Connections - February 2012
Study Confirms Safety of HPV Vaccine
Here’s reassuring news for parents with tween- and teen-aged daughters. The vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus, the virus that leads to cervical cancer, does not trigger autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, lupus, Grave’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
The findings of the two-year study of nearly 190,000 girls and women, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found no link between the vaccine and incidence of 16 different autoimmune disorders. Human papillomaviruses are a group of more than 150 viruses. HPV infection causes essentially all cases of cervical cancer, as well as other cancers. Preventing HPV infection prevents cervical cancer. Two FDA-approved vaccines are currently available to protect against the HPV strains responsible for the majority of cervical cancers.
These are approved for boys and girls, men and women age 9 to 26. Because HPV is sexually transmitted, and linked to other cancers, males should receive the vaccine, too. “HPV vaccines have a real potential to drastically reduce rates of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases,” says Peter Frederick, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Subspecialties, Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Studies like this that confirm the safety of the vaccines that we offer our patients are necessary, and these results are certainly encouraging.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently revamped the rules governing the content of school lunches in an effort to provide healthier and more nutritious meals. The improvements include increasing fruit and vegetable offerings, boosting whole grains, reducing saturated fat, trans fat and sodium levels, and limiting calories to age-appropriate levels.
Don’t let the meal makeover stop there. You can boost the nutrition power of meals at home with these tips:
- Keep a variety of precut fresh fruits and veggies handy for quick snacks
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
- Choose seafood for your protein portion twice a week
- Substitute half your grains like pasta, bread, cereals and rice for a whole grain variety
- Eat slowly to limit portion sizes
Learn more quick and easy tips to help you eat healthier from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Roswellness Radio: Understanding Esophageal Cancers
Hear from three RPCI faculty members about esophageal cancer and the precancerous condition Barrett's esophagus.
Get Ready for an Unforgettable Ride Weekend
Cancer Talk: Understanding Our Cancer Vaccine Trial
In the latest Cancer Talk blog post, RPCI’s Dr. Kelvin Lee discusses what the recently-announced cancer vaccine is all about and what the future holds for additional immunology approaches for a variety of cancers.
Smokers Favor Development of Less-Addictive Cigarettes
New research led by Roswell Park faculty shows U.S. smokers would support a cigarette with reduced nicotine levels.
Roswell Park Faculty Receive Prestigious Honors
Several faculty members at Roswell Park were recently recognized for their work in cancer research or patient care.
Events and Giving Opportunities
When you sign up to train and fundraise for running events with Team Cure Challenge, your efforts last far beyond the finish line. Upcoming events include the Buffalo Shamrock Run on March 3 and the Buffalo Marathon on May 27. Learn more or register at www.TeamCureChallenge.com.
Go Bald This Spring
Doing your part to support research and patients at Roswell Park is as easy as taking a little off the top. Sign up today to become a Goin’ Bald for Bucks participant!
Using cards and favors from The Paint Box Project’s wedding line is a great way to pay tribute to family members and friends who have been touched by cancer. A portion of your purchase will help fund patient programs at Roswell Park.
“On a day that we are celebrated as a bride and groom, we wanted to celebrate those who have fought cancer, whether the battle was won or lost.” – Amanda, bride and supporter of Roswell Park
There are many studies, including several led here at RPCI, that link vitamin D with a wide range of health benefits. Thanks to a new partnership, vitamin D is helping fight cancer in a new way!
Western New York company Green & Co. recently began selling a new, ready-to-drink vitamin D supplement known as SmartCeuticals D. Now through the end of December 2012, 5 percent of proceeds from the sale of this supplement nationally will be donated to help fund vitamin D research right here at Roswell Park.
Visit www.mysmartd.com to learn more, or check out more about the company's mission at www.d3gi.com. Remember, you should always consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
“Throughout my treatment, I really looked forward to my appointments at Roswell Park. The nurses and staff always made me feel extremely comfortable. They have made this experience a lot easier for me and my whole family.” – Emily Borodzik, 18-year-old leukemia survivor
Genetic Mutations and Cancer: Seeing the Big Picture
The genetic mutation of a protein known as RB1, and the impact that mutation has on the development of cancer, is an area that has been studied for years. But a more complex understanding of this process is needed. Thanks to your donations, RPCI’s Dr. David Goodrich is learning more.
Earlier research has established that RB1 plays a major role in the development of the childhood cancer retinoblastoma, as well as many other adult cancers including melanoma and lung cancer.
However, before today’s advanced gene sequencing technologies existed, scientists could only study how this protein interacted with other molecules one at a time. Dr. Goodrich, of Roswell Park’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, is leading new research funded by your gifts that explores how RB1 works by examining it as part of the larger molecular network.
Dr. Goodrich is collaborating with scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Stanford University on the study of RB1. By sharing resources and comparing results, these three leaders in cancer research can make even greater strides toward understanding this critical process.
“The technology we have access to today allows us to see the big picture when it comes to RB1—how it has an impact on surrounding cells, and how those processes may encourage the growth of tumors,” said Dr. Goodrich. “By better understanding how these mutations can lead to the development of cancer, we can work toward developing new therapies that interrupt that process and stop cancer from growing.”
Partners for a Cure
New Era Cap
Through a new partnership with Roswell Park, customers of New Era Cap can proudly share their support for cancer patients.The global lifestyle brand company will be selling three unique designs as part of the “Your Cancer Cures” collection to raise funds for Roswell Park. Shop for caps online, at the Roswell Park gift shop or at New Era’s flagship store located at 160 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.