  To see the archived talk online, click here . ]

Be The Match/Be The One Run-Portland, July 17th

Join Team OHSU!  
The Be The One Run is coming to Portland Oregon on July 17, 2011. This is a walk/run event for people of all ages and fitness levels and includes a 5K, a 1K and a short-distance Tot Trot to benefit the Be The Match Registry.

The Be The Match Registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program ands its mission is to make bone marrow transplantation possible for all patients in need, by increasing the number and diversity of donors, providing patient assistance and advancing research in the field of bone marrow transplantation. The program has facilitated more than 43,000 since its inception in 1987.  In 2010, nearly 723,000 potential bone marrow donors were added to the registry and new mothers donated more than 36,000 umbilical cord blood units.  Even though there are more than 9 million donors and 185,000 cord blood units available through the Be The Match Registry, there is still a need for more.

Be The Match is engaging individuals who are motivated to help grow the registry, volunteer, and provide financial support for patients and their families. Portland is one of the first cities in the country selected to hold the Be The One run event because of the close working and service relationship between our community and Be The Match. Portland has the only donor recruitment center in our region. OHSU and Doernbecher are the only center performing unrelated donor bone marrow and cord blood transplants for adults and children in the state. Several of the physicians at the Knight Cancer Institute and Doernbecher are national leaders in bone marrow transplantation research, donor and patient advocacy.

Everyone is invited to participate! You can join as part of the OHSU team, as an individual or form a new team.  You can also help by spreading the word, volunteering for the event or making a financial contribution. More information at
[ content kindly provided by Eneida Nemecek, Doernbecher BMT Program ] 

Monday, April 25, 2011

College Student Dedicated to Curing His Own Cancer Speaks at OHSU

Josh Sommer will discuss how individual patients, patient advocacy groups can help expedite research breakthroughs, accelerate their own cures

WHAT:           Josh Sommer will discuss his campaign to find a cure for a rare bone cancer of the head and spine called clival chordoma, and his belief that patients can and should play an active role in bringing about treatments for their own conditions.

Josh was diagnosed with clival chordoma in 2006 while attending Duke University. Determined to find his own cure, Josh volunteered for two years in an oncology lab at Duke University. In 2008 he received a two-year Echoing Green Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs for his pioneering work in bridging patient advocacy and research.

Today Josh is executive director of the Chordoma Foundation, an organization he and his mom, Simone Sommer, M.D., founded to unite patients, doctors and scientists to accelerate treatments for chordoma, which typically is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation and is prone to multiple recurrences; the average survival after diagnosis is seven years.

“In a few short years, Josh has created a new culture by which patients interact with top researchers and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate research,” said Charles Keller, M.D., leader of Pediatric Cancer Biology Program in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and a member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the Oregon Stem Cell Center at OHSU. “Josh exemplifies the need for personalized medicine and the Chordoma Foundation has made possible amazing research in the United States and internationally that has resulted in high-profile, high-impact publications in the scientific journal CELL, among others.”

Josh is the inaugural speaker of the Miles Alpern Levin Lectureship, sponsored by the Miles Alpern Levin Initiative for Rhabdomyosarcoma Research and hosted by the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the Pediatric Cancer Biology Program at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

WHEN:          Tuesday, April 26, at 4 p.m. The lecture will be streamed live at this website

WHERE:       OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, 11th floorVey Auditorium, 700 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland, OR 97239

DETAILS:     In addition to addressing the important role of patient advocacy he will focus on various issues and special challenges that are associated with cancer detection, diagnostics, prognostics and treatment of rare cancers; strategies to improve screening, scientific collaborations and interactions, and new technologies.

NOW AVAILABLE:  Click here to view the recorded lectureship.  

CureSearch Spring 2011 Newsletter highlights PCB

The Children's Oncology Group is an important framework for the progress that has been seen for 80% of the childhood cancers that are now survivable, and the COG is an important part of finding new treatments for the remaining 20%.  We are grateful that COG/CureSearch for Children's Cancer has highlighted our Pediatric Cancer Biology Program in it Spring 2011 Newsletter for both our rhabdomyosarcoma research and our program mission at OHSU and with COG.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trading Hair for Hope

Our heartfelt support goes to the "DCH Razor your heads for the cure" team including DCH resident, Katie Oldread, who this year are shaving their heads to raise funds for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and childhood cancer research.  Pledges are said to be welcome, here.  


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peds Hem Onc Fellow selected for AACR Workshop

Congratulation to OHSU-Doernbecher Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellow, Nameeta Richards, who has been selected to participate in the 20th Annual AACR Aspen Workshop: Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology, July 16-22, 2011.  This is a prestigious opportunity for the brightest young adult and pediatric oncology and oncologic surgery to receive mentorship from international thought leaders in Oncology research.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OHSU Fellows present Targeted Therapy Studies

Congratulations to OHSU Pediatric Hematology Oncology fellows, Dr. Praveen Anur, and Dr. Jason Glover who presented their well-received studies, "Dasatinib supressess TNF-alpha over-production in FANCC deficient cells" and "Exploring novel targets in the tyrosine kinase family in Neuroblastoma", respectively, at the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology annual meeting in Baltimore, MD.  Praveen's mentor is Fanconi Anemia expert, Dr. Grover Bagby, and Jason's mentor is Dr. Brian Druker.  
These two studies exemplify the OHSU commitment not only to personalized cancer care, but also to the training of the brightest young minds of the next generation. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pediatric Cancer Biology Nanocourse

Congratulations to the five high school students selected for the Childhood Cancer Nanocourse & Internship for Key Club Students in August 2011.  The course will give students didactic training in childhood cancer treatment, clinical trials and basic science research.   The experience will also include individual research project assignments, with the opportunity to collaborate with fellow student scientists.  This Nanocourse sponsored by the OHSU Pediatric Cancer Biology Program is modeled after the AACR Physician-Scientist workshop held each year in Aspen, Colorado, which is for the brightest young minds and future biomedical leaders.  As the selected 5 high school Key Club students have demonstrated, however, it is never too early to start!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Our thanks to the Students of Sunset High School

Our Pediatric Cancer Biology program is grateful to the Students of Sunset High School for their generous contribution of $10,000 to fund a Personalized Cancer Therapy Drug Library.  It is amazing that these students were able to raise such a significant amount, which undoubtedly took a great deal of work and dedication.  Their gift will make a measurable impact on our research efforts to develop a way to identify specific non-chemotherapy drug (or drugs) that would be best to stop tumor cell growth for each individual patient.