Cancer Centers in the News

The following links highlight some of the most up-to-date news from the 25 NCCN Member Institutions. The media coverage below includes major national news outlets, industry magazines, medical journals, and press releases.

The news is listed in reverse chronological order for ease of use.

April 3, 2014
“Cancer and the Goldilocks Effect,” UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that too little or too much of an enzyme called SRPK1 promotes cancer by disrupting a regulatory event critical for many fundamental cellular processes, including proliferation. UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is one of the 25 NCCN Member Institutions.

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April 3, 2014
“Jamming a Protein Signal Forces Cancer Cells to Devour Themselves,” The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Interfering with a single cancer-promoting protein and its receptor can turn this resistance mechanism into lethal, runaway self-cannibalization, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in the journal Cell Reports.

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April 3, 2014
“Tumor Suppressor Gene TP53 Mutated in 90 Percent of Most Common Childhood Bone Tumor,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project found mutations in the tumor suppressor gene TP53 in 90 percent of osteosarcomas, suggesting the alteration plays a key role early in development of the bone cancer. The research was published Thursday online ahead of print in the journal Cell Reports. Authors from this story also represent The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, which, along with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, are NCCN Member Institutions.

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April 2, 2014
“Lack of Insurance Coverage a Barrier to Lung Cancer Screening,” Roswell Park Cancer Institute

The majority of current and former smokers would welcome screenings for lung cancer if their insurance covered the spiral computed tomography (CT) scans, according to research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Medical University of South Carolina and published online ahead of print in the journal Lung Cancer. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is one of the 25 NCCN Member Institutions.

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April 1, 2014
“Likely Culprit in Spread of Colon Cancer Identified,” Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine

New research at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center—both NCCN Member Institutions—has implicated a poorly understood protein called PLAC8 in the spread of colon cancer.

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February 21, 2014
"Addition of Bevacizumab to the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Brain Tumors Does Not Extend Patients’ Lives," Healthcanal.com

Results from a randomized, phase 3 clinical trial conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) have shown that adding bevacizumab, a drug that inhibits the growth of blood vessels, to the treatment of glioblastoma does not improve patient survival.

This study was led by representatives from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — two of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 20, 2014
“Dismantling Pancreas Cancer’s Armor,” Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Pancreas cancer is notoriously impervious to treatment and resists both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It has also been thought to provide few targets for immune cells, allowing tumors to grow unchecked. But, new research from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows that pancreas cancer "veils" itself from the immune system by recruiting specialized immune suppressor cells. The research team also found that removing these cells quickly triggers a spontaneous anti-tumor immune response.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 19, 2014
“Cancer Immunotherapy Treatment Shows More Promise,” The Wall Street Journal

A technique to genetically modify a patient`s own immune cells eradicated tumors in 14 of 16 patients with advanced leukemia—at least for a time—in a study that adds to growing enthusiasm for efforts to enlist the body`s immune system in the fight against cancer.

The findings, from researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, also add fuel to an emerging race to bring new so-called cancer immunotherapy treatments to the market. Juno Therapeutics Inc., a Seattle startup, is preparing to launch a mid-stage, or phase 2, study of the treatment based on the results of the new study. Novartis SA plans a phase 2 trial of a similar strategy developed at the University of Pennsylvania.

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February 18, 2014
"New Test Suggests Antidepressant Paxil May Promote Breast Cancer," Los Angeles Times

A team of researchers from City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center — one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions — has developed a speedy way to identify drugs and chemicals that can disrupt the balance of sex hormones in human beings and influence the development and progress of diseases such as breast cancer.

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February 17, 2014
"Johns Hopkins Experts Identify Major Sources of High Cancer Costs," News-medical.net

In a review article published February 14, 2014 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging, and drug pricing.

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 13, 2014
“Women, Doctors Try to Make Sense of Study on Mammograms”, The New York Daily News

New York women and their doctors were left shaking their heads Wednesday, a day after the publication of an earthshaking study concluding that mammograms do not reduce a woman`s chance of dying of breast cancer.

Bucking two generations of conventional wisdom, the study, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that women ages 40 to 59, who had annual mammograms, saw no benefit up to 25 years later.

This article features commentary from a representative of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 12, 2014
“Double Mastectomy May Benefit Some Women with Inherited Breast Cancer“, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Women diagnosed with an inherited form of breast cancer might halve their risk of dying of the disease if they remove both breasts, a new study suggests. This article features commentary from a representative at Fox Chase Cancer Center – one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 11, 2014
“Gene Exam Might Predict Breast Cancer Progression”, Philly.com

Predicting whether early stage breast cancer will become invasive and lethal remains a challenge for doctors. But, new research suggests that a panel of 55 genes might help guide medical odds-makers. This article features commentary from a representative of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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February 1, 2014
"Peter B. Bach Discusses New Payment Reform Models Challenging Fee for Service," OBR Oncology Online

In the debate whether Patient Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations will lead to health care system savings, Peter B. Bach, MD, MAPP, Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discussed at a recent conference how new payment models are challenging the current fee-for-service model for community care cancer centers.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 20, 2013
“Harvard Study Shows that Nuts May Reduce Risk of Death”, The Boston Globe

New Harvard research provides the strongest evidence to date that eating nuts can reduce a person’s risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and a number of other causes. Research for this study was conducted at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 19, 2013
“Broccoli Not Burgers: Cancer Patients Favor Healthier Foods”, Reuters.com

A study released on Tuesday by the Cancer Nutrition Consortium aims to improve the lives of cancer patients by helping them get the meals they want while combating the weight loss and fatigue that often comes with aggressive treatment.

Researchers surveyed 1,203 patients at seven of the world`s leading cancer centers and found 40 percent developed more sensitive palates after starting treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

This article features commentary from experts at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins—two of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 19, 2013
“Treatment, Survival for Colon Cancer Differs by Race”, Reuters.com

Black people with advanced colon cancer are less likely to get consultations with specialists and treatment with complex medicines than white people, according to a new study.

This article features commentary from a physician from UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center – one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 19, 2013
“Anal Cancer Study Offers Hope of Treatment”, San Francisco Chronicle

This article discusses ongoing research regarding the use of HPV vaccines in prevention of anal cancer, as well as subsequent screening and other preventative routines and treatments in patients at higher risk of developing this rare form of cancer. This article features commentary from a physician at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 19, 2013
“How Doctors Die: Showing Others the Way”, The New York Times

This article explores how physicians, with their advanced knowledge of medical treatment, outcomes and potential side effects, approach end-of-life decision-making. Following a number of physicians who have been diagnosed with cancer, this article mentions several NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 19, 2013
“Oral Drug May Improve Survival in Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer”, Duke Cancer Institute

An investigational prostate cancer treatment slows the disease’s progression and may increase survival, especially among men whose cancer has spread to the bones, according an analysis led by the Duke Cancer Institute—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 18, 2013
“Breast MRI Use Up Despite Lack of Indications”, MedPage Today

Use of breast MRI increased dramatically in the last decade, much of it involving women who did not meet high-risk criteria for use of advanced imaging, analyses of two large databases showed.

This article features commentary from physicians at Duke Cancer Institute and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center—two of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 18, 2013
“Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer at Risk of Becoming Frail at an Early Age”, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Young adults who survived childhood cancer are more likely than their peers to be frail, according to a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital study, which reported the condition is more common among female survivors than women decades older. The research appears in the current edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 15, 2013
“Long-Term Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality after Lower Endoscopy”, The ASCO Post

Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy have been shown to provide protection against colorectal cancer, but the magnitude and duration of protection, particularly against proximal colon cancer, remain undefined. A study of long-term colorectal cancer incidence and mortality after lower endoscopy reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Reiko Nishihara, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues found that both colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy for any indication were associated with a reduced incidence of overall colorectal cancer and distal colorectum cancer, with only colonoscopy being associated with a reduction in the incidence of proximal colon cancer.

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November 15, 2013
“Most Men with Breast Cancer Undergo Mastectomy, Study Finds”, U.S. News and World Report

Breast cancer in men occurs only rarely. But among men who have breast cancer, mastectomy rather than breast-conserving surgery is by far the more common choice, new research shows.

This study was authored at the University of Colorado Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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November 15, 2013
“Secret to Surviving Cancer? It might be Marriage”, USA Today

Scientists may have found the secret to surviving cancer: marriage.

Married people with cancer were 20% less likely to die from their disease than those who were separated, divorced, widowed or never married, a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds.

This article features commentary from a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

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September 13, 2013
“Platanias to Receive 2013 Milstein Award”, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, has been selected to receive the 2013 Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research. He will receive the prize on September 29 at the annual meeting of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society in San Francisco. Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 13, 2013
“Breast Cancer: Online Tools Can Improve Patient Outlook”, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Breast cancer treatment can be not only daunting, but depressing, with 15 to 25 percent of cancer patients suffering from depression, according to the National Cancer Institute.

A study out of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions—found that online intervention tools can help boost breast cancer patients’ moods, making them feel less depressed.

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September 12, 2013
“Major Cancer Genotyping Study Logs 5,000th Tumor Profile”, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center| Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

More than 5,000 genetic profiles of tumor DNA have been completed in a large research study by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women`s Hospital, and Boston Children`s Hospital, designed to speed the development of personalized cancer care with precision treatments. Scientists have also moved to the next generation of tumor DNA sequencing technology, which will significantly expand the range of genes and possible mutations to be analyzed and the speed at which they are catalogued. The program has also been expanded to include pediatric cancer patients. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women`s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 12, 2013
“VU Study Identifies DNA Changes in Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells”, Vanderbilt University

Targeted cancer therapies — drugs that kill cancer cells with certain "driver oncogenes" — shrink tumors and extend patient survival. Ultimately though, the cancers become resistant to the targeted therapies.

Researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have identified some common mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapies, including the development of second mutations in the driver oncogenes that alter drug binding. However, the full spectrum of DNA changes associated with this resistance is unknown.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 12, 2013
“Dental Cavities May Protect against Oral, Throat Cancers”, CBSNews.com

Cavities may not make your dentist too happy, but oncologists, on the other hand, may feel differently following new research.

A study finds people with more dental cavities are significantly less likely to be diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

This article mentions data out of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 12, 2013
“Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better”, NPR

This clip highlights the "tumor painting" molecule developed by James Olson, MD, PhD, physician at Seattle Children`s Hospital and researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Developed to "glow" during surgery, the tumor paint allows surgeons to more easily differentiate tumor cells from healthy cells and more effectively remove brain tumors with less chance of long-term neurocognitive effects as a result of surgery.  Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 11, 2013
“Mayo Clinic Oncologist and MD Anderson Researcher Named 2013 Susan G. Komen Brinker Awardees for Scientific Distinction”, Susan G. Komen

An oncologist from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, and a researcher from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, are being honored as this year`s recipients of the prestigious Susan G. Komen Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science and Clinical Research, the highest awards of merit given by the world`s leading breast cancer organization. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 11, 2013
“Brachytherapy to Treat Cervical Cancer Declines in US, Treatment Associated with Higher Survival”, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center| Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

A study by researchers at Brigham and Women`s Hospital found that brachytherapy treatment was associated with better cause-specific survival and overall survival in women with cervical cancer. The population-based analysis also revealed geographic disparities and decline in brachytherapy treatment in the United States. Brachytherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which radioactive implants are inserted directly into the tissue near the tumor site.

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September 10, 2013
“Versatile MicroRNAs Choke off Cancer Blood Supply, Suppress Metastasis”, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

A family of microRNAs (miR-200) blocks cancer progression and metastasis by stifling a tumor`s ability to weave new blood vessels to support itself, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently reported in Nature Communications.

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September 10, 2013
“Study: Redefining the Criteria for ALK-Positive Lung Cancer”, University of Colorado Cancer Center

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal, Cancer, shows that the current criteria used to match lung cancers with the drug crizotinib may miss some patients who could benefit from the drug. The findings suggest that doctors should look closer at borderline or atypical ALK-negative cases, and could widen the population of lung cancer patients offered treatment with crizotinib or other ALK-inhibitor drugs. University of Colorado Cancer Center is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 4, 2013
“Molecular Marker Predicts Patients Most Likely to Benefit Longest from Two Popular Cancer Drugs”, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a molecular marker called “Mig 6” that appears to accurately predict longer survival—up to two years—among patients prescribed two of the most widely used drugs in a class of anticancer agents called EGFR inhibitors. The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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September 2, 2013
“Proteins in Histone Group might Influence Cancer Development, Study Shows”, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

The findings by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute—one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions—indicate that replication-dependent histone isoforms can have distinct cellular functions, and that changes in expression of the various isoforms might play a role in cancer development.

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August 29, 2013
“Mutations in a Gene that Impacts Immune Function Increase Susceptibility to Prostate Cancer”, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

A team of researchers led by Janet Stanford, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has discovered that mutations in the gene BTNL2, which encodes a protein involved in regulating T-cell proliferation and cytokine production—both of which impact immune function—increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is one of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

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August 14, 2013
Enhanced Treatment, Surveillance Needed for Certain Melanoma Patients to Prevent Secondary Cancers, Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Say, Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers suggest secondary cancers seen in melanoma patients who are being treated for a BRAF gene mutation may require new strategies, such as enhanced surveillance and combining BRAF-inhibitor therapy with other inhibitors, especially as they become more widely used. They discussed this topic in a review article that appears in the July issue of Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

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August 12, 2013
Scientists Develop ‘Molecular Flashlight’ that Illuminates Brain Tumors in Mice, Stanford Cancer Institute

In a breakthrough that could have wide-ranging applications in molecular medicine, Stanford University researchers have created a bioengineered peptide that enables imaging of medulloblastomas, among the most devastating of malignant childhood brain tumors, in lab mice.

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August 12, 2013
Perception of Fertility Affects Quality of Life in Young, Female Cancer Survivors, University of Colorado Cancer Center

A new study led by a University of Colorado Cancer Center member recently published in the journal Quality of Life Research reveals that in young, female cancer survivors, quality of life is significantly impaired long after treatment. The study compared 59 cancer survivors to 66 healthy controls and found that, as expected, cancer survivors showed higher stress and anxiety than the general population.

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August 8, 2013
Couple Pledges $10 Million Gift to Head and Neck Cancer Research, Treatment, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Charles and Daneen Stiefel, of Raleigh, N.C., have pledged $10 million to the Head and Neck Cancer Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In honor of their generosity, the institution will name the Charles and Daneen Stiefel Center for Head and Neck Cancer.

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