Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

U.S. Cancer Researchers to Share Findings with Israeli Colleagues at International Conference

06.08.2006

Top oncology physicians and scientists from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and the Cancer Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey will take part in the second Joint American-Israeli Conference on Cancer, June 28 – 30, at the Renaissance Jerusalem Hotel. This conference is intended to foster collaboration and information exchange between physicians and scientists in the two countries, and also to help Israel during a time of need given the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

“The conference is interested in creating opportunities for the development of new therapeutic, prognostic and diagnostic approaches, based on interactions between scientists in this country and our outstanding colleagues in Israel,” said Joseph D. Rosenblatt, associate director of clinical and translational research, chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology at UM/Sylvester, and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

The JAICC conference will host more than 50 experts from more than a dozen institutions in the U.S. and Israel. American institutions represented include UM/Sylvester, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, The Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, Dana Farber Cancer Institute at the Harvard University School of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, and others. In Israel, researchers will come from Hadassah Medical Center, the Hebrew University, and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University and Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv; the Technion Faculty of Medicine and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa; the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and elsewhere.

Along with Dr. Rosenblatt, the key organizers are Hyam I. Levitsky, M.D., from The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, and Robert Korngold, Ph.D., from The Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. This year’s keynote speaker, the Eldor/Matzner Memorial Lecturer, is Nobel laureate Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D. Dr. Schally will present “New Approaches to Therapy of Various Tumors Based on Peptide Analogs.” Schally, who is with the Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System, was one of three winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1977 for his seminal work on the role of peptides in endocrinology. Schally recently joined the faculty of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine after relocating from New Orleans.

Funding for the conference comes from the Norman and Irma Braman Family Foundation, along with the Israel Cancer Association in both the U.S. and Israel, and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute. “The Israelis have made significant contributions and this interchange will probably create new and productive collaborations that will lead to cancer breakthroughs,” said Rosenblatt.

The conference will include discussions on cancer genetics, cell signaling, using the immune system to fight cancer, targeted therapies with fewer side effects, attacking tumor blood supplies, clinical advances in the treatment of a variety of cancers, and many other areas of groundbreaking cancer research.

“We realized the significance of the Joint American-Israeli Conference and we knew we had to support it,” said Ronni Epstein, executive director of the Israel Cancer Association, USA. “We support cancer research in Israel and we can’t think of anything more important than this, which will bring over the top scientists in America to collaborate with those in Israel.”

For more information about the conference, contact Kathy Salce at (305) 243-1046 or visit the conference web site: http://www.novel-approaches.org/index.asp

UM/Sylvester opened in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles 1,400 inpatient admissions annually, performs 3,000 surgical procedures, and treats 3,000 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in over 150 clinical trials and receive more than $35 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from six cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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