Precision is the goal of a new collaboration between the Clinical Center, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The Center for Interventional Oncology will pull on the strengths of each to investigate how imaging technology can diagnose and treat localized cancers in ways that are precisely targeted and minimally or non-invasive.
"The Center for Interventional Oncology will help bridge the gap between emerging technology and the everyday practice of medicine," said chief of the new center, CC Radiology and Imaging Science's Dr. Bradford Wood. "Advanced imaging methods have ushered in an era of early detection of cancers that are frequently localized to a single organ. Today, oncology treatments typically use systemic therapies such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, which are well-suited for wide-spread disease, but may also cause widespread side effects."
The new center will use the CC's advanced imaging technologies, including cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and computed tomography (CT)—as well as the capability to use all three technologies simultaneously—to navigate a therapeutic device through the body.
The localized therapies use a thin needle or sound waves to ablate (or cook) tumors and to enhance drug delivery. Energy sources include high-intensity focused ultrasound, freezing, microwaves, and radiofrequency, Wood said. Researchers will also expand investigations into electroporation—the use of electricity to make cells more 'open' to targeted drug delivery.
The new center will provide a forum for and encourage collaborations among research and patient-care experts in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology and interventional radiology, noted CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin.
The education and training of experts across contributing specialties is a major center component. "Many oncologists are not currently familiar with, nor trained in, image-based, localized treatment approaches from which many patients may benefit. Conversely, interventional radiologists lack formal training in oncology," said Wood. "This new program is ideally and uniquely positioned to provide an interdisciplinary environment combining training, patient treatment, and translational research and development in interventional oncology."
Some stated goals of the Center for Interventional Oncology are image-guided "dose-painting"—tailoring drug delivery based on disease location; use of 'medical GPS' for tumor biopsy and treatment; and first-in-human investigations involving new drugs, devices, molecular probes, nanoparticles, and targeted therapies.
Dr. David Bluemke, director of CC Radiology and Imaging Sciences, will head the Center for Interventional Oncology steering committee that comprises two NCI appointees and one each from NHLBI and the CC.
Patient Safety Award goes to new consult service
Early recognition of, and response to, a patient's worsening condition greatly reduces the likelihood that the patient will require emergent transfer to the intensive care unit or, worse, necessitate a Code Blue situation. This basic patient safety tenet has been realized as a result of the work done by a dedicated group of nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and information technology specialists. This group worked to establish processes to facilitate nurses and respiratory therapists contacting directly the critical care fellows to request their expertise at the patient's bedside. To celebrate this work the group has been awarded the 2009 Clinical Center Patient Safety Champion Award.
This annual award goes to an individual or team who demonstrate a sustained commitment to a safe patient environment. The Critical Care Medicine Consult Service serves that mission by bringing critical care to the bedside when a patient's condition suddenly worsens.
The winners were honored with a luncheon on April 22. "What you've done in creating this new service clearly has made a difference in keeping patients safe and alive," Clinical Center Director Dr. John I. Gallin said at the event.
The seed for the service was planted in 2006 when a patient commented to nurse Patricia Smatlak that the CC could benefit from a rapid response team. With input from all units on what they deemed helpful, Smatlak spearheaded the consult service's development. It was officially launched Nov. 3, 2008.
Since its inception, the Critical Care Medicine Consult Service has responded to 24 calls--21 from bedside nurses and three from the patient's doctor or nurse practitioner. The nature of the incidents included respiratory distress, GI bleed, syncope/atrial fibrillation, and bleeding at a wound site. Of the 24 critical care responses, 10 remained on the patient care unit and 14 patients were transferred to the intensive care unit.
"The idea is to respond to a spark before it becomes a fire," said Smatlak.
The staff honored, with CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin (front middle) were: (back, from left) Minnie Raju, Windy Wallin, Connie Kotefka, Tye Mullikin, Nancy Munro, Avril Bertrand, Nancy Ames, Deborah Kolakowski, Kimberley Klapec, Patricia Smatlak (front left), Dr. James Shelhamer (front right), and (not shown) Mary Fleury, Pamela Horwitz, Elizabeth Keber, Melanie Reagan, and Dr. Richard Sherry.
Volunteers make personal gains by giving of themselves
Clinical Center volunteers selflessly give their time and efforts to serve the CC mission of quality patient care and clinical research, and National Volunteer Week April 19 to 25 recognized their commitment. There are many opportunities for the interested to help as their schedules and talents allow, as the following profiles show. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, contact Courtney Duncan at 301-496-1807.
For many volunteering is a symbiotic arrangement. Afrooz Nikoobakht helps out in the Pharmacy Department—organizing unit dose trays, setting up new order medications, and filling prescriptions—while gaining valuable experience toward her pre-pharmacy studies.
A full-time student at Montgomery College, Nikoobakht of Potomac started volunteering at the CC in September. She wanted hands-on training in a non-retail pharmacy setting, and called Robert DeChristoforo, chief of the CC Pharmacy Department.
Nikoobakht said she has learned lots at the CC and has appreciated how helpful her fellow team members have been. "They are very friendly and answer all the questions a new person could ask," she said. "They really make you feel part of the team."
Meeting patients who have come to the CC as a last hope for treatment has profoundly affected Nikoobakht. "It really makes me appreciate how precious life is, and how one should not take a moment for granted," she said. "I feel very lucky that I am able to be part of an organization."
With work or school, family and friends, it can be hard to fit in a regular volunteer activity. The CC makes an effort to accommodate those interested in helping serve the mission of patient care and clinical research, those like Tara Mahan.
Mahan learned about the patient ambassador volunteer program through a friend, an NIH fellow. The program aligned with her volunteer goals, but her schedule did not allow participation. Volunteer services coordinator Courtney Duncan found an inpatient unit with high weekend traffic for Mahan, a biomedical engineer from Upper Marlboro.
Since July 2008, she has helped on the medical/surgical unit of 5NW a couple Sundays a month with administrative duties, such as creating patient files and answering telephones. The work she most enjoys, though, is orienting new patients to their surroundings. Mahan walks them through their unit admission packet and shows them how to order meals and use their computer and television.
"Volunteering at the NIH is a unique opportunity because of the types of patients that are seen in the facility," Mahan said. "I am able to give back to the community while walking with patients on their journey of hope."
One of the greatest repositories for CC volunteers is the brigade of eager, young post-baccalaureates spending a year or two at NIH before starting medical or graduate school.
Lindsey Buckingham is one such trainee, using her time in the CC for more than research. Buckingham, who worked in the Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from May 2007 until this month, will return to her alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to begin medical school in the fall.
While earning her undergraduate degree, Buckingham spent a semester abroad in Argentina and became fluent in the native language. Without the daily immersion, though, she fears losing her conversational proficiency.
Her assistance as a Spanish interpreter for Radiology and Imaging Sciences keeps her bilingual, a tool she values in her medical career. "Language is an issue in our country. The dynamic of our country is changing, and we need to be able to serve the people," Buckingham said.
The CC employs interpreters, but when under-staffed or over-booked, volunteers like Buckingham, with a flexible bench-work schedule, are there to help. She works with patients to fill out paperwork, explain the procedure, and make sure they are comfortable and aware of what is happening.
Many patients come to the NIH with a serious illness, some visiting the United States for the first time. "It's scary and disorienting," Buckingham said. "It's a really gratifying experience to connect with people and see their comfort when I can understand them."
CTSA scholars visit the Clinical Center
Fifty or so KL2 scholars, supported through the National Center for Research Resources via an institutional career development award program, stopped at the NIH Clinical Center April 15 while in Washington to attend the 2009 National Clinical & Translational Research Education Annual Meeting. CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin welcomed the trainees, including the above representing the Mayo Clinic; Harvard University; the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; and the Universities of Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Colorado. "I wish you phenomenal luck, though it won't be luck if you take advantage of all the opportunity in front of you," Dr. Gallin told the scholars, as part of a presentation including an overview of the CC. The scholars, selected to receive support to pursue multidisciplinary clinical research with training and mentoring built in, also enjoyed a tour of the CC before returning to their meeting in downtown DC.
Long-time nurse manager Moore retires
A Clinical Center nurse for nearly 31 years, Dr. Marsha Moore retired March 31.
Moore was a nurse manager for more than 22 years between three years as a clinical nurse and five years as a senior nurse consultant in Nursing and Patient Care Services' Research & Practice Development Service.
She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Hunter College in 1969 and spent the beginning of her career at Mount Sinai Hospital in the same city. Moving south in 1970, Moore worked at Arlington and Fairfax Hospitals before joining NIH in 1978.
In 1991, she earned a master's degree in nursing administration from George Mason University. Her doctorate of education came from The George Washington University in 2004. Moore served in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps for 21 years, attaining the rank of captain.
During her tenure as nurse manager, Moore was team leader on two major projects. The Thallium Improvement Project reduced the length of thallium profusion tests, allowing twice as many patients to be tested on any given day. The EKG Project centralized electrocardiogram services, developed a training program, and enhanced electronic transmission capabilities of the monitoring machines.
Moore has been published in the Journal of Nursing Administration and the Journal for Nurses in Staff Development. She received Clinical Center Director's Awards in 1996 and 2005 for patient care and strategic initiative, respectively.
Moore plans to spend time with her children and granddaughter and stay active with volunteer work.
Atrium Steinway donors recognized
The Steinway grand piano in the Hatfield Building's atrium was formally dedicated April 17 at a concert by Dr. Tracy Rouault of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (fourth from left) and her instuctor Grace McFarlane (second from left). Also present at the event were (from left): donors Michael Batza and Earl Linehan, Dr. W. Marston Linehan of the National Cancer Institute, CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin, and donors Pattie Batza and Darielle Linehan.
Pharmacy ushers in new medication dispensing cabinets
Through the month of April, the Clinical Center converted its automated medication dispensing cabinets from Pyxis to a new vendor named Omnicell. The 40 new cabinets installed on inpatient, outpatient and procedure units are interfaced with the Clinical Research Information System and the Pharmacy Department's information system, Sunrise Pharmacy. When used together, this integrated system increases the safety and efficiency of medication administration.
The cabinets feature a small light indicating which bin the desired medication is in—helping the nurse find the drug more quickly and ensuring that he or she picks the correct medication. Another safety measure requires a nurse to scan any unused medication and its intended bin before returning it to the cabinet to avoid placing the medication in the wrong location.
The new automated dispensing cabinets also employ a feature that expedites the administration of routine medications. Additional drugs may now be placed in the cabinets, but not released until a pharmacist reviews the medication order and completes an online medication order verification. In case of an emergency, a nurse can override this requirement to immediately obtain designated urgently needed medications in the cabinet. Previously, these drugs were either sent via a pneumatic tube system (think bank drive-through) or delivered by the messenger and escort service.
NIH Library's Green Terrace evidences environmental stewardship
The NIH Library Green Terrace, opened April 21, is a self-sustaining vegetative roof—rainwater drains into a cistern and is filtered and returned to water the terrace's plant life by energy conducted from nearby solar panels. Wendy Rieger, NBC4 Washington anchor, cut the ribbon on the new patio for use by NIH staff west of the Clinical Center's South entrance. She was joined by (from left) Dr. Alfred Johnson, Office of Research Services director; CAPT Edward Pfister, Department of Health & Human Services Office for Facilities Management and Policy environmental program manager; Howard Kelsey, DHHS OFM deputy assistant secretary; Shirl Eller, ORS associate director for program and employee services; and Dan Wheeland, Office of Research Facilities director. For more information on the terrace, visit http://nihlibrary.nih.gov/GoingGreen.
Department heads share leadership tips at managerial seminar
As part of a new, two-day course for managers entitled Management Essentials: Vital Skills to Broaden Your Leadership Capacity, a panel of department leaders offered lessons learned to twenty Clinical Center managers in attendance. Here some share their advice on leading change:
"What are the roadblocks to change—inadequate financial or personnel resources, attitude (why change something that is working), lack of leadership? After an honest assessment of why change is not desired, look for ways to eliminate the roadblocks." – Dr. Patrick Murray, chief, Microbiology Service, Department of Laboratory Medicine
"Successful leaders embrace change since change is inevitable and necessary for organizations and individuals to grow. Change brings you from the known to the unknown and therefore requires you to be flexible, organized, optimistic, communicate appropriately, and do as much planning as possible." – Dave Folio, chief, Nutrition Department
"It is easy to lead change when you agree with it. It is much harder when you have questions about the directions you are being asked to go. It is your obligation to tell your boss when you think he is wrong, but is it also your obligation to enact the policies and procedures of the institution once a decision is made." – Dr. Leighton Chan, chief, Rehabilitation Medicine Department.
Participants sought for clinical research trials
More information on the following studies can be found at http://clinicalstudies.info.nih.gov or by calling 1-866-444-2214 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010).
Study looks at liver disease
Recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes?
Probiotic study seeks healthy volunteers
Certificate can add to researcher resume
Monitors showcase CC research and events
Read about your accomplishments
Watch your daily caloric intake, and be conscious of portion size. Replace sugary beverages—fruit juice, sport drinks, and soda—with water. Read labels—one bag of chips may contain several servings.
Make smart decisions. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to get a full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Choose whole grains over refined, and fill up on non-starchy vegetables.
Prepare for a busy workday. Eat breakfast. Keep healthy snacks at the office—try baby carrots with hummus, an apple with peanut butter, or string cheese. Drink water throughout the day.
New clinical research protocols
The following new clinical research protocols were approved in March:
Prospective Analysis of Genotypes in Adults Undergoing Therapy for Lung Cancer, 09-C-0103, Giuseppe Giaccone, MD, NCI
Pilot and Feasibility Study of Reduced-Intensity Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant for MonoMAC, 09-C-0096, Dennis D. Hickstein, MD, NCI
A Pilot Study to Explore Serum and Imaging Biomarkers in Patients with Spinal Cord Compression, 09-C-0113, Kevin A. Camphausen, MD, NCI
A Natural History Study of Patients Receiving High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, 09-C-0100, Aradhana Kaushal, MD, NCI
Open Label Phase I Study to Evaluate the Safety and Tolerability of Vaccine (GI-6207) Consisting of Whole, Heat-Killed Recombinant Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Genetically Modified to Express CEA Protein in Adults with Metastatic CEA-Expressing Carcinoma, 09-C-0101, James L. Gulley, MD, NCI
Phase 1/2 Study of Metastatic Renal Cancer using T-Cells Transduced with a T-Cell Receptor which Recognizes TRAIL Bound to the DR4 Receptor, 09-C-0092, James C. Yang, MD, NCI
Phase II Study of Neoadjuvant Gemcitabine, Cisplatin and Bevacizumab in Stage IIIA (N2), Non-Squamous Cell Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, 09-C-0107, Giuseppe Giaccone, MD, NCI
A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Institutional, Phase II.5 Study of AZDO53O, a Selective Src Kinase Inhibitor, in Patients with Recurrent Osteosarcoma Localized to the Lung, 09-C-0104, Lee J. Helman, MD, NCI
Early Molecular Detection for the Improved Diagnosis of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis and Invasive Pulmonary Zygomycosis, 09-C-0109, Thomas J. Walsh, MD, NCI
A Phase 1, Dose Escalation Study of the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Intravenous Dimethane Sulfonate (DMS612, NSC 281612 in Advanced Malignancies, 09-C-0111, Susan E. Bates, MD, NCI
A Phase I Study of MK-0752 in Pediatric Patients with Recurrent or Refractory CNS Malignancies, 09-C-0112, Katherine E. Warren, MD, NCI
A Pilot Study of the Safety and Activity of Escalating Doses of ON 01910.Na in Patients with Relapsed Mantle Cell Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, and Related Lymphoid Malignancies, 09-H-0094, Mark J. Roschewski, MD, NHLBI
A D/B, Randomized Ph I Study of Safety/Immunogenicity of Prime-Boost Schedule of Investigational DNA Trivalent Influenza Vaccine, Followed by 2008/09 Flulaval® Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Compared to Flulaval® Alone in Healthy Adults 18-50/51-70 Years, 09-I-0090, Julie E. Martin, DO, NIAID
Etiology, Pathogenesis, and Natural History of Idiopathic CD4+ Lymphocytopenia, 09-I-0102, Jennifer R. Heimall, MD, NIAID
Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START), 09-I-0108, Richard T. Davey Jr., MD, NIAID
Vitamin E Pharmacokinetics and Biomarkers in Normal and Obese Women, 09-DK-0097, Mark A. Levine, MD, NIDDK
Exploring a Motor Learning Technique Based on the Mirror Motor Neuron System, 09-N-0098, Aviva Ellenstein, MD, NINDS
All events are videocast at http://videocast.nih.gov.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
This page last updated on 12/14/2017