Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

News

Brazilian physicians visited Sylvester for a preceptorship in palliative care.

Alleviating Cancer Care Disparities in Latin America and the Caribbean

07.11.2017

Gilberto Lopes, M.D., Medical Director for International Programs and Associate Director for Global Oncology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has made it his life’s mission to improve cancer control in low- and middle-income countries around the globe.

His cancer treatments at Sylvester are giving Manuel Garcia his life back.

A Cancer Survivor’s Story: From Hospice to Healthy

06.30.2017

It was while Manuel Garcia was driving his wife, Iris, home in April 2016 after a weekend getaway in Key West that cancer struck. “Suddenly, I experienced terrible pain, like someone had hit me across both of my legs with a baseball bat,” he said. “I had been feeling tired, but nothing like this. I pulled over and told my wife that she would have to drive the rest of the way. I was in too much pain to continue.”

Jessica MacIntyre, second from left, with her award plaque.

Sylvester’s Jessica MacIntyre Wins Humanitarian Award from Cancer Control Collaborative

06.30.2017

Jessica MacIntyre, ARNP, NP-C, AOCNP, director of clinical operations for the Office of the Director and co-leader of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been named the Humanitarian of the Year in the category of Patient Advocacy by the Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative.

Researchers Make Key Discovery Toward Stopping Colorectal Cancer

06.27.2017

Researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and other institutions have shown that a molecule developed by Stemsynergy Therapeutics (SSTC3) controls the progression of colorectal cancer in several cell lines and human tumor xenografts. SSTC3 modulates the WNT pathway but does not show the on-target toxicity normally associated with WNT inhibitors.

Her recovery has allowed Donna Robinson to travel and celebrate her good health.

A Cancer Survivor’s Story: ‘Incurable’ Meets Its Match

06.21.2017

In 2014, Donna Robinson had a routine colonoscopy. During the procedure, the physician detected a small mass. Two days later, on her 58th birthday, she received the bad news. The small mass was actually part of a very large mass that had grown through the wall of her intestine and into other locations in her abdomen. It was locally advanced pancreatic cancer, she was told — inoperable and incurable.

Marcela Vieira leads an active life of work and family, and still finds time to walk her dog for exercise.

A Cancer Survivor's Story: An ‘Angel’ Gave Her Life Back

06.15.2017

Marcela Vieira couldn’t believe that cancer kept coming back. Her first bout was with breast cancer in 2002, when she was only 36. It returned in 2010. In 2013, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It also returned, in 2014. “At first you don’t believe it, and you ask, ‘Why me?’” she said.

Donald Kumin taking a practice swing in his yard.

A Cancer Survivor’s Story: Men Get Breast Cancer, Too

06.12.2017

Donald Kumin doesn’t look like someone who has cancer. The vibrant 88-year-old Delray Beach resident regularly plays golf with friends. He and his wife, Irene, are taking a cruise this fall, and at an age when many of their contemporaries have gone into assisted living, they are proud to be leading an active life from their own home.

From left, Carl H. June, M.D., Pasquale Benedetto, M.D., Mark L. Gonzalgo, M.D., Ph.D., Nipun Merchant, M.D., Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., Breelyn A. Wilky, M.D., and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Zubrod Memorial Lecture Program Spotlights Faculty and Young Investigators

06.08.2017

Six physician-scientists were recognized for their contributions to cancer research and treatment as part of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 18th Annual Zubrod Memorial Lecture and Sylvester Cancer Research Poster Session on May 19. Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., hosted the event.

Leukemia cells.

Discovering AML’s Epigenetic Identity

06.07.2017

Maria Figueroa, M.D., a researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate professor of human genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, published a paper in the journal Cancer Discovery that provides new insights into how certain molecular pathways influence acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., FACS, chair of surgery, at surgery research day.

Surgery Research Day Showcases Scientific Achievements

06.07.2017

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine hosted the inaugural surgery research day and Lily Altschuler Memorial Symposium in Pancreatic Cancer Research on May 12, showcasing scientific achievements of faculty and trainees.

Signing of the memorandum of understanding. From left, Gilberto Lopes, M.D., Thinh H. Tran, M.D., MBA, Barbara Ronda, MHSA, Jose Ramirez, M.D. and Brian M. Slomovitz, M.D.

Sylvester to Collaborate on Oncology Training in the Dominican Republic

06.07.2017

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dominican Republic’s Instituto de Oncologia Dr. Heriberto Pieter. The agreement allows Miller School oncology experts to provide their evidence-based expertise to improve cancer care, research and clinical trial initiatives and health outcomes in the Dominican Republic.

Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D.

Stopping VEGF, a Cancer Super-Villain

05.30.2017

For years, a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been known for its ability to generate new blood vessels. As tumors grow, and need more oxygen and nutrients, they secrete VEGF to increase their blood supply. That was a radical discovery 20 years ago, and some believed it would create many therapeutic opportunities against cancer.

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Using Epigenetics to Fight Blood Cancers

05.30.2017

Researchers are trying to figure out why changes in the interactions of proteins can cause cancer. Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, was co-senior author on a paper, published in the journal PNAS, that describes how the protein DPF2 regulates blood production. High levels of DPF2 are seen in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

J. William Harbour, M.D.

Sylvester Associate Director Receives $2.5 Million Grant for Predictive Testing of Ocular Melanoma

05.23.2017

J. William Harbour, M.D., associate director for basic research at Sylvester, and the Mark J. Daily Chair and vice chairman for translational research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study predictive testing of ocular (or uveal) melanoma, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

From left, medical student Owen Tan with Nagi G. Ayad, Ph.D.

Student Researcher Owen Tan Named 2017 St. Baldrick’s Summer Fellow

05.11.2017

To support his research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Owen Tan, a student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been awarded a $5,000 summer fellowship grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The Miller School is one of only 21 institutions in the U.S. — and the only one in Florida — to receive a grant. Tan plans to use his to support his research into pediatric brain tumors.

Fluorescence microscopy of islets in the omentum transplanted within the biologic scaffold. Shown in red (insulin staining) and blue (DAPI nuclear staining).

Research Findings Show Tissue-Engineered Islet Transplant Achieves Insulin Independence

05.10.2017

Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have produced the first clinical results demonstrating that pancreatic islet cells transplanted within a tissue-engineered platform can successfully engraft and achieve insulin independence in type 1 diabetes. The findings were published in the May 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tumor-cell infiltration into the liver of a TET2-ko mouse.

Studying a Catalyst for Blood Cancers

04.25.2017

Mingjiang Xu, M.D., Ph.D., cancer researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues have been studying the protein TET2, a tumor suppressor, for several years. They recently published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, which describes how TET2 loss can open the door for mutations that drive myeloid, lymphoid, and other cancers.

AML cells under the microscope. Source: The website of the National Cancer Institute (https://www.cancer.gov).

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

03.27.2017

Scientists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have shown that p300, a protein that increases gene expression by attaching acetyl molecules to DNA, may stop myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) from developing into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The study was published in the journal Leukemia.

Thinh Tran, M.D., MBA., chief clinical officer and chief operating officer, joins the hand sanitizer mascot at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Successful Patient Safety Week Concludes

03.17.2017

Friday was the fifth and final day of Patient Safety Week activities. With the theme of the day being preventing infection, hands across campus were washed and sanitized in record numbers. Hand sanitizer bottles were given away throughout UHealth locations, and the Hand Sanitizer Mascot made surprise inspirational appearances.

From left, student pharmacist Bibi Barrios with UMH Pharmacy Clinical Manager Marlene Delavalle, Pharm.D.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Thursday

03.14.2017

Wednesday, the third day of Patient Safety Week, focused on the safe use of medications. It was a day of important educational outreach, an amusing but informative takeoff on the TV game show “Jeopardy” and an opportunity for UHealth’s pharmacy experts to enjoy some time in the spotlight. Thursday’s activities will focus on the safe use of alarms.

Joining David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., senior associate dean for quality, safety and risk prevention, are, from left, Myka Whitman, B.S.N., RN, interim UHealth chief risk officer, Kathy Zanelli, B.S.N., RN, executive director of nursing, Gissette Onorato, executive director of human experience, Maureen Fitzpatrick, M.S.N., ARNP-BC, of the Center for Patient Safety, and Roxanna Araya of the Center for Patient Safety.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Friday

03.14.2017

Thursday, the fourth day of Patient Safety Week, focused on the safe use of clinical alarms. UHealth staff learned about finding the proper balance between alarms that go off too regularly — and therefore get ignored, and those that don’t go off often enough, and potentially endanger patients in need of assistance.

Wrist bands remind staff of the two approved patient identifiers that should be verified with every patient, every time.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Wednesday

03.13.2017

Tuesday, the second day of Patient Safety Week, was marked by flashes of green and orange on wrists through the UHealth system. The day’s theme was “Identify Patients Correctly,” and the wrist bands given out featured white raised lettering that said “Name & DOB,” reminding all staff of the required way to accurately identify patients. Wednesday’s activities will focus on the safe use of medications.

From left, David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., Michael E. Barron, M.D., Myka Whitman, B.S.N., RN, Melinda Sawyer, M.S.N., RN, and Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A.

Patient Safety Week Events Continue Tuesday

03.13.2017

Patient Safety Week had an energetic start, with activities across the entire UHealth system. One major event was the introduction of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to UHealth leaders. Created by Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers, CUSP improves patient safety culture while providing frontline caregivers with the tools and support they need to tackle the hazards that threaten their patients.

Far right, David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the UM-JMH Center for Patient Safety, conducts a training session.

Patient Safety Week Activities Begin Monday

03.09.2017

Patient Safety Week, observed March 12-18 this year, is an annual national campaign to foster education and increase awareness related to patient safety. Daily special patient safety activities across the medical campus will be held Monday, March 13, through Friday, March 17. All facilities of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System will offer educational resources and informational materials for patients and staff.

From left, William F. Pirl, M.D., M.P.H., with Kelly Irwin, M.D., and Donna Greenberg, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Sylvester’s Dr. William F. Pirl Recognized with APOS Education and Training Award

03.02.2017

The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) selected William F. Pirl, M.D., M.P.H., associate director for Cancer Support Services at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, for the Outstanding Education and Training Award at its national conference on February 16. APOS grants the annual award to an individual who makes substantial contributions to educating or training others in the field.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Sylvester Recognized for Patient Satisfaction by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

02.15.2017

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, recently received four stars as part of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, conducted on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Sylvester was the only hospital in Miami-Dade County to receive four stars.

DCC riders crossing the MacArthur Causeway.

Thousands Support Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Dolphins Cancer Challenge

02.12.2017

A brilliantly sunny South Florida Saturday warmed the already upbeat spirit of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge VII on February 11, as 4,000 participants and volunteers cycled, ran, walked or performed countless tasks to support the search for cancer cures at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

From left, Sebastian the Ibis, Andy, Sofia, David and Ileana Cohn, and Coach Mark Richt.

Sylvester Breast Cancer Patient Celebrates Final Chemo Session at The Lennar Center

02.09.2017

When Ileana Cohn, a Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center breast cancer patient, scheduled her 16th, and final, chemotherapy session at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center for Feb. 8, she told her husband, Andy, “I want a celebration.” She could hardly have imagined the lengths to which he and staffers at The Lennar Center would go to make the afternoon special.

A Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center scientist searches for a cure.

Sylvester and Miller School Awarded $5.7 Million for Cancer and Tobacco-Related Disease Research

02.08.2017

The Florida Department of Health has announced the award of 16 grants totaling more than $16 million from the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program. Six investigators at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine were recipients of Bankhead-Coley and King grants totaling $5,728,856.

From left, Ofelia A. Alvarez, M.D., Gwendolyn B. Scott, M.D., G. Patricia Cantwell, M.D., and Lourdes Forster, M.D., participate in the celebration.

Women Faculty Celebrate Accomplishments on Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’s Birthday

02.03.2017

Women faculty members at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine shared the tough lessons and great accomplishments of the past — along with the inspiring promise of the future — at an event Friday commemorating the 196th birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

The Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

Join Us for a Community Event at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center This Sunday

01.24.2017

The University of Miami Health System is hosting a community-wide grand opening celebration at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the Coral Gables campus this Sunday, January 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to bring their family and friends to see UHealth’s spectacular new home for the health care of the future.

Steven Chen, Ph.D.

Sylvester Receives NCI Grant to Advance Proteogenomics

01.24.2017

Steven Chen, Ph.D., who directs the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and research colleagues from other institutions recently received a five-year grant of more than $5 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study proteogenomics.

Craig Lockhart, M.D.

Dr. Craig Lockhart Named Chief of Division of Medical Oncology

01.24.2017

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have named Craig Lockhart, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology. Lockhart, currently professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, will join Sylvester and the Miller School in April.

Cells with impaired chromatid separation (red arrows) in cultured WT and Asxl1+/- hematopoietic progenitor cells.

A Key Trigger in Myeloid Cancers

01.24.2017

When the body is working well, hematopoietic (blood) stem cells in the bone marrow generate healthy red and white blood cells. However, faulty genes can produce abnormal cells, leading to myeloid leukemia and other conditions. Researchers have been working for years to untangle this complicated biology.

Leaders from Sylvester, the Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the University of the West Indies announced the new fellowship on January 13.

Sylvester Launches Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship with Partners in the Caribbean

01.24.2017

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently announced the launch of the new Caribbean Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship, supporting subspecialty training in low- and middle-income countries in the Caribbean. The fellowship is a collaboration between Sylvester, the Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the University of the West Indies.

Nicolas Acquavella, M.D.

Dr. Nicolas Acquavella: New Treatments for Melanoma Are on the Horizon

01.20.2017

Nicolas Acquavella, M.D., is a board-certified medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. He focuses on providing innovative and advanced treatment options to patients with advanced and metastatic melanoma. Here, he discusses unique treatments on the horizon.

RIDE. RUN. WALK. for Cancer Research

01.10.2017

You’re invited to join Team Hurricanes for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Every dollar raised during DCC directly funds cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. Since 2010, DCC has raised $16.5 million for cancer research at Sylvester, and it’s one of our cancer center’s most important fundraising initiatives.