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Please note: This article is part of the Cancer Center's News Archive and is here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.

Michigan Oncology Journal Spring 1999

Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center


From the Editor

The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program

Psycho-Oncology Program: Providing Better Emotional Care

Bone Metastasis: Approaching an Old Problem in a New Way

Of Interest - New Staff

Of Interest - Clinical Trials and Clinical Services


Laurence H. Baker, D.O.
Deputy Director and
Director for Clinical Research
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Assistant Editor
Maria McKinney White
Marketing and Public Relations
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Michigan Oncology Journal
Copyright ©1999
University of Michigan
Comprehensive Cancer Center

From the Editor

The good news is that the incidence of cancer and the resultant mortality has finally begun to decrease in the United States. The recent Tour De France race won by Lance Armstrong - as he won the big race against cancer - again illustrates these successes. Yet still too many patients continue the struggle. Our challenge is to develop new mechanisms to deal with the problems of patients and their families. This issue of the Michigan Oncology Journal describes three new initiatives of our Cancer Center that have been developed over the past year. All three initiatives are multidisciplinary, and all three have very capable and committed leadership. While these three problems are actually quite common among patients with cancer, each has been poorly addressed in our region and indeed in the United States.

Greg Kalemkerian, M.D., is a new faculty member to the University of Michigan. Greg and Mark Orringer are the co-directors of our Thoracic Oncology Program, and Greg has led the development of a multidisciplinary lung cancer clinic. This initiative is closely patterned after the successful lung cancer clinic developed at Harper Hospital in Detroit by Manuel Valdivieso, M.D. Greg has identified a team of outstanding clinicians and scientists and will offer state-of-the-art comprehensive care to patients with known or suspected lung cancer. Importantly, they are developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that will benefit lung cancer patients today and in the future.

Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., is the leader of our new initiative in Psycho-Oncology. The goal of this program is to provide an infrastructure to deliver better emotional care to patients and their families. Depression, anxiety and adjustment problems are common in patients with cancer and their family members. Sometimes cancer treatments such as tamoxifen and interferon will directly cause depression. A new research initiative of this program will explore interferon-induced depression by studying the inter-relationship of emotional distress and interferon levels, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine circulating levels. Portions of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines developed by Dr. Riba and others to screen for and evaluate emotional distress in patients are also included in this report.

Patients with cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and kidney, as well as those with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, sometimes share a common pathway in developing bone metastasis. Often, the clinical manifestations of this metastasis can be severe and debilitating. Yet, only once before (M.D. Anderson Tumor Institute, Houston, Texas) has there been a unified attempt to better diagnose and treat these patients. J. Sybil Biermann, M.D., has led a University of Michigan initiative to form a multidisciplinary clinic to generate concise, comprehensive and complete treatment plans for patients with symptomatic bone metastasis. The intent of this clinic is to provide consultation to oncologists throughout the region so as to improve the quality of care and provide treatment options for patients with bone metastasis by improving pain symptom management and reducing or relieving functional disabilities.

It's been fun for me to watch the development of these new activities. I am confident that each will make an important contribution in our struggle against cancer.

Laurence H. Baker, D.O.

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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.