Norris Cotton Cancer Center & the American Cancer Society

Norris Cotton Cancer Center & the American Cancer Society


as a surgeon in the summer is taking
care of patients with pancreas cancer for example
the outcomes are very poor as you can imagine and so what we’re trying to find
is new discoveries or new treatments that can help these people because
essentially it’s a these the patients are desperate the community is desperate
for new information and I wanted to be a part of that I wanted to contribute to
the to that new research. My name is Carrie Smith. My research is focused on
pancreas cancer I’m a surgical oncologist. I’m Cathy Lyons and I’m an
investigator in the cancer control program here at Norris cotton Cancer
Center and my clinical training is in occupational therapy which means that
I’m interested in people’s ability to do the activities they want me to do in
life and so in my research I develop and test cancer rehabilitation interventions
where we’re looking for ways to promote functional recovery during and after
cancer treatment for adults and older adults. I use yeast cells as a model
system to try and understand how cells work and that’s quite far removed from
people who are testing tumors in mice let alone looking at tumors in humans
but there’s a really important connection there and a lot of important
discoveries have been made in yeast in other model systems and the ACS has a
remarkable history of supporting experiments and projects in these kind
of model systems that have led to real breakthroughs. My name is Jamie Mosley
and I’m in the biochemistry department. I consider myself a cell biologist.
My name is Jimmy Wu and my research is focused mainly on developing a class of
compounds called the new for alkaloids and these are molecules that can be
found in the rhizomes of the common yellow water lily we’re interested in
them because they have this unique ability of inducing apoptosis in certain
lines of leukemia cells within one hour. That’s incredibly fast and apoptosis is
this concept of programmed cell death. My name is Todd Miller. I lead a breast
cancer research focus laboratory. I receive the research
scholar grant from the ACS which started in 2013 and that was essentially
instrumental in sustaining my research program during the first four middle
years. The novelty in the research that we’re
doing here at dartmouth-hitchcock and at the Cancer Center is that we’re taking
small tissue biopsies and graft it surgically transplanted into a mouse to
grow the patient’s tumor in the mouse and we can study that subject the in a
sense the mouse to experimental treatments that you could never do to
the patient and see if the patient’s tumor responds find out more about the
patient’s tumor that characteristics of the tumor that might be amenable to
certain experimental treatments. The current study that the American Cancer
Society funded is a mentored research scholar grant and I’m working with older
adults who are either in treatment or completed their treatment and feel like
it’s really taking the wind out of their sails. They haven’t bounced back the way
they want to they’re struggling to do some of the activities that they want me
to do in their life and it’s actually a home based treatment. I go out to their
homes and we work on ways that they can get a little bit more active and set
small goals to help them improve their activities. So I study how cells make
decisions how they decide that it’s time to divide or not divide or to grow or
not grow and we’re trying to understand this on a very basic level because when
these decisions go wrong that’s that’s really what leads to cancers. If we can
understand how these molecules function perhaps we can use that information to
knowledge to develop new therapeutics cancer therapies for targeting cancer in
a way that’s different from what standard therapies can do right now but
in order to do that we have to be able to make the compounds and synthesize
them and these are incredibly complex molecules from a structural perspective
and so what we’re gonna have to do is to develop new chemical methodologies and
new reactions and then apply them to their synthesis. The ACS is really unique
I would say in terms of being able to support this broad range of
experiments and projects. Philanthropic funding for biomedical research is more
important than it ever has been before in particularly because we are making
huge advances in biomedical research and in cancer research but the proportion of
federal funding has not dramatically increased in recent years so therefore
we rely more on philanthropy to be able to continue to make breakthroughs. Every
dollar that comes to our research program comes from the sweat and the
passion of an ACS volunteer and we take that very seriously
and we try hard to print that same sweat and passion into the research that that
money allows us to get to do. Just keep it up and don’t give up you know stay
motivated and trying to try to help and do things.
It’s very valued. And although we’ve made a lot of progress so far there’s still a
lot of work to be done so I encourage everyone who has already participated to
continue participating and for people who have not to think about contributing
in some way. Knowing on a daily basis that my work is is supported by the
American Cancer Society and by individuals who are putting in their
time for that is really an inspiration that reminds me what the big picture is
of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

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