New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research

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2000 Annual Report

report 2000 cover The Honorable Donald T. DiFrancesco
Acting Governor

Dear Governor DiFrancesco:

As the newly elected Chairman of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, I am honored to present to you the Commission's report for the Year 2000.

Consistent with its legislative mandate, the Commission focused its efforts during the past year on basic research directed to increase our understanding of this disease and reduce morbidity and mortality related to the disease. Toward this goal, the Commission awarded twelve grants for basic, clinical, and psychosocial research,seven pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships, and fifteen summer research fellowships, designed to encourage college students to pursue careers in cancer research.

This year, the Commission began a more formal tracking program for past award recipients, and we continue to find that their productivity supports our contention that the monies expended have been a superb investment in the future of New Jersey's research infrastructure and institutions of higher learning. Past investigators supported by the Commission have, in large part, remained within New Jersey, contributed to a significant increase in research dollars flowing into the State, and provided an invaluable resource to research, educational, and corporate entities.

The Commission has long recognized that research carried out in a vacuum has reduced value, and in this regard, we continue to serve as a catalyst and supporter of educational and research meetings. This year, the International Conference on Advances in Cancer Immunology, the Annual Retreat on Cancer Research in New Jersey and the Conference on Cancer Survivorship Throughout the Life-span, brought together hundreds of consumers, educators and scientists, in an atmosphere conducive to networking and program development, and in a way designed to highlight New Jersey's strengths in these programs. Additionally, as part of its responsibility in more broad-based cancer control efforts, the Commission is working closely with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Public Health, the American Cancer Society, and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey to develop a Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan for New Jersey. Additional details regarding all of these efforts can be found in the body of this report.

In conclusion, I would be remiss in not mentioning a significant transition issue for the Commission. After 15 years of tireless and extraordinary efforts, Frederick Cohen, M.D. made the difficult decision to step down as the Founding Chairman of the Commission. Although Dr. Cohen will remain a Commission member, his leadership will be sorely missed by all citizens of New Jersey.

On behalf of the Commission members and all citizens of New Jersey, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your efforts and support of cancer control activities and wish you well in your future, expanded endeavors.
Sincerely yours,

Paul E. Wallner, D.O.

Mission Statement

To ensure that the citizens of New Jersey receive the fullest benefit of our nation's fight against cancer through the promotion and funding of research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer.

State of New Jersey
Commission on Cancer Research

Working Together to Eradicate Cancer

Everything we do as Commission members, staff and volunteers working in support of The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research (NJCCR), is to fulfill our mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the life of those living with cancer in New Jersey.

The NJCCR was established in 1983 (Cancer Research Act of 1983 - P.L.83,Ch.6) to promote and fund significant cancer research projects proposed and carried out by New Jersey scientists. The Act dedicates annually a sum of no less than $1 million to the NJCCR to fund research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer. The Commission's ten members, who are appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate, are distinguished leaders from the scientific, medical, and business communities. The members, along with NJCCR staff and hundreds of volunteers, strive to make the state competitive in the area of cancer research. The primary activity of the Commission is the funding of scientifically peer reviewed cancer research grants and training fellowships at eligible nonprofit institutions throughout the state.

Since 1983, we have been making a difference in the lives of New Jerseyans by helping to educate them about the early signs of cancer, offering programs and services to those experiencing cancer, advocating for healthy public policy, and of course, funding innovative cancer research leading to better treatment and prevention strategies.

In 2000, over 40,000 New Jerseyans learned they had cancer and 18,100 died of the disease (American Cancer Society 2000 estimates). The New Jersey State Cancer Registry estimates that there are currently over 275,000 citizens living with a history of cancer in our state. New Jersey also consistently ranks among the ten highest states for cancer incidence and mortality. It is for these reasons that the Commission is dedicated to carrying out its mandate.

Early on in its development, the Commission recognized that the only sure strategy for success was to invest in the most talented people. With this in mind, the Commission has consistently supported emerging research talent seeking to break into the competitive world of cancer research and senior investigators embarking on new research directions. The Commission uses an NIH system of scientific peer review in making its awards and this assures a rigorous and fair approach to all of its endeavors.

We've made great strides over the last 17 years awarding over $15.6 million for 237 grants and over $4.4 million for 192 summer, pre- and post-doctoral fellowships to date. However, as a new millennium is now upon us, we must strive to do more to carry out our mandate.

This report of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research's major activities for the year 2000 is only a partial overview of the high quality work that is carried out every day in New Jersey in support of our mission.

2000: A Year in Review

International Conference on Advances in Cancer Immunology

The International Conference on Advances in Cancer Immunology was presented by the Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology at the Garden State Cancer Center and the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research. This two-and-a-half day conference, held March 2-4, 2000, at the Princeton Marriott, brought together over 150 cancer researchers from around the world to discuss their work and develop collaborations in the field of immunotherapy.

Four general areas were covered including cancer vaccines, cell-based therapies, immunconjugates of drugs & toxins and radioimmunoconjugates. Oral presentations and posters emphasized the translation of immunotherapy from the laboratory to the clinic. It is expected that the proceedings will appear in the journal Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology in the near future.

Session Chairpersons included Gerald L. DeNardo, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, Radiology and Pathlogy, University of California-Davis, Sacremento, CA; Dorothee Herlyn, D.V.M., Professor and Chair, Immunology Program, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA; David Parkinson, M.D., Vice President for Clinical Research, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp., East Hanover, NJ; Ira Pastan, M.D., Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD; Ralph A. Reisfeld, Ph.D., Professor, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA; Jeffrey Schlom, Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, National Cancer Institue, Bethesda, MD; Ellen S. Viteta, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Director, Cancer Immunobiology Center, UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX; Louis M. Weiner, M.D., Senior Member and Chairman, Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; and Christine A. White, M.D., Senior Director, Oncology and Hematology, IDEC Pharmaceuticals Co., San Diego, CA.

Speakers included Kenneth A Foon, M.D., Director, Barrett Cancer Center, University of Cincinnati, OH; Stephen D. Gillies, Ph.D., President, Lexigen Pharmaceuticals Corp., Lexington, MA; Richard P. Junghans, Ph.D., M.D., Director, Biotherapeutics Development Lab, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Donald L. Morton, M.D., Medical Director and Surgeon-in-Chief, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA; Gert Riethmuller, M.D., Professor, Institute fur Immunology, University of Munich, Germany; Susanna M. Rybak, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Developmental Therapeutics Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD; and Shimon Slavin, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.

2000 Annual Retreat on Cancer Research

The Commission on Cancer Research and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey cosponsored the "Annual Retreat on Cancer Research" on May 9-10, 2000 at the Princeton Marriott. The format for this conference was very different than previous years, adding a public forum and a special nursing and psychosocial program in addition to the traditional general session.

The public forum focused on advances in cancer research and treatment in the year 2000. A panel of expert researchers from New Jersey presented perspectives on the following subjects: nutrition and cancer prevention, angiogenesis, emerging new drugs for therapy, genetics of cancer, and complementary medicine. The program proved to be a great success, attracting over 100 cancer survivors, friends and family.

The nursing and psychosocial program attracted close to 75 health care professionals to learn of each others work, share ideas, and develop collaborations. The keynote address was given by David Cella, PhD, Professor of Psychology & Behavior Science at the Institute for Health Services Research and Policy at Northwestern University. Dr. Cella discussed his findings surrounding quality of life issues. This insightful talk was followed by a plenary/poster discussion session.

Over 450 cancer researchers, health care professionals and students from throughout New Jersey, enjoyed the general session. Keynote speakers included Leonard B. Saltz, M.D., Associate Attending Physician, GI Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who spoke on the advances in the treatment of GI cancer and Carlo Croce, M.D., Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University who spoke on the genetics of human cancer.

The day ended with an award ceremony to honor the talented graduate and postdoctoral students who competed for the NJ Cancer Research Award for Scientific Excellence. Bristol-Meyers Squibb served as the major sponsor of the program and the following state's leading pharmaceutical companies sponsored the awards:

  1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Award to E. Cali Cutrone, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey for "Determination of the Ligand-Binding Site of the Interferon Receptor Subunit IFNAR-1"
  2. Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Award to Min Gao, UMDNJ-NJMS for "Identification and Regulation of a Novel Decapping Activity Involved in mRNA Turnover"
  3. Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Award to Natalia Denissova, UMDNJ-RWJMS for "TGF--Inducible Independent Binding of SMAD7 Promotor"
  4. Pharmacia Corporation Award to Xin Yu, Rutgers, The State University for "Function of DNA Repair Genes in Chromosomal Rearrangement Saccharomyces Cerevisiae"
  5. Pharmacia Corporation Award to Christopher Meighan, Rider University for "GDNF Signaling Through GFRalpha-1 Promotes Nephric Duct Pathfinding in AxolotI Embryos"
  6. Pharmacia Corporation Award to Irena Ivanovska, Princeton University for "Fine Structure Analysis of the Yeast Centrin, Cdc31p, Identifies Residues Specific for Cell Morphology and SPB Duplication"
  7. Pharmacia Corporation Award to J.Y. Chung, Rutgers, The State University for "Inhibition of the Ras-MAPK Signal Transduction Pathway by Tea Polyphenols, (-)-epigallocatehin-3gallate and theaflavin-3,3'-digallate"
  8. Amgen Oncology Award to Beatrice Rayet, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, for "Functional Complementation of a Transformation-Defective REL Oncoprotein by NF-KAPPAB-Regulated Death Inhibitors"
  9. Amgen Oncolgoy Award to Mel Limson, Rutgers, The State University for "Nucleotide Excision Repair in Yeast for Mutants"
  10. The Liposome Company Award to Lisa Maduzia, Rutgers, The State University for "lon-1, A Putative Downstream Target of TGFb signaling"
  11. The Liposome Company Award to Monique Meramo, UMDNJ-NJMS for "Development of a System Based on Computerized Image Analysis for the Examination of Cell Cycle Related Phenomena in Fixed, Immobilized Cells"

New Jersey Breast Cancer Research Fund

The New Jersey Breast Cancer Research Fund, which is fueled by contributions through a state income tax return, had a monumental year in 1999. The Fund finished number one in donations, raising over $249,000 for breast cancer research.

When combined with private donations and other special project revenues, the NJCCR will be able to award more grants, fellowships and scholarships to breast cancer researchers throughout the state.

The Conquer Cancer License Plate

The NJCCR also administers the proceeds raised through the Conquer Cancer license plate. The plate is available at your local Division of Motor Vehicles and can be purchased at any time during the registration cycle for $50 (over $40 goes to cancer research), with a $10 annual renewal fee (100% of the renewal fee goes to cancer research projects).

To date, over 18,690 plates have been sold, raising more than $880,000 for cancer research. With the consistent success of the license plate, New Jersey cancer researchers can look forward to increased budgets in upcoming grant cycles.

Building a Comprehensive
Cancer Control Plan for New Jersey

Despite the efforts of many people and programs throughout the state to prevent cancer, detect it early, treat it successfully and assure quality of life, New Jersey still has some of the highest rates of cancer in the country. In response, cancer experts, public health officers, community leaders, advocates and health care professionals met frequently this year to work on improving the coordination of their cancer control activities in order to maximize resources and achieve desired cancer prevention and control outcomes.

The first phase of this meeting was held on July 11, 2000 at the Doral Forrestal Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey. This meeting was successful in developing a common baseline knowledge that defined the elements of comprehensive cancer control based upon scientific thinking and provided an understanding of the process required to develop an integrated and collaborative approach to cancer control at the state level.

Experts from outside the state such as Nancy Lee, M.D., Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Robert Hiatt, M.D., Deputy Director, Cancer Control & Populations Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD; and Hugh Stallworth, M.D., MPH, American Cancer Society, National Headquarters, Atlanta, GA, presented their knowledge and experiences in building a successful comprehensive cancer control program and how to implement these effective strategies into existing programs in New Jersey.

The second phase of this program was held on November 21, 2000 at the Woodbridge Hilton, Woodbridge, New Jersey. This interactive workshop was designed to open channels of communication with community leaders, grassroots organizations and advocacy groups. Carolyn Fang, Ph.D., Assistant Member of the Psychosocial and Behavior Medicine Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, spoke about the importance of understanding what drives health behavior and Michael Gallo, Ph.D., Professor of Toxicology at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, shared his knowledge in science to unravel what we really know about cancer causes and prevention.

Overall, the combination of these two meetings left the attendees with a greater understanding into the challenges of delivering community-based programs, health education and health promotion services. In addition, the seminars provided the tools to move forward with the coordination and collaboration efforts throughout the state.

Sponsors included the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, University of Medicine and Dentistry-School of Public Health, The American Cancer Society and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

White Beeches Golf and Bridge Tournament
Raises Needed Funds For Researchers

The Ladies at White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, N.J., sponsored a charity affair on July 18, 2000 that raised over $36,000 for patient care and cancer research. The daylong event brought together over 250 women who competed in bridge and golf tournaments. A wonderful luncheon and award ceremony followed which also featured a Chinese auction.

The White Beaches Ladies felt so many fundraisers focused on physical activities so they wanted to offer different events that anyone could participate in. Unfortunately, cancer has hit many members of the club either one way or another and it was thought that it was time to take a pro-active role towards fighting this disease.

By underwriting all expenses, The Ladies of White Beeches were able to donate one hundred percent of the proceeds towards innovative cancer research projects right here in New Jersey through the New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research.

New Jersey Law Makers Recognize Pediatric Cancer

A Joint Legislative Resolution, designating the "Rainbow of Hope" pin as the official symbol of New Jersey Cares About Children With Cancer Month, was presented on the Senate floor on Thursday, September 21, 2000 by Assemblywoman Carol J. Murphy (R-26) and Senator Robert J. Martin

The rainbow and gold pin, designed by Kathy Ingato in recognition of her daughter, Kristina Marie Ingato's courageous battle with childhood cancer, is a symbol of HOPE for all who have cancer, and a PROMISE that every citizen will join the fight to conquer this disease.

Kristina Marie was diagnosed in 1997 with an aggressive form of childhood cancer. For two years she fought her battle through chemotherapy and radiation, but treatments were unsuccessful and she passed away September 3, 1999. Kristina was twelve years old.

Coincidentally, it was September of 1999 when Governor Whitman signed into law legislation, introduced by Assemblywoman Murphy, which declared September as New Jersey Cares About Children With Cancer Month.

Cancer Survivorship Throughout the Lifespan


The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and the Tomorrows Children's Fund cosponsored its second national conference entitled "Cancer Survivorship Throughout the Life Span; Challenges for the 21st Century" on October 19-20, 2000 at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City.

Over 300 physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and administrators from across the country attended this conference. Their goal was to investigate a systematic approach to the care of cancer survivors, either within or across various stages of life.

As the treatment of various forms of cancer has become increasingly effective, the interest in "survivorship" has grown in importance. The survivorship concept has different implications over the lifespan; affecting quality of life, treatment approaches and post-treatment management. Thus, while cancer survivors appear to have a myriad of potential clinical needs, the specific providers and optimal mechanisms of service to address those needs remains to be defined.

Each speaker addressed these particular elements and audience members were challenged to collaborate across their disciplines and specialties in order to answer these unmet needs.

Co-sponsors of the event included the American Cancer Society, National & Eastern Division, Association of Oncology Social Workers, Cancer Care, Inc., Hackensack University Medical Center, Intercultural Cancer Council, National Cancer Institute, The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Office of Survivorship, Oncology Nursing Society, Saint Barnabas Health Care System and UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.

2001 Breast Cancer Research Calendar

New Jersey Artists joined forces with breast cancer experts to design a unique 2001 Breast Cancer Calendar. The calendar provided helpful information about breast cancer including reminder stickers for breast self-exams and an annual mammogram. It contained healthy eating tips, inspirational quotes and valuable resource information. Thirteen top professional artists whose lives have been touched by breast cancer have donated their artwork for the calendar. One Hundred Percent of proceeds raised from the calendar will support innovative breast cancer research at non-profit institutions throughout New Jersey through the New Jersey Breast Cancer Research Fund.

The New Jersey Breast Cancer Fund was created by law to support research into the causes, screening, treatment and cure of breast cancer and is funded mainly through a state income tax check-off box.

Since New Jersey has some of the highest breast cancer rates in the country, a low rate for participation in clinical studies, and does not receive its fair share of federal research dollars (based on National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense spending per capita), there are a large number of New Jersey breast cancer issues that must be addressed.

The calendar is jointly sponsored by the Breast Cancer Research Advisory Group to The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and Rutgers, The State University. Bristol-Myers Squibb provided a major educational grant to support its development.

2000 Research and Grants

In order to attain its goals, the Commission invests in the state's scientific infrastructure by supporting basic laboratory and preventive studies, as well as clinical protocols, epidemiologic and psychosocial research. The Commission's six specialized advisory groups along with the input from public advocates assist the NJCCR in generating its research agenda.

To ensure a nonpartisan approach, awards are based on the highest scientific merit. The NJCCR uses a competitive peer review process, similar to the methods used by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. The majority of NJCCR seed grants have been very successful in attracting national funds back to New Jersey for continued research. On average, for every dollar the NJCCR has awarded, over three dollars have been attracted to the state for additional research, strengthening the scientific infrastructure and New Jersey's economy. In the course of its work, the NJCCR has gained national recognition by the National Cancer Advisory Board, and has been a model for other states such as Arizona, Colorado, and Wisconsin, which have launched similar programs.

Through this highly competitive grant program, six two year grants, three one year grants and three breast cancer research fund awards were distributed to investigators at non-profit research institutions throughout New Jersey in 2000.

Two Year Grants

David Modrak, Ph.D., Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology
The Garden State Cancer Center
Modulation of Chemosensitivity by Sphingomyelin

Marion Gordon, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University
Emmprin, A Tumor Product Inducing Matrix Metalloproteinases

David Gorski, M.D., Ph.D., The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Growth Arrest-Specific Homeobox Gene Gax in Cancer

Shah Nur-E-Kamal, M.D., UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
The Role of Non-Receptor Tyrosine Kinase, Ack in Transformation

Arnold Rabson, Ph.D., Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine
Role of NF-kB in Prostate Cancer

Longqin Hu, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University
New Cyclophosphomides with Novel Activation Mechanisms

One Year Grants

Stuart Lutzker, M.D., Ph.D., The Cancer Institute of New Jersey/UMDNJ-RWJMS
Regulation of p53 Via the C-terminus

James Goydos, M.D., The Cancer Institute of New Jersey/UMDNJ-RWJMS
Using RT-PCR Analysis to Improve Melanoma Staging

Ramsey Foty, Ph.D., UMDNJ-RWJMS
Prostate Tumor Cohesivity and Organ Targeting

New Jersey Breast Cancer Research Fund

Reju Korah, Ph.D., UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Abrogation of Inside Out Signaling Reverses Breast Cancer Morphology

Shobha Gunnery, Ph.D., UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Role of PKR in Growth Control of Breast Cancer Cells

Sandra Fink, Ph.D., Saint Barnabas Medical Center
An Evaluation of Micrometastasis in Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

New Jersey Cancer Research Fellowships

The New Jersey Cancer Research Fellowship program was initiated by the NJCCR in 1988 to attract and retain scholars pursuing careers in cancer research. Since then, outstanding scientists continue to focus on a range of research projects that have contributed significantly to the educational reputation of the State. In addition, jobs have been created, our technological base has enhanced, and the quality of science has improved.

Proving to be a sound and promising investment, NJCCR fellowships have generated over 350 published papers in peer-reviewed journals in addition to numerous presentations at conferences within and outside the State.

This year, the Commission was able to fund three post-doctoral, four pre-doctoral and fifteen summer fellowships to students of outstanding merit.

Post-doctoral Fellowships

Beatrice Rayet, Ph.D., Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine
Functional Characterization of v-Rel in Oncogene

Ying Wang, Ph.D., Princeton University
Integration of Nutrient-Activating Signaling Pathways

Cole Zimmerman, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University
Cell Cycle Regulation by TGF Signaling in C. elegans

Pre-doctoral Fellowships

Nicholas Megjugorac, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
IFN-Producing Dendritic Cells in Cellular Immunity

Joel Lefferts, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Spectrin and the DNA Repair Defect in Fanconi Anemia

Trevor Reichman, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Role of NF90 in Regulation Transcription and Cell Cycle

Traci Czyzyk, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Genetic Analysis of Peptide Amidation in Tumorigenesis

Summer Fellowships

Julia A. Beaver, Princeton University

Anthony, Burgos, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Christine L. Flefleh, Garden State Cancer Center

Michael K. Gill, Rutgers, The State University

Tse-Sun Ku, Princeton University

Stefanie Malkiewicz, Rutgers, The State University

Rachel A. Patterson, Coriell Institute for Medical Research

Elena Reitman, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Marisol D. Rodriguez, Garden State Cancer Center

Jeremy M. Rosenblum, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Russell J. Craig, Garden State Cancer Center

Michael S. Stein, Garden State Cancer Center

Christopher J. Waskewich, Garden State Cancer Center

Ilan Seth Weisberg, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School

Julie Yang, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Cancer Research Pilot and Grant Awards

In 2000, the New Jersey State Legislature passed Bills S1039/A2055 allocating monies to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) for cancer research grants involving the prevention and control of prostate cancer. The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research provided administrative services to the DHSS so that the following grants could be awarded:

Two Year Grants

George H. Lambert, M.D., EOSHI, UMDNJ-RWJMS
"Mechanisms of Action of Herbal Medicines Used for Prostate Health"

Carlos A. Molina, Ph.D., UMDNJ-NJMS
"Regulation of Prostate Cancer Cell Growth by ICER"

Chung S. Yang, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University
"Dietary modification of prostate carcinogenesis in the Nkx3.1 mutant mouse model"

Linda J. Patrick-Miller, Ph.D., The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
"The Impact of a Relative's Mammogram: A Teachable Moment"

Omowunmi Y. Osinubi, M.D., EOHSI, UMDNJ-RWJMS
"Smoking Cessation Counseling During Physical Examination"

2000 Commission Members and Staff

Commission Offices

New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research
28 West State Street
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
PHONE (609) 633-6552
FAX (609) 633-6814

Paul E. Wallner, D.O., F.A.C.R.
Commission Chair
Dr. Wallner is Clinical Professor and Vice Chairman in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a Past-President of the Oncology Society of New Jersey and Past-President of the American Cancer Society, New Jersey Division, Inc. Dr. Wallner chairs the Core Clinical Advisory Group, and chaired the State Cancer Plan Task Force for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and is a member of the Board of Chancellors of The American College of Radiology. Dr. Wallner resides in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Thomas Atherholt, Ph.D.
Dr. Atherholt is a member of the Division of Science, Research and Technology of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where he is a research microbiologist. Dr. Atherholt received his doctorate in microbiology from Rutgers University. He was a genetic toxicologist at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, NJ, prior to joining the DEP in 1990. Dr. Atherholt serves as an ex-officio member representing the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. He resides in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Eddy A. Bresnitz, M.D., MS
Dr. Bresnitz is the New Jersey State Epidemiologist/Assistant Commissioner of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health Programs in the Department of Health and Senior Services. He oversees the Office of Cancer Control and Prevention and the Cancer Epidemiology Service in the Department. He is also Professor of Medicine in the Department of Environmental and Community Medicine in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Public Health of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Bresnitz received his undergraduate and medical degrees from McGill University and a Master's of Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed postgraduate training at Montifiore Hospital in New York City and at the University of Pennsylvania and is board certified in internal, pulmonary and preventive medicine. He was formerly Chairman of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine in the MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Bresnitz has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a variety of NIH, foundation and state grants, and has published extensively, principally in the area of epidemiology and disease surveillance. Dr. Bresnitz serves as an ex-officio member representing the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. Dr. Bresnitz resides in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Frederick B. Cohen, M.D.
Dr. Cohen was the Director of Medical Oncology from 1970 to 1999 and is past president of the medical staff of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. He is recipient of the Edward J. Ill Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on a physician in New Jersey, and the New Jersey Pride Award in Health. He is past president of the Academy of Medicine of New Jersey and served as past president for the American Cancer Society, New Jersey Division, Inc. Dr. Cohen now serves as a principal investigator for the STAR project in addition to several clinical studies by national cooperative groups. He resides in South Orange, New Jersey.

Lawrence R. Coia, M.D.
Dr. Coia is the Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Community Medical Center and Chairs the Radiation Oncology Committee of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System. He was a Senior Member and Clinical Director in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, as well as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania prior to joining the Saint Barnabas Health Care System. He has written seven books and over one hundred journal articles. He is internationally known for his work in developing multimodality treatment for esophageal cancer and for quality assessment in radiation oncology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncolgy. Dr. Coia has served on numerous national and international medical advisory committees. He has been designated among The Best Doctors in America by American Health Magazine and by Woodward/White, Inc. Besides his work in esophageal cancer he is noted for his work as Associate Director of the Patterns of Care Study which has helped develop U.S. national benchmarks for radiation oncology for multiple malignancies in which radiation has an important therapeutic role. Dr. Coia resides in Indian Mills, New Jersey.

George E. Dunaif, Ph.D.
Dr. Dunaif is the Senior Director - Toxicology and Analytical Services at the Campbell Soup Company, Camden. Dr. Dunaif directs the corporate and international toxicology and analytical laboratory programs and staff. In addition, he is the co-coordinator of the Campbell Integrated Pest Management Program. Dr. Dunaif received his Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from Cornell University. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and has served on a number of national and international committees on nutrition and toxicology. He resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Lynn W. Enquist, Ph.D.
Dr. Enquist is a Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Previously, he was a Research Leader in Molecular Biology at Dupont and a Senior Research Fellow at DuPont-Merck Pharmaceutical Company. He was responsible for the DuPont-Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and served as scientific advisor for senior management. In addition to teaching virology at Princeton, Dr. Enquist has published over one hundred fifty scientific papers and books. He has served on major scientific committees including the National Institutes of Health Experimental Virology Study Section and the Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section. Dr. Enquist is an editor of the Journal of Virology, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has lectured at numerous seminars and universities around the world. Dr. Enquist received his doctoral degree in Microbiology from the Medical College of Virginia and now works and resides in Princeton, New Jersey.

Barbara Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
Dr. Rabinowitz is the first Commission member to hold expertise in the psychological and psychosocial aspects of cancer. She completed her doctorate in Social Work at Rutgers University and is also a registered nurse. Dr. Rabinowitz completed three recent invited book chapters in textbooks for physicians on the psychosocial aspects of cancer care. She has published numerous articles, completed two important cancer research projects and presents papers to professional organizations nationwide. Dr. Rabinowitz is the Director of Oncology Services for Meridian Health System. In addition, she maintains a private practice in psychotherapy and sex therapy and resides in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Anna Marie Skalka, Ph.D.
Dr. Skalka has been the Senior Vice President for Basic Science and Director of the Institute for Cancer Research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia since 1987. Previously, she chaired the Department of Molecular Oncology at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in Nutley. Dr. Skalka serves on a number of national and international scientific advisory committees, and on the advisory board of seven scientific journals. She was a recipient of an Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute and an unrestricted grant for research in infectious diseases from the Bristol Myers Squibb Co. In 1994, in recognition of her outstanding achievements, Dr. Skalka was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1996 she was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM). In 1999 she was elected to the Board of Governors of AAM. Dr. Skalka is an internationally recognized expert on molecular genetics and the molecular biology of RNA tumor viruses. Dr. Skalka lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jeffrey A. Warren, M.P.A.
Mr. Warren is Senior Director, Alliance Development for Pfizer Health Solutions, the Clinical Informatics subsidiary of Pfizer. Mr. Warren was previously, Senior Director, Business Development, Parke-Davis. In addition, Mr. Warren was the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development at Cathedral Healthcare System and was a National Program Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Mr. Warren holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. Mr. Warren is a member of the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, a member of the Board of Health Decisions, a trustee of Gilda's Club and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of the American Medical Group Association. Mr. Warren resides in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Commission Staff

Ann Marie Hill
Executive Director

Michael C. Toleno
Assistant Director

Shane Letezia
Grant Coordinator

Karen Schaefer
Secretarial Assistant

Jennifer O'Bryan
Contributing Editor
(Student Intern)

Advisory Group Update

Breast Cancer Research
In order to increase the visibility of the breast cancer research check-off on the state income tax form, the members of breast cancer advisory group along with several New Jersey artists created a 2001 Breast Cancer Calendar to create an additional avenue of funding for breast cancer research. The calendar will be featured in hospitals, cancer centers, museums and art galleries throughout New Jersey.

The New Jersey Breast Cancer Research Fund tax check-off mechanism collected more than $240,000 last year, making it #1 among the contribution check-offs on the state tax return. One hundred percent of monies raised will be used for breast cancer research projects in New Jersey and awarded during the 2001 grant cycle.

Cancer Prevention and Control
The Cancer Prevention and Control Advisory group is revamping its focus to support strategic comprehensive cancer control. The Committee welcomes Gilbert Baez, Elisa Bandera, Dr. Jun-Yan Hong, Dr. Kathleen Jennings-Dozier and Cari Miller and looks forward to promoting collaborations on cancer control projects.

Prostate Cancer Advisory Group
Continuing to focus on the major responsibilities stemming from the Prostate Cancer Action Plan, several members of this advisory group are helping plan a second Prostate Cancer Summit on April 4, 2001 at the Woodbridge Hilton.

This conference hopes to keep New Jersey's momentum moving forward to develop concrete and defined strategies to conquer this disease. Physicians, community leaders, social workers, nurses, patient advocates and business leaders will coordinate their efforts on three major areas: early detection, education and research.

Basic Research Advisory Group
The Basic Research Advisory Group finished gathering information for a website designed to help foster interaction within the public and private scientific community. The first part of this website will provide cancer researchers with links for grant applications and funding sources. The second part will feature a section to help educate the public and patient communities to better understand the relevancy and purpose of research projects at the basic level.

NJ Pediatric Hematology Oncology Group
The NJPHON serves as an advisory group to the New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research and provides an umbrella organization promoting collaboration among the ten pediatric cancer centers serving children with cancer in New Jersey.

Members worked closely with the state legislature to designate the "Rainbow of Hope" pin as the official symbol in New Jersey to recognize the impact pediatric cancer has on our state. A ceremony was held on the Senate floor for this initiative and legislatures recognized the opportunities New Jersey has to offer children with cancer and the need to raise more awareness about this disease.

Joint Nursing & Psychosocial
This advisory group supported a very successful seminar on October 12 - 13, 2000 in Atlantic City titled "Cancer Survivorship Throughout the Life Span." The conference received excellent reviews and attendees continue to collaborate on survivorship issues throughout the country.

The Resource Book for Cancer Patients in New Jersey, one of the first projects completed by this advisory group, continues to reach patients throughout the state. Over 50,000 books have been distributed since its inception in 1992. The demand for the booklet has been overwhelming and had to be updated again in 2000. Cancer programs throughout New Jersey find that it has the most helpful arsenal of information for cancer patients, their families and friends. A Spanish version of the book will be printed for the summer of 2001.

NJCCR Advisory Groups

Basic Research Advisory Group

Co-Chair: Jonathan Yavelow, PhD
Rider University
Lawrenceville, NJ
Marie Hoover, PhD
Advanced Biomedical Laboratories
Cinnaminson, NJ
Elizabeth Raveche, PhD
Newark, NJ
Suzie Chen, PhD
Rutgers, The State University
Piscataway, NJ
Alice Y. C Liu, PhD
Rutgers, The State University
Piscataway, NJ
Ian Whitehead, PhD
Newark, NJ
David Gold, PhD
Garden State Cancer Center
Belleville, NJ
Edith Postel, PhD
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Nancy Woychik, PhD
Piscataway, NJ


Breast Cancer Research Advisory Group

Chair: Robert Wieder, MD, PhD
Newark, NJ
Evelyn Dries
American Cancer Society
New Jersey Division
New Brunswick, NJ
Joyce Maso
Patient Advocate
North Brunswick, NJ
Linda Basilio
Patient Advocate
Wallburg, NJ
Generosa Grana, MD
Cooper Hospital/Medical Center
Camden, NJ
Helen Richards
Patient Advocate
Haworth, NJ

Arnold Baskies, MD
Rancocas Hospital
Willingboro, NJ

The Honorable Rose Marie Heck
Assemblywomen, District 38
Lodi, NJ
Susan Rittling, PhD
Rutgers, The State University
Piscataway, NJ
Jeanne Beck, PhD
Coriell Institute of Medical Research
Camden, NJ
Thomas J. Kearney, MD
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
Eva Sciandra
American Cancer Society
Eastern Division
Albany, New York
Margaret Bryan, MD
Newark, NJ
Judi Klein
Patient Advocate
Monmouth Junction, NJ
Thomas J. Smith, MD
Morristown Memorial Hospital
Morristown, NJ
Deborah M. Capko, MD
Hackensack Univ. Medical Center
Hackensack, NJ
Betsy Kohler, MPH
NJ Dept. of Health & Senior Services
Trenton, NJ
Mary Storms
Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology
Kendell Park, NJ


Cancer Control And Prevention Advisory Group

Chair: Dona Schneider, PhD, MPH
Rutgers, The State University
New Brunswick, NJ
David Henry, MPH
Montgomery Twp Health Dept
Belle Mead, NJ
Cari Miller
The Peer Review Org of NJ
East Brunswick, NJ
Gilbert Baez
Jersey City, NJ
Jun-Yan Hong, PhD
Piscataway, NJ
Nancy Pinken, PhD
East Brunswick, NJ
Elsia Bantera
Rutgers, The State University
New Brunswick, NJ
Kathleen Jennings-Dozier
MCP Hahnemann University
Philadelphia, PA
Mitch Rosen
New Brunswick, NJ
Generosa Grana, MD
Cooper Hospital/Medical Center
Camden, NJ
Judith Klotz, DrPH
NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services
Trenton, NJ
Marilyn Hansen, CTR
NJ Operations Cancer Program
Roselle Park, NJ
Jane Lewis, DrPH
Piscataway, NJ


Joint Psychosocial/ Nursing Advisory Group

Co-Chair: Wendy Budin, PhD, RNC
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
Jayne M. Craig, MS, RN, C, CS
Somerset Medical Center
Somerset, NJ
Linda J. Patrick-Miller, PhD
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
Co-Chair: Lissa Parsonnet, PhD
Saint Barnabas Health Care System
Livingston, NJ
John R. deVelder
Robert Wood JohnsonUniv. Hospital
New Brunswick, NJ
Kathleen Walsh Scura, EdD, RN
William Paterson University
Wayne, NJ
Denyse Adler, MA
The Adler Group
West Caldwell, NJ
Alice Renick Ettinger, RN, MSN,CPNP, CPON
St. Peter's University Hospital
New Brunswick, NJ
Gary A. Walco, PhD
Tomorrows Children's Institute
Hackensack, NJ
Alan Axelrod, MSW
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
Mildred Ortu Kowalski, RN, MPA
East Hanover, NJ
Martha Weiner, MS, RN
Cooper Cancer Institute
Camden, NJ
Donna Bocco
Health Advocacy Consultant
Freehold, NJ
Judith Much, MSN, RN, CS, AOCN
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
Susan Orkand Cohen, MA, ADTR,CCLS
Tomorrows Children's Institute
Hackensack, NJ
Kathleen Neville, PhD, RN
Kean University
Union, NJ


New Jersey Pediatric Hematology Oncology Network

Chair: Peri Kamalakar, MD Linda Ader, MSW Frederick C. Braun, Jr., MD
  Burton Appel, MD Ann Zanelli, RN
Mary Ann Bonilla, MD Joel A. Brockstein, MD Overlook Hospital
Susan Murphy, MD Hope Castoria, RN, BS, CPON Summit, NJ
Ann G. Nepo, MD Mary Connell, CRA  
Richard Sills, MD Carlie Cord, RN, BS, CPON Christine Call-Sternberg, MAT, MTC
Brenda C. Sison, MD Steven Diamond, MD Richard Drachtman, MD
Saint Barnabas Medical Center Lucia Figueroa, MSW Sunanda Gaur, MD
Livingston, NJ Frances Flug, MD Cathy Lepnoitis, RN
  Alfred Gillio, MD David Mandelbaum, MD
Barry L. Barnoski, PhD Laura Goode, RN, RNC Renee Nigam, MD
Rod J. Herrera, LCSW, MSW Steven Halpern, MD Joan Rubin, CPON, CRA
J. Phil McCoy, PhD Michael B. Harris, MD Priscilla Scheiner, ACSW
W. Roy Overton, PhD Emy Hyans, MA, SW Robert Wood Johnson
Steven Paul, MD Ellen Mass, RN, MSN University Hospital
Digna Quiles, LPN, CCRA Sherri Mayans, RN, MSN New Brunswick, NJ
Cooper Hospital/University Med. Ctr Noreen Quinlan, RN, MA, CPNP, CPON  
Camden, NJ Tracey Rojek, RN, CNS Margarat Materson, MD
  Beverly R. Ryan, MD Maureen Mazzaccaro, RN, MS
Wondwesson Bekele, MD Annette Sinski, RN, CNS Peter Y. Ho, MD
Ann Marie DeMarco, CPNP Carol Smyth, RN, MS, OCN, CPON Jersey Shore Medical Center
Shari Feinberg, RN, CRA Judy Solomon, MSW, MPH Neptune, NJ
Pauline Garcia, CSW Cindy S. Steele, MD  
Peri Kamalakar, MD Gary A. Walco, PhD Lawrence J. Ettinger, MD
Kevin McSherry, MD Tomorrows Children's Institute Alice Renick-Ettinger, RN, CPNP
Carina Rodgriquez, RN Hackensack, NJ St. Peter's University Medical Center
Edward Schultz, PhD    
Stacee Springer, MSW Justiniano F. Bagtas, MD Dona Schneider, PhD, MPH
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Wondwesson Bekele, MD Rutgers, The State University
Newark, NJ Linda Ficher-Hopkins, LCSW New Brunswick, NJ
  Peri Kamalakar, MD  
Barbara H. Greenbaum, MD Christine Kurtz, PNP Ann Marie Hill, MBA
Lateefah T. Hayes, CSW Joanne Szymanski, RN, CPON NJ Commission on Cancer Research
Susan F. Travis, MD Monmouth Medical Center Trenton, NJ
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Specialty Center
Voorhees, NJ
Long Branch, NJ  


Prostate Cancer Research Advisory Group

Chair: Robert DiPaola, MD
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
Thea Greco
Patient Advocate
Roseland, NJ
Don Reed
Patient Advocate
Hopewell, NJ
H. Robert Carter
Patient Advocate
Little Silver, NJ
Christopher Koprowski, MD
Cooper Health System
Camden, NJ
George Rhoads, MD, MPH
Piscataway, NJ
Keith DaCosta
No Barriers Home Care Service
West Orange, NJ
Stuart Leitner, MD
Saint Barnabas Health Care System
Livingston, NJ
Terry Roe
US Too!
Martinsville, NJ
Peter Doherty
Patient Advocate
Morristown, NJ
Michael Perrotti, MD
New Brunswick, NJ
Cory Abate Shen, PhD
Piscataway, NJ


2001: Planning for the Future

The Commission, and its advisory groups will be working on the following projects/programs in the coming year:

Prostate Cancer Research Summit
April 4, 2001 Woodbridge Hilton

Release of 2001-2002 NJCCR grants and fellowships, April, 2001.

Release of 2001-2002 Breast Cancer Research Fund Awards, April, 2001.

"The 2001 Annual Retreat on Cancer Research in New Jersey"
April 25, 2001 at the Princeton Marriott, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton, New Jersey in co-sponsorship with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Sharing Perspectives Series
Public Workshop - Fall 2001