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Karmanos looks back at a year of accomplishments in 2010

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute ushered in 2010 with exciting news: The announcement that Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., a thoracic oncology specialist from Tampa was taking the reigns of the organization. From there, Karmanos enjoyed a year of robust grants that funded some of the most innovative cancer research going on anywhere in the world, including progress in the field of immunotherapy, oncogenomics and cancer care disparities. Despite the economy, organizations and individuals continued to give generously to support Karmanos’ researchers; and new brick-and-mortar progress was evidenced by the planning of the Monroe Cancer Center, which will reach completion in the New Year. Here’s a look back at what Karmanos staff has accomplished in 2010:
 
December

Karmanos staff reaches the Silver level of The Joint Commission Flu Challenge National Recognition by vaccinating 85 percent of direct health care workers. Overall, 76 percent of all staff have been vaccinated – a new level of success for the Institute.
 
Karmanos renews its sponsorship of the Seventh Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference, scheduled for 2011 in Atlanta, as well as its commitment to helping educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure and its links to cancer.
 
November

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute partners with the Josephine Ford Cancer Center at Henry Ford Health System, and Wayne State University School of Medicine (SOM) to form the Southeast Michigan Partners Against Cancer (SEMPAC) to help close the gap on racial disparities related to cancer care in southeast Michigan.
 
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) distinguishes the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute with a three-year accreditation with commendations for its commitment to maintaining high quality treatment programs and its multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer patients.
 
October 

Nearly 300 guests attend the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's 16th Annual Heroes of Breast Cancer Awards at the Max M. Fisher Music Center as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
 
The J.P. McCarthy Cord Stem Cell Bank at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute receives a $1.4 million, three-year, contract award from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand its cord blood collection program. The contract will allow Karmanos to bank more genetically-diverse, high-quality umbilical cord blood units for inclusion in the National Cord Blood Inventory.
 
The Plymouth Whalers hockey team raises approximately $18,000 for breast cancer research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute during the third annual Pink Out! For Breast Cancer Awareness event held at Compuware Arena. This is in addition to the thousands of dollars that are bestowed on Karmanos by local companies and individuals who support the Institute’s breast cancer research program.
 
Scientists at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit receive a nearly $3 million, five-year research project (RO1) grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a potentially ground-breaking immunotherapy treatment for women with one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer – triple-negative breast cancer. The grant supplements the $2 million, four-year NIH RO1 grant to Karmanos that funds a treatment protocol for women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer using targeted T cell immunotherapy.
 
September 

Partners, young, hands-on volunteers dedicated to supporting Karmanos for the past 16 years, breaks its own fundraising record when it raises more than $2.1 million for cancer research at the Institute through the annual Partners Golf Classic and the Evening event.
 
Staff mourns the passing of Dr. Michael J. Brennan, who served as president of the Michigan Cancer Foundation, the forerunner of the Karmanos Cancer Institute. He was 89.
 
Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure® awards more than $1.5 million to local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs as a result of $2.3 million raised in the 2010 Komen Detroit Race for the Cure®, locally presented by Karmanos.
 
Karmanos Cancer Center is selected as one of 50 sites in the United States to offer the new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T) to treat patients with advanced metastatic prostate cancer.  
 
August 

The Association of Radiation Oncology Residents names Andre Konski, M.D., M.B.A., M.A., F.A.C.R., service chief of Radiation Therapy for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, an Educator of the Year for 2010.
 
The Herrick Cancer Research Challenge meets its first-year fundraising match. The challenge, which began October 1, 2009, at the end of June saw 915 donors contribute more than $539,000 – allowing it to meet the first year’s match requirement of raising $500,000. 
 
July 

Four researchers from Karmanos and Wayne State University (WSU) receive a total of $1.2 million from Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to help advance research to better detect, prevent and eliminate breast cancer.
 
Karmanos, in cooperation with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), introduces the Environmental Cancer Program to physicians statewide. The program trains primary care physicians to accurately identify and diagnose cancers and other serious illnesses resulting from exposure to arsenic, radon and asbestos, three of the state’s most frequently encountered carcinogens.
 
June 

Charles A. Schiffer, M.D., head of the Malignant Hematology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, receives a prestigious 2010 Statesman Award at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.
 
More than 200 cancer survivors, their families and caregivers attend the Sixth Annual Survivorship University Celebration of Survivorship event, presented by Karmanos. This annual celebration recognizes cancer survivors who raise awareness of cancer prevention and help empower the lives of other survivors.
 
May 

Approximately 35,000 people of all ages gather at Comerica Park for the Nineteenth Annual Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure®. More than 10,000 pink ribbons and 240 large, pink street banners lined Woodward Ave. and around Comerica Park to greet supporters, honor loved ones, and celebrate survivors who are walking or running in Michigan’s largest footrace.
 
More than 400 people attend the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 28th Annual Dinner Gala at the Rock Financial Showplace. The event raises nearly $500,000. Proceeds benefit the nationally-recognized patient care and research programs at Karmanos.
 
Karmanos spin-off company Delphinus Medical Technologies, LLC, secures $8 million in venture capital to start the commercialization process of SoftVue, an alternative to mammography.
 
Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D., F.A.C.S., leader of the Head and Neck Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, becomes the first surgeon in Michigan to use the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform minimally-invasive surgeries on head and neck cancer patients who visit the center for treatment.
 
Karmanos receives a $2.5 million charitable donation from Franklin resident Joseph Dresner to construct the Joseph Dresner Family Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Malignancies Center at its main campus in Detroit.
 
April 

Credit Union ONE presents a check for $17,000 to Karmanos – bringing its fundraising total to more than $1.2 million over the past 23 years, with $400,000 raised just through the credit union’s Affinity Card program since it was established in 1995.
 
Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Karmanos Cancer Institute, appoints Gary B. Morrison, FACHE, chief operating officer (COO).
 
March 

Karmanos Cancer Center, Mercy Memorial Hospital of Monroe and ProMedica Health System of Toledo hold a groundbreaking celebration at the building site of the future Monroe Cancer Center.
 
Researchers at Karmanos introduce cryotherapy, an interventional radiology treatment to freeze cancer tumors, as a treatment of the future for cancer that has metastasized in soft tissues (such as ovarian cancer) and in bone tumors. The introduction takes place at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 35th Annual Scientific Meeting in Tampa, Fla.
 
February 

Bonnie Sloane, Ph.D., distinguished professor of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine is presented with a lifetime membership award for her outstanding contributions to the field of proteolysis by the International Proteolysis Society.
 
The McCarty Cancer Foundation presents a $25,000 grant to Jeffrey Zonder, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine. The award supports Dr. Zonder’s multi-center clinical research projects, coordinated by the Multiple Myeloma Research Program at Karmanos.
 
Christopher Steffes, M.D., is appointed co-chief of Surgical Oncology Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center. He shares the role with George Yoo, M.D., F.A.C.S.
 
January 

A new year brings a new leader to Karmanos. After a 10-month nationwide search, Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is named the new president and chief executive officer of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. A thoracic oncologist, Dr. Bepler begins his new position Feb. 1, 2010.
 
Karmanos Cancer Institute receives word that $4.76 million has been earmarked for its National Oncogenomics and Molecular Imaging Center (NOMIC). Those funds are secured in the Department of Defense Appropriations budget by Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, along with Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
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