Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


A New Name, a New Era: UM School of Medicine Receives Historic Gift from South Florida Family


The University of Miami School of Medicine launched a bold new era today with the announcement of a historic $100 million gift from the family of the late Leonard Miller, a longtime South Florida businessman and philanthropist. In recognition of the biggest gift ever to the University of Miami, the School of Medicine will be renamed the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

UM Researchers Publish Breakthrough Findings on the Body’s Immune System


In a discovery with enormous implications for fighting disease, a team of researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine has identified a pathway that is activated in response to a viral infection at the very earliest stage. The scientists believe the pathway helps explain innate immunity, the body’s very early detection system that sets off alarms that a pathogen, such as a fungus, virus or bacteria, has contacted or penetrated a cell. The breakthrough findings by the UM scientists are published in the November 18 issue of the prestigious scientific journal Nature.

UM/Sylvester Licenses Patented Radiation Oncology Device to Treat Cervical Cancer


Radiation oncologists at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center have created a new device which promises far superior treatment of women with cervical cancer. The University of Miami Wolfson-Wu Vaginal Applicator allows physicians to deliver low-dose brachytherapy (targeted radiation therapy) with more precision, better response, much less patient discomfort and in less time than ever before. UM/Sylvester has just signed a licensing agreement with Bio-Nucleonics, Inc., a Miami pharmaceutical company, to develop and distribute the device, and is about to begin new clinical testing.

UM/Sylvester Opens Clinical Trial of Blood Pressure Medication to Treat Side Effects in Lung Cancer


Radiation oncologists at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center have opened a phase II clinical trial of captopril (Capoten), an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor which is an established blood pressure medication. The controlled trial will test the drug’s ability to help patients with lung cancer, the world’s leading cause of cancer deaths. Captopril works by inhibiting the angiotensin II enzyme which causes blood vessels to constrict. This relaxes the blood vessels throughout the body, helping blood flow more efficiently.

Radioimmunotherapy Now Available As Outpatient Treatment for Lymphoma at UM/Sylvester


Two new dual-action radioimmunotherapy agents, Bexxar and Zevalin, are now available as outpatient therapies to some patients with low-grade or transformed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Each drug is a unique dual-action therapy that combines a radioactive isotope and an immunological antibody into one treatment, using both radiation therapy and the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

UM/Sylvester Expands Use of Lung Cancer Vaccine to More Patients


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is expanding the use of a unique vaccine for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, which claims the lives of more than 120,000 Americans each year. A study published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology shares the dramatic results of the first clinical trial of the therapy. “We tested the vaccine in 19 people who had incurable disease,” said Luis Raez, M.D., F.A.C.P., co-leader of the UM/Sylvester Lung Cancer Site Disease Group. “Six of them are still disease-free and three have passed three years with no sign of relapse.”

Brothers Kyle, Ian Amber – 16-year-old and UM Med Student – Present $20,000 Check to UM/Sylvevester


Ian Amber was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at age 10. While he fought to stay alive, his five-year-old brother Kyle began selling stickers and, joined by his brother, began running bake sales to help pay for a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit in case Ian needed that option. Ian recovered without a transplant, but over the last 11 years the brothers’ Kids That Care charity has raised more than $100,000. Ian’s experiences with cancer convinced him not only to help raise money for cancer research but also to enroll in the University of Miami’s highly competitive undergraduate Honors Program in Medicine.

UM/Sylvester Opens New Clinical Trial of Novel Combination Therapy in Lymphoma and Leukemia


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has opened a phase I clinical trial of a novel combination therapy for patients with certain types of leukemia and lymphoma. “The idea of this trial is to use an antibody which has had some success in the treatment of these disorders, but to try and augment the effects of that antibody in combination with Interleukin-2,” said Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., associate director, clinical and translational research, UM/Sylvester.

New Report Ranks Top Cancer Issues for Hispanics


Inadequate access to cancer screening and care is the number one cancer issue for the nation’s 38 million Hispanics/Latinos, according to a report recently issued by Redes En Acción: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Network. The Southeast region is headquartered at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Fundraiser Helps “Beach” Breast Cancer


Hundreds came out on Saturday, June 5 to Help “Beach” Breast Cancer – the 4th Annual Joan G. Gaines Breast Cancer Fundraiser. All proceeds benefited the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer Survivor David M. Bailey will be Guest Entertainer at Brain Tumor Awareness Conference


Bestselling folksinger-prophet and guitarist David M. Bailey has entertained throughout the country and overseas with his message of hope, a career that began when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1996. Initially told he had less than six months to live, Bailey turned to the stage taking his audiences on musical journeys filled with his keen insights about time, faith, hope, love, and dreams.

The Papanicolaou Corps Gives $2.25 Million for Research to UM/Sylvester


The more than 14,000-member Papanicolaou Corps for Cancer Research today announced a gift of $2.25 million for the physicians and scientists of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is part of a five-year, $10 million commitment, the Pap Corps announced last year.

Viragen and University of Miami to Advance Anti-Cancer Study


Viragen, Inc. (AMEX: “VRA”) today announced that the Company extended its agreement with the University of Miami and UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop a novel form of an immune enhancing drug (IEP 11) that has shown promise in animal studies by inhibiting tumor growth in a broad range of cancers. The agreement continues to provide Viragen with an option to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to commercialize the technology

Laparoscopic Surgery for Colon Cancer Has Equal Outcomes, Faster Recovery, Than Traditional Surgery


A seven-year international study has shown that less-invasive laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is just as effective as traditional open surgery when performed by an experienced surgeon - but with faster recovery times and fewer complications. Three University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center colorectal surgeons were involved in the study, which is published in the May 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ocean Drive 5K Run to Benefit UM/Sylvester


Ocean Drive Magazine, Wealth Planning Center, and the Miami Road Runners Club proudly present the Ocean Drive 5K Run -- an inaugural fundraising event to support the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, south Florida’s only university –based cancer center. An expected crowd of more than 500 people will come out to support cancer research. The event will take place in South Beach, Miami on Saturday, May 15, 2004. The race begins at 8:00 a.m. Participants will include world-class athletes, celebrities, and models. A post race party will follow with fabulous awards and valuable prizes given out the day of the run.

UM/Sylvester Cancer Scientist Develops a Screening Technique to Guide Treatment in Lymphoma Patients


Izidore Lossos, M.D., a hematologist oncologist at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a lead author of a landmark lymphoma study published Thursday, April 29, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study identifies six genes that can predict whether a person's lymphoma will respond to standard treatment. This finding by researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Applied Biosystems, could result in the first gene-based screening to identify people who need aggressive therapy.

UM/Sylvester Kicks Off Support for In the Garden Gala 2004


$300,000 was raised for The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the kick-off party for the Mysterious Gardens of the Amazon In the Garden Gala, planned for this November 6th, 2004 at the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel in Miami Beach.

UM/Sylvester Introduces New Photodynamic Therapy


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to offer photodynamic therapy for some patients being treated for esophageal and lung cancer, a treatment which was not available in South Florida before now. This non-invasive treatment uses light to treat shallow tumors in sensitive areas of the body, which are difficult to reach with conventional surgery. "Cancer often starts on the surface before it grows deep in the mouth or throat,” said Francisco Civantos, M.D., F.A.C.S., a head and neck surgeon at UM/Sylvester. “The advantage of photodynamic therapy is, you shine the laser at the tumor and it can heal malignant cells in one shot.”

UM/Sylvester Immune System Cancer Trial For Blood Cancers Moves to Phase II


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has opened a phase II clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody which offers potential treatment for hematologic malignancies. This antibody, SGN-30, shows promise against several lymphomas by acting as a biological response modifier – a method to help enhance immunity to fight cancer. Several patients are already enrolled in the protocol.

UM/Sylvester Scientist Devises Way to Target Slow-Growing Cancer Cells


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has opened a Phase I clinical trial on a potential treatment for slow-growing tumor cells. The treatment has shown great promise in a variety of solid tumors in the laboratory and would be the first of its kind to focus on these hard-to-treat cancer cells, which can also contribute to metastasis. Theodore J. Lampidis, Ph.D., a scientist in the Tumor Cell Biology Program at UM/Sylvester, developed a way to target these slow-growing malignant cells through glycolysis, the process by which a cell converts sugar into energy.

UM/Sylvester Announces $137 Million Capital Campaign


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center cemented its key role in Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, with the announcement of a $137 million capital campaign for the cancer center.