Patients and advocacy groups boost adrenal cancer research

Latest advances subject of international symposium in Ann Arbor

Adrenal cancer

Visualizing new potential targets in ACC. This fluorescence microscopy image shows expression of ZNRF3 (green) in the normal mouse adrenal gland. Collaborative research efforts, including The Cancer Genome Atlas project, have recently mapped the genetic landscape of human ACC tumors and identified ZNRF3 as one of the most commonly altered genes in ACC. Image courtesy of Kaitlin Basham, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow (Hammer Laboratory) and Heather Rose Kornick Adrenocortical Cancer Research Scholar

 

mCancerPartner sat down with Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Endocrine Oncology Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, to discuss the program’s most recent developments in adrenal cancer research and patient care.

mCancerPartner: Why is collaboration so important in treating adrenal cancer?

Dr. Hammer: Adrenal cancer, or ACC, is very rare, with less than a thousand people diagnosed with it each year in the United States. In adults, it is most often diagnosed at an advanced stage, so for many, the prognosis is dismal. Collaboration is essential because no one hospital sees enough of these patients to advance research or clinical care. Continue reading

Looking for help for Heather Kornick

Heather Kornick

Heather Rose Kornick

In the early hours of June 2008, Helen Kornick surfed the Web to find help for her daughter Heather, who had recently been diagnosed with adrenal cancer. The 20-year old was originally misdiagnosed and left untreated for a year and a half. Now, the cancer had metastasized and her mother was desperate for information.

On a website where patients, caregivers and medical professionals share information about this devastating disease, Helen posted Heather’s story. Almost immediately, she received an e-mail from Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Endocrine Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“He left his phone number and said to call him immediately,” Helen recalls. “It was 6:30 in the morning.” Continue reading

U.S. Senate commemorates National Cancer Act

Betsy de Parry

Betsy de Parry

Betsy de Parry, a contributor to mCancerTalk, posted an interesting column on a Senate resolution commemorating the 40th anniversary of National Cancer Act. Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., Millie Schembechler Professor of Adrenal Cancer and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Endocrine Oncology Program, played a key role in drafting language in the resolution related to rare cancers. Take a look at what Betsy has to say about the resolution at AnnArbor.com.