Gretchen Oakley, MD Yo ur G ra nd m o the r Ha d Thyro id C a nc e r— Matthew VanBrocklin, PhD Cancer Research Funding Re ve nue (m illio ns) Researchers at the University of Utah and HCI set out • Grants and Contracts: 39.3% to find the answer to that question. They discovered • Huntsman Cancer Foundation: 19.0% an increased risk for papillary thyroid cancer in first- Laboratory research on the genes that power cancer used to depend on cell cultures or • Cancer Hospital: 13.8% through third-degree relatives of patients with the knockout mice. But cells cultured on plastic don’t behave like cells in living organisms and, • State of Utah: 13.1% using standard methods, it takes about a year to develop knockout mice for each different • Other Revenue: 12.0% cancer—a study possible only by using a resource • Endowment Gains and like the Utah Population Database, a collection of gene mutation. Researchers in HCI’s VanBrocklin Lab developed a unique mouse model Gift Income: 2.8% genealogies linked with medical records and cancer that makes studying genetic factors in cancers within the living organism much quicker and more flexible. In 2013, they were awarded a five-year National Cancer Institute grant Exp e nd iture s (m illio ns) registries. Learn more about the research Gretchen Oakley, MD, Karen Curtin, PhD, Jason Hunt, MD, to study the role of a gene called c-KIT in melanoma using their mouse model. • Direct Cancer Research: 72.4% • Administration and Facilities: 15.1% and their study colleagues published in the Journal of • Prevention and Community the American Medical Association: Otolaryngology—Head Engagement: 12.5% and Neck Surgery. Snapshot of a Day at the Cancer Hospital Jason Hunt, MD patients staying radiation in the hospital therapy procedures Karen Curtin, PhD outpatient cancer A breast cancer test that shows subtypes of the disease, called the visits surgeries PAM50 classifier, received FDA approval and is now available chemotherapy radiology to patients nationwide. Using genomics research led by Philip infusion treatments procedures Bernard, MD, HCI investigator and associate professor in the to a De e p e r Und e rsta nd ing Department of Pathology at the University of Utah, the test provides o f C a nc e r’ s Ro o ts a risk of recurrence score in breast cancer patients, which will help The Ye a r in Re vie w The HCI lab headed by Bradley R. Cairns, PhD, developed doctors tailor treatment to each person’s particular disease. a new technique to analyze RNA methylation, a process JANUARY that helps ensure correct construction of the proteins inside Philip Bernard, MD Trudy Oliver, PhD, receives the prestigious Damon cells. They investigated a set of enzymes that conduct RNA Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, a three-year, $450,000 grant to aid her ongoing research of small-cell lung cancer. methylation, which when mutated are connected to cancer, infertility, and certain genetic disorders in humans. In the FEBRUARY past, technical limitations greatly restricted understanding of Wellness-Survivorship Center holds its first art exhibit and the enzymes’ effects. The new method, published in the journal reception where patient, caregiver, and staff participants of the Nature Biotechnology, is a “beautiful tool” that opens the door into Artist in Residence Program share artwork with the community. a new, rich area of cancer epigenetics research. G e ne ro us Do na tio ns Ma ke Ne w Re se a rc h Build ing Ha p p e n MARCH Bradley R. Cairns, PhD Year after year, HCI makes major strides in cancer research even though funding for Utah State Legislature approves plans for major cancer research is on the decline across the country. Generous private donations to research expansion with near unanimous support. Huntsman Cancer Foundation have made it possible for HCI not only to continue groundbreaking research, but also build on it. Read about the Primary APRIL CEO/Director Mary Beckerle, PhD, elected to the Board of Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, the $100 million Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, a Jakob Jensen, PhD research building planned for HCI. scientific society with more than 32,000 members. John Sweetenham, MD, named Senior Director of Clinical Affairs and Executive Medical Director of the Cancer Hospital. Is It C lo se to Re a lity? MAY We live in an era where cancer research has never been better. Total fundraising tally is in for Huntsman Hometown Heroes 2013 Yet, according to the National Cancer Institute, 75% of the Salt Lake City Marathon event participants: $60,000 for cancer research. public feels overloaded by the amount of cancer information available. Jakob Jensen, PhD, conducted a study that found JUNE when people feel cancer information overload, they are less The 2011 Annual Report printed summary receives a 2013 American InHouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA— likely to participate in cancer screening and prevention of more than 4,000 entrants nationwide, only 15% are honored. behavior. Learn more about cancer misconceptions and possibilities for turning them around. A group of 14 HCI investigators present at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, where more than 25,000 experts join to discuss breakthroughs in cancer research and care. Tre a ting Me la no m a w ith JULY/AUGUST Wha t C urre nt C o lo re c ta l C a nc e r Our volunteers—a valued and integral part of our Sc re e ning G uid e line s Are Missing organization—reach a landmark 100,000 cumulative hours of service since 1999. The science behind this Phase III clinical trial led In the largest study of its kind, researchers from HCI, including by Robert Andtbacka, MD, CM, sounds almost N. Jewel Samadder, MD, found that up to 10% of colorectal SEPTEMBER like a video game—researchers hijack the virus that cancers may be missed when current screening guidelines About 1,000 people attend the second annual Cancer are followed by people with a family history of colon Awareness Expo and nearly 500 receive free health screenings. causes cold sores and change its genome so it attacks only melanoma cells. Inside the body, the virus polyps that lead to colorectal cancer. If your dad, aunt, Harold Varmus, MD, Nobel Laureate and National Cancer replicates, blows up the melanoma cells, and trains the or even great-grandpa had colorectal cancer, this means you Institute Director, presents the 2013 Benning Public Lecture patient’s immune system to chase down and deactivate may need more screening for the disease than you thought. Results in Medicine, sponsored by HCI and the Benning Society. melanoma-related proteins wherever they may be. It’s appeared in the October 2013 issue of Cancer. N. Jewel Samadder, MD OCTOBER called oncolytic immunotherapy, and it hints at what’s HCI and the University of Utah Department of Medicine possible for melanoma patients—a fighting chance at honor Randall Burt, MD, Senior Director of Prevention and overcoming the disease and living longer. Initial results Outreach, as he retires after more than 34 years. of the clinical trial were presented at the 2013 American An HCI research team is one of only three nationwide to receive Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. the $2 million CureSearch Grand Challenges Award to study Ewing sarcoma, a rare but aggressive cancer in children and young adults. Robert Andtbacka, MD, CM NOVEMBER Jon M. Huntsman unveils plans for the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, a major expansion of HCI’s cancer campus. Joshua Schiffman, MD Millio ns o f Wo m e n G e t Pa p Te sts Whe n The y Do n’ t Ne e d To Deanna Kepka, PhD DECEMBER Brian Druker, MD, an internationally renowned cancer A lot can change in 10 years. But HCI researchers found that isn’t the researcher, joins our External Advisory Board. case when it comes to overuse of the Pap test—the standard method to detect precancerous cervical changes in women. Despite many updates fo r Fa m ilie s o f Kid s w ith C a nc e r in national health organizations’ recommendations, close to 14 million Until recently, parents of kids with cancer had no way of knowing if their other women got unnecessary Pap tests. Find out which groups of women this kids were at risk. A study led by Joshua Schiffman, MD, shows that looking at applies to, along with current cervical cancer screening recommendations a family’s cancer history can help parents answer that tough question. Using the from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Utah Population Database, Schiffman and his team examined the records of 4,482 children with cancer and found a genetic syndrome that increases the risk for other family members. The study was published in the International Journal of Cancer.