Living Well With CLL Forum: Coming in July

patient-empowerment-netNext month on Saturday, July 26, the Patient Empowerment Network and SCCA will host an interactive forum–Living Well With CLL– for anyone who has chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The goal is to help patients stay informed about the latest research and treatment options for CLL, provide strategies for dealing with symptoms and side effects, and connect with the CLL community in the Seattle area. The forum will feature a patient panel and presentations by SCCA’s Drs. David Maloney and John Pagel. The event will be hosted by Patient Power’s Andrew Schorr, who has been living with CLL since 1996.

This event is free to CLL patients and families and caregivers–but you must register to attend. Check here for registration and other information about the event, including the day’s agenda.

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    Seattle Magazine’s Best Doctors 2014

    Seattle Magazine is out with their 14th Annual List of Top Doctors in the Puget Sound region. And, to no one’s surprise, many of SCCA’s doctors were included in this year’s list of 437 doctors. Selections were based on an online survey of physicians throughout the Puget Sound area who were asked to “name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones.”

    The SCCA doctor’s on this year’s list include:

    In addition, Seattle Magazine put Dr. Julie Gralow in the spotlight as a someone who is making a difference. Congratulations to the doctors who made this year’s list!


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      Interviews With SCCA Doctors at ASCO 2014

      Below is a collection of video interviews that our doctors had with Patient Power’s Carol Preston at this year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which took place in Chicago earlier this month. The interviews focus on the latest advances in treating prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, sarcoma, and colorectal cancer.

      Adding Chemotherapy Early On in the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer
      Dr. Heather Cheng discusses the results of a clinical trial which showed that using chemotherapy early on for patients with metastatic prostate cancer makes a big difference. Up until now, hormone therapy was the mainstay for men with advanced disease, but as Dr. Cheng explains, these results are so dramatic that men who formerly would forego chemotherapy should now be able to make a better and more informed decision about adding chemotherapy their course of treatment.

      Dr. Julie Gralow Discusses Breast Cancer News from this Year’s Meeting 
      The news that impressed Dr. Gralow most about this meeting was results from a clinical study that looked at protecting the ovaries of young women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Dr. Gralow also discusses a study aimed at reducing the metastasis of breast cancer to the bone.

      Does Aggressive Treatment Upfront Improve Outcomes for Pancreatic Cancer?
      Dr. Andrew Coveler discusses the results of a Phase II trial focusing on multi-agent chemotherapy with radiation pre- and post-surgery. Dr. Coveler provides a historical comparison of various treatments and helps us understand the impact of more aggressive treatment and how it may potentially increase options for some patients living with pancreatic cancer.

      Can Sarcoma Be a Chronic Condition for Some Patients?
      Can sarcoma be classified as a chronic condition for some patients? Dr. Robin Jones gives us a clear picture of long-term disease control outcomes and various studies focused on progress in treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

      Will the ADAPT Study Revolutionize Treatment Approaches in Colorectal Cancer?
      Dr. Edward Lin discusses why a combination of what some might call an unlikely pair of drugs that with precise timing can prove effective in waking up sleeping cancer stem cells—giving treatment a better shot at fighting colorectal cancer. Dr. Lin is leading the ADAPT trial and explains what he is hopeful for and how this may change the way we look at the disease. Learn what’s next for this study and how a patient’s genetic profile could reveal whether the treatment may work for them.

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        Phyt Back! Take Twenty Cherries and Call Me in the Morning

        single-rainier-350With piles of them soon to be everywhere—Farmer’s Markets, roadside stands, produce aisles— it will be nearly impossible to miss the fact that cherry season is upon us in the Northwest. What a treat: One bite and glistening red skins burst and release juicy deliciousness onto the tongue, like summer distilled into one distinct flavor! But apart from the gustatory gift that cherries yield, studies are revealing the incredible depth of cancer prevention and other health benefits from cherries. This is especially true of tart or sour cherry varieties such as Montmorency. Of course ‘tart’ and ‘sour’ are relative terms: the descriptions are accurate only when these varieties are compared with their super sweet siblings like Bing or Rainier.

        Whether sweet or tart, the concept of cherries as medicinal is certainly not new: Native Americans have been using cherry bark as well as the fruit to treat disorders for centuries. Cherries were particularly prized for their pain-relieving ability, especially for sore throats. Perhaps this is why sore throat lozenges and cough syrups have traditionally been cherry flavored

        Phyto Facts: Aspirin on a Stem?
        Cherries contain numerous phytonutrients from the anthocyanin family. If the name anthocyanin sounds familiar, it is because this large phyto family shows up in many deeply red, blue or purple fruits and vegetables. It turns out that cherries contain significant amounts of some anthocyanin subtypes that have highly effective pain relieving actions—cyanidin and malvidin. These have been shown to inhibit the same enzyme pathways as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, Celebrex or Vioxx; namely cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1 and COX-2.) These pathways are major drivers of the inflammatory response and blocking them impacts both pain and inflammation. The ability of cyanidins and malvidin to relieve pain and to reduce inflammation has been well-documented. Several studies have shown that twenty dark red cherries have enough anthocyanin (about 25 milligrams) to match the pain relieving potential of an aspirin or ibuprofen. A study from the University of California at Davis showed that biochemical markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) were reduced by up to 25% when cherries were consumed for 28 days. This has major implications for cancer prevention as inflammation is a forceful factor in cancer promotion and progression.

        single-cherry-350Anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants, even more powerful than vitamin E. This helps protect DNA from the oxidative damage and reduce the risk of healthy cells transforming to cancer. Anthocyanins—most particularly, cyanidins—also support maintenance of healthy cell life cycles and apoptosis (cell death) in mutated cells, both of which inhibit cancer growth.

        Phyt Bite
        Since anthocyanins are deep red, blue and purple, it should come as no surprise that the darker the cherry, the higher the anthocyanin content. Choose the darkest red cherries—and go for the ‘tart’ when available. In Washington the tart varieties include Balaton, Danube, Jubelium, Montmorency and Regina. Each of these can be eaten fresh but also work very well in recipes. Processing degrades the phytonutrients in cherries—even freezing can decrease anthocyanin content by over 50% within 6 months so enjoy cherries throughout the season to get maximum benefit. In the following recipe, the cherries are not cooked, so flavor, fun and phytonutrients are maximized. The addition of balsamic vinegar may seem unusual for a dessert but this actually intensifies the fruit flavors.

        Sour Cherry Granita


        • 2 pounds fresh pitted sour cherries
        • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
        • 3 tablespoons sugar


        1. Set a bowl under a colander and drain cherries, reserving all the liquid.
        2. Puree cherries in a food processor or blender.
        3. Run the puree through a fine strainer, pressing the cherries with a spoon to extract all the juice. If there are large chunks of cherries in the juice, strain it again.
        4. Add any liquid reserved at the beginning, as well as vinegar to the juice and set aside.
        5. Combine sugar with 2/3 C. water and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Allow this to sit and cool.
        6. Mix juice with sugar syrup and pour into a metal pan large enough to accommodate all the liquids.
        7. Place in freezer for 1 hour, or until ice crystals start to form around edges.
        8. Using a fork, stir the ice into the center of the dish. Place back in freezer.
        9. Continue stirring as described above, approximately once an hour until all liquid has frozen and has a grainy consistency, this usually takes about 5 hours.

        Kim Jordan is the Manager of Medical Nutrition Therapy Services at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. 

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          Move More for Myeloma Research

          MoveMMORE_Seattle_300pixOn Sunday, June 29, MoveMMORE Seattle will host its second annual 5K and 1-mile run and walk at Magnuson Park to raise funds for multiple myeloma. All of the funds raised, including registration costs, will be donated to multiple myeloma research at Fred Hutch. This year, the event’s fundraising goal is $30,000.

          After being treated for multiple myeloma at SCCA at the age of 22, Sarah Kaufmann-Fink started the nonprofit organization Multiple Myeloma Opportunities for Research & Education (MMORE) in 2008. The organization is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for multiple myeloma cancer research.

          The June 29 5K and 1-mile run and walk is family friendly and open to runners and walkers of all abilities. Participants can honor someone special with a sign along the race route, and all individuals and teams that raise $2,000 or more can name a MMORE grant. The event will include music and post-race snacks, as well as prizes for the top finishers, top individual fundraiser, largest team, and best team theme.

          Visit the event website to learn more and register for this year’s race.

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