July 17, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 28



SACI sponsors 10th Annual Symposium on Cancer Research 


The 10th Annual Symposium on Cancer Research in San Antonio will be held Friday, July 21, from 7:30 a.m. (registration) to 3 p.m. at the USAA auditorium, 9800 Fredericksburg Road. The symposium is sponsored by the San Antonio Cancer Institute, a collaborative effort of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center and the Health Science Center. 

Basic science and clinical cancer investigators, physicians, nurses, other health care practitioners, students, cancer survivors and caregivers of people with cancer are invited to attend the one-day symposium, which highlights the outstanding cancer research performed in San Antonio. 

In addition to presentations by established investigators, four students will present abstracts. Afternoon workshops will also be held to allow one-on-one discussions with investigators on specific research topics: cancer genetics, cancer models and cancer therapeutics.

There is no charge to attend the symposium, but seating is limited. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For further information, please contact Lois Dunnington, symposium coordinator, at 616-5912 or ldunning@saci.org.

Transplant teams assist patients from Rio Grande Valley 

Personnel from the Department of Surgery travel to the Lower Rio Grande Valley on a monthly basis to screen prospective kidney and liver transplant patients.

The kidney and pancreas transplant team visits dialysis units from Brownsville to Rio Grande City, said Micaela Buecher, senior kidney/pancreas transplant coordinator in the Division of Organ Transplantation. The liver transplant team, meanwhile, usually visits physicians' offices and clinics to assess patients. Physicians have referred most of the patients to the surgical personnel for pre-operative assessment.

The liver transplant personnel also provide post-operative follow-up. Either Dr. Glenn A. Halff, associate professor of surgery and division head, or one of the other transplant surgeons travels with the liver transplant coordinator and a physician assistant to the Valley to provide follow-up consultation to liver recipients. Dr. Robert M. Esterl Jr., associate professor of surgery, and Dr. Charles Nolan, transplant nephrologist, travel with two kidney transplant coordinators to do initial evaluations of potential kidney transplant recipients.

"Our group evaluates dialysis patients needing kidney transplants and places them on the waiting list of UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing)," Buecher said. "We discuss transplantation and the medical and financial issues that are involved."

Usually on separate visits, a social worker interviews the potential recipients. Questions touch on a range of areas, including life history, psychosocial support for the patient and ability to comply with medicine regimens.

Referrals from Valley physicians to the Health Science Center's collaborative kidney transplant program with the University Health System have dramatically increased in the past year, said Lisa Bishop-Beebe, marketing manager for organ transplantation programs with the University Health System. "We attribute this increase to the fact that we are filling a vital need of this medically underserved population," Bishop-Beebe said.