Spring 2018 Breakthroughs Message From The Director

Ten years, twelve years, even more than two decades. That is how long some of Duke Cancer Institute’s patients with prostate and other urologic cancers are liv­ing past their diagnoses, thanks to a new generation of therapies and our physician-scientists’ willing­ness to leave no avenue unpursued.

Translating those gained years into a complete cure will require taking the road less traveled—pursuing clinical studies and treatment options that may seem like a long shot. That is what Dan George, MD, and the clini­cians and scientists who make up Duke’s new Prostate and Urologic Cancer Center do every day. The new center is organized along the same model as Duke Cancer Institute (DCI)—integrating clin­ical research and care into one unit, so discoveries in the lab can quickly translate to the clinic.

Providing cancer care as it should be includes keeping the whole person healthy. As scientists increasingly realize that cancer can go hand-in-hand with heart disease, a group of oncologists and cardiologists at Duke are delving into the emerging research field of cardio-oncology. You’ll also learn in this issue about emerging efforts to make sure the patient voice and experience are given more weight as we develop new therapies and make treatment decisions.

At DCI, every day we are rewriting the statistics and finding the answers to defeating cancer. With you we can find even more of them. Please join us.

Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD
Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute,
William and Jane Shingleton Professor,
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Professor of Pediatrics

This message appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Breakthroughs, a magazine produced twice yearly by Duke Cancer Institute Office of Development. Subscribe to Breakthroughs

In This Issue 

James "Jimmy" Barnes has fought prostate cancer for 24 years, the last 10 of them at Duke. He is one of many patients benefiting from the drive of doctors at the Duke Prostate and Urologic Cancer Center to keep pursuing options, even when others say there is nothing left. Read 

More in this Section: 

The Bladder Guy Brant Inman, MD, MS, is skilled at the major sur­geries that no one wants to be unlucky enough to have. But Inman, the Cary N. Robertson Associate Professor of Urologic Oncology and vice chief of urology, would prefer to put himself out of business; he has set his sights on preventing bladder cancer. Read

Testing Limits Despite living with stage 4 kidney cancer, Marisha Hargrove of Henderson, North Carolina, still sings in her church choir and takes care of her two children, Paris, age 9, and Carson, age 6. Michael Harrison, MD, is her physician. Read

Personal Attention Prostate cancer survivor Steele Dewey participated in a Duke clinical trial of exercise for patients with prostate cancer and has continued a workout regimen. He's grateful for the personal attention he receives from his physician Dan George, MD. Read

amplifying the patient voiceAMPLIFYING THE PATIENT VOICE By Aliza Inbari 
Thomas LeBlanc, MD, thinks that too often, doctors focus on the medical aspects of patients and not enough on the person. How can we fix this problem? Read


heart illustrationWHAT DOES HEART DISEASE HAVE TO DO WITH CANCER? By Angela Spivey 
Cardiologist Chiara Melloni, MD, didn't know much about the emerging field of cardio-oncology, until her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and then developed heart disease. She and other cardiologists and cancer specialists are coming together to help patients fight both. Read

Fumiko ChinoTHE TOXIC COST OF CANCER By Aliza Inbari 
Duke researchers find that the high cost of cancer care is a serious challenge for many patients. One of those researchers, radiation oncology resident Fumiko Chino, MD, is motivated by her late husband's costly battle with cancer. Read


In January 2018, Duke Cancer Institute joined a select group of medical centers certified and trained to offer a new type of immunotherapy for patients with certain types of relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Read