2011 SGO Annual Meeting: Ovarian Cancer Abstracts Selected For Presentation

The March 2011 supplemental issue of Gynecologic Oncology sets forth the ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer-related medical abstracts selected by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists for presentation at its 42nd Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer™, which is being held in Orlando, Florida from March 6-9, 2011.

The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) is hosting its 42nd Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer™ (March 6–9, 2011) in Orlando, Florida. The SGO Annual Meeting attracts more than 1,700 gynecologic oncologists and other health professional from around the world.

In connection with this premier gynecologic cancer event, 651 abstracts, and 27 surgical films were submitted for consideration. After careful discussion and deliberation, the SGO selected 51 abstracts for oral presentation (27 Plenary session papers, 24 Focused Plenary papers, and 42 Featured Posters, presented in a new, electronic format), along with 227 for poster presentation. Of the 27 surgical films originally submitted, five films were selected for presentation during a featured Focused Plenary session.

The ovarian cancer abstracts listed below were obtained from the March 2011 supplemental issue of Gynecologic Oncology. Each abstract bears the number that it was assigned in the Gynecologic Oncology journal table of contents.

Please note that we provide below (under the heading “Additional Information”) Adobe Reader PDF copies of the 2011 SGO Annual Meeting program summary and the medical abstract booklet (includes all gynecologic cancer topics). If you require a free copy of the Adobe Reader software, please visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/.

For your convenience, we listed the 2011 SGO Annual Meeting ovarian cancer abstracts under the following subject matter headings:  (1) ovarian cancer symptoms, (2) ovarian cancer screening, (3) pathology, (4) ovarian cancer staging, (5) chemotherapy, (6) diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, (7) clinical trial drugs and results, (8) hereditary breast & ovarian cancer syndrome (BRCA gene deficiencies & Lynch Syndrome), (9) gynecologic practice, (10) gynecologic surgery, (11) genetic/molecular profiling, (12) immunotherapy, (13) medical imaging, (14) preclinical studies – general, (15) preclinical studies – potential therapeutic targets, (16) palliative and supportive care, (17) rare ovarian cancers, (18) survival data, (19) survivorship, (20) other, (21) late breaking abstracts.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

142. Utility of symptom index in women at increased risk for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #140)

184. Symptom-triggered screening for ovarian cancer: A pilot study of feasibility and acceptability. (SGO Abstract #182)

187. Women without ovarian cancer reporting disease-specific symptoms. (SGO Abstract #185)

Ovarian Cancer Screening

12. Ovarian cancer: Predictors of primary care physicians’ referral to gynecologic oncologists. (SGO Abstract #10)

84. Long-term survival of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer detected by sonographic screening. (SGO Abstract #82)

90. Significant endometrial pathology detected during a transvaginal ultrasound screening trial for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #88)

109. Detection of the tissue-derived biomarker peroxiredoxin 1 in serum of patients with ovarian cancer: A biomarker feasibility study. (SGO Abstract #107)

113. Epithelial ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment is a favorable biomarker resource. (SGO Abstract #111)

127. Stop and smell the volatile organic compounds: A novel breath-based bioassay for detection of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #125)

144. Incidental gynecologic FDG-PET/CT findings in women with a history of breast cancer. (SGO Abstract #142)

156. Discovery of novel monoclonal antibodies (MC1–MC6) to detect ovarian cancer in serum and differentiate it from benign tumors. (SGO Abstract #154)

158. Evaluation of the risk of ovarian malignancy algorithm (ROMA) in women with a pelvic mass presenting to general gynecologists. (SGO Abstract #156)

162. Human epididymis protein 4 increases specificity for the detection of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer in premenopausal women presenting with an adnexal mass. (SGO Abstract #160)

163. Identification of biomarkers to improve specificity in preoperative assessment of ovarian tumor for risk of cancer. (SGO Abstract #161)

171. OVA1 has high sensitivity in identifying ovarian malignancy compared with preoperative assessment and CA-125. (SGO Abstract #169)

172. OVA1 improves the sensitivity of the ACOG referral guidelines for an ovarian mass. (SGO Abstract #170)

182. Sonographic predictors of ovarian malignancy. (SGO Abstract #180)

237. Management of complex pelvic masses using the OVA1 test: A decision analysis. (SGO Abstract #235)

241. Three-dimensional power doppler angiography as a three-step technique for differential diagnosis of adnexal masses: A prospective study. (SGO Abstract #239)

Pathology

145. Accuracy of frozen-section diagnosis of ovarian borderline tumor. (SGO Abstract #143)

Ovarian Cancer Staging

31. Should stage IIIC ovarian cancer be further stratified by intraperitoneal versus retroperitoneal-only disease? A Gynecologic Oncology Group study. (SGO Abstract #29)

173. Peritoneal staging biopsies in early-stage ovarian cancer: Are they necessary? (SGO Abstract #171)

Chemotherapy

29. Treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in patients with ovarian cancer: Does the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents worsen survival? (SGO Abstract #27)

69. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy for recurrent ovarian cancer appears efficacious with high completion rates and low complications. (SGO Abstract #67)

174. Predictors of severe and febrile neutropenia during primary chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #172)

177. Sequencing of therapy and outcomes associated with use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer in the Medicare population. (SGO Abstract #175)

179. Should we treat patients with ovarian cancer with positive retroperitoneal lymph nodes with intraperitoneal chemotherapy? Impact of lymph node status in women undergoing intraperitoneal chemotherapy. (SGO Abstract #177)

229. Predictors and effects of reduced relative dose intensity in women receiving their primary course of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #227)

Diagnostic & Prognostic Biomarkers

128. Stress and the metastatic switch in epithelial ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #126)

130. The cytoskeletal gateway for tumor aggressiveness in ovarian cancer is driven by class III β-tubulin. (SGO Abstract #128)

134. True blood: Platelets as a biomarker of ovarian cancer recurrence. (SGO Abstract #132)

148. CA-125 changes can predict optimal interval cytoreduction in patients with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. (SGO Abstract #146)

149. CA-125 surveillance for women with ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers: What do survivors think? (SGO Abstract #147)

150. Calretinin as a prognostic indicator in granulosa cell tumor. (SGO Abstract #148)

135. Tumor expression of the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor is an independent prognostic factor in epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #133)

147. C-terminal binding protein 2: A potential marker for response to histone deacetylase inhibitors in epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #145)

157. Elevated serum adiponectin levels correlate with survival in epithelial ovarian cancers. (SGO Abstract #155)

175. Prognostic impact of prechemotherapy HE4 and CA-125 levels in patients with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #175)

178. Serum HE4 level is an independent risk factor of surgical outcome and prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #176)

Clinical Trial Drugs & Results

8. MicroRNA as a novel predictor of response to bevacizumab in recurrent serous ovarian cancer: An analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas. (SGO Abstract #6)

9. Prospective investigation of risk factors for gastrointestinal adverse events in a phase III randomized trial of bevacizumab in first-line therapy of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer or fallopian tube cancer: A Gynecologic Oncology Group study. (SGO Abstract #7)

10. First in human trial of the poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase inhibitor MK-4827 in patients with advanced cancer with antitumor activity in BRCA-deficient and sporadic ovarian cancers.  (SGO Abstract #8)

30. An economic analysis of intravenous carboplatin plus dose-dense weekly paclitaxel versus intravenous carboplatin plus every three-weeks paclitaxel in the upfront treatment of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #28)

51. BRCA1-deficient tumors demonstrate enhanced cytotoxicity and T-cell recruitment following doxil treatment. (SGO Abstract #49)

54. A novel combination of a MEK inhibitor and fulvestrant shows synergistic antitumor activity in estrogen receptor-positive ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #52)

68. An economic analysis of bevacizumab in recurrent treatment of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #66)

71. A phase II study of gemcitabine, carboplatin and bevacizumab for the treatment of platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #69)

72. A phase I clinical trial of a novel infectivity-enhanced suicide gene adenovirus with gene transfer imaging capacity in patients with recurrent gynecologic cancer. (SGO Abstract #70)

73. A phase I study of a novel lipopolymer-based interleukin-12 gene therapeutic in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #71)

74. AMG 386 combined with either pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan in patients with advanced ovarian cancer: Results from a phase Ib study. (SGO Abstract #72)

86. Pressure to respond: Hypertension predicts clinical benefit from bevacizumab in recurrent ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #84)

152. Changes in tumor blood flow as estimated by dynamic-contrast MRI may predict activity of single-agent bevacizumab in recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer: An exploratory analysis of a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II trial. (SGO Abstract #150)

153. Comparing overall survival in patients with epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer who received chemotherapy alone versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by delayed primary debulking. (SGO Abstract #151)

154. Consolidation paclitaxel is more cost-effective than bevacizumab following upfront treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #152)

193. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin with bevacizumab in the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer: Toxicity profile results. (SGO Abstract #191)

194. Phase II Trial of docetaxel and bevacizumab in recurrent ovarian cancer within 12 months of prior platinum-based chemotherapy. (SGO Abstract #192)

195. A phase I/II trial of IDD-6, an autologous dendritic cell vaccine for women with advanced ovarian cancer in remission. (SGO Abstract #193)

183. STAC: A phase II study of carboplatin/paclitaxel/bevacizumab followed by randomization to either bevacizumab alone or erlotinib and bevacizumab in the upfront management of patients with ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer. (SGO Abstract #181)

228. Is it more cost-effective to use bevacizumab in the primary treatment setting or at recurrence? An economic analysis. (SGO Abstract #226)

240. The use of bevacizumab and cytotoxic and consolidation chemotherapy for the upfront treatment of advanced ovarian cancer: Practice patterns among medical and gynecologic oncology SGO members. (SGO Abstract #238)

Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (BRCA gene deficiencies & Lynch Syndrome)

39. BRCAness profile of ovarian cancer predicts disease recurrence. (SGO Abstract #37)

52. A history of breast carcinoma predicts worse survival in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers with ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #52)

137. Does genetic counseling for women at high risk of harboring a deleterious BRCA mutation alter risk-reduction strategies and cancer surveillance behaviors? (SGO Abstract #135)

138. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome based on family history alone and implications for patients with serous carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #138)

139. Management and clinical outcomes of women with BRCA1/2 mutations found to have occult cancers at the time of risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy. (SGO Abstract #137)

141. The impact of BRCA testing on surgical treatment decisions for patients with breast cancer. (SGO Abstract #139)

136. Compliance with recommended genetic counseling for Lynch syndrome: Room for improvement. (SGO Abstract #134)

Gynecologic Practice

81. Availability of gynecologic oncologists for ovarian cancer care. (SGO Abstract #79)

Gynecologic Surgery

19. Single-port paraaortic lymph node dissection. (SGO Abstract #17)

20. Robotic nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy type C1. (SGO Abstract #18)

21. Urinary reconstruction after pelvic exenteration: Modified Indiana pouch. (SGO Abstract #19)

22. Intrathoracic cytoreductive surgery by video-assisted thoracic surgery in advanced ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #20)

26. Cost comparison of strategies for the management of venous thromboembolic event risk following laparotomy for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #24)

28. Primary debulking surgery versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy in stage IV ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #26)

33. Does the bedside assistant matter in robotic surgery: An analysis of patient outcomes in gynecologic oncology. (SGO Abstract #31)

48. Defining the limits of radical cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #46)

87. Prognostic impact of lymphadenectomy in clinically early-stage ovarian malignant germ cell tumor. (SGO Abstract #85)

93. Secondary cytoreductive surgery: A key tool in the management of recurrent ovarian sex cord–stromal tumors. (SGO Abstract #91)

146. Advanced-stage ovarian cancer metastases to sigmoid colon mesenteric lymph nodes: Clinical consideration of tumor spread and biologic behavior. (SGO Abstract #144)

155. Cytoreductive surgery for serous ovarian cancer in patients 75 years and older. (SGO Abstract #153)

168. Intraperitoneal catheters placed at the time of bowel surgery: A review of complications. (SGO Abstract #166)

169. Laparoscopic versus laparotomic surgical staging for early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #167)

170. Oncologic and reproductive outcomes of cystectomy compared with oophorectomy as treatment for borderline ovarian tumor. (SGO Abstract #168)

180. Significance of perioperative infectious disease in patients with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #178)

185. The feasibility of mediastinal lymphadenectomy in the management of advanced and recurrent ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #183)

235. Incidence of venous thromboembolism after robotic surgery for gynecologic malignancy: Is dual prophylaxis necessary? (SGO Abstract #233)

286. Charlson’s index: A validation study to predict surgical adverse events in gynecologic oncology. (SGO Abstract #284)

288. Cost-effectiveness of extended postoperative venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in gynecologic pncology patients. (SGO Abstract #286)

302. Integration of and training for robot-assisted surgery in a gynecologic oncology fellowship program. (SGO Abstract #300)

303. Outcomes of patients with gynecologic malignancies undergoing video-assisted thorascopic surgery and pleurodesis for malignant pleural effusion. (SGO Abstract #301)

304. Perioperative and pathologic outcomes following robot-assisted laparoscopic versus abdominal management of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #302)

307. Predictive risk factors for prolonged hospitalizations after gynecologic laparoscopic surgery. (SGO Abstract #305)

309. Robot-assisted surgery for gynecologic cancer: A systematic review. (SGO Abstract #307)

310. Robotic radical hysterectomy: Extent of tumor resection and operative outcomes compared with laparoscopy and exploratory laparotomy. (SGO Abstract #308)

315. Utilization of specialized postoperative services in a comprehensive surgical cytoreduction program. (SGO Abstract #313)

Genetic/Molecular Profiling

5. A 3’ UTR KRAS variant as a biomarker of poor outcome and chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #3)

15. XPC single-nucleotide polymorphisms correlate with prolonged progression-free survival in advanced ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #13)

16. Genomewide methylation analyses reveal a prominent role of HINF1 network genes, via hypomethylation, in ovarian clear cell carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #14)

49. Loss of ARID1A is a frequent event in clear cell and endometrioid ovarian cancers. (SGO Abstract #47)

53. Genetic variants in the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway as predictors of clinical response and survival in women with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #51)

55. BAD apoptosis pathway expression and survival from cancer. (SGO Abstract #53)

59. Molecular profiling of advanced pelvic serous carcinoma associated with serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #57)

82. Biologic roles of tumor and endothelial delta-like ligand 4 in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #80)

85. MicroRNA 101 inhibits ovarian cancer xenografts by relieving the chromatin-mediated transcriptional repression of p21waf1/cip1. (SGO Abstract #83)

102. Association between global DNA hypomethylation in leukocytes and risk of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #100)

103. Cisplatin, carboplatin, and paclitaxel: Unique and common pathways that underlie ovarian cancer response. (SGO Abstract #101)

106. Comparison of mTOR and HIF pathway alterations in the clear cell carcinoma variant of kidney, ovary and endometrium. (SGO Abstract #104)

107. Concordant gene expression profiles in matched primary and recurrent serous ovarian cancers predict platinum response. (SGO Abstract #105)

111. Differential microRNA expression in cis-platinum-resistant versus -sensitive ovarian cancer cell lines. (SGO Abstract #109)

112. DNA methylation markers associated with serous ovarian cancer subtypes. (SGO Abstract #110)

118. MicroRNA and messenger RNA pathways associated with ovarian cancer cell sensitivity to topotecan, gemcitabine and doxorubicin. (SGO Abstract #116)

119. Molecular profiling of patients with curatively treated advanced serous ovarian carcinoma from The Cancer Genome Atlas. (SGO Abstract #117)

125. Proteomic analysis demonstrates that BRCA1-deficient epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines activate alternative pathways following exposure to cisplatin. (SGO Abstract #123)

132. The tumor suppressor KLF6, lost in a majority of ovarian cancer cases, represses VEGF expression levels. (SGO Abstract #130)

126. Quantitative PCR array identification of microRNA clusters associated with epithelial ovarian cancer chemoresistance. (SGO Abstract #124)

160. Genes functionally regulated by methylation in ovarian cancer are involved in cell proliferation, development and morphogenesis. (SGO Abstract #158)

181. Single-nucleotide polymorphism in DNA repair and drug resistance genes alone or in combination in epithelail ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #179)

278. Expression patterns of p53 and p21 cell cycle regulators and clinical outcome in women with pure gynecologic sarcomas. (SGO Abstract #276)

Immunotherapy

98. Ab-IL2 fusion proteins mediate NK cell immune synapse formation in epithelial ovarian cancer by polarizing CD25 to the target cell–effector cell interface. (SGO Abstract #96)

124. Proteasome inhibition increases death receptors and decreases major histocompatibility complex I expression: Pathways to exploit in natural killer cell immunotherapy. (SGO Abstract #122)

Medical Imaging

164. Impact of FDG-PET in suspected recurrent ovarian cancer and optimization of patient selection for cytoreductive surgery. (SGO Abstract #162)

294. The clinical and financial implications of MRI of pelvic masses. (SGO Abstract #292)

Preclinical Studies

11. A unique microRNA locus at 19q13.41 sensitizes epithelial ovarian cancers to chemotherapy. (SGO Abstract #9)

14. Common single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the BNC2, HOXD1 and MERIT40 regions contribute significantly to racial differences in ovarian cancer incidence. (SGO Abstract #12)

46. Development of a preclinical serous ovarian cancer mouse model. (SGO Abstract #44)

56. Examination of matched primary and recurrent ovarian cancer specimens supports the cancer stem cell hypothesis. (SGO Abstract #54)

58. Modeling of early events in serous carcinogenesis: Molecular prerequisites for transformation of fallopian tube epithelial cells. (SGO Abstract #56)

101. Antiproliferative activity of a phenolic extract from a native Chilean Amaranthaceae plant in drug-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines. (SGO Abstract #99)

115. Identification and characterization of CD44+/CD24–ovarian cancer stem cell properties and their correlation with survival. (SGO Abstract #113)

Preclinical Studies – Potential Therapeutic Targets

57. Hypoxia-mediated activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in ovarian cancer: A novel therapeutic strategy using HO-3867, a STAT3 inhibitor (and novel curcumin analog). (SGO Abstract #55)

61. The ubiquitin ligase EDD mediates platinum resistance and is a target for therapy in epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #59)

97. A novel hedgehog pathway smoothened inhibitor (BMS-833923) demonstrates in vitro synergy with carboplatin in ovarian cancer cells. (SGO Abstract #95)

100. AMPK activation mimics glucose deprivation and induces cytotoxicity in ovarian cancer cells. (SGO Abstract #98)

104. Clinical significance of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) in the ovarian cancer microenvironment. (SGO Abstract #102)

105. Combined erbB/VEGFR blockade has improved anticancer activity over single-pathway inhibition in ovarian cancer in vivo. (SGO Abstract #103)

114. EZH2 expression correlates with increased angiogenesis in ovarian carcinoma. (SGO Abstract #112)

116. Induction of apoptosis in cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells by G-1, a specific agonist of the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor GPR30. (SGO Abstract #114)

120. Neuropilin-1 blockade in the tumor microenvironment reduces tumor growth. (SGO Abstract #118)

129. Targeting the hedgehog pathway reverses taxane resistance in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #127)

121. Ovarian cancer lymph node metastases express unique cellular structure and adhesion genes. (SGO Abstract #119)

122. Overexpression of fibroblast growth factor 1 and fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma: Correlation with survival and implications for therapeutic targeting. (SGO Abstract #120)

131. The pattern of H3K56 acetylation expression in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #129)

133. Thinking outside of the tumor: Targeting the ovarian cancer microenvironment. (SGO Abstract #131)

161. Horm-A domain-containing protein 1 (HORMAD1) and outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #159)

165. Influence of the novel histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat (LBH589) on the growth of ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #163)

166. Inhibition of stress-induced phosphoprotein 1 decreases proliferation of ovarian cancer cell lines. (SGO Abstract #164)

167. Insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 pathway signature correlates with adverse clinical outcome in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #165)

230. Therapeutic synergy and resensitization of drug-resistant ovarian carcinoma to cisplatin by HO-3867. (SGO Abstract #228)

Palliative & Supportive Care

159. Factors associated with hospice use in ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #226)

190. Age-related preferences regarding end-of-life care discussions among gynecologic oncology patients. (SGO Abstract #188)

192. Palliative care education in gynecologic oncology: A survey of the fellows. (SGO Abstract #190)

Rare Ovarian Cancers

151. Carcinosarcoma of the ovary: A case–control study. (SGO Abstract #149)

Survival Data

80. Ten-year relative survival for epithelial ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #78)

83. Impact of beta blockers on epithelial ovarian cancer survival. (SGO Abstract #81)

176. Revisiting the issue of race-related outcomes in patients with stage IIIC papillary serous ovarian cancer who receive similar treatment. (SGO Abstract #174)

186. The impact of diabetes on survival in women with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #184)

284. Survival following ovarian versus uterine carcinosarcoma. (SGO Abstract #282)

285. The unique natural history of mucinous tumors of the ovary. (SGO Abstract #283)

292. Stage IC ovarian cancer: Tumor rupture versus ovarian surface involvement. (SGO Abstract #290)

Survivorship

191. Menopausal symptoms and use of hormone replacement therapy: The gynecologic cancer survivors’ perspective. (SGO Abstract #189)

Other

4. From guidelines to the front line: Only a minority of the Medicare population with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer receive optimal therapy. (SGO Abstract #2)

32. Efficacy of influenza vaccination in women with ovarian cancer. (SGO Abstract #30)

91. Women with invasive gynecologic malignancies are more than 12 times as likely to commit suicide as are women in the general population. (SGO Abstract #89)

231. Attrition of first-time faculty in gynecologic oncology: Is there a difference between men and women? (SGO Abstract #229)

238. Relative impact of cost drivers on the increasing expense of inpatient gynecologic oncology care. (SGO Abstract #236)

Late-Breaking Abstracts

About Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO)

The SGO is a national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied healthcare professionals who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. Its purpose is to improve the care of women with gynecologic cancer by encouraging research, disseminating knowledge which will raise the standards of practice in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic malignancies, and cooperating with other organizations interested in women’s health care, oncology and related fields. The Society’s membership, totaling more than 1,400, is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, social workers and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and supportive care. More information on the SGO can be found at www.sgo.org.

About Gynecologic Oncologists

Gynecologic oncologists are physicians committed to the comprehensive treatment of women with cancer. After completing four years of medical school and four years of residency in obstetrics and gynecology, these physicians pursue an additional three to four years of training in gynecologic oncology through a rigorous fellowship program overseen by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Gynecologic oncologists are not only trained to be skilled surgeons capable of performing wide-ranging cancer operations, but they are also trained in prescribing the appropriate chemotherapy for those conditions and/or radiation therapy when indicated. Frequently, gynecologic oncologists are involved in research studies and clinical trials that are aimed at finding more effective and less toxic treatments to further advance the field and improve cure rates.

Studies on outcomes from gynecologic cancers demonstrate that women treated by a gynecologic oncologist have a better likelihood of prolonged survival compared to care rendered by non-specialists. Due to their extensive training and expertise, gynecologic oncologists often serve as the “team captain” who coordinates all aspects of a woman’s cancer care and recovery. Gynecologic oncologists understand the impact of cancer and its treatments on all aspects of women’s lives including future childbearing, sexuality, physical and emotional well-being—and the impact cancer can have on the patient’s whole family.

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Additional Information:


PBS Documentary, “The Whisper: The Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer.”

To raise ovarian cancer awareness, Long Island’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate WLIW-Channel 21 will present the exclusive New York metro area premiere of a half-hour television documentary entitled, “The Whisper: the silent crisis of ovarian cancer.” The program will debut at 7 P.M. (EDT) on Friday, September 24 in the New York metro area, and will be rolled out to other PBS affiliates across the country over the next 12 months.

More than 13,000 women this year will be struck down by ovarian cancer, which is the most lethal gynecologic cancer. Ovarian cancer statistics are staggering; nearly three out of every four women with this disease will die because of it. Chances of survival can improve if it is detected early and confined to the ovaries. Unfortunately, only about 25 percent of women are diagnosed with early stage disease because there is no reliable early stage screening test available. Victims of ovarian cancer include President Obama’s mother Ann Soetoro, Coretta Scott King and comedienne Gilda Radner.

To raise awareness of this devastating disease, Long Island’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate WLIW-Channel 21 will present the exclusive New York metro area premiere of a half-hour television documentary entitled, The Whisper: The Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer.  A preview trailer of the documentary is provided below.

The Whisper:  the silent crisis of ovarian cancer — PBS Documentary

The program will debut at 7 P.M. (EDT) on Friday, September 24, with encore presentations scheduled for 10:30 P.M. on Monday, September 27, and 11:30 P.M. on Friday, October 1. The program will be rolled out to other PBS affiliates across the country over the next 12 months.

The documentary was made possible by a generous grant from the Sonia L. Totino Foundation and the Rocco Totino family. Mr. Totino, a New York resident, lost his wife Sonia to ovarian cancer several years ago, and wished to honor her with an initiative that seeks to raise awareness among women of the warning signs of ovarian cancer, and by doing so, reduce the number of women lost to this devastating disease.

Sharon Blynn is the founder of Bald is Beautiful & the host of “The Whisper: the silent crisis of ovarian cancer” (a PBS documentary)

The host featured in the documentary is Sharon Blynn, who is an ovarian cancer survivor and the founder of the Bald Is Beautiful campaign. Through this campaign, Sharon wants to send a message to women that they can “flip the script” on the many traumatic aspects of the cancer experience, and embrace every part of their journey with self-love, empowerment, and a deep knowing that their beauty and femininity radiate from within and are not diminished in any way by the effects of having cancer.  As an “actorvist,” Sharon communicates the Bald Is Beautiful message through acting, writing, modeling and spokesperson appearances, and she continues to do patient outreach through one-on-one correspondence via her website, hospital visitations, being a chemo buddy and other such activities.

Other Bald Is Beautiful highlights include an international print campaign for the Kenneth Cole “We All Walk in Different Shoes” campaign, an international print and TV campaign for Bristol-Myers Squibb, appearances in “Sex and the City” and a principal role in Seal’s music video “Love’s Divine.” She has been featured in magazine and newspaper articles in Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire (US & Italia), Organic Style, BUST, the Miami Herald and other publications. Sharon has also performed onstage as part of the “Off the Muff” collective, and she was commissioned to write and perform her one-woman theatrical piece “How Are We Feeling Today?” which saw its world premiere in Los Angeles and was presented in New York City. A QuickTime video compilation of Sharon’s past projects can be viewed here.

Blynn was awarded the prestigious 2010 Lilly Tartikoff/Entertainment Industry Foundation Hope Award at the 2010 National Coalition for Cancer SurvivorshipRays of Hope Gala” held in Washington, D.C. Sharon has also been selected to be part of Lifetime Television Network’s Every Woman Counts “Remarkable Women” campaign, and will appear in a 30-second spot that will run the week of Sept 17–23, 2010.

The nationally-renowned ovarian cancer experts featured in the documentary include:

Barbara A. Goff, M.D., Professor, Gynecologic Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Goff is the principal investigator responsible for critical ovarian cancer research which revealed that ovarian cancer is generally accompanied by four primary warning signs or symptoms — bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).  Goff’s research became the foundation for the Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Consensus Statement, which was sponsored and co-authored by the American Cancer Society, Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, and Society of Gynecologic Oncologists in July 2007.

Beth Y. Karlan, M.D., Board of Governors Endowed Chair, Director, Women’s Cancer Research Institute and Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine ,University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Karlan is a world-renowned expert in the field of gynecologic oncology, specifically ovarian cancer surgery, early detection, targeted therapies and inherited cancer susceptibility. She is a past-president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, the Editor-in-Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, and has held many international leadership positions.  She is committed to both scientific advancement and enhancing public awareness about gynecologic cancers.

John Lovecchio, M.D., Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System; Leader of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the New York University School of Medicine.  Dr. Lovecchio’s major areas of research are in uterine and ovarian cancers, and he holds administrative and leadership positions in regional and national professional organizations and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Lovecchio is widely regarded as a leading physician-surgeon and has received numerous awards in recognition of his academic and professional achievements.  In the documentary, Dr. Lovecchio offers his insight on ways to combat this deadly form of cancer. He is also credited as the technical advisor for the documentary.

Maurie Markman, M.D., Vice President of Patient Oncology Services & National Director of Medical Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  For more than 20 years, Dr. Markman has been engaged in clinical research in the area of gynecologic malignancies, with a particular focus on new drug development and exploring novel management strategies in female pelvic cancers.  Dr. Markman’s many accomplishments include serving as Editor-In-Chief for the Current Oncology Reports journal and Oncology (Karger Publishers) journal, and serves as Chairman of the Medical Oncology Committee of the national Gynecologic Oncology Group.  In addition, Dr. Markman has served on numerous editorial boards, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology.  Dr. Markman has been the primary author, or co-author, on more than 1,000 published peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, book chapters, editorials or abstracts, and he has edited or co-edited 14 books on various topics in the management of malignant disease, including Atlas of Oncology and the most recent edition of Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology.

“Taking part in this program was a labor of love and concern for my patients,” said Dr. Lovecchio, who is based at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. “I wanted to make sure that women are getting the right information, and are aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. They must be alert to their own bodies and recognize that abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, urinary symptoms, difficulty in eating, and feeling full quickly may not be the norm.”

“I wanted to make sure that women are getting the right information, and are aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. They must be alert to their own bodies and recognize that abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, urinary symptoms, difficulty in eating, and feeling full quickly may not be the norm.”

— John Lovecchio, M.D., Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System

“Women should seek the advice of experts trained in this field and not think that they are being alarmists. Other medical experts and patients interviewed in this documentary are all seeking the same outcome — to make every woman aware of her own body and to encourage every woman to seek help if she feels that something is not quite right,” said Dr. Lovecchio, who was interviewed for the documentary along with Drs. Goff, Karlan, and Markman.

Source:  PBS Documentary on Ovarian Cancer, News Release, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, September 9, 2010.

FDA Clears Vermillion’s “OVA1” Test To Determine Likelihood of Ovarian Cancer In Women With Pelvic Mass

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a test that can help detect ovarian cancer in a pelvic mass that is already known to require surgery. The test, called OVA1, helps patients and health care professionals decide what type of surgery should be done and by whom.

First Lab Test That Can Indicate Ovarian Cancer Prior To Biopsy Or Exploratory Surgery

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the OVA1™ Test, the first blood test that, prior to surgery, can help physicians determine if a woman is at risk for a malignant pelvic mass. OVA1 is the first FDA-cleared laboratory test that can indicate the likelihood of ovarian cancer with high sensitivity prior to biopsy or exploratory surgery, even if radiological test results fail to indicate malignancy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the OVA1™ Test [formerly, the Ovarian Tumor Triage Test], the first blood test that, prior to surgery, can help physicians determine if a woman is at risk for a malignant pelvic mass. OVA1 is the first FDA-cleared laboratory test that can indicate the likelihood of ovarian cancer with high sensitivity prior to biopsy or exploratory surgery, even if radiological test results fail to indicate malignancy. The test was developed by Vermillion, Inc. (formerly, Ciphergen Biosystems, Inc. ), a molecular diagnostics company, in cooperation with Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of cancer diagnostics. Quest Diagnostics, which is a long-time investor in research and development of the OVA1 technology, has exclusive rights to offer the test to the clinical reference laboratory market in the U.S. for three years.

“When combined with other clinical information, the OVA1 biomarker panel can help assess the likelihood of malignancy of an ovarian tumor before surgery and facilitate decisions about referral to a gynecologic oncologist,” said Frederick R. Ueland, M.D., principal investigator of the prospective, multi-center OVA1 clinical trial. Dr. Ueland is an associate professor gynecologic oncology at the University of Kentucky‘s Markey Cancer Center.

The OVA1 Test is an in vitro diagnostic multivariate index [assay] (IVDMIA) test that combines the results of five immunoassays using a proprietary unique algorithm to produce a single numerical score indicating a women’s likelihood of malignancy. The OVA1 Test provides a new option in the pre-operative evaluation to help physicians assess if a pelvic mass is benign or malignant in order to help determine whether to refer a woman to a gynecologic oncologist for surgery. Numerous clinical practice guidelines recommend that women with ovarian cancer be under the care of a gynecologic oncologist. However, only an estimated one third of women who undergo surgery for possible ovarian cancer are referred to these specialist surgeons for their surgery.(1)

Vermillion received the Society for Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) Basic Science Poster Award for an abstract on the performance of its OVA1 Test presented at SGO’s 38th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in 2007. In reviewing the test application, the FDA evaluated results of a prospective, double-blind clinical trial which included 27 demographically mixed sites representative of institutions where ovarian tumor subjects may undergo a gynecological examination.

“Surgery in the hands of a gynecologic oncologist is usually associated with more favorable patient outcomes,” said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president, Quest Diagnostics. “Physicians often do not know if a woman’s pelvic mass is malignant or benign until she undergoes surgery. The OVA1 Test is the first FDA-cleared blood test to help clinicians determine whether to refer a woman to a gynecologic oncologist or have a gynecologic oncologist present at the time of surgery. We believe this test will help drive more favorable patient outcomes.”

“Unfortunately, advances in ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment are few and far between. It is fitting that September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, marks FDA’s clearance of OVA1, a test that represents an important step forward toward improved outcomes,” said Gail S. Page, executive chairperson of the board of directors of Vermillion. “Quest Diagnostics had the foresight to recognize the potential value of this novel multivariate assay and supported its development. We look forward to collaborating to bring this new diagnostic option to the many women who will benefit from specialist care.”

Ueland

"When combined with other clinical information, the OVA1 biomarker panel can help assess the likelihood of malignancy of an ovarian tumor before surgery and facilitate decisions about referral to a gynecologic oncologist," said Frederick R. Ueland, M.D., principal investigator of the prospective, multi-center OVA1 clinical trial. Dr. Ueland is an associate professor gynecologic oncology at the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center.

The FDA clearance of OVA1 makes Quest Diagnostics the only diagnostic testing company to offer FDA cleared tests for ovarian cancer in the pre- and post-surgical settings. In addition to offering the OVA1 Test, Quest Diagnostics was the first laboratory company to provide a new lab test that the FDA cleared in the third quarter of 2008 as an aid for monitoring for recurrence of epithelial ovarian cancer.

The OVA1 Test will be available for physician use in the fourth quarter of this year.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in women.(2) Approximately 21,600 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2009, and approximately 14,600 women will die of the disease.(3)

About the OVA1 Test

The OVA1 Test is a qualitative serum test that combines the results of five immunoassays into a single numerical score. It is indicated for women who meet the following criteria: over age 18, ovarian adnexal mass present for which surgery is planned, and not yet referred to an oncologist. The test utilizes five well-established biomarkers — Transthyretin (TT or prealbumin), Apolipoprotein A-1 (Apo A-1), Beta2-Microglobulin (Beta2M), Transferrin (Tfr) and Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125 II) — and a proprietary algorithm to determine the likelihood of malignancy in women with pelvic mass for whom surgery is planned.

The OVA1 Test is an aid to further assess the likelihood that malignancy is present when the physician’s independent clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate malignancy. The test should not be used without an independent clinical/radiological evaluation and is not intended to be a screening test or to determine whether a patient should proceed to surgery. Incorrect use of the OVA1 Test carries the risk of unnecessary testing, surgery, and/or delayed diagnosis.

About Vermillion

Vermillion, Inc. is dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel high-value diagnostic tests that help physicians diagnose, treat and improve outcomes for patients. Vermillion, along with its prestigious scientific collaborators, has diagnostic programs in oncology, hematology, cardiology and women’s health. Vermillion is based in Fremont, California. Additional information about Vermillion can be found on the Web at www.vermillion.com.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

(1) Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 98, No. 3, February 1, 2006

(2) Greenlee RT, Murray T, Bolden S, Wingo PA. Cancer statistics, 2000. CA Cancer J Clin. 2000;50(1):7-33

(3) 2009 American Cancer Society [Leading Sites of New Cancer Cases and Deaths—2009 Estimates]

Contacts:
Quest Diagnostics:
Media: Wendy Bost 973-520-2800
Investors: Kathleen Valentine 973-520-2900

Vermillion:
Jill Totenberg, he Totenberg Group Tel: 212 994 7363
jtotenberg@totenberggroup.com

Select FDA Comments:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today cleared a test that can help detect ovarian cancer in a pelvic mass that is already known to require surgery. The test, called OVA1, helps patients and health care professionals decide what type of surgery should be done and by whom.

OVA1 identifies some women who will benefit from referral to a gynecological oncologist for their surgery, despite negative results from other clinical and radiographic tests for ovarian cancer. If other test results suggest cancer, referral to an oncologist is appropriate even with a negative OVA1 result.

OVA1 should be used by primary care physicians or gynecologists as an adjunctive test to complement, not replace, other diagnostic and clinical procedures.

OVA1 uses a blood sample to test for levels of five proteins that change due to ovarian cancer. The test combines the five separate results into a single numerical score between 0 and 10 to indicate the likelihood that the pelvic mass is benign or malignant.

OVA1 is intended only for women, 18 years and older, who are already selected for surgery because of their pelvic mass. It is not intended for ovarian cancer screening or for a definitive diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Interpreting the test result requires knowledge of whether the woman is pre- or post-menopausal.

Sources:

Genetic Testing For Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancers Greatly Underutilized By High-Risk Women

A women’s lifetime breast cancer risk is approximately 13 percent, and her ovarian cancer risk is less than 2 percent.  But women with BRCA1 (BReast CAncer 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer 2) gene mutations may be 3 to 7 times more likely to develop breast cancer, and 9 to 30 times more likely to develop ovarian cancer, respectively, than women who do not possess such mutations. A recent report, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on May 20, 2009, states that genetic testing of high-risk women for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers is greatly underutilized.

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Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer Remain Relatively Stabile Over Time As Reported By High Risk Women

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported recently that symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be relatively stable over time for women who are at increased risk of ovarian cancer based upon family history of cancer or BRCA 1/2 gene mutation.

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The Rock Band “N.E.D.”: Their Medical Skills Save Many; Their Music Could Save Thousands

When spoken by a doctor, the medical term “N.E.D.” – No Evidence of Disease – is music to the ears of an ovarian cancer survivor.   A band of doctors, called “N.E.D.,” wants to be music to the ears of the general public when it comes to raising awareness about women’s cancers. …During the day, this eclectic group of highly skilled physicians perform under the bright lights of the operating room while caring for women who are battling gynecological cancers.  By night, these physicians turn into artists who play a mix of rock and alternative rock music to give a voice to the needs, struggles, and triumphs of their cancer patients. … Victor Hugo, the French author of the classic novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), once said, “music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  The band N.E.D. believes in the same principle when it comes to the promotion of gynecologic cancer awareness and education through music.  The N.E.D. band members will save many women’s lives throughout their medical careers; however, they could very well save thousands of lives through the educational cancer awareness message brought to light through their music.

Explanation of LOGO:Pink for breast cancer, yellow is the symbolic color for hope, teal for gyn cancer, the other three colors are just complimentary, but there are six colors total, one for each band member.

Explanation of the N.E.D. Logo: Pink for Breast Cancer, Yellow is the Symbolic Color for Hope, Teal for Gynecologic Cancer; the Remaining Three Colors are Just Complimentary, But There Are Six Colors Total, One for Each Band Member. (Photo Source: Motema Music)

When spoken by a doctor, the medical term “N.E.D.” – No Evidence of Disease – is music to the ears of an ovarian cancer survivor.   A band of doctors, called “N.E.D.,” wants to be music to the ears of the general public when it comes to raising awareness about women’s cancers.  Yes, you read that correctly, six gynecologic oncologists want to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and other women’s cancers through their music. During the day, this eclectic group of highly skilled physicians perform under the bright lights of the operating room while caring for women who are battling gynecological cancers.  By night, these physicians turn into artists who play a mix of rock and alternative rock music to give a voice to the needs, struggles, and triumphs of their cancer patients.

The members of N.E.D. are set forth below.

On drums and percussion as well as guitar is Nimesh P. Nagarsheth, Assistant Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York & Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey.

On lead guitar is William E. Winter, III, M.D., Northwest Cancer Specialists, Portland, Oregon.

On bass guitar, harmonica and vocals, William R. (Rusty) Robinson, M.D. FACS, FACOG. , Professor, Director of Clinical Research, Harrington Cancer Center, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Amarillo, Texas.

On guitar and lead vocals, John F. Boggess, M.D., Associate Professor, Fellowship Program Director, Gynecology Oncology, Director, Robotic Assisted Medicine Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

On lead vocals and guitar, Joanie Hope, M.D., Fellow, Gynecologic Oncology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

On guitar, John T. Soper, M.D., The Hendricks Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Backstory

Most of the N.E.D. band members played in musical groups during their youth. Nimesh Nagarsheth’s interest in music relates back to his college days. As a student at the University of Wisconsin, Nagarsheth focused on musical percussion study, but later, due to pragmatism, he refocused his concentration on medicine. “I saw many really talented peers who worked really hard and were not getting jobs as musicians.” “Music has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was a child,” said Nagarsheth,. “But to be honest with you, I didn’t really develop an interest in medicine until I went to college.”

While in medical school in Oregon, John Boggess played in a band with other medical students in the 1980s to earn rent money, and he developed a small following.  But, Boggess gave up musical pursuits to practice medicine.  Joanie Hope said that she has been musical since she was a child: “When I was in medical school, I wrote lots of songs with medical themes, because medicine is, after all, about people and their troubles. When I was in residency, I didn’t have time to do much with music, but now that I’ve found this band, I’m able to tap into my creative energy again.”  John Soper played in high school and college bands, and as an adult was a member of a local bluegrass group called Piney Mountain Boys, which split up in 1989.

Oddly enough, the creation of N.E.D. arose from an immediate need for entertainment at the 2008 annual meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO).  In short order, the six gynecologic oncologists met and rehearsed in preparation for the gig.  Notably, with the exception of John Soper and John Boggess, the band members never met, much less played together. They rehearsed one night, and performed the next. William Winter,  a band member, said he and his colleagues were game to play for their peers, but noted that “[n]one of us are known for our music.” As stated in the vernacular by John Soper, the goal “was to not suck.” Despite the band’s hasty creation and short preparation time, the doctors who attended the SGO meeting loved the band’s music and rocked out on Led Zeppelin and Allman Brothers Band songs. The band played the 30 or so classic covers that they rehearsed, and when the large crowd of doctors asked for more, the band performed the same songs again. “People were sticking around,” Winter said. “We didn’t get booed off the stage. We actually got asked to do some encores. We played everything we know. We had to replay songs.” Marsha Wilson, communications director for the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), said ” “Everybody went crazy. They were really good.”

After receiving positive feedback for its performance at the 2008 SGO Annual Meeting, N.E.D. went on to perform at the First National Gynecologic Cancer Symposium and played at Arlington National Cemetery in front of the memorial to military women who died in the line of duty. After several more successful gigs, the seeds were planted for a band that would be devoted entirely to raising gynecologic cancer awareness and funding for disease screening, clinical trials, and patient education.

The Band’s Mission of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness & Education

“Do you ever see the words gynecologic oncology in print?” asked John Boggess.  Boggess’ comment carries the underlying message that gynecological cancers are often overlooked, and reveals the overarching charitable mission of N.E.D. In a world where “me first” mentality is commonplace, and rock stars drive ultra-luxury sports cars, run with entourages, and make a habit of attending rehab, these multifaceted doctors simply want to raise the general public’s awareness about women’s cancers.  “We think that people need to understand about these diseases and the women who have them,” said John Boggess. “So anything that we can do outside of the surgery we do every day in the operating room and in the clinic, we find to be an incredible privilege.”

In 2008, several band members were asked about the future potential of N.E.D. as a vehicle for cancer awareness.  At that time, Joanie Hope stated that she wanted a future for the band that would “speak to people” through music. “I want people to listen to us at home so that our music and lyrics reflect what they are feeling if they have cancer, or someone they love does,” said Hope. Nimesh Nagarsheth responded, “I’d like us to make a CD.  We could sell them at concerts as a fundraising tool, and we could put educational inserts about women’s cancer inside the case.  Joanie [Hope] and I, as the ‘New York division of N.E.D.,’ have already written ten original songs, some with lyrics about cancer …”

Each original song written by the band was inspired by the doctors’ work with women’s cancers.  Joanie Hope wrote a song entitled, “Rhythm Heals,” which is intended to inspire her patients.  “It encompasses what we’re all about,” said Hope. “There are many ways to heal beyond what we do as doctors. My patients teach me that all the time.” Nimesh Nagarsheth wrote the song “Third-Person Reality” to address a doctor’s struggle to help patients dealing with cancer diagnoses.  “It’s tempting to remove yourself from the situation and be like a third person,” said Nagarsheth, “but we have to overcome that because our patients need us.”  The hard-rocking track “False Pretenses,” written by William Winter and sung by John Boggess, urges genuine communication when time is short due to a patient’s dire diagnosis.

Motéma Music & The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Take Interest

NED Group Picture

Meet The Band: (Bottom Row) John Boggess; (Center Row, left to right) Nimesh Nagarsheth, Joanie Hope, William Winter, William (Rusty) Robinson; (Top Row) John Soper. (Photo Source: N.E.D. Facebook Page)

The 2008 comments made by Joanie Hope and Nimesh Nagarsheth in regard to N.E.D.’s future were indeed prophetic. Shortly thereafter, the band landed a record deal with Motéma Music, a New York record label that features world music and jazz musicians.  Motéma artist K.J. Denhert is currently working with the band as a performance and songwriting coach. Mario McNulty, who has worked with David Bowie, Linkin’ Park and other classic rock bands, will produce the band’s first album.

N.E.D.’s first album is set for release in November 2009 during Gynecologic Cancer Month. Although the band wants to appeal to cancer patients and their families, William Winter said that they also want to reach others who may not be aware of the other types of cancers that afflict women. Winter’s hope is to “market it to anyone and everyone . . . and have them understand what goes on with women’s cancers, and the pain behind these things and what women feel and what cancer patients feel and go through.”

N.E.D. also receives support from the GCF.  GCF believes that N.E.D.’s efforts are consistent with its charitable and educational mission. In fact, the band will be featured as part of a GCF national campaign, the Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Movement, which is scheduled to kick off in November 2009 in Washington D.C.  Although the band has received support from GCF, additional monies are needed to fund the band’s CD recording and post-production costs. GCF is accepting donations and soliciting funds to support the production of the band’s first CD. Any future proceeds from the sale of the CD and live performances will be donated to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) whose mission is to educate the public about gynecologic cancers and support promising research.  You can help by making a donation to the GCF (marked with a designation for “N.E.D.”) through one of the methods provided below.

*          *          *          *

Online Contribution (Through the Network for Good):

CLICK HERE to donate now.

By Mail:

Mail your tax deductible contribution to:
The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation
230 W. Monroe, Suite 2528
Chicago, Il. 60606-4703
CLICK HERE for a donation form (Microsoft Word Document) to mail in with your contribution.

By Telephone:

Call GCF at 312-578-1439 and donate with a credit card

*          *          *          *

In addition to landing the Motéma record contract, N.E.D. has been invited to appear on “The Bonnie Hunt Show,” and is in discussions with CBS and ABC with respect to potential appearances on “The Early Show” and “Good Morning America,” respectively.  Also, the band hopes to obtain an audience with Oprah Winfrey.

Their Medical Skills Save Many; Their Music Could Save Thousands

The importance of N.E.D. and its mission to raise women’s cancer awareness is best understood through the eyes of a gynecologic cancer patient.  Samantha Hill, one of Nimesh Nagarsheth’s patients, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a young age.  Samantha says that when she learned that her doctor played in a rock band, she was not surprised. Hill emphasized that it is her greatest hope that N.E.D.’s message gets across to the general public.  “You’re 35 years old and you hear that you have cancer, and you’re in shock,” she recalls. “I felt that he [Nagarsheth] could relate and I think music is a very important tool.  And I think that specifically, ovarian cancer, there’s not much awareness and it’s really a silent killer.”

Victor Hugo, the French author of the classic novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), once said, “music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  The band N.E.D. believes in the same principle when it comes to promotion of gynecologic cancer awareness and education through music.  The N.E.D. band members will save many women’s lives throughout their medical careers; however, they could very well save thousands of lives through the educational cancer awareness message brought to light through their music.

N.E.D. Band Rehearsal 1, December 7, 2008  (Motema artist KJ Denhert working with the band)


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About Gynecologic Cancers & Gynecologic Oncologists

Gynecologic cancers originate in the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.  Every woman is at risk for developing a gynecologic cancer. It is estimated that there were approximately 78,000 new cases diagnosed, and approximately 28,000 deaths, from gynecologic cancers in the United States during 2008.

Gynecologic oncologists are physicians committed to the comprehensive treatment of women with cancer. After completing four years of medical school and four years of residency in obstetrics and gynecology, these physicians pursue an additional three to four years of training in gynecologic oncology through a rigorous fellowship program overseen by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Gynecologic oncologists are not only trained to be skilled surgeons capable of performing wide-ranging cancer operations, but they are also trained in prescribing the appropriate chemotherapy for those conditions and/or radiation therapy when indicated. Frequently, gynecologic oncologists are involved in research studies and clinical trials that are aimed at finding more effective and less toxic treatments to further advance the field and improve cure rates.  Studies on outcomes from gynecologic cancers, especially ovarian cancer, demonstrate that women treated by a gynecologic oncologist have a better likelihood of prolonged  survival compared to care rendered by non-specialists. Due to their extensive training and expertise, gynecologic oncologists often serve as the “team captain” who coordinates all aspects of a woman’s cancer care and recovery. Gynecologic oncologists understand the impact of cancer and its treatments on all aspects of women’s lives, including future childbearing, sexuality, physical and emotional well-being, and the impact cancer can have on the patient’s whole family.  But, there are only about 1,000 board-certified gynecologic oncologists in the United States.  Women may need to ask their primary care provider for referral to a gynecologic oncologist if a gynecologic cancer is suspected because not all physicians are aware of the practice scope of modern gynecologic oncologists. Women can find a gynecologic oncologist by going online to www.wcn.org and clicking on the find a doctor button. This simple step may be the first stride forward to long-term survivorship and cure.  It’s important to start gynecologic cancer care with the right team and a winning game plan.

About the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and proper treatment. In addition, GCF supports research and training related to gynecologic cancers. GCF advances this mission by increasing public and private funds that aid in the development and implementation of programs to meet these goals. For more information about GCF, its educational materials or research grants, please visit www.thegcf.org or contact GCF Headquarters by phone at 312-578-1439 or by e-mail at info@thegcf.org.  For additional information on gynecologic cancers or a referral to a gynecologic oncologist or a related specialist, please call the toll-free GCF Information Hotline at 800-444-4441.  For more information about women’s cancers, visit GCF’s Women’s Cancer Network Web site:  www.wcn.org. Log on for a confidential risk assessment to learn about your risk for developing gynecologic and breast cancers. Comprehensive information about each gynecologic cancer and breast cancer is available on the site. The site also provides the opportunity to locate a nearby gynecologic oncologist, a step women are urged to take if they suspect or have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer.

Primary Sources:

N.E.D. Band Bio, Artist Profile, Motéma Music.

N.E.D. on Facebook.

Doctor (and former Danbury resident) fights cancer with rock ‘n’ roll, by Brian Koonz, The News-Times, Mar. 16, 2009.

UNC doctor-rockers score record deal, by Allen Mask, M.D., News Video Story, WRAL.com, Feb. 5, 2009 (CLICK HERE to watch video)

Medicine Meets Music: Surgeons Form Unusual Rock Band, by Gillian Granoff, Education Update Online, Feb. 2009.

Album will benefit gynecological cancer causes, by Sarah Avery – Staff Writer, The News & Observer, Jan. 30, 2009.

Band of Doctors, English, Music, Videos, Franz Strasser Blog, Dec. 17, 2008 (video news story).

Cancer doc rocks out, lands contract, tour next?, By Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian, KATU.com, Dec. 12, 2008.

Cancer docs form rock ‘n’ roll band and land a record deal, by Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian, Dec. 9, 2008 (story includes free MP3 clip of the N.E.D. song “False Pretenses”)

Doctors Double As Rock Stars To Help Raise Cancer Awareness, by Kafi Drexel, NY1 News, Dec. 9, 2008 (including video news story).

All hail the rock docs!, by Bill Egbert, Health Section, Daily News, December 8, 2008.

GynOncs Rock at Society Meetings, Band Looks Forward to Bigger & Better Gigs, While Raising Awareness of Women’s Cancers, by Margot J. Fromer, Oncology Times, Aug. 14, 2008. [PDF Document].

2008 State of the State of Gynecologic Cancers, Sixth Annual Report to the Women of America, Gynecologic Cancer Foundation. [PDF Document]

Routine Screening for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Recommended By ACOG & SGO

Evaluating a patient’s risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is an important first step in cancer prevention and early detection and should be a routine part of ob-gyn practice. Those who are likely to have the syndrome should be referred for further assessment to a clinician with expertise in genetics, according to a new Practice Bulletin jointly released today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG] and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists [SGO]. The new document also provides information on how to counsel patients with hereditary risk in cancer prevention and how to perform surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes in this population

“Routine Screening for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Recommended

Washington, DC — Evaluating a patient’s risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is an important first step in cancer prevention and early detection and should be a routine part of ob-gyn practice. Those who are likely to have the syndrome should be referred for further assessment to a clinician with expertise in genetics, according to a new Practice Bulletin jointly released today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG] and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists [SGO]. The new document also provides information on how to counsel patients with hereditary risk in cancer prevention and how to perform surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes in this population.

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is an inherited cancer-susceptibility syndrome marked by multiple family members with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both; the presence of both breast and ovarian cancer in a single individual; and early age of breast cancer onset.

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Karen Lu, M.D., Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

‘The vast majority of families who have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome carry an inherited mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes. Women in these families may have a higher risk of breast, ovarian, peritoneal, and fallopian tube cancers,’ said Karen Lu, MD, professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who helped develop the ACOG Practice Bulletin. ‘Though having a BRCA gene mutation does not mean an individual will undoubtedly develop cancer, it is better to know sooner rather than later who may be at risk.’

Women with either BRCA mutation have a 65%-74% chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Ovarian cancer risk is increased by 39%-46% in women with a BRCA1 mutation and by 12-20% in women with a BRCA2 mutation. Approximately 1 in 300 to 1 in 800 individuals in the US are BRCA carriers. BRCA mutations may occur more frequently in some populations founded by small ancestral groups, such as Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews, French Canadians, and Icelanders. An estimated 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

The new document addresses the ob-gyn’s role in identifying, managing, and counseling patients with an inherited cancer risk. The initial screening evaluation should include specific questions about personal and family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Because BRCA mutations can be passed down from both the father’s and mother’s side of the family, both sides of a woman’s family should be carefully examined. Obtaining a full family history may be impeded in women who were adopted, those from families that have multiple women who had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy at a young age, or those from families with few female relatives. The results of a general evaluation will help determine whether the patient would benefit from a more in-depth hereditary cancer risk assessment, which should be conducted by a health care provider with expertise in cancer genetics.

Further genetic risk assessment is recommended for women who have more than a 20%-25% chance of having an inherited predisposition to breast or ovarian cancer. These women include:

  • Women with a personal history of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • Women with ovarian cancer and a close relative—defined as mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, aunt—with ovarian cancer, premenopausal breast cancer, or both
  • Women of Ashkenazi Jewish decent with breast cancer who were diagnosed at age 40 or younger or who have ovarian cancer
  • Women with breast cancer at 50 or younger and who have a close relative with ovarian cancer or male breast cancer at any age
  • Women with a close relative with a known BRCA mutation

Genetic risk assessment may also be appropriate for women with a 5%-10% chance of having hereditary risk, including:

  • Women with breast cancer by age 40
  • Women with ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, or fallopian tube cancer or high grade, serous histology at any age
  • Women with cancer in both breasts (particularly if the first cancer was diagnosed by age 50)
  • Women with breast cancer by age 50 and a close relative with breast cancer by age 50
  • Women with breast cancer at any age and two or more close relatives with breast cancer at any age (particularly if at least one case of breast cancer was diagnosed by age 50)
  • Unaffected women with a close relative that meets one of the previous criteria

Before testing, a genetic counselor can discuss the possible outcomes of testing; options for surveillance, chemoprevention, and risk-reducing surgery; cost and legal and insurance matters surrounding genetic tests and test results; and the psychologic and familial implications that may follow. The counselor can also provide written materials that women can share with family members who may also have an inherited risk.

Screening, Prevention, and Surgical Intervention

Those with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome can begin a screening and prevention plan based on individual risk factors and family history. Ovarian cancer screening approaches are currently limited. For women with a BRCA mutation, ACOG recommends periodic screening with CA 125 and transvaginal ultrasonography beginning between the ages of 30 and 35 years or 5-10 years earlier than the earliest age of first diagnosis of ovarian cancer in the family.

Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy surgery—which removes both of the ovaries and fallopian tubes—can reduce the risk of ovarian and fallopian tube cancer by about 85% to 90% among BRCA carriers. Women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations should be offered risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy by age 40 or when childbearing is complete. The ideal time for this surgery depends on the type of gene mutation.

‘In this population, risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy and pathology review must be extremely comprehensive to check for microscopic cancers in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and abdominal cavity,’ Dr. Lu said. According to the Practice Bulletin, all tissue from the ovaries and fallopian tubes should be removed, and a complete, serial sectioning that includes microscopic examination for occult cancer should be conducted. A thorough visualization of the peritoneal surfaces with pelvic washings should be performed. Any abnormal areas should undergo biopsy.

Strategies recommended to reduce breast cancer risk in women with a BRCA mutation include semiannual clinical breast examination; an annual mammogram and annual breast magnetic resonance imaging screening beginning at age 25 or sooner based on the earliest age onset in the family; chemoprevention therapy with tamoxifen; and bilateral mastectomy to remove both breasts, which reduces the risk of breast cancer by greater than 90%-95%.

Practice Bulletin #103 “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome” is published in the April 2009 edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology.”

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About the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the national medical organization representing over 53,000 members who provide health care for women.

About the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists is a national medical specialty organization of physician-surgeons who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract.  The purpose of the SGO is to improve the care of women with gynecologic cancers by encouraging research and disseminating knowledge to raise the standards of practice in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic malignancies, in cooperation with other organizations interested in women’s health care, oncology and related fields. This is reflected in the Society’s Mission statement to “promote and ensure the highest quality
of comprehensive clinical care through excellence in education and research in gynecologic cancers.”

Primary Source:  Routine Screening for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Recommended, News Release, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, March 20, 2009.