Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center panel to speak at the Vail Symposium, July 30 | VailDaily.com

Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center panel to speak at the Vail Symposium, July 30

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EDWARDS — The conquest of cancer through innovation and collaboration is the mission of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, an internationally recognized leader in researching and developing future cancer treatments.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, five Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists, moderated by Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh, of Shaw Regional Cancer Center, will discuss precisely what is on the horizon in terms of cancer prevention, screening and treatments.

"Cancer as a disease has, in some way, touched everyone," said Dale Mosier, chairman of the Vail Symposium Board of Directors. "The objective of these two sessions is to provide an understanding of many of the highly technical aspects of leading-edge cancer research and practices."

Meet the moderator

Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh — In 2001, Hardenbergh moved to Vail, where she became instrumental in building the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Her vision directed the development of Shaw's multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. She also helped develop Shaw's "Spirit of Survival," a comprehensive nutrition, fitness and wellness program for survivorship.

In 2010, Hardernbergh became the recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Improving Cancer Care Grant funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The $1.35 million grant, the largest ever in the history of the Foundation Grants and Awards Program, helps bridge the gap between small rural practices and the rapidly advancing technology utilized in larger group practices.

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"We are thrilled to have Dr. Hardenbergh moderate this program," Mosier said. "She understands that the topic can become complex, and she will help explain some of the more technical aspects of the discussion."

MEET THE PRESENTERS

Dr. Theodore S. Lawrence, director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center — In addition to leading more than 400 faculty members, Lawrence directs a laboratory that focuses on chemotherapeutic and molecularly targeted radiosensitizers.

His clinical research combines these laboratory studies with conformal radiation guided by metabolic and functional imaging to treat patients with pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr. Gary Hammer, director of Endocrinology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center — Hammer holds the Millie Schembechler Professorship in Adrenal Cancer. His laboratory has focused on defining stem and progenitor cells and critical signaling and transcriptional programs that dictate cell fate, self-renewal and multi potency in health and disease.

He focuses on directing landmark genetic and genomic studies in adrenal neoplasia; and leveraging critical cellular pathways to launch ongoing international clinical adrenal trials with newly developed targeted therapeutics.

Dr. Michael Sabel, chief of surgical oncology — Sabel is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery. Sabel's research interests focus on the immune response to cancer cell death, particularly after cryoablation (freezing) of cancer, and he is considered an expert in the field of cryo-immunology.

In addition to his clinical and basic science interests, Sabel has strong clinical interests in the use of mobile technologies to improve patient-physician communication and improve outcomes. He is the creator of two present apps; UMSkinCheck for self-skin exam and early melanoma detection, and BreastCancerAlly, a mobile patient navigator app for patients with breast cancer.

Judy Sebolt-Leopold, Ph.D., co-director of Experimental Therapeutics Program — Sebolt-Leopold is a principal investigator in the Translational Oncology Program, where her laboratory is focused on the design of combination therapies targeting KRAS mutant cancers. Sebolt-Leopold's team was recruited by the Center for Molecular Imaging as part of an effort to design and develop small molecules to be used for the early diagnosis of cancer.

Dr. Thomas Wang, physician scientist — Wang has pioneered the use of fluorescence-labeled peptides to detect overexpressed cell surface targets in vivo to identify pre-malignant mucosa.

Wang has developed the first video endoscope that is sensitive to fluorescence for rapidly identifying pre-malignant lesions over large mucosal surface areas. This approach has been patented, commercialized and developed for clinical use and is widely cited as a major impetus for the accelerated convergence of fluorescence spectroscopy and endoscopy.

If you go …

What: “To Cure Cancer: How Science and Medicine are Battling the World’s Most Deadly Disease,” with University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center doctors.

When: Saturday, July 30; Session 1 from 10 a.m. to noon, and Session 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Battle Mountain High School, 151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards.

Cost: $65 includes both sessions and lunch, each session available separately for $35.

More information: Visit vailsymposium.org or call 970-476-0954 to register.