Swim or Volunteer for SCCA

swimacross-new-logoThis year’s Swim Across America–Seattle Open Water Swim is quickly approaching on Saturday, Sept. 6, and there’s still time to join the fun and help support SCCA.

If you’re not a swimmer, consider helping out as a volunteer at the event. The Seattle Swim is a volunteer-driven event, and kayakers, boaters, and lifeguards are still needed. Volunteering is a great way to jump start your Saturday–the event starts at 8 a.m., and the awards ceremony will take place around 10 a.m.

To date, Swim Across America has raised more than $1,000,000 for cancer research, prevention, and treatment at SCCA. Join Team SCCA as a swimmer, volunteer, or supporter today. We’ll see you in September!

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    New Partnership Helps Cancer Patients Care for Their Pets

    bella-shawcroftSCCA and the Seattle Humane Society are partnering to help keep people and their pets together when the comfort of a pet is needed most.

    The Seattle Humane Society’s Pet Project has provided food and primary veterinary care to more than 200 pets belonging to people with HIV/AIDS for 25 years. This year, the shelter is expanding its services to include low-income cancer patients referred by SCCA.

    Current SCCA patients who have multiple monthly appointments and meet the program’s income criteria are eligible to participate in the Pet Project. The program matches clients with volunteers who deliver monthly pet food and supplies, and holds bi-monthly veterinary clinics so that pets can get annual exams, vaccinations, flea medications, and dental cleanings. All of the services and supplies are donated or purchased with donated funds.

    SCCA patients who are interested in participating can contact the social work department for an application at (206) 288-1076 or socialw@seattlecca.org.

      Posted in Patient Resources | 1 Comment

      SCCA Cancer News Watch

      Here’s a quick summary of notable recent health and cancer news:

      One Doctor’s Quest to Save People by Injecting Them With Scorpion Venom
      Wired takes a look at what Fred Hutch’s Jim Olson is doing with scorpion venom–aka Tumor Paint–that helps surgeons see tumors in the brain. But perhaps what’s most novel about Olson’s work is not so much his research, but how he’s funding it. Instead of looking to government and other traditional sources, Olson has adopted techniques that seem more at home in Silicon Valley. A well-rounded and even-handed article that not only captures Olson’s work, but the compassion that’s driving it.

      Can Doctors Teach the Body to Cure Cancer?
      The Atlantic considers recent advances in cancer immunotherapy and features some of the research going on at Fred Hutch, including David Maloney’s work with CAR-T cells for non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Dr. Maloney was also interviewed about this work earlier this year by Patient Power’s Andrew Schorr.

      In Other Health and Cancer News
      Scorpion venom may not only help paint tumor cells, Newsweek reports that it and bee venom may also be effective killing cancer cells. The Guardian published a first-person account of a woman whose dog–a miniature dachshund–detected her breast cancer. The Well at The New York Times reports on a study that shows that regularly taking small amounts of aspirin cuts the risk of developing colorectal, esophageal, and stomach cancers. storb-shellAnd the Seattle Times’ Gabriel Campanario sketches Dr. Rainer Storb’s daily commute by boat from Madison Park to his work here at South Lake Union.

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        Dr. Evan Yu Discusses New Immunotherapy Compound

        Dr. Evan Yu is leading a clinical trial here at SCCA that’s exploring how a new compound called MPDL3280A might work for patients with metastatic bladder cancer. In certain types of cancer, a protein, known as Programmed Death Ligand 1, or PD-L1, can attach itself to tumors and help them evade the body’s immune system. MPDL3280A works by blocking PD-L1, thus giving the immune system a chance to kill the tumor. In the video below, Dr. Yu discusses how MPDL3280A worked in previous trials and what it could mean for patients with bladder cancer.

        Click here to learn more about Dr. Yu’s trial and here to learn more about the work that’s going with immunotherapy at SCCA.


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          Five Minutes With Dr. V.K. Gadi

          Editor’s Note: “Five Minutes With” is a new series about SCCA’s staff and physicians that is designed to give our readers a look into the “non-clinical” side of the people who work at SCCA. If there’s a doctor or staff member that you would like to know more about, or perhaps a question that you would like us to ask, please let us know.

          vk-gadi-five-minutesV.K. Gadi has been practicing at SCCA since its inception in 2001. Dr. Gadi was raised in Decatur, Alabama and is the son of an engineer who worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority and NASA. He’s a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer, father of two daughters (5 and 9 years old), and once was a Seattle SuperSonics season ticket holder. Learn more about Dr. Gadi’s clinical and research expertise here.

          What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?
          Yoga, eating dinner, martial arts, poker, watching movies (not films).

          Do you have a personal motto?
          Ask forgiveness, not permission (an apt variation on Nike’s “just do it”). It gets me in trouble sometimes, but has probably made me who I am today.

          Who is the person you most admire?
          My wife. She is an intelligent, elegant woman who gracefully balances career and personal objectives. Moreover, she puts up with me, and for that alone she should get some sort of award.

          What’s the last book you read?
          I read fairly broadly (ask my patients – we often share titles), but nowadays it leans towards children’s literature. My five year old daughter and I just completed Boy, by Roald Dahl. It is an account of his early days growing up in England. It’s a book written for older children and adults, but she seemed to enjoy it so much.

          What is your favorite place to go in Seattle?
          My neighborhood. I’ve got great friends there and most times I am happy just to hang out with the wondrous individuals who live around us.

          If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
          Right now, the Eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt. There’s so much history and I’ve never been. Looking forward to it hopefully once all the unrest settles down.

          What is your favorite restaurant?
          Canlis—pretty old school I know, but killer views, unfussy atmosphere, excellent service, and top-notch food. A real Seattle gem. And Rumba— I’m giving you a second location, because one can’t go to Canlis frequently without going broke. It’s a rum bar. Nothing more to say after that!

          sonics-logo-100Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?
          Sonics – I am still hurting.

          iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone?
          iPhone, but my commitment is weak.

          What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t an oncologist?
          ESPN sports anchor – pretty vapid, but I can’t help myself. So I’ll stick to being a oncologist/researcher/professor type.

            Posted in Five Minutes With | 2 Comments
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