For optimal viewing of the AACI Update click here.
News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesNovember 2009
The AACI is dedicated to promoting the common interests of the nation’s leading academic cancer centers that are focused on the eradication of cancer through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program of cancer research, treatment, patient care, prevention, education, and community outreach.
AACI Update is an e-newsletter for the cancer center directors and key contacts at AACI member institutions and individuals interested in the cancer center-related activities of AACI. AACI Update reports on the progress of AACI initiatives and other AACI endeavors that benefit the cancer community and highlights important news and events at AACI member institutions.

AACI encourages member institutions to submit cancer center highlights to AACI Update. News briefs are linked to complete stories posted on individual cancer center websites. Please e-mail materials to aaciupdate@aaci-cancer.org. AACI reserves the right to decide whether or not materials are appropriate for inclusion.

Update, please send an e-mail to aaciupdate@aaci-cancer.org with your name, title, address, telephone and fax numbers asking to be added to the AACI’s distribution list.

To unsubscribe from AACI Update, please send an e-mail to aaciupdate@aaci-cancer.org with your name, title, and unsubscribe in the subject line to be removed from AACI’s distribution list.


Mailing address:
3708 Fifth Avenue
Medical Arts Building, Suite 503
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Headlines

Cancer Centers Meet in Washington, D.C.

The 2009 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting convened October 18-20, in Washington, D.C. The trans-disciplinary conference examined issues that both challenge and contribute to the cancer centers’ combined efforts to improve the health of patients and families across the United States. This event was jointly sponsored by Vanderbilt School of Medicine and AACI and was attended by over 260 cancer professionals.

This year’s meeting featured presentations exploring some of the many aspects of health care reform that will have significant impacts on cancer research and on the patients who benefit from our work. more...

Specter, Rowley Achievements Recognized by AACI

Michelle Le Beau, Director, University of
Chicago Cancer Research Center; AACI 2009 Distinguished Scientist awardee Janet Rowley;
AACI Immediate Past President Edward Benz,
President & CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The Association of American Cancer Institutes presented its 2009 Distinguished Public Service Award to Senator Arlen Specter on October 20, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. Sen. Specter was recognized for his exceptional commitment to the U.S. biomedical research infrastructure, including his efforts to double the NIH budget and for the provision that he introduced to add $6.5 billion in economic stimulus funding for NIH. AACI also honored Janet D. Rowley, of the University of Chicago, with its 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award for her leadership in the oncology and biomedical communities and her landmark research, particularly, her discoveries of chromosome abnormalities in human leukemia and lymphoma. more...

Pennsylvania cancer center representatives join AACI leadership to present Senator Arlen Specter with AACI’s 2009 Distinguished Public Service award. L to R: James G. Terwilliger; Barbara A. Vance; Jeff Boyd; Elizabeth B. O’Brien; Nancy Davidson; Senator Specter; Thomas P. Loughran, Jr.; Michael A. Caligiuri; Tom O’Leary; Joy Soleiman; Jennifer K. Carlson; Barbara Duffy Stewart.

Caligiuri Assumes AACI Leadership
Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, who leads The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, is now president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). Previously, Caligiuri served a two-year term as AACI’s vice president and president-elect.

He assumed his new two-year term during the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. He is succeeding Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president and Chief Executive Officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston. more...

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Knight Director Wins Lasker-DeBakey Award
Knight Cancer Institute
Dr. Brian J. Druker, whose research led to the development of Gleevec, the first targeted cancer pill to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed, has been honored with one of the most distinguished awards in biomedical research — the Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research. Druker shares the 2009 award with Dr. Nichols B. Lydon, formerly of Novartis, and Dr. Charles Sawyers, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. more...
Cancer Researcher Delivers 21st Annual Waddell Award Lecture
Arizona Cancer Center
Robert A. Weinberg, PhD, professor and founding member of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented a lecture at the Arizona Cancer Center and received its Donald Ware Waddell Award. more...
Balducci Recognized For Involvement in Geriatric Oncology
Moffitt Cancer Center
Dr. Lodovico Balducci, chief of the Senior Adult Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been honored twice recently for his expertise and involvement in the field of geriatric oncology. Balducci is the first medical oncologist to receive the Nimmo Professorship from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia. Dr. Dorothy Keefe, chief of oncology and president of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, and Dr. Robert Prowse, chief of geriatrics, hosted Balducci at the hospital in August. more...
American Thyroid Association Honors OSU Cancer Expert
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -
Dr. Matthew D. Ringel, a physician and researcher at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) who specializes in thyroid and endocrine tumors, has been awarded the American Thyroid Association’s 2009 Van Meter Award. The Van Meter Award is the association’s oldest award, established in 1930, and presented to an investigator age 45 or under who has made outstanding contributions to thyroid disease research. Ringel’s research focuses on the pathways in the development and spread of thyroid and endocrine tumors. He has authored more than 90 original articles, book chapters and review articles. more...
Gillies Named President-Elect Of The Society For Molecular Imaging
Moffitt Cancer Center
Dr. Robert Gillies has been chosen as the president-elect for The Society for Molecular Imaging. The world-renowned society strives to advance the understanding of biology and medicine by studying noninvasive, in-vivo molecular events in healthy and diseased processes. Dr. Gillies accepted the position at the society’s council meeting. He plans to initiate establishment of Web-based curricula for teaching of molecular imaging to new researchers. more...
Ross Receives Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
Masonic Cancer Center
A researcher at the Masonic Cancer Center receives the outstanding faculty mentor of postdoctoral scholars award. Julie Ross, PhD, a pediatric cancer research leader at the Masonic Cancer Center, is one of two University of Minnesota faculty to receive the University’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Postdoctoral Scholars Award for 2009-2010. The award recognizes extraordinary performance and achievement in mentoring postdoctoral scholars by providing leadership and advocacy to assist postdoctoral scholars in accomplishing significant intellectual and leadership goals in the scholars’ fields of expertise. more...
Lombardi Researcher Inducted into Institute of Medicine
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
Dr. Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, associate director for minority health and health disparities research for the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center was inducted into the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Adams-Campbell is a member of the 2008 IOM class. more...
Two St. Jude Faculty Elected to Institute of Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Dr. Michael Kastan and Dr. Mary Relling, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a prestigious branch of the National Academy of Sciences. more...
IU President Recognizes Distinguished Simon Cancer Center Researcher
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Indiana University recognized the physician who is credited with curing testicular cancer. IU President Michael McRobbie presented Distinguished Professor Lawrence Einhorn, M.D., the Lance Armstrong Foundation Professor in Oncology with the IU School of Medicine and a physician/researcher with the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, with a Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion in recognition of his prominent achievement and dedicated service. more...
UAB Cancer Researchers, IT Specialists, Win Bioinformatics Award
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
A team of researchers and information technology specialists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center has won the caBIG® 2009 Deployment Award from the National Cancer Institute. more...
Grants & Gifts
$4.8 Million Federal Stimulus Grant Launches Feasibility Study of Effort to Measure All Human Proteins
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
An expert in cancer proteomics at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has received $4.8 million in federal stimulus funding from the National Cancer Institute to co-lead a pilot study to assess the feasibility and scalability of a project that aims to measure all of the proteins in the human body. more...
Physician Awarded Grant to Study HDAC Inhibitors in Treating Renal Cell Carcinoma
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute physician Roberto Pili, MD, has been awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in treating renal cell carcinoma. The two-year grant is for $675,000. more...
Researchers Receive Grant to Study Tamoxifen Therapy Outcomes
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Two Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers have been awarded a two-year, $650,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study a novel approach to treating breast cancer with tamoxifen. Gokul Das, PhD, and Swati Kulkarni, MD, are co-lead investigators. more...
Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Pledges $10 Million to IU Simon Cancer Center
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Not only does Vera Bradley make popular handbags, but it also fights against breast cancer. The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer announced that it is committing $10 million to breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. more...
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Helps Develop Nationwide Prostate Cancer Consortium
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Dr. Robert S. DiPaola, director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, has been awarded $1.6 million by the Department of Defense to fund CINJ’s participation in a nationwide consortium of 13 National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers engaged in innovative and collaborative research to tackle prostate cancer. more...
Winship Receives $4.7 Million Anonymous Donation
Winship Cancer Institute
It isn’t every day that someone quietly leaves nearly $5 million for cancer research on your doorstep. Emory Winship Cancer Institute has received just such a gift — an anonymous donation of $4.7 million to fund key priorities. “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this very generous gift,” says Walter J. Curran Jr., executive director of Emory Winship. “We believe the best way to show our appreciation is to invest in high impact projects that lead to advances in cancer research and care for all of Georgia and beyond.” more...
City of Hope Awarded $11.4 million Grant to Create National Model to Help Lung Cancer Patients, Families
City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute
The National Cancer Institute has awarded City of Hope a five-year, $11.4 million program project research grant to develop a national model of complete care for lung cancer patients, from managing symptoms to supporting their families. more...
Barlogie, UAMS Multiple Myeloma Program Receive $19.5 Million Grant
Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
The internationally known multiple myeloma program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will receive $19.5 million over five years to continue work that has already developed new treatments for this cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in the bone marrow. In 2004, Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy (MIRT), was awarded $17.9 million from the from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to fund an ongoing comprehensive research program, entitled “Growth Control of Multiple Myeloma.” That grant was distributed over five years, concluding in June. more...
Protein Research Wins NIH Award
University of Chicago Cancer Research Center
A University of Chicago researcher is among the first to win a new award from the National Institutes of Health aimed at supporting research that “has the potential to transform the way we think about and conduct science,” according to NIH Director Francis Collins, PhD, MD. Shohei Koide, PhD, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, won an NIH Transformative R01 (T-R01) Award, which comes with a 5-year, $2.8 million grant, to develop an innovative protein-capture technology with high levels of fidelity and predictability. more...
Roswell Park Wins Funding for Smokeless Tobacco Study
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has received a $2.1M National Institutes of Health grant to assess smokers’ interest in smokeless tobacco products. Richard O’Connor, PhD, of the Health Behavior Department at RPCI, is the principal investigator. The smokeless tobacco products being studied include chews, powders, dissolvable tablets and other products. Most are marketed to smokers for use in situations where they are unable to smoke, such as indoors in public settings. The study will assess whether current smokers use such smokeless products only as a substitute for cigarette smoking or if they are willing to switch completely from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco. more...
Center to Open New Directions for Cancer Research
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Northwestern University has been awarded a $13.6 million five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to establish an interdisciplinary research center for the study of genes and their role in cancer. A better understanding of the mechanisms could lead to better diagnostics and therapeutics and open up new directions for research. more...
Researcher Awarded $1 Million to Investigate Cell Metabolism in Cancer Growth
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Dr. Eileen White, associate director of basic science at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and colleagues have been awarded a $1 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more...
Grant Will Help Recruit Leaders in GI Cancer
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center
The University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center received $1.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to recruit two junior tenure-track faculty members to conduct translational research focused primarily on gastrointestinal (GI) cancer more...
New Cancer Research Center to be Based at USC
USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
USC has been selected to establish a $16 million cancer research center as part of a new strategy against the disease by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and its National Cancer Institute. more...
Vanderbilt NIH Grant Bolsters Search for New Cancer Drugs
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have received a two-year, $4.7 million “Grand Opportunities” stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health to launch a ground-breaking cancer drug discovery program. more...
Retired Retail Executive Donates $5 Million Estate Gift
Arizona Cancer Center
The late Fenton L. Maynard of Phoenix committed a $5 million gift from his estate to the Arizona Cancer Center. This is the largest gift for research activities made to the Cancer Center in its 33-year history. The gift, the Margaret E. and Fenton L. Maynard Excellence in Breast Cancer Research Endowment, will be used to support basic and clinical research by Arizona Cancer Center scientists and physicians to achieve improved diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer. more...
SIU Med School Receives $2.6 Million in Stimulus Grants
SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute
Fourteen faculty members at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield and Carbondale have been awarded grants by the National Institutes of Health through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for their research projects. The grants which total $2,606,950 are being awarded to various projects. Some of the grants are for expansion of existing projects and others are for new research efforts. more...
Immunology Researcher Obtains Nearly $1 million NIH Grant
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Dr. Venuprasad K. Poojary, assistant professor at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, has secured a two-year federal grant for almost $1 million to further his research into creating more effective immunotherapy strategies for cancer treatment. Dr. Poojary’s grant brings the total number of federal stimulus grant dollars received by Karmanos researchers to approximately $8 million this year. more...
Karmanos Receives $3 Million Grant From the Herrick Foundation
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute announced it received a $3 million grant from the Herrick Foundation. The initial gift of $1 million launches The Herrick Foundation Cancer Research Challenge, a special initiative to increase research funding at the Karmanos Cancer Institute over the next four years. The additional commitment of $2 million will be given in match funding. For every dollar Karmanos raises for cancer research beginning Oct. 1, 2009, the Herrick Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000 per year, over the next four years. more...
University of Colorado Offers Free Lung Tumor Genetic Testing
University of Colorado Cancer Center
The University of Colorado Cancer Center and 13 other leading centers will begin free genetic tumor screenings for lung cancer patients because of a $5.2 million Grand Opportunities grant, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project, called the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium Protocol, aims to identify mutations in lung adenocarcinoma tumors for which there are specific, more effective and less toxic oral therapies more...
NIH awards grant to U-M researcher for gender studies
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
A University of Michigan physician is one of 14 awarded a National Institutes of Health grant focused on studying gender issues in the sciences. Dr. Reshma Jagsi, assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Medical School, was awarded $865,867 to examine how gender differences in outcomes develop among physician researchers. more...
$11.5 Million Cervical Cancer Grant Awarded To UAB Cancer Center, Partners
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center has won an $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore groundbreaking cervical cancer research, prevention and treatment. more...
Massey Researcher Receives $1.25 Million to Examine Drug for Improving Radiation Therapy in Mice for Brain Cancer
Massey Cancer Center
A leading researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center received a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study a novel drug’s ability to improve radiation treatment of glioblastoma multiforme in mice as a prelude to human testing. more...
Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention Awarded $15.7 Million
Arizona Cancer Center
The Arizona Cancer Center Health Disparities Institute’s Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention in conjunction with its partner - Northern Arizona University- has been awarded a $15.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue developing sustainable solutions to cancer disparities among Native Americans. The Arizona Cancer Center will receive $6.7 million, and NAU will receive $8.9 million. more...
UPCI Researchers Receive V Foundation Award for Lung Cancer Clinical Trials
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Dr. Jill M. Siegfried, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s (UPCI) Lung and Thoracic Malignancies Program, has received a $1 million grant from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, former legendary basketball coach of North Carolina State University. The grant will help support the establishment of new clinical trials for lung cancer patients at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Cancer Centers. more...
Researchers get $1 Million to Create New Thyroid Cancer Cell Lines
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Thyroid cancer researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center have received a $900,000, two-year Challenge Grant from the National Institutes of Health to create new validated thyroid cancer cell lines and validate that currently used cell lines are thyroid cancer. more...
Leadership Transitions
Horwitz Named Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Radiation Oncologist Eric M. Horwitz, MD, has been named chairman of the department of radiation oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Recognized nationally for his expertise in treating patients with prostate cancer, Horwitz will also hold the Gerald E. Hanks Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology. more...
Pediatric Oncologist Durden Joins Moores
Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center
Donald L. Durden, MD, PhD, has been named Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Research Director, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, where he will help build the basic and translational pediatric oncology research program. A professor of pediatrics, Durden will head efforts to apply targeted therapeutics into other pediatric diseases at UC San Diego Medical Center and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. more...
Vokes to Lead University of Chicago Medical Center
University of Chicago Cancer Research Center
Dr. Everett Vokes, the John E. Ultmann Professor of Medicine and Radiation Oncology, and Deputy Director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center, has been named Interim Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine, Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs, and Interim Chief Executive Office of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Dr. Vokes is an internationally renowned expert in the treatment of head and neck cancer. more...
Lung Cancer Specialist Joins Knight Leadership Team
Knight Cancer Institute
Dr. Alan B. Sandler, a nationally renowned lung cancer specialist, is joining the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute as the chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and will be appointed as the DeArmond Chair for Cancer Research. Dr. Sandler is currently the medical director of thoracic oncology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He is the co-director of the Center for Management Research in Healthcare at Vanderbilt University and the medical director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center Affiliate Network. more...
Fink Named Board Chair of NYU Cancer Institute
NYU Cancer Institute
The Cancer Institute (CI) at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) announced that Lori Fink has been appointed Chair of its Board of Directors. She joined the CI Board in 2008. In her new position, Fink will take an active leadership role at the CI, including helping to set the strategic direction of the CI. Fink will also work closely with the NYU Langone Medical Center Board of Trustees, Dean and senior leadership to help advance the mission of the Cancer Institute. more...
CTRC Announces New Leadership
Cancer Therapy and Research Center
Three cancer specialists with successful track records in a combination of roles including clinical research, drug development, patient care and administration have been chosen to lead the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. more...
Two New Cancer Researchers Bring $3 Million in NCI funding to University of Kansas
University of Kansas Cancer Center
The University of Kansas Cancer Center has recruited two researchers that bring with them a total of $3 million in National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding. These research dollars will help achieve the critical requirement of $11 million in total NCI grant funding needed to apply for designation as a Cancer Center. more...
O’Connor Deputy Director of Clinical Research at NYU
NYU Cancer Institute
NYU Langone Medical Center announced that Owen A. O’Connor, MD, PhD, has been appointed deputy director of clinical research and cancer treatment at The Cancer Institute (CI) and chief of the new Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine. He will also serve as professor of medicine and pharmacology at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. O’Connor’s clinical practice and research program will focus on the discovery of new therapies and treatment for non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. more...
Ellis Appointed Deputy Director for Research at Yale
Yale Cancer Center
Yale Cancer Center Director, Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., recently appointed Dr. Chad A. Ellis as Deputy Director for Research. Dr. Ellis joins Yale Cancer Center from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where he was a Program Director for the Cancer Centers Program. more...
Research Highlights
Nanotechnology Team Captures Tumor Cells in Bloodstream
Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
A team led by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researchers on the cutting edge of nanotechnology has found a way to capture tumor cells in the bloodstream that could dramatically improve earlier cancer diagnosis and prevent deadly metastasis. more...
Nanoparticles Used in Common Household Items Cause Genetic Damage in Mice
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in everything from cosmetics and sunscreen to paint and vitamins, caused systemic genetic damage in mice, according to a comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
Researchers Develop Promising Cancer Diagnostic Marker
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center have developed a new breast cancer diagnostic marker that could enable physicians to more easily determine which patients have a less aggressive form of the disease that may not require chemotherapy treatment. more...
Researchers Find Two Units of Umbilical Cord Blood Significantly Reduces Leukemia Recurrence Risk
Masonic Cancer Center
A new study from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota shows that patients who have acute leukemia and are transplanted with two units of umbilical cord blood (UCB) have significantly reduced risk of the disease returning. This finding has the potential to change the current medical practice of using one unit of UCB for treatment of patients who are at high risk for recurrence of leukemia and other cancers of the blood and bone marrow. more...
High-precision Radiation Therapy Improves Cervical Cancer Outcomes
The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that highly targeted radiation therapy improves survival and lessens treatment-related complications in cervical cancer patients. more...
Breast-Cancer Model Shows Normal Cells Help Tumors Grow
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -
A study led by Ohio State University cancer researchers and published in the Oct. 22 issue of Nature has shown for the first time that gene changes in normal tumor cells can foster tumor growth and progression. This work provides the first animal model that accurately represents the environment found within human breast tumors, also known as the tumor microenvironment. more...
Radiation Costs Vary Widely by Delivery, U-M Study Finds
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
When cancer spreads to the bone, radiation treatments can help relieve the pain caused by the tumor. But how best to deliver the radiation may vary widely from one oncologist to the next. A new analysis from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center shows cost also varies widely from one delivery method to the next. Costs can range from around $1,700 for a single treatment with conventional radiation techniques to more than $16,000 for four treatments using a system of radiation delivery called Cyberknife. more...
Researchers Aim To Strengthen Georgia Cancer Data to Evaluate Care Statewide
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University public health researchers have received $372,436 in combined grant support to augment the Georgia state cancer registry for studies to assess the effectiveness and quality of cancer care statewide. Funding includes a one-year $249,984 grant awarded jointly by the Association of Schools of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and supported through an inter-agency agreement with the National Cancer Institute. The Georgia Cancer Coalition is contributing an additional $122,452 in funding. more...
More Breast Cancer Patients Opting to Have Healthy Breasts Removed
Masonic Cancer Center
Masonic Cancer Center study shows more Twin Cities breast cancer patients opting to have healthy breasts removed. Female surgeons are performing more breast removal surgeries than their male counterparts. Women in the greater Twin Cities region who are diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast and choosing also to have the health breast surgically removed tend to be younger, have a larger tumor, a family history of the disease, and a female surgeon for their doctor. Those are the findings of a new study from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. more...
Study Confirms Higher Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in Lynch Syndrome Families
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
A new study has documented a nine-fold higher risk of pancreatic cancer in individuals with Lynch syndrome, a rare genetic cancer predisposition syndrome, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan. The study, published in the Oct. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first using rigorous statistical methods to confirm the elevated risk, the authors say. Previous studies yielded conflicting results. more...
Roswell Park Licenses Photodynamic Technology on a Global Scale
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has licensed its photodynamic therapy (PDT) technology to pharmaceutical companies in India and China, reports Richard Matner, PhD, MBA, Director of RPCI’s Technology Transfer Office. PDT, a treatment that uses intense doses of red light to activate photosensitive, cancer-killing drugs, was pioneered by RPCI scientist Thomas J. Dougherty, Chief Emeritus of the Photodynamic Therapy Center. The licensing agreements cover technology that was developed by Dr. Dougherty and his RPCI colleague Ravindra Pandey, PhD, Distinguished Member of Clinical Research, in the Cell Stress Biology Department. more...
Researchers Exploit Genetic "Co-dependence" to Kill Treatment-resistant Tumor Cells
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Cancer cells fueled by the mutant KRAS oncogene, which makes them notoriously difficult to treat, can be killed by blocking a more vulnerable genetic partner of KRAS, report scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The laboratory results, published by Nature on its Web site as an advanced online publication and later in a print edition, demonstrate a potential advance against many major tumors which, because they harbor the mutant KRAS cancer gene, are highly aggressive and respond poorly to treatment. By targeting the second, more easily inhibited "co-dependent" gene, TBK, the strategy bypasses the so far unfruitful head-on assault against the highly resistant KRAS gene. more...
Experts Issue Call to Reconsider Screening for Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute
Twenty years of screening for breast and prostate cancer – the most diagnosed cancer for women and men – have not brought the anticipated decline in deaths from these diseases, argue experts from the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in an opinion piece published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association.” more...
Human Cells Secrete Cancer-Killing Protein
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center
Human cells are able to secrete a cancer-killing protein, scientists at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center have found. Researchers led by Vivek Rangnekar, UK professor of radiation medicine, have determined that the tumor-suppressor protein Par-4, initially thought to be active only within cells expressing the Par-4 gene, is in fact secreted by most human and rodent cells and can target large numbers of cancer cells by binding to receptors on the cell surface. more...
Barsky Publishes Paper highlighting Results of a Transgenic Mouse Study Directly Applicable to Human Breast Cancer Tumor Study
Nevada Cancer Institute
Dr. Sanford Barsky, who holds faculty positions at the University of Nevada School of Medicine as chair of the pathology department and Nevada Cancer Institute chief of pathology, is part of a team that has a paper on transgenic mouse mammary tumors with direct relevance to human breast cancer published in the scientific journal Nature. more...
Researchers Expand Understanding of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children with Down Syndrome
Comprehensive Cancer Center St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Researchers identified a new chromosomal abnormality in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that appears to work in concert with another mutation to give rise to cancer. This latest anomaly is particularly common in children with Down syndrome. The findings have already resulted in new diagnostic tests and potential tools for tracking a patient’s response to treatment. The research, led by scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, also highlights a new potential ALL treatment. Clinicians are already planning trials of an experimental medication targeting one of the altered genes. more...
Research Supports Potential for New Anti-Cancer Agent
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
A study published in the October issue of Nature Genetics demonstrates that loss of the tumor-suppressor protein p53, coupled with elimination of the DNA-maintenance protein ATR, severely disrupts tissue maintenance in mice. As a result, tissues deteriorate rapidly, which is generally fatal in these animals. In addition, the study provides supportive evidence for the use of inhibitors of ATR in cancer therapy. more...
University of Pittsburgh/NIH Team Find Way to Protect Healthy Cells from Dangerous Radiation Exposure
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, may be hot on the heels of a Holy Grail of cancer therapy: They have found a way to not only protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of radiation treatment, but also increase tumor death. more...
Loss of Tumor Supressor Gene Transforms Benign Nerve Tumors into Cancers
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center showed for the first time that the loss or decreased expression of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN plays a central role in the malignant transformation of benign nerve tumors called neurofibromas into a malignant and extremely deadly form of sarcoma. more...
Rochester Study: Women with Breast Cancer Have Low Vitamin D Levels
James P. Wilmot Cancer Center
Women with breast cancer should be given high doses of vitamin D because a majority of them are likely to have low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to decreased bone mass and greater risk of fractures, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center more...
First Ever Testing Guidelines for Melanoma
Huntsman Cancer Institute
An international coalition of physicians and scientists, led by Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah, has proposed guidelines for the first time concerning genetic testing for melanoma patients. The guidelines were developed from analysis of worldwide data on patients harboring a mutation in a gene known as CDKN2A. “Mutations in this gene are associated with an increased risk for both melanoma and pancreas cancer,” says Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D, author of the large, multi-center study. more...
New Chemo Cocktail Blocks Breast Cancer Like a Fence
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Think of a protective fence that blocks the neighbor’s dog from charging into your backyard. The body, too, has fences -- physical and biochemical barriers that keep cells in their place. When breast cancer spreads or metastasizes, it crashes through the body’s protective fences. The disease becomes fatal when it travels outside the mammary ducts, enters the bloodstream and spreads to the bones, liver or brain. Currently, there are only drugs that try to stem the uncontrolled division of cancer cells within the ducts. Until now, no drugs specifically targeted the invasion and spread of breast cancer to the organs. more...
Wistar Researchers Identify Gene That Regulates Breast Cancer Metastasis
The Wistar Institute
Researchers at The Wistar Institute have identified a key gene (KLF17) involved in the spread of breast cancer throughout the body. They also demonstrated that expression of KLF17 together with another gene (Id1) known to regulate breast cancer metastasis accurately predicts whether the disease will spread to the lymph nodes. Previously, the function of KLF17 had been unknown. more...
Depression’s Effect on Immune System May Worsen Cancer, Study Suggests
Stanford Cancer Center
Women with breast cancer and depression are at higher risk of cancer recurrence and early death than breast cancer patients without depression, recent research shows. Now, Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have found evidence that the reason could be the psychiatric disorder’s effects on immune cells. more...
Vanderbilt Lung Cancer Trial for Never Smokers Goes Online
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
One of the enduring mysteries of lung cancer is why so many people who never smoked develop the disease. Since tobacco exposure is the strongest known risk factor for lung cancer, researchers believe genetic differences may make some of these “never smokers” more likely to develop the disease. William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., assistant director of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is inviting those never smoker patients already with lung cancer to join a Web-based clinical trial to search for those genetic differences. more...
Other News
Hutchinson to Build First U.S. Cancer Clinic and Training Facility in Africa
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Building on the strengths of two institutions separated by nearly 9,000 miles over two continents – both renowned in their work in the fight against cancer – the United States Agency for International Development has awarded a $500,000 grant to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to aid in the construction of the first American cancer clinic and medical-training facility in Africa. more...
Nevada Board of Directors Establishes The Murren Family Distinguished Director’s Chair
Nevada Cancer Institute
Nevada Cancer Institute announced the creation of the Murren Family Distinguished Director’s Chair during its “Rock for the Cure” gala event. The event was held at the Mirage Event Center with more than 900 guests in attendance. more...
UCSF Researchers Join Consortium to Target Cancer in New Ways
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute
Scientists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry have been selected to lead a new federal initiative aimed at developing new classes of drugs to target cancer. more...
Willman Addresses President Obama’s Cancer Panel
University of New Mexico Cancer Center
The University of New Mexico Cancer Center’s Director and CEO Dr. Cheryl Willman participated in the President’s Cancer Panel Meeting on America’s Demographic and Cultural Transformation: Implications for the Cancer Enterprise. more...
Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Celebrates Formal Dedication
Yale Cancer Center
Yale-New Haven Hospital officially dedicated Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, opening the most comprehensive cancer care facility in New England. The first patients will be cared for in the new 14-story, 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital in its radiation oncology center on October 26, with other cancer care services opening over the course of the next five months. more...
UNM Cancer Center, Mexican Consulate and Concilio CDS, Inc. Join Forces to Provide Health Care, Education to New Mexico’s Hispanic Population
University of New Mexico Cancer Center
The University of New Mexico Cancer Center, together with the Mexican Consulate and Concilio CDS, Inc. is establishing a second location for the Ventanilla de Salud, (“Window of Health”) program in a Santa Fe grocery store, with plans for further expansion. The program was launched in New Mexico last November at the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque. Since that time, Ventanilla de Salud (VDS) has reached more than 3,200 New Mexican Hispanics with culturally relevant health information and referrals to providers. more...
New IU building houses IU Simon Cancer Center researchers
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
The Indiana University School of Medicine will look back on a decade of investment in research and set the stage for a new generation of discoveries with the dedication of Joseph E. Walther Hall on Oct. 8. The 238,371-square-foot structure, the newest and largest Indiana University research building, provides space for 118 laboratories. It is the new home to scientists in a broad range of disciplines, but the focus of much of the research is on cancer and many of the investigators are members of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. more...
Patrick Swayze Pancreas Research Fund Established at Stanford
Stanford Cancer Center
While battling his disease, Patrick Swayze was courageous in making his cancer public and speaking out in support of cancer research. In this spirit, the Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund has been established at the Stanford Cancer Center to fund research that leads to more effective treatments for pancreas cancer patients. more...
Nevada Cancer Institute Partners with Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer
Nevada Cancer Institute
Nevada Cancer Institute has partnered with Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer to expand the clinical, research and education opportunities for cancer providers, patients, caregivers and families in northern Nevada. more...
Georgetown Establishes New Gastrointestinal Research Center with $6.75 Million Gift
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
Georgetown University Medical Center announced the creation of a center that may help advance a cure for one of the deadliest forms of cancer. The Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers will fund gastrointestinal cancer research, drug discovery, and patient advocacy efforts at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...