Sally Htoy via Crowdrise
October 21, 2013
BENEFITING: City of Hope
EVENT DATE: Mar 17, 2013
What started out as an effort to get back into running shape and better health has turned into an opportunity to raise research funds for a dear friend and colleague who lost his battle with lung cancer. I plan to run the Los Angeles Marathon on March 17 and will be accepting donations to support research that will continue through the Dr. Steve Shibata Gastrointestinal (GI) Research Fund.
My story with Dr. Shibata dates back to 1998 when I started at City of Hope as a staff pharmacist after completing my residency. I had a passion for oncology, and City of Hope was the perfect place to start my career. I floated through several hospital units and always had the opportunity to take care of his patients. I was struck by his thoughtful and thorough approach to patient care and better yet, I had no problems reading his orders! For any pharmacist processing dangerous chemotherapy/biotherapy orders, legible orders are a god-send. Over the years, as my role evolved, I had even more opportunity to interact with him to discuss drug treatment and formulary management strategies and policy/guideline development. Dr. Shibata was a key supporter and significant catalyst for a paradigm shift in the way our pharmacists interact with patients and other caregivers in the organization. He was one of the first physicians to partner with one of our pharmacists to create a patient care model that mutually benefitted our patients and our clinical practice. To this day, the pharmacists continue to enjoy working in an environment of enhanced collaboration and advanced practice.
Dr. Shibata had a genuine and selfless spirit and a quiet confidence that fueled his success clinically and in translational research. He was the epitome of what it meant to live with purpose. Most importantly, he lived to enjoy his family, life’s simple pleasures, and the work as a clinical scientist that will benefit thousands of patients all over the world and for years to come because that’s what he wanted to do most.
We had a good run, and it would be my honor to go on a final run with him so his legacy can live on in his research and his LIVEacy may remain in our hearts and fond memories of him.
1. Donations may be made through my webpage at http://www.crowdrise.com/SteveShibata
2. For checks, please make it out to “City of Hope”. Under the memo field of the check, please indicate that it’s for the Dr. Steve Shibata GI Memorial Fund.
If sending checks by interoffice mail:
Sally Htoy (Pharmacy Department - Helford Pharmacy Room 2205).
If sending checks by regular mail:
City of Hope
Attention: Sally Htoy (Pharmacy Department)
1500 E. Duarte Rd
Duarte, CA 91010
DR. SHIBATA’S RESEARCH ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Dr. Steve Shibata started his clinical research career long before the era of molecularly targeted agents. Back then, oncologists were limited to a relatively small list of cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs. The challenge was to figure out ways to make these drugs work better. So throughout his early research career, he actively investigated creative new ways to give the existing drugs by using higher doses, using different methods of administration, or giving combinations of cancer drugs and non-cancer drugs. All of this was done with the goal of improving patient outcomes, either by extending patients lives, improving the quality of their lives, or hopefully, both.
- Participated in nearly all of the early City of Hope investigations of dose intense chemotherapy and stem-cell rescue
- Involved in multiple studies of prolonged intravenous infusions of chemotherapies that were usually given as injections or short infusions,
- Actively involved in studies of localized drug delivery such as intraperitoneal chemotherapy and intra-hepatic arterial infusion.
- Significant contributions were made to several early studies combining standard chemotherapy with non-cancer drugs, which were used to prevent the emergence of resistance to the cancer drug.
- Tested novel combinations of radio-immunotherapy and chemotherapy for gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
- Embraced the concept of tumor biomarkers and personalized medicine, long before the term ‘personalized medicine’ was coined He published a paper describing the results of a study that he started in 1998 entitled “A Phase I study of oxaliplatin in combination with gemcitabine: Correlation of clinical outcome with gene expression”, demonstrated that patients whose tumors had lower levels of a gene called ribonucleotide reductase had a better chance of responding to the treatment than those with higher levels.
- On a national level, Dr. Shibata was active in SWOG and was a very active member of the NCI-funded California Cancer Consortium over the course of his career
- Principle Investigator (PI) on a total of 94 Phase I and II clinical trials. Notably, he was the PI on California Consortium study PHI-08, which was the first ever hepatic dysfunction study performed by the Consortium (A Phase I Study of Taxotere in Patients with Advanced Malignancies and Varying Degrees of Liver Dysfunction).
- Spearheadedanother investigator-initiated study of vinorelbine in patients with hepatic dysfunction to prospectively evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of anticancer drugs in patients with drug-clearing organ impairment, so that active agents could be used safely and effectively in all patients.
- Based on the success of PHI-08, Dr. Shibata’s work led directly to the formation of the NCI Organ Dysfunction Group, a mini-cooperative group of 13 institutions that was established to perform safety and PK studies of investigational agents in patients with altered liver and kidney function. As the City of Hope representative on the Organ Dysfunction Group, Dr. Shibata was a major leader in this effort, culminating in his involvement with the most recently completed trial of pazopanib in patients with liver dysfunction.
- Dr. Shibata was aware that up to 1/4 of gastric cancers overexpress Her-2/neu antigen, the target of the antibody, trastuzumab. This monoclonal antibody was approved by the FDA in 2010 to use in combination with chemotherapy for this population of patients. He hypothesized recently that micro RNA’s (miRNA’s), being gene regulators, must play an important role in gastric cancer development. Together with investigators in the Beckman Research Institute, they identified Her-2 (+) and (-) clinically matched gastric tumors, and after Next Generation deep sequencing, showed that gastric tumors with different Her-2 status have different miRNA profiles. This has led Dr. Shibata and his collaborators to conclude that a pattern of miRNA expression can be characteristic of Her-2 (+) tumors, and may regulate its expression.
- One of Dr. Shibata’s final tasks, completed just a few short weeks before he passed, was to review and edit the final draft of the manuscript for the pazopanib study. The paper has been submitted for publication, and in addition to being published in a high quality journal for all of his peers to read, the results of this study will make it into the official package insert for pazopanib. Therefore, Dr. Shibata’s research will provide safe and effective dosing guidelines for patients with impaired liver function.