September-October eNewsletter

$11.5 Million Pancreatic Cancer Grant Awarded to UAB Cancer Center and Partner

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, has won an $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore groundbreaking pancreatic cancer research, prevention and treatment.

The National Cancer Institute Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in pancreatic cancer is designed to draw upon UAB and its partner’s advances in genomic medicine and the promise of new anti-cancer agents pioneered by UAB researchers.

“Given the current bleak outlook for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, this SPORE grant gives us an opportunity to make real progress in diagnosis and treatment of the disease,” said UAB Cancer Center Director Edward Partridge, M.D.

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UAB Researcher Selected for Inaugural Ovarian Cancer Academy Award

Charles Landen, M.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, has been selected for the inaugural Ovarian Cancer Academy Award, part of the U.S. Department of Defense funding for cancer research. Dr. Landen is one of seven early career investigators chosen for the grant. The award is $1.06 million from the Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research.

Dr. Landen works to identify and characterize a subpopulation of ovarian cancer cells that have enhanced ability to survive chemotherapy and cause recurrence. Understanding this class of cells may lead to discoveries of key pathways that can be targeted with novel anti-cancer therapies.

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Cancer Center Launches Living with Cancer Seminar Series

Beginning on October 21, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will host “Living with Cancer”, a series of cancer-related talks. These talks are designed to help patients navigate the challenges of their cancer journey and provide opportunities to learn from and interact with UAB professionals including oncology nurses, physicians, therapists, dietitians and financial advisors.

The programs are free. Patients and their family members are encouraged to register by calling (205) 934-5772 or emailing

October 21
“Demystifying Clinical Trials”
Presented by: Valerie Caterinicchia, RN, BSN, OCN
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.
The Kirklin Clinic – 1st Floor Learning Center

November 16
“Managing Depression”
Presented by: Elizabeth Kvale, MD
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.
The Kirklin Clinic – 4th Floor Conference Room

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Upcoming Events

Progress and Promise – State of the Cancer Center
November 1

Join the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center as we celebrate our progress in the fight against cancer and our promise for the future at the second annual Progress and Promise, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Alys Stephens Center. At this event, top scientists will present advancements in prevention and treatment of cancer, along with survivors who will share their personal cancer journeys. We invite you to learn more about the impact that Alabama’s only comprehensive cancer center, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, has made to eliminate cancer as a public health problem. This event is free and open to the public.

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Get Your Sweet On!
Sweet on a Cure 2010
November 8 – 14

Forget about your diet and get ready to exercise your sweet tooth during Sweet on a Cure 2010! From November 8 – 14, more than 60 restaurants across Birmingham are donating the proceeds from the sales of one or more desserts from their menus to support cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. By supporting these restaurants, you’ll find that finding a cure for cancer can be a piece of cake!

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As we work to find a cancer cure, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to stand with the millions of breast cancer survivors who have battled this disease and are currently in the fight. We are honored to celebrate the many survivors, their family members, scientists and health providers who join in this cause. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many organizations and friends throughout the community are hosting celebrations and awareness events to bring attention to this disease.

Angel Squad Gift Card Campaign

Throughout the month of October, the Angel Squad of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will sell gift cards to Jim ‘N Nick’s restaurants with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Angel Squad. On National Mammography Day, Friday, October 15, Angel Squad members will be dispersed at Jim N’ Nick’s locations throughout the Birmingham area to distribute information about breast cancer.

For more than 10 years, the Angel Squad has provided one-on-one support and served as advocates for each patient and caregiver who visit the Breast Health Center at The Kirklin Clinic. They promote commitment, compassion, loyalty, advocacy and spirituality while serving patients and their caregivers as well as the center’s clinical team, other Angel Squad members and the community.

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Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama’s All-Star Line-Up of Events

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA) will be hosting several events throughout October that will benefit the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. These include:

Gus Mayer Goes Pink – October 21
Ten percent of the sales from gift cards during September and October, as well as a percentage of the sales of special pink merchandise, will benefit the BCRFA, culminating in a special thank-you event on October 21.

Belk Pink Private Shopping Night – October 24
A private shopping night of discounts, live entertainment, door prizes and more at Belk at the Summit.

For more information on these events, visit


Trussville Turns Pink to Support Breast Cancer Research – October 20

On October 20, the Trussville, AL community will unite to help raise awareness and contributions for breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Riders Harley Davidson will kick off the day at 7:20 a.m. as they honor Turn Trussville Pink 2010 Cancer Fighter Jody Gothard. Thousands of Trussville supporters will dress in pink and unite in schools and businesses decorated in pink ribbons and cloth. To involve your business, church, or neighborhood, or for more information, please contact or call 205-563-4063. All proceeds from these events will support The Audie and Kathy White Cancer Research Foundation which supports research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Giving Back

Norma Livingston Foundation Makes Generous Donation to UAB Cancer Center; Funds Will Support Ovarian Cancer Research

On September 14, the Birmingham-based Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation (NLOCF) presented a check for $100,000 to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology. The donation comes from funds raised through sales of the Drive Out Ovarian Cancer car tag, as well as events hosted by the foundation, including the Ovarian Cycle Ride to Change the Future, Motherwalk and the Lori Johnson Fun Run.

Over the past seven years, the foundation has raised approximately $500,000 for research.

“The support of the Norma Livingston Foundation has been instrumental in our efforts in fighting ovarian cancer,” said Ronald Alvarez, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Gynecologic Oncology. “Their commitment and dedication has inspired so many patients, and we are grateful for all of their hard work to help us find a cure for this deadly disease.”

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Hyundai Hope on Wheels Marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with Contribution

 On September 15, Hyundai Hope on Wheels visited UAB’s Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Children’s Hospital to present a $100,000 Hope Grant, which will provide funding for the expansion of three childhood cancer programs: the UAB Pediatric Developmental Therapeutics Program, the UAB Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, and the Hope and Cope Psychosocial Support Program.

“The Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant program offers us the opportunity to address important unmet care and research needs. The last 50 years has seen remarkable success in the care of children and young adults with cancer with cure rates increasing from less than 10% to almost 80%. This remarkable success underscores the impact of governmental and philanthropic funding for childhood cancer research,” Raymond G. Watts, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

“The UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, together with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center look forward to the progress we will make together to support children in the fight against cancer,” said Watts.

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Laughing Out Loud Leads to Support for Ovarian Cancer Research

 Karen Rosenzweig never imagined that of all the things to come out of her sister Debbie Lyda’s ovarian cancer diagnosis would be a greeting card company. But that’s exactly what happened, and the company has flourished beyond her expectations.

The idea came about while Debbie was being treated at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. She and Karen would tell the nurses and doctors who came to see Debbie their fortunes from a book Karen had purchased. At the end of each fortune Debbie would say, “That’s all.” From that, the idea for “That’s All Greetings” was born.

That’s All Greetings, known for its plain exterior and simple sayings, has reached 140 states nationally, has a presence in British Columbia, and now has a new clothing line in 13 countries. The sisters aim to make people “laugh out loud” while reading the cards on the rack. Laughing is something on which Karen and Debbie thrive. “We actually have a card that says, ‘If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry,'” Karen says. “We use laughter as our way for getting through things.” A portion of the proceeds from the sales of That’s All Greeting Cards and clothing line support the Debbie Kogan Lyda Ovarian Cancer “Road to Recovery” Research Fund benefiting the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. To learn more visit

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