August 14, 2013

university of illinois CANCER CENTER



The Cancer Center is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Tarlov, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Health Systems Science, College of Nursing, on the Chicago campus, Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health in the College of Applied Health Sciences on the Urbana-Champaign campus, and Caryn Peterson, PhD, MS, Research Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health on the Chicago campus, to our membership. Drs. Tarlov, Grigsby-Toussaint and Peterson have joined the Population Health Behavior and Outcomes Program.

On Friday, August 9, 2013, the University of Illinois Cancer Center paired with the American Cancer Society for their Cancer Prevention Study 3 Participant Accrual on the Chicago Campus.  CPS-3 is the third in a series of longitudinal studies, designed to examine the effect of lifestyle and environmental exposures to modern carcinogens over a 30-year period.  Previous ACS longitudinal studies have demonstrated the impact of tobacco and cigarette smoking on lung cancer, obesity as a risk factor for cancer occurrence and mortality, and the correlation between cancer and diet and nutrition, physical activity, medications, hormones, and numerous other biological and behavioral factors.  With a goal of accruing 300,000 men and women, none of whom have ever had cancer, the ACS hopes to learn not only how lifestyle, behavior and the environment have been modified over time, but to re-examine current hypotheses of oncogenesis and develop new manners of prevention and treatment.  Anyone still interested in participating can click here for accrual opportunities.

Congratulations to CTTI member Hayat Onyuksel, PhD, Professor, Pharmaceutics and Bioengineering, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, on the Chicago campus, on receiving a grant from the Penny Severns Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health!  Dr. Onyuksel’s research is in the foundation of a “Phase I Study of Nanomedicine, Paclitaxel Micelle Targeting VIP Receptor for Therapy of Solid Tumors," and she will be collaborating with Drs. Arek Dudek and Alexander Lyubimov.

Congratulations to CCS member Anjen Chenn, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology, College of Medicine, on the Chicago campus, on the launch of, the website for the Laboratory for Innovative Care and Research. This new lab initiative has been developed to “facilitate discover, translation and clinical implementation of clinically-important diagnostic testing.”  Dr. Chenn is active on social media and through the online platforms of his labs, and this will further communicate the opportunities and research that are developing as LInCR moves forward.
Source: Chenn, Anjen, MD, PhD. "Laboratory for Innovative Care and Research." 1 July 2013. E-mail.

Grigsby   Peterson   Hayat   Anjen   Radosevich
Dr. Diana Grigsby-Toussaint
Dr. Caryn Peterson
Dr. Hayat Onyuksel
Dr. Anjen Chenn
Dr. James Radosevich

Congratulations to CCS member James Radosevich, PhD, Professor, Center for the Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, College of Dentistry, on the Chicago campus, on his authorship and editing of Head & Neck Cancer: Current Perspectives, Advances and Challenges, published by Springer.  As the primary book editor, Radosevich’s goal is to reach educators and policy-makers, as well as physicians and researchers.  By acknowledging the climbing rate of head and neck cancer occurrence, Radosevich is hoping that this might influence a greater understanding of these cancers, how decisions about screenings are made, and how social behaviors may change as a result.  The book begins with the historical context of head and neck cancers and continues to explore all facets, including tumor pathologies, therapy options, nutritional considerations, psycho-social needs and screening programs.

“Most everybody thinks that head and neck cancers come from smoking and drinking, and that it’s self-inflicted,” explains Radosevich. And while head and neck cancers have traditionally been tied to alcohol, smoking and drug use, the last few years have shown a significant increase in advanced-stage cancers, affecting younger individuals, whose social history does not include excessive alcohol, tobacco or drug use and abuse.  This leaves the door open for genetic considerations, evolutionary factors, the correlations between viruses and head and neck cancer, and understanding the evolving landscape of social and sexual behaviors that may put individuals at higher risk.  Radosevich’s goal is for greater awareness of these cancers and looking at the mythology and perception that head and neck cancers are solely self-driven.  By breaking down this perception, it hopefully translates into an abundance of funding for research, screening, prevention, and community interventions.

Collaboration came from several Cancer Center members and UIC College of Dentistry faculty and practitioners, including PHBO members Linda Kaste, PhD; Theresa Dolecek, PhD; Charles LeHew, PhD; Antonia Kolokythas, DDS; Dena Fischer, PhD; Susan Labott, PhD; and Carol Ferrans, PhD; CCS members Joel Schwartz, PhD; David Crowe, PhD; and Xiaofeng Zhou; and CTTI members Joel Epstein, DMD, MSD; and Lawrence Feldman, MD.  Other University of Illinois collaborators include William Paradise (insert credential); Manju Sarangapani (insert credential); Ami Patel (insert credential); William Pestle, PhD; Michael Colvard, DDS, MTS MS, FDS, RCSEd; Maaly Bassiony, DDS, MSc, PhD; Thomas Schlieve, DDS; Sara C. Gordon, DDS, MSc, FRCD; Gabor Tarjan, MD; Bulent Aydogan, PhD; H. Steven Sims, MD; Tara Brennan, MD; Benjamin Vesper, PhD, MBA, PMP; Rebecca Stout-Fowler, MD; Nancy Beckman, PhD; Sarah Shelby, PhD; Eileen Danaher Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN; Ishrat Mahjabeen; Yi Jin, PhD; Anxun Wang, PhD; and Dan Chen, PhD.  

Head & Neck Cancer: Current Perspectives, Advances and Challenges can be found on and other booksellers. It can be found at ISBN#978-94-007-5826-1 in hardcover, and ISBN#978-94-007-5827-8 as an e-book.

Source: "Head and Neck Cancer - James Radosevich." Personal interview. 18 July 2013.


Soy and Colon Cancer: The Relationship
 Soy has often played a significant part in cancer risk, and its relation to colon cancer is no different. CCP member Hong Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the Urbana-Champaign campus, and colleagues have found that lifetime consumption of genistein, which is “a bioactive component in soy foods,” (Picklesimer, 2013) has the ability to protect against colon cancer.  A signal that would under other circumstances be activated to enable the growth of polyps and tumors, is instead repressed by the influence of soy. 
Explains Chen, “In our study, we report a change in the expression of three genes that control an important signaling pathway. Genistein decreased the expression of three genes and repressed this signaling process that is associated with abnormal cell growth and cancer development.”   In exploring the human correlation, Chen and colleagues looked at the rate of colon cancer incidence in Asian immigrants.  Because these individuals were raised on a diet heavy in soy, the adoption of Western eating habits and often substitution of Westernized foods for soy, has resulted in an increase in colon cancer in the Asian immigrant population.  The take-away is that colon cancer is epigenetic, and that lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, as well as environmental factors, may have the potential to shut off the signaling that would otherwise accelerate tumor growth.  Click here for more information about Dr. Chen’s research.  

Source: Picklesimer, Phyllis. "Scientists Learn How Soy Foods Protect against Colon Cancer." ACES News Home. College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, 8 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. <>.



NissimHay.jpgBlocking HK2 Could Lead to New Cancer Treatments
CCS member Nissim Hay, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics on the Chicago campus, and colleagues, have identified a key glycolytic enzyme in cancer cells, that can be targeted to selectively affect cancer cells, and hope to use it as the foundation to develop more targeted treatments.  The identification that the level of this enzyme that metabolizes glucose, is preferentially elevated in cancer cells, and is necessary for tumor growth, may be the point at which to intercept tumor development. Investigated in mice models, a block of this enzyme discontinued tumor growth and exhibited no adverse effects.  It is the concern of adverse effects and alterations to normal metabolic functions that has hindered previous attempts. However, explains Dr. Hay, “We have deleted the HK2 gene systemically in these mice, and they have been living for more than two years now. Their lifespan is the same as normal mice.”  As this leads to a better understanding of the factors that accelerate or halt tumor growth and development, therapies targeted for this paramount stage are likely to be on the way.  Click here to read more about Dr. Hay’s research.

Source: Hay, Nissim. "Blocking HK2 Could Lead to New Cancer Treatments." Message to the author. 13 Aug. 2013. E-mail.

Source: Parmet, Sharon. "Blocking Key Enzyme in Cancer Cells Could Lead to New Therapy." UIC News Center. UIC, 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. <>.



ElizabethJeffrey.jpgFresh From the Freezer: Can Frozen Broccoli Maintain its Nutritional Value?
Broccoli has long been lauded as a nutritional superhero, particularly with its anti-carcinogenic compound, sulforaphane. Consumed raw or chopped and cooked, sulforaphane in broccoli is plentiful, due to the enzyme myrosinase.  PHBO member Elizabeth Jeffrey, PhD, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, on the Urbana-Champaign campus, and her team recently investigated this superfood, exploring the cancer-fighting properties of broccoli and the activation of myrosinase, as it undergoes the blanching and freezing process. As produce costs have risen and convenience needs have taken over, frozen vegetables, and broccoli in particular, are more popular than ever.  However, it is the high heating temperature and immediate blanching and freezing of broccoli, pre-packaging, that quickly diminishes the activation of myrosinase, the enzyme needed to form sulforaphane.  When Jeffrey and her team tried to reduce the heating temperature, pre-freezing, they found a significant retainer of myrosinase.  When paired with even a miniscule amount of radishes, wasabi or other cruciferous vegetables, the compounds merged and enough sulforaphane was produced.

Assuming that food processes are manipulated correctly, with a lower heating and blanching temperature and a usage of another cruciferous vegetable to activate myrosinase, the outlook to maintain broccoli’s cancer-fighting power is excellent. In the interim, Jeffrey and colleagues suggest preserving the nutrients that do come from broccoli by including mustard greens, arugula, horseradish and other cruciferous vegetables with broccoli, to provide some sulforaphane benefit, when fresh broccoli isn’t available.  Additional information about Dr. Jeffrey’s research can be found here.

Source: Picklesimer, Phyllis. "Illinois Scientists Put Cancer-fighting Power Back into Frozen Broccoli." College of ACES College News. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. <>.



PLOS ONE Publication of Cadherin-11 Regulates Motility in Normal Cortical Neural Precursors and Glioblastoma
CCS member Anjen Chenn, MD, PhD, and colleagues were recently published in PLOS ONE for “Cadherin-11 Regulates Motility in Normal Cortical Neural Precursors and Glioblastoma.”  The research looked at the mobilization of cells, comparing the processes of the evolution of neural stem cells as they become neurons, to how cancer cells are able to attack surrounding tissues.  Through a protein analysis, cadherin-11 was found in high concentrations in the neural cell – neuron transition. Similarly, the high concentration of cadherin-11 was found in higher concentrations in glioblastoma. The location of these glioblastoma cells was also a significant finding, as they were located near blood vessels.  This suggests “that the protein could be involved in encouraging blood vessels to enervate tumors.” Said Dr. Chenn, “We have long known that tumors recruit their own blood supply, but this finding was particularly interesting because it suggests that blood vessels might actually be stimulating tumor cells to come to them. Our results together indicate that cadherin11 is critical in inducing cell migration in cancer, and could be an important therapeutic target for preventing its spread.”  Dr. Chenn’s publication in PLOS ONE can be found here

Source: Parmet, Sharon. "Molecule of Nerve-cell Migration Implicated in Spread of Brain Cancer." UIC News Center. UIC, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. <



Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University

Columbia University/College of Physicians and Surgeons/Hospital for Special Surgery

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital/Beth Israel-Deaconess

Emory University

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Harvard University

Huntsman Cancer Institute/University of Utah

Indiana University

Johns Hopkins

Mayo Clinic

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering


Moffitt Cancer Center

NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU/Polytechnic Institute of NYU

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute

Stanford/Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Francisco

University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Kansas Medical Center (w/ Saint Louis University Stowers School of Medicine)

University of Michigan

University of North Carolina

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center

University of Texas Southwestern

University of Virginia

University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Weill Cornel Medical College

The Wistar Institute

Please note that funding opportunities are now published and distributed on a weekly basis and are no longer included in the Cancer Center Update.

This newsletter is a publication of the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System Cancer Center. Please contact Dawn Smith at to submit information for publication.





In this issue


Cancer Center News

upcoming events

Recent Publications



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Send an email to to submit news, events, publication acknowledgements or other information you would like shared with the Cancer Center!







UI Health System Mini-Rounds: “Your World, Your Health”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013;  11:30 AM – 1:00 PM; Hospital Conference Room 1130


Dr. Peter Orris, Chief of Service, UI Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr. Susan Buchanan, Director, Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health, UIC School of Public Health

Dr. Linda Forst, Division Director, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, UIC School of Public Health


Cancer Center PHBO Program Lecture
Thursday, September 5, 2013; 12:00PM; IHRP, 1747 W. Roosevelt Rd., Room 461

Featuring Eileen Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN, Clinical Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, UIC College of Nursing

“Quality of Life Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Moving from description toward intervention”


Cancer Center CCP Program Seminar
Thursday, September 12, 2013; 12:00 PM; COMRB 909 S. Wolcott St., Room 5175

Featuring Garth H. Rauscher, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology

“Exploring the potential role of DNA methylation in racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer aggressiveness”


Cancer Center CCS Program Lecture
Tuesday, September 17, 2013; 12:00 PM; MBRB 900 S. Ashland Ave., Room 1152

Featuring Dr. Arkadiusz Dudek, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Medical Director for UI Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office

“Delivery of Cancer Gene Therapy Using Blood Outgrowth Endothelial Cells and On Getting Basic Science from bench to Human Clinical Trial”


CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer
Saturday, September 7, 2013; The Stadium Green at Soldier Field

Registration begins at 8:00 AM; Walk begins at 10:00 AM

Join the UIC-Rush-Stroger Children’s Oncology Group team in the fight against Children’s Cancer!





A meta-analysis identifies new loci associated with body mass index individuals of African ancestry.
                Kittles R, et al.

Acquired Microcystic Lymphatic Malformation of the Distal Upper Extremity Mimicking Verrucae Vulgaris.
                Hernandez C, et al.

Bioinfortmatics and Gene Network Analyses of the Swine Mammary Gland Transcriptome During Late Gestation
                Rodriguez-Zas SL, et al.

Cathepsin B as a cancer target.
                Gondi CS, et al.

Combination of Oxidative Stress and FOXM1 Inhibitors Induces Apoptosis in Cancer Cells and Inhibits Xenograft Tumor Growth
                Halasi M, Wang M, Hay N, Gartel AL, et al.

Delayed response and survival from NovoTTF-100A in recurrent GBM.
                Villano JL, Valyi-Nagy T, Engelhard HH, et al.

Early lessons learned from extramural school programs that offer HPV vaccine.
                Caskey RN, et al.

Effect of low concentrations of benzalkonium chloride on acanthamoebal survival and its potential impact on empirical therapy of infectious keratitis.
                Joslin CE, et al.

Enrollment and participation in a pilot walking programme: the role of self-efficacy
                McAuley E, et al.

Evaluation of estrogenic activity of licorice species in comparison with hops used in botanicals for menopausal symptoms.
                Dietz BM, Pauli GF, van Breeman RB, Bolton JL, et al.

FOX(M1) news – it is cancer.
                Halasi M, Gartel AL

FRET imaging of calcium signaling in live cells in the microenvironment.
                Zhong W, Wang Y, et al.

The importance of staff diversity to address disparity.
                Calhoun E, et al.

Interactions between dietary flavonoids apigenin or luteolin and chemotherapeutic drugs to potentiate anti-proliferative effect on human pancreatic cancer cells, in vitro.
                Johnson J, et al.

Is Timing Everything? New Insights into Why the Effect of Estrogen Therapy on Memory Might be Age Dependent.
                Maki, P.

Long-term survival in an untreated patient with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis from breast primary.
                Wiley EL, Valyi-Nagy T, Villano JL, et al.

Mammary gene expression profiles during an intramammary challenge reveal potential mechanisms linking negative energy balance with impaired immune response.
                Rodriguez-Zas SL, et al.

Mechanisms enforcing the estrogen receptor β selectivity of botanical estrogens.
                Helferich WG, Katzenellenbogen JA, Katzenellenbogen BS, et al.

Navigators and assisters: two case management roles for social workers in the Affordable Care Act.
                Darnell JS

Psychosocial needs of rural survivors of cancer and their partners.
                Glasser M, et al.

ROS inhibitor N-acetyl-L-cysteine antagonizes the activity of proteasome inhibitors.
                Halasi M, Wang M, Gaponenko V, Hay N, Gartel AL, et al.

Social work and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
                Darnell JS, et al.

State policies about physical activity minutes in physical education or during school.
                Chriqui JF, et al.

Targeting FOXM1 in cancer.
                Halasi M, Gartel AL

Thiazole Antibiotics Siomycin and Thiostrepton Inhibit the Transcriptional Activity of FOXM1.
                Gartel AL

Tumor regression by phenethyl isothiocyanate involves DDB2.
                Bagchi S, Raychaudhuri P, et al.


PHBO member Robin Mermelstein, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was featured in a WGN News segment on electronic cigarettes, their increasing popularity and the need for additional research on them, to understand their risks when aligned with traditional tobacco consumption.  The segment can be found here.

Source: Czink, Katharin. "Chicagoans Help on Electronic Cigarettes Study." Tribune Broadcasting Company, 18 July 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. <>.


PHBO member Lisa Powell, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Associate Director of the Health Policy Center at the Institute for Health Research and Policy and the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was quoted in the articles Ads Still Push Junk Food to Kids and Billions Spent on Marketing Junk Food to Kids.

Source:  Connor, Erinn. "Billions Spent on Marketing Junk Food to Kids." Everyday Health. Everday Health Media LLC, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Aug. 2013. <>.

Source: Pittman, David. "Ads Still Push Junk Food to Kids." MedPage Today. Everyday Health LLC, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Aug. 2013. <>.


CTTI member Sally Campbell Lee, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Medical Director of Transfusion Medicine on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was quoted in the article Healthy Gay Men Should Be Allowed to Donate Blood, Advocates Say.

Source: Rezin, Ashlee. "Healthy Gay Men Should Be Allowed to Donate Blood, Advocates Say." Progress Illinois. Progressive Illinois LLC, 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Aug. 2013. <>.


Urban Global Health Celebration.  The Dept. of Medicine is seeking submissions for the Urban Global Health Celebration, to be held on October 19, 2013, at the UIC Forum. There will be a morning exhibition showcase and an evening gala celebration, honoring all who work in global health. The committee is seeking abstracts for oral presentations and table displays that relate to any aspect of global health. All abstracts must be submitted by August 16, 2013. Please contact Krystle Stewart at with any questions, or click on the submission form to propose an abstract.




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