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1.  Closing the Loop: An interactive action-research conference format for delivering updated medical information while eliciting Latina patient/family experiences and psychosocial needs post-genetic cancer risk assessment 
Familial cancer  2012;11(3):449-458.
Objective
A patient/family-centered conference was conducted at an underserved community hospital to address Latinas’ post-genetic cancer risk assessment (GCRA) medical information and psychosocial support needs, and determine the utility of the action research format.
Methods
Latinas seen for GCRA were recruited to a half-day conference conducted in Spanish. Content was partly determined from follow-up survey feedback. Written surveys, interactive discussions, and Audience Response System (ARS) queries facilitated the participant-healthcare professional action research process. Analyses included descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.
Results
The 71 attendees (41 patients and 27 relatives/friends) were primarily non-U.S. born Spanish-speaking females, mean age 43 years. Among patients, 73% had a breast cancer history; 85% had BRCA testing (49% BRCA+). Nearly all (96%) attendees completed the conference surveys and ARS queries; ≥48% participated in interactive discussions. Most (95%) agreed that the format met their personal interests and expectations and provided useful information and resources. Gaps/challenges identified in the GCRA process included pre-consult anxiety, uncertainty about reason for referral and expected outcomes, and psychosocial needs post-GCRA, such as absorbing and disseminating risk information to relatives and concurrently coping with a recent cancer diagnosis.
Conclusions
The combined action research and educational conference format was innovative and effective for responding to continued patient information needs and addressing an important data gap about support needs of Latina patients and family members following genetic cancer risk assessment. Findings informed GCRA process improvements and provide a basis for theory-driven cancer control research.
doi:10.1007/s10689-012-9535-5
PMCID: PMC3620038  PMID: 22678665
Latinas; cancer; genetics; oncology; patient conference; psychosocial
2.  Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast: An Overview 
Papillary carcinoma of the breast represents approximately 0.5% of all newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer. The prevalence of both invasive and in situ papillary carcinoma seems to be greater older postmenopausal women, and -in relative terms-in males. Histologic features of the tumor include cellular proliferations surrounding fibrovascular cores, with or without invasion. In this review, characteristics of both in situ and invasive disease are outlined. Immunohistochemical analyses of papillary carcinoma suggest the utility of markers such as smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, calponin, p63 and high molecular weight keratins, which can characterize the myoepithelial cell layer. With respect to radiographic evaluation of papillary carcinoma, ultrasonography is the most extensively studied imaging modality, though magnetic resonance mammography has potential utility. Available data suggest improved outcome for papillary carcinoma as compared to invasive ductal carcinoma. Treatment-related information for patients with papillary carcinoma is limited, and patterns noted in available series suggest a variable approach to this disease. The scarcity of information underscores the need for further treatment- and outcome-related studies in papillary carcinoma of the breast.
doi:10.1007/s10549-010-0961-5
PMCID: PMC3244819  PMID: 20524058
papillary; breast carcinoma; male breast cancer; breast ultrasonography; breast magnetic resonance mammography
3.  Transoral Surgical Approach for Retropharyngeal Node Involvement in I-131-Negative 18-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography–Positive Recurrent Thyroid Cancer 
Skull Base  2009;19(6):431-436.
ABSTRACT
Transoral pharyngotomy is a viable minimally invasive approach for resection of metastatic thyroid cancer in retropharyngeal lymph nodes in highly select patients. A few authors have already reported on its safe application with excellent outcomes. We herein describe a case where the technique is assisted with the Omniguide CO2 laser system to safely access and remove a metastatic node in the retropharyngeal space of a 24 year-old Caucasian woman. Furthermore, her disease was I-131-negative and positron emission tomography–positive, demonstrating the technique is still feasible in this dedifferentiated cancer state.
doi:10.1055/s-0029-1224772
PMCID: PMC2793887  PMID: 20436845
Retropharyngeal; thyroid cancer; transoral; lymph node; minimally invasive surgery
4.  Association of Reactive Oxygen Species Levels and Radioresistance in Cancer Stem Cells 
Nature  2009;458(7239):780-783.
Metabolism of oxygen, while central to life, also produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that have been implicated in processes as diverse as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. It has recently been shown that central nervous system stem cells1, 2 and hematopoietic stem cells and early progenitors3-6 contain lower levels of ROS than their more mature progeny and that these differences appear to be critical for maintaining stem cell function. We hypothesized that epithelial tissue stem cells and their cancer stem cell (CSC) counterparts may also share this property. Here we show that normal mammary epithelial stem cells contain lower concentrations of ROS than their more mature progeny cells. Congruently, subsets of CSCs in some human and murine breast tumors contain lower ROS levels than corresponding non-tumorigenic cells (NTCs). Consistent with ROS being critical mediators of ionizing radiation-induced cell killing7, 8, CSCs in these tumors develop less DNA damage and are preferentially spared after irradiation compared to NTCs. Lower ROS levels in CSCs are associated with increased expression of free radical scavenging systems. Pharmacologic depletion of ROS scavengers in CSCs significantly decreases their clonogenicity and results in radiosensitization. These results indicate that, similar to normal tissue stem cells, subsets of CSCs in some tumors contain lower ROS levels and enhanced ROS defenses compared to their non-tumorigenic progeny, which may contribute to tumor radioresistance.
doi:10.1038/nature07733
PMCID: PMC2778612  PMID: 19194462

Results 1-4 (4)