Celebrating Cancer Survivors

Singer and musician Johannes Schwaiger—who lost his voice after radiation treatment for throat and neck cancer but regained it following treatment at Mount Sinai Beth Israel—entertained more than 200 guests at Mount Sinai’s annual National Cancer Survivors Day® luncheon, held recently at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Phillips Ambulatory Care Center. Among the attendees were cancer survivors, their families and friends, and Mount Sinai faculty and staff. Charles L. Shapiro, MD, Professor of Medicine, Co-Director of the Dubin Breast Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Director of Translational Breast Cancer Research, and Director of Cancer Survivorship, Tisch Cancer Institute, delivered the keynote address. “More cancer survivors will experience cures, mainly due to screening, early detection, and improved treatments and supportive care,” Dr. Shapiro says. “Sometimes treatment causes long-term side effects that can affect survivors’ quality of life, so we need to prevent or treat them effectively.”

Multiple Myeloma Symposium Provides Clinical Insights

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Sundar Jagannath, MD, Director, Multiple Myeloma Program, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai Health System, teamed up recently to host a free patient education symposium at the Sheraton New York. Dr. Jagannath is a renowned researcher and clinician in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow that results from abnormal growth of plasma cells. The MMRF, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is the world’s No. 1 private funder of multiple myeloma research. The 200 attendees learned about managing the disease and today’s most promising treatment options from leading Mount Sinai clinicians. Participants included Ajai Chari, MD, Director of Clinical Research, Multiple Myeloma Program; and Hearn Jay Cho, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), and Bethann Scarborough, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine), at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai’s Multiple Myeloma Program is the largest of its kind in New York City.

A New Era for Bone Marrow Transplantation

Seminal research led by James Ferrara, MD, DSc, Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Medicine, has produced a promising approach to treating patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)—a sometimes fatal complication of bone marrow transplantation in which the donor’s immune cells attack the recipient’s body. Bone marrow transplants are often used to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. Read more

Cooking Classes Help Cancer Survivors Make Nutrition Changes

When Ann Ogden was first diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2001, she had no idea that creating a cooking network for cancer patients would someday become her great life’s work. Ann was, professionally, a fashion designer, but she found her culinary knowledge to be particularly useful while managing the side effects of treatment for a later diagnosed breast cancer. She would swap recipes with other patients, who found her guidance helpful and encouraged her to do more with her skills. In 2007, Cook for Your Life–a website dedicated to providing healthy recipes, cooking tips and nutrition information to cancer survivors–was born. Read more

Woman to Woman: Supporting Patients Who Have Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer can be a challenging and isolating ordeal. Mount Sinai provides a program that helps women who are suffering from this disease and allows them to stay positive.

The Woman to Woman program offers mentoring to women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancer, including cervical cancer, to help them and their families get through this tough time. The program helps empower women to advocate for themselves and offer ongoing emotional support.

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Chemo Costs in U.S. Driven Higher by Shift to Hospital Outpatient Facilities

A Kaiser Health News article noted: “The price of cancer drugs has doubled in the past decade, with the average brand-name cancer drug in the U.S. costing $10,000 for a month’s supply, up from $5,000 in 2003, according to a new report by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a health information, services and technology company.”

“And those are just average prices; some drugs may cost as much as $30,000 a month.In Europe, where governments negotiate for national discounts, the list prices of cancer drugs are at least 20 to 40 percent lower than in the U.S., the report found.” Read more