One of the most inspiring aspects of working for the University of Arizona Cancer Center is seeing the countless shows of support in our mission to prevent and cure cancer.

We’re truly fortunate to be surrounded by so many selfless, giving individuals who share the same goals. If you want to become part of our mission, October is the month to do so.

There are four ways to get involved in October, and we thank our community partners for making it possible.

•  Bashas’, Food City and AJ’s Fine Foods will make available Pink Paper Ribbons to support breast cancer research at UACC at the registers of all 25 of its stores in Southern Arizona — from Sierra Vista and Douglas to Yuma and Nogales and throughout Pima County. 

To support this effort, Go Girl Energy Drink and Voss Water will each contribute $2,500 to research and prevention efforts through consumer purchases at Bashas’. Customers who purchase Hubert’s Half & Half Lemonade Tea at Food City will help contribute $2,500 to help cure breast cancer.

• When you buy a Drink Pink eegee’s original pink lemon beverage during the month, a portion of the proceeds will benefit our Better Than Ever fitness training/fund raising program. Eegee’s promotion is “Drink Pink for a Cause.”

•  Each time you eat at Pastiche Modern Eatery during the month — one of two months annually designed as Philanthropy with Phlavor month — Pastiche will donate 5 percent of your pre-tax, pre-gratuity, pre-discount check amount to UACC if you select us on the list presented with the check. Pastiche, on North Campbell Avenue, has been a partner with the UA Cancer Center for a number of years. 

•  A new restaurant, Social House, also known as So Ho, will donate 10 perecnt of its net sales during its grand opening event Oct. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. So Ho is located on the southeast corner of North Campbell Avenue and East Sixth Street.

And, of course, you can click here to Make A Donation 12 months a year.



Mark your calendars for Oct. 6, as one of the University of Arizona Cancer Center’s most important educational conferences is coming back.

¡VIDA! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference will be held at Apollo Community School (265 W. Nebraska St., Tucson) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Topics will include cancer screening, understanding risk factors, treatment options and survivorship, with presentations delivered in Spanish and English.

This year’s program features the addition of new workshops for men, including cancer prevention for men and when your loved one has cancer, and for adolescent girls, body image and cancer prevention, as well as an extensive educational program on breast health.

Admission is free, but advanced registration is suggested. Register online at vida.arizona.edu or by calling Angela Valencia at 520-626-0331. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

The conference, founded and directed by Ana María López, MD, MPH, associate dean of outreach and multicultural affairs and professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Cancer Center, has as its goal “to bring free bilingual breast health information to the Latino community,” says Dr. López. Although the incidence of breast cancer in Latinas appears to be lower than in non-Latinas in the United States, the rate appears to be increasing. Breast cancer has surpassed cervical cancer as the No. 1 cancer killer of women.

• ¡VIDA! The Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference
• Like ¡VIDA! on Facebook
• The University of Arizona Cancer Center En Español



In addition to the work we do to help prevent and cure cancer at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, we’re also big supporters of America’s space program.

Sara Hammond, our director of public affairs at the UACC, previously served as the public affairs manager for the University of Arizona-led Phoenix Mars Mission, so space exploration is in our blood.

As such, you could imagine our excitement when the space shuttle Endeavor flew over Tucson on Sept. 20.

At around 11:15 a.m. local time, a modified 747 jet carried Endeavor on its way from Houston to Los Angeles. It made a brief cameo in the Tucson skies, as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and retired astronaut Mark Kelly watched from atop a UA parking garage.

“That’s my spaceship,” said Endeavour’s last commander, Mark Kelly, as the couple watched the shuttle loop over Tucson, according to The Associated Press. Giffords was “elated” and started “hooting and hollering” as soon as she saw the shuttle emerge from behind the campus athletic center, said her former aide C.J. Karamargin.

Click “Read More” to view the photos Hammond took from the third-floor observation area at the UA Cancer Center’s research facility.



You still have a few weeks to prepare for this year’s Melanoma Walk on Oct. 20, but for those who want to know the latest in melanoma treatments, please come to Saturday’s Melanoma Walk 2012 kickoff event at 10 a.m. at the UA Cancer Center – Kiewit Auditorium.

Lee Cranmer, MD, PhD, will give a presentation on Melanoma: New Treatments & What’s on the Horizon, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session. In addition, the fine folks from Summit Hut will give a presentation on sun-safe walk accessories – very important for Southern Arizona residents.

Saturday’s event is open to the public (with free on-campus parking), and UACC staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming Melanoma Walk.

RSVP is not required, but if you’d like more information on Saturday’s event, please call 1-888-724-2749.

• Melanoma Walk kickoff (arizonacancercenter.org)
• Melanoma Walk 2012



The University of Arizona Cancer Center is at the forefront of a potentially landmark study in the area of ovarian cancer survival.

The UACC is leading the first large nationwide study to determine how diet and physical activity together can improve the quality of life and prevent recurrence for women who are in clinical complete remission from advanced ovarian peritoneal or tubal cancer.

The LIvES (Lifestyle Intervention for Ovarian Cancer Enhanced Survival) will involve 1,070 recent Stage II – IV ovarian, primary peritoneal and fallopian tube cancer survivors from among the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) clinics across the United States. The GOG is one of nine National Cancer Institute (NCI) – sponsored clinical trials cooperative oncology groups.

“This trial fills a huge gap concerning what women can do to stay healthy and free of ovarian cancer after chemotherapy successfully has been completed,” said David S. Alberts, MD, UACC director and co-chair of the LIvES study.

The study potentially could involve ovarian cancer survivors from 150 ovarian cancer treatment centers.

This part is crucial — cancer survivors must be referred to the study by their physicians. Click here to see a list of trial sites.

UPDATE: UA researchers Jennifer Barton and Ray Kostuk have received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build the instrument that they hope will one day be used to monitor women at high risk for ovarian cancer.

UA Cancer Center leads healthy lifestyle study in ovarian cancer progression-free survival (arizonacancercenter.org, Sept. 18, 2012)
• “Like” LIvES (Lifestyle Intervention for Ovarian Cancer Enhanced Survival) on Facebook.



The University of Arizona Cancer Center isn’t just an organization that provides top-notch cancer care. It’s a premier scientific research facility that fosters and promotes a high-minded collaborative atmosphere, pushing its researchers and clinicians to come up with “the next big thing” in cancer treatment.

To that end, the Basic-Clinical Partnerships Research Grant program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, currently led by Joyce Schroeder, PhD, was designed to promote translational research projects led by both a basic scientist and a clinician. Each UA Cancer Center faculty member brings his or her respective strengths to a potential project, looking for ways to take that project from the “idea” stage to reality.

This year, four teams of investigators received a total of $90,000 from this grant program. Funded topics include colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and lymphoma. Click “Read More” to learn about each project.



We know that a broccoli-heavy diet can have a positive impact on an individual’s immune system, eyesight, bone density, and blood sugar. But can broccoli actually help fight breast cancer?

University of Arizona Cancer Center researchers are continuing to seek participants for a study designed to determine if a compound found in broccoli can enhance the health-promoting effects of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen in women at risk of developing breast cancer or those previously treated for early-stage breast cancer.

Since receiving a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2011, UACC researcher Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, and her team have recruited about 50 women who are taking Tamoxifen for the DIME study. Enrollment will continue through December 2013 with a goal of 170 participants.

Study participants will be asked to take the supplement or placebo for 18 months and complete periodic clinical evaluation visits. The supplement is a patented, absorption enhancing formulation of diindolylmethane known as BioResponse DIM® (also known under the tradenames Indolplex® or BR-Dim®) supplied by BioResponse, LLC, of Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the DIME study, call Julie West at (520) 321-7748.

• UACC study works to improve breast cancer treatment by combining nutrition and medicine (arizonacancercenter.org, Sept. 12, 2012)


Image via AACR.org

The message was clear. The progress that has been made in the field of cancer research is astounding, but there is still a very long way to go.

On Sept. 12, the American Association for Cancer Research released the Cancer Progress report for 2012, highlighting the many wonderful strides made toward preventing and curing cancer, but stressed the importance of continued research in order to make personalized cancer care a reality.

“It is a new day for cancer research and cancer patients,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. “The inspiring stories of courage that are narrated in this report should serve as a catalyst for strengthening our nation’s resolve to eradicate cancer as a major threat to American lives.”

The report further points out that the cancer research and biomedical science enterprise is at great risk if Congress doesn’t act to prevent a budget mechanism called sequestration, which was created by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011 to force the government to address the federal budget deficit. In addition, the report makes a plea to Congress to put an end to declining budgets for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Click “Read More” to view a PDF of the entire 98-page progress report, which also features a dozen heart-wrenching survivor stories to go along with the research data.



University of Arizona Cancer Center director David S. Alberts, MD, is among this year’s Lifetime Achievement honorees at the 2012 AZBio Awards for Achievement, to be held Oct. 23 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Dr. Alberts, along with Raymond L. Woosley, MD, of the Arizona Center for Education and Research on Theraputics, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards, commemorating each man’s contributions to the medical field.

“Arizona is the land of the pioneers,” said Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. “This year, as we celebrate 100 years of statehood, AZBio is shining the spotlight on two pioneers who exemplify Arizona’s pioneer spirit and led in the creation of new discoveries and built up institutions that will pioneer new innovations for decades to come.”

Read the full story at the University of Arizona Cancer Center’s website.



Season 13 of Better Than Ever officially began on Sept. 5 with the Kickoff Event and Expo, where dozens of Southern Arizonans arrived at the UA Cancer Center’s Kiewit Auditorium to learn about having fun, getting fit, and fighting cancer.

Program leaders Marisa Allen and Heather Alberts welcomed the new and returning participants and laid out the training schedules for participants of all fitness levels to train for upcoming local running, walking or cycling events.

For those who missed the kickoff and are still interested in taking part in BTE, you still have time to register. Head over to arizonabte.org and click on “Register.” The fee is still only $10, but it increases $5 after Sept. 10. The deadline is Sept. 19.

Click “Read More” to view a photo slideshow from the kickoff event!

UPDATE: Watch the Tucson News Now-produced news clip on the BTE kickoff.