Fighting Cancer With Keytruda

Jan 14, 2020

In The Moment ... January 14, 2020 Show 733 Hour 2

Over the past several decades, cancer deaths have declined steadily. Sanford Health was part of the clinical trial of Keytruda which is a type of immunotherapy and works with one's immune system to help fight certain cancers. 

Dr. Steven Powell is an oncologist with Sanford Health and was heavily involved with these trials, he joins us today to tell us more.

In The Moment ... January 2, 2020 Show 725 Hour 2

On Thursday nights at 7 p.m. CST, 6 p.m. MST, SDPB TV brings you On Call With The Prairie Doc. The Prairie Doc is Dr. Rick Holm and he joins us ahead of tonight's show where the discussion revolves around breast cancer treatment updates.

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, Jackie Hendry, SDSU

Palliative care can relieve symptoms of serious illnesses like cancer. But despite high cancer rates on reservations, this specialized care is difficult to access.

A research partnership among South Dakota State University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Avera Health and others is working to develop palliative care options on three of South Dakota’s reservations. The research includes work with community members to ensure culturally-appropriate care.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Researchers at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are looking at new chemical-free treatments for cancer.  The School of Mines has been researching the efficacy of using cold plasma to destroy cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.

Dr. Prasoon Diwakar is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the School of Mines. He says their goal is to come up with a more effective and less toxic treatment option.

Brown Bag Book Club: Dr. Rick Holm

Aug 12, 2019

In The Moment ... August 12, 2019 Show 635 Hour 2

Dr. Rick Holm is a South Dakota physician whose broadcasting career has brought help to thousands. He's the host of On Call With the Prairie Doc on SDPB-TV.

As part of the Brown Bag Book Club, Dr. Holm visits about his book Life's Final Journey: A Guide for Aging and Dying With Grace. In the book he talks about his journey as a doctor, as a broadcaster, and as a cancer patient. He continues his battle with cancer today and continues to be a voice for science, compassion, self-care and for hope.


In The Moment ... January 18, 2019 Show 498 Hour 1

Derek Gerlach is in a fight for his life, and he's only 10 years old. The son of Shane and Donelle Gerlach, Derek had a golf-ball sized mass at the base of his skull removed late last year. The boy recently returned from the Mayo Clinic after his first round of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

In The Moment ... January 8, 2019 Show 490 Hour 1

Mitch Zeller, head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, has been working on FDA related issues for more than 30 years.   

He joins In The Moment to help educate teens on the "real cost" of smokeless tobacco. His message - smokeless doesn't mean harmless!

submitted photo

Journalist and SDPB Dakota Political Junkie Denise Ross joins In the Moment for a special one-hour conversation about life with cancer.

Anti-Cancer Living

May 3, 2018

In The Moment ... May 3, 2018 Show 329 Hour 1

Can excess stress sabotage your healthy habits? How does a deep sense of well-being impact gene signaling in the human body?

A new book looks at the role of cancer in our lives in a new way. The authors say you can reduce your risk of getting cancer and improve your chance of surviving cancer by making six fundamental changes in your lifestyle.

The book is called Anti-Cancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health With the Mix of Six.


In The Moment ... February 8, 2018 Show 273 Hour 2

Dr. Richard Holm is creator and host of "On Call with the Prairie Doc." You can see it tonight on SDPB-TV at 7 p.m. Central, 6 Mountain.

Today we sort through cancer screenings.


In The Moment ... December 14, 2017 Show 240 Hour 2 

Dr Richard Holm joins us for our weekly preview of "On Call with the Prairie Doc." This week we talk about pancreatic cancer.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A national study examines whether medication approved for one cancer treats other forms of the disease.

Sanford Health locations are part of the clinical trial. It's called the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry Study (TAPUR).

Dr. Steven Powell is the principal investigator for Sanford Health. He says precision cancer therapy uses patients' genetics and traits of individual cancers to treat disease. He says the study may expand options for treating patients who have advanced cancers.

Chris Laughery

Peter Vitiello, Ph.D., an associate scientist in the Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford Research has developed a new model which could have lasting implications for some of the world’s most dangerous diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Dr. Vitiello is a member of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine. It's an international organization of 1,200 scientists, investigators and clinicians who conduct research in the area of redox biology as well as oxidants and antioxidants.

Dr. Rick Holm is a physician, a husband, a father and a singer. He has been the host of On Call with the Prairie Doc for 15 seasons on SDPB-TV. The 2016 inductee into the South Dakota Hall of Fame also has cancer. Today, surgeons operate on Holm to find out whether or not his cancer has spread. One of Holm's close friends is Tom Dempster. In this Dakota Midday segment, Dempster interviews Holm about his upcoming surgery while the two friends discuss savoring life and the importance of releasing blame in illness.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new form of radiation therapy allows breast cancer patients to avoid weeks of trips back-and-forth to the hospital. That means some women who live far away from treatment centers don’t have to jeopardize their health if they can’t make it to radiation. A Sioux Falls hospital is one of eight in the country using what's called IORT. 

Eighteen months ago, Lu Rice was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Madison woman knew she needed surgery and radiation. She’s seen people go through treatment for five days a week.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

October brings a sea of pink to billboards, t-shirts, stores and even the NFL. Talking about every aspect of breast cancer during a designated awareness month is impossible. Patients and health providers say each person's journey is unique. A common thread does exist among these individual stories: a tenacious fight against allowing cancer any control.

The women featured here refuse to relinquish their dignity, their decisions, and their lives to a devastating disease - and each manifests this perseverance in a different way.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans who don’t have insurance are more likely to skip cancer screenings. Figures from the South Dakota Department of Health show insurance status affects patients’ preventative care decisions.

Health leaders are examining cancer screening rates, and they say a stark division emerges when breaking down the numbers.

Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon leads South Dakota’s Department of Health. She says people without insurance receive fewer cancer screenings than people with health coverage.

Dr. W. Chad Spanos is the clinical trial’s principal investigator at Sanford Health. He practices at the Sanford Ear Nose and Throat Clinic in Sioux Falls and runs a cancer biology lab. His research focuses on head and neck cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). We’ll discuss the clinical trial that is investigating a PD-1 inhibitor that stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. The drug is currently used in combination with other therapies to treat melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer.

The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo draws thousands of visitors to the region. One cowboy is using his bareback bronco rides to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use. Professional rodeo cowboy Cody Kiser is exclusively sponsored by the Oral Cancer Foundation, a small, nonprofit with a simple message for rodeo fans ... Be Smart, Don't Start.

South Dakota State University

Immunologist Eduardo Huarte is working on how to use probiotics to help immunotherapies that fight cancer cells.  His work focuses on how a person's diet affects the bacteria within the digestive system, known as the gut microbiome, and in turn, how the immune system's ability to fight cancer is affected.  Huarte is an assistant research professor with South Dakota State University's Department of Food Science and Nutrition.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera’s work to personalize cancer treatment could help people around the world. Leaders for the health system made the announcement Tuesday that the genomic oncology team is joining with the Worldwide Innovative Networking Consortium to participate in research and clinical trials. Now internationally renowned cancer expert Doctor Brian Leyland-Jones and Avera’s Center for Precision Oncology Director Casey Williams talk about the potential that exists in the new partnership.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Cancer researchers in Sioux Falls are now part of an international group collaborating on personalized treatment. Avera Cancer Institute is one of five American institutions partnering in a consortium referred to as WIN. Doctors say the revelations can help people with cancer at all stages.

Standard cancer treatments are often based on therapies that work for most people. Doctor Brian Leyland-Jones says everyone is different – and so are their cancers. He says tumors have different genes, compositions and signaling pathways.

The chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society is encouraging South Dakotans to get tested for colon cancer. National estimates show one in three adults over age 50 is not screened, even though survival chances skyrocket when doctors catch the disease early. Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death for both men and women in the country.

Local Oncologists Use New Cancer Therapies

Aug 24, 2015

Doctors in South Dakota are using recently-approved drugs to help patients fight cancer. Former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma diagnosis highlights treatment that includes both radiation and IV immune therapy. Similar treatments may work for cancer patients in South Dakota.

Melanoma is one type of skin cancer. Doctor Marcus Frohm says about 75,000 people will get melanoma this year, and traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary.

Dr. Keith Miskimins – Senior Scientist and Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center at Sanford Research.  His lab is currently looking at the Translation control of tumor suppressor protein p27Kip1 in normal and cancer cells.  p27 is an inhibitor of cell cycle progression that is commonly down regulated in cancer cells.

Sanford Health

Next week, SDPB-TV airs the latest Ken Burns documentary, Cancer the Emperor of All Maladies. The three-part, six-hour series covers the first documented appearances of cancer thousands of years ago through today’s battles to cure, control and conquer the disease.

Sanford Health

75 years ago, Canton, South Dakota native Ernest O. Lawrence accepted the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention and development of the cyclotron particle accelerator. Among the uses of  the cyclotron today is in medicine to make relatively short-lived radioisotopes for imaging and research.

Dr. Christopher Fischer is a nuclear medicine specialist at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed the use of the cyclotron in nuclear medicine and cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dakota Midday: Author Advocates Metabolic Theory of Cancer

Mar 25, 2015

The metabolic theory of cancer has been rejected by the scientific establishment, but in his book, Tripping Over the Truth, South Dakota author Travis Christofferson argues for taking a closer look at alternative cancer research. The metabolic theory is that cancer is not a genetic disease, but rather a disease of metabolism. Christofferson’s book looks at the history of cancer research over the last century.

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the U.S., but it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Nine out of 10 colorectal cancers could be prevented or successfully treated with regular colon cancer screenings.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Studies show that people who are screened have a 90 percent reduced risk of developing colon cancer. Yet nationwide only about 50 percent of people who are eligible take advantage of regular screenings.

Avera Health

According to the American Cancer Society, over 24 thousand adults in the U.S. will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year. Over 11 thousand will die from the disease. There’s no cure for multiple myeloma, but the cancer can be managed in many patients for years.

On Saturday, November 1st, the Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls hosts “Living with Multiple Myeloma." The education program features discussions about treatment and care of multiple myeloma.