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Tulane Cancer Center ~ Research ~ Inroads E-Newsletter

May 2019

Researcher's Publication Honored as "Top 100" by Scientific Reports

Asim Abdel-Mageed, DVM, PhD, was recently honored by the journal Scientific Reports for authoring one of the top 100 accessed oncology papers for that journal in 2018.

Asim Abdel-Mageed, DVM, PhD, professor of urology and Marguerite Main Zimmerman Professor of Cancer Research, was recently honored by the journal Scientific Reports for authoring one of the top 100 accessed oncology papers for that journal in 2018 (according to web analytics, January-December 2018).

His publication - High-throughput screening identified selective inhibitors of exosome biogenesis and secretion: a drug repurposing strategy for advanced cancer (Sci Rep. 2018 May 25;8(1):8161) - received 3,154 article views, placing it seventh on the list, which features authors from around the world whose papers highlight valuable research in oncology.

The article reveals the results of research supported by a $4.2 million NIH grant awarded to Dr. Abdel-Mageed in 2014. His project involved using a rapid high-volume robotic screening technique to investigate drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a large variety of diseases or conditions to see which, if any, could also be effective in preventing prostate cancer metastasis.

For cancer cells to spread to other places in the body - or metastasize - they need to communicate with resident and recruited cells, such as stem cells. One way they do this is through biomolecular messages delivered in exosome cargos. Exosomes are molecules that carry information from cell to cell. “They are routinely biosynthesized and released by cancer cells, including prostate cancer, and are implicated in cancer progression," said Abdel-Mageed.

Currently there are no known drugs that selectively target and inhibit the biosynthesis and release of exosomes by tumor cells. To accelerate the discovery of effective drugs, Dr. Abdel-Mageed and his team, in partnership with investigators at the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, investigated 4,580 known pharmacologically active compounds and found twenty-two — including antibiotics, antifungal medicines and anti-inflammatory agents — were effective in preventing advanced prostate tumor cells from releasing exosomes or in blocking their production.

Since the Scientific Reports publication, subsequent research by Dr. Abdel-Mageed's team has further narrowed their investigation to five of these agents, and he hopes in the near future to receive additional funding to support this work.

"Drug repurposing is a golden opportunity," said Abdel-Mageed. "Because drug discovery from concept to market takes an average time of 12 years, our identified drugs - which are already human approved - could be repurposed for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer within a relatively short period of time. It represents a quick way of adding an adjuvant therapy to existing therapies that might curb the progression of cancer."

As a steering committee member of the National Institutes of Health Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC), a summary of Dr. Mageed's study was also published as part of the ERCC leading-edge perspective paper in Cell (177(2):231-242, 2019).


New Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic Enhances Care / Convenience

The new Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic will allow physicians from three disciplines - medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology - to meet with patients in one convenient setting. Pictured above are (from left) Brian Lewis, MD, MPH, and Pedro Barata, MD, MSc, from medical oncology; Kendra Harris, MD, MSc, chair of radiation oncology; Spencer Krane, MD, from urologic surgical oncology, and Kelly Corvers, RN, oncology nurse navigator.


The number of treatment options facing patients with prostate cancer can be confusing and daunting. And the number of different appointments required to explore those options is often time consuming and inconvenient.

That's why Tulane Health System recently created the Tulane Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic, which brings patients and family members together with medical oncologists, urologic surgeons and radiation treatment specialists to discuss all possible treatment options in one convenient visit.

“We’ve assembled the most experienced and busiest prostate cancer treatment team in the Gulf South region,” said Dr. Spencer Krane, a urologic surgeon at Tulane Medical Center. “We want to share this expertise with patients and families who need us. And we want to try and take away some of the stress of an incredibly stressful time.”

The new clinic is for patients who have received a prostate cancer diagnosis and would like to review all possible options or discuss a second opinion of a current treatment plan.

“And we know that waiting can sometimes be the most difficult aspect of the treatment process, so it’s important that one of us speaks with any patient who calls within 48 hours of that inquiry,” said Dr. Kendra Harris, chair of Radiation Oncology at Tulane Medical Center. “From there, we can arrange a more in-depth evaluation with the entire group.”

The physicians from all three disciplines will meet with patients in one convenient setting. They will also monitor and discuss all cases in weekly reviews. A patient navigator will coordinate any needed follow-up appointments or tests, as well as coordinate any education and support group needs.

“And patients will have access to the world-renowned care provided throughout Tulane Health System,” said Dr. Pedro Barata, a medical oncologist at Tulane Medical Center. “That means not only the latest, most comprehensive treatment options, but also access to cutting-edge clinical trials.”

The Tulane Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic is located within the Tulane Cancer Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our clinic coordinator at (504) 988-2342, or visit

In the Pink: 4th Annual Pink Bra Run Raises Spirits/Funds for Breast Cancer Research

Contestants in the "Best Decorated Bra" contest check out the competition at the Fourth Annual Pink Bra Run after party.

Dozens of runners and walkers - many sporting festively decorated pink bras - took to the Mississippi River levee on Mother's Day Weekend and strutted their stuff from Historic Gretna to Old Algiers, as they completed the 4th Annual Pink Bra 5K Walk/Run.

The event is organized by Krewe de Pink, (KDP) a local organization that raises funds to support breast cancer research at Tulane Cancer Center. Since 2016, KDP has raised approximately $65,000, which has benefited the breast cancer research of Dr. Bridgette Collins-Burow, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Tulane University. “It bolsters my research team and me to know that we have such dedicated and enthusiastic partners and friends assisting us along the way to potential new treatment options and hopefully, one day, a cure.”

In addition to the walk/run, the event featured a post-race festival, complete with food, beverages, a dance party and the unforgettable “Best Decorated Bra” contest.

KDP will formally present Dr. Collins-Burow with a check representing the results of their 2019 fundraising efforts later in the year, following their fall fundraiser - the Krewe de Pink Prom. For more information on the Krewe de Pink Prom, including sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

Cancer Crusaders Raise $171K for Tulane/LSU Cancer Research Programs

Accepting the generous check from 2018 Cancer Crusaders Co-Presidents Celia Deininger (second from left) and Cindy Wooderson (second from the right) are Augusto Ochoa, MD, director of LSU's Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center (far left) and Prescott Deininger, PhD, director of the Tulane Cancer Center (far right).

Although their official term as 2018 co-presidents of Cancer Crusaders ended on December 31, Celia Deininger and Cindy Wooderson had one more job to do to complete their time in office - and it was a BIG one! At the organization's May General Membership Meeting, they presented Drs. Prescott Deininger, director of the Tulane Cancer Center, and Augusto Ochoa, director of LSU's Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, with a check for $171,521.22, representing the results of the group's many fundraising activities last year.

Cancer Crusaders, a non-profit, all volunteer organization with no administrative overhead, was founded in 1976 for the purpose of raising funds for cancer research in the New Orleans area. Proceeds raised by the organization - more than $4 million since 1978 - are donated annually and split equally between Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Foundation and Tulane Cancer Center.

"There is a saying – No one cures cancer alone!  We know that teamwork, communication and collaboration are essential to scientific progress," said Deininger. "That same sentiment can be used to describe our unique relationship with the Cancer Crusaders. The truth is, they are highly valued members of our team – just as impactful as any other. They help to create a foundation and a synergy that propel us to explore new frontiers in our search for cures. We simply could not do it without them, and we thank them all for their hard work and support."

Previous Issues...

April 2019
Researcher Awarded $1.8 Million NCI Grant to Study New Targets for Rare Pediatric Cancer
Meet Us at the Levee: Pink Bra Run to Benefit Breast Cancer Research!
2019 One Man Shoot Continues the Mission - Making a Difference in Fighting Prostate Cancer

March 2019
Exploring "Dark Matter of Genomes" Could Shed Light on Cancer Risk
Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Grant Supports Training of Aspiring Female Scientists
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Q & A - "Screening Saves Lives"

February 2019
Improving Access to Care Top Priority for New Genitourinary Cancers Expert
Study Finds Genetic Risks Associated With Prostate Cancer are Underestimated
Greenberg Family Endowment Boosts Fight Against Prostate Cancer
8th Annual One Man Shoot: Proving "One Man Can Make a Difference"
Gunning for a Cure Sets New Record, Raising $220K for Prostate Cancer Research
Tulane Medical Students Raise Money for Pediatric Cancer Research

January 2019
New Gynecologic Oncologist Aims to Reduce Cervical Cancer Rates in NOLA
Tulane Study Finds Potential Role for Personality Psychology in Cancer Care
Sixth Annual Gunning for a Cure Benefits Prostate Cancer Research
Student Athletes Provide Much-Needed Financial Assistance to Cancer Patients

December 2018
Improving Early Prostate Cancer Detection: Latest Technology Combines Imaging/Biopsy Tools to Improve Accuracy of Diagnosis
Advanced Cancer Patients Can Live Longer with Palliative Care, Tulane Study Says
Serve and Assist: Student Athletes Raise Funds for Patient Relief

November 2018
Prostate Cancer Patients Target of New $1.6M Tulane Study
Tulane Opens Novocure Trial for Patients with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The Great American Smokeout ® - Quitting Starts Here!
8th Annual Blue Ribbon Soiree Sets Record, Raising $130K for Prostate Cancer Research
Krewe de Pink Celebrates New Orleans-Style, Donating $35K to Breast Cancer Research!

October 2018
Researcher Examines Role of DNA-Damaging Elements in Aging/Age-Related Diseases
Lynch Syndrome Can Lead to Cancer — Why Physicians Don't Test For It
Fifth NOLA Bluedoo a Record-Setting Success - Raises $193K for Prostate Cancer Research

August 2018
Tulane Cancer Center to Host Free Prostate Cancer Seminar
Fifth Annual NOLA Bluedoo Celebrates Prostate Cancer Survivorship New Orleans-Style
Tulane Doctor Elected to Elite Surgery College

July 2018
Tulane Welcomes Kendra Harris, MD, MSc - New Interim Chair of Radiation Oncology
Nakhle Saba Receives Ladies Leukemia League Grant to Study New Target for ALL
Bryan Subaru & LLS Bring Comfort to Patients Through Subaru Loves to Care Initiative

June 2018
Repurposed Drug Approach May Halt Spread of Cancer Cells
Tulane Head and Neck Experts Lead Call for HPV Vaccines
American Cancer Society Updates Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

May 2018
Tulane Cancer Center Now Offering Imaging Tool to Detect Recurring Prostate Cancer
Grant Supports Smoking Cessation Education for Outpatient Mental Health Facilities
It's All About the Pink - Third Annual Pink Bra Run Supports Breast Cancer Research
Cancer Crusaders Donate $169,000 to Tulane/LSU Cancer Research Programs

April 2018
Grant Supports Smoking Cessation Program for Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients
Med Student Takes Top Honors at Recent Meeting
State Rep. Julie Stokes to Lead 3rd Annual Pink Bra 5K Fun Run
7th Annual One Man Shoot Raises $130,000 for Prostate Cancer Research
Grant Supports Smoking Cessation Program For Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients

March 2018
Researcher Explores Unique Genetic Mutation Associated with Liver Cancer
Healing Hands Across the Divide: Evolving to Address Cancer Disparities
Gunning for a Cure Raises $192K for Prostate Cancer Research

February 2018
Tulane Oncologist Outlines Prostate Cancer Treatment Advances in New England Journal of Medicine
Pink Games raise money — and hope — for patients fighting cancer

May 25, 2017
Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy Works Better for African-American Men
Cancer Crusaders Present Check for $210K
Free Skin Cancer Screenings Offered at Downtown Dermatology Clinic
National Cancer Survivor's Day
Celebration Planned
Second Annual Pink Bra Run -
Great Fun for a Great Cause

April 25, 2017
"Scarless Thyroid Surgery" on Agenda at Thyroid/Parathyroid & Skin Malignancies Symposia
Free Skin Cancer Screenings Offered at Covington Clinic
Second Annual Pink Bra Run Scheduled for Mother's Day Weekend

April 11, 2017
Tulane Researcher Shows Education Can Ease Fear in Cancer Patients
Thanks A Million!

March 10, 2017
Komen Grant Supports Study of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
One Man Can Make a Difference: 6th Annual One Man Shoot Takes Aim at Prostate Cancer
2017 Gunning for a Cure Fundraiser Exceeds $500,000 Goal!

February 16, 2017
Leading Study Backs Hormone Therapy With Radiation for Recurrent Prostate Cancer
Victory Bell: Donation Helps Cancer Patients Celebrate Survivorship

February 3, 2017
Genetic Counselors Help Patients Better Understand Inherited Cancer Risk
Perez Family Targets Prostate Cancer Through Sporting Clays Event

January 26, 2017
Tulane Researchers Find Tumor-Suppressing Protein Actually Promotes Cancer
Tickled Pink: Local Student Athletes Assist Breast Cancer Patients