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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesMay 2010
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.

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Headlines

Innovation and Progress in the New Decade Theme of Capitol Hill Day

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) accepts award for her support of cancer research. Pictured from left:
AACI President Michael A. Caligiuri, MD; AACI Executive Director Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH; Douglas Blayney, MD, President, American Society of Clinical Oncology; Rep. Capps; Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, Chair and Founder, Friends of Cancer Research; Richard Jove, PhD, Director, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope; William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, CEO, Center Director, Moffitt Cancer Center.

On May 5, approximately 60 cancer center leaders, representing 22 states and the District of Columbia, met with members of Congress to discuss the importance of federal investment in cancer research. AACI, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and Friends of Cancer Research, hosted the event.

During a reception the evening before the meetings, AACI, AACR, ASCO and Friends, along with cancer center directors from across the country, heard remarks from U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ). Capps also was honored with an award recognizing her commitment to the fight against cancer.
Jon Retzlaff, AACR’s Managing Director of Science Policy and Government Affairs, delivers morning briefing.
The next morning, AACI President-elect William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, CEO and Center Director, Moffitt Cancer Center, welcomed attendees. He underlined the need for cancer leaders to deliver consistent, targeted information to legislators as well as their staff members, many of whom are particularly knowledgeable about the needs of the cancer research community.

At the Hill Day luncheon, attendees honored Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for his successful co-sponsorship and passage of federal legislation requiring health insurance plans to cover routine costs associated with participation in clinical trials. The measure was signed into law as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Picture on Left: (L to R): Stanton Gerson, MD, Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH); AACI President Michael A. Caligiuri; ASCO President Douglas Blayney. Picture on Right: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) conducts discussion with cancer center leaders.

AACI President Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, introduced Sen. Brown and, with Stanton Gerson, MD, Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, presented the senator with an appreciation for his outstanding leadership in cancer research. more...

AACI Moving Forward With Project Cancer Education

Joel Rice, CNP, welcomes the participants of Project Cancer Education
AACI staff and members of its Government Relations Steering Committee traveled to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center earlier this year to experience first-hand Project Cancer Education, a new AACI initiative.

Developed under the auspices of AACI President Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, Executive Director of The Ohio State Cancer Center and CEO of the James Hospital and Solove Institute, Project Cancer Education (PCE) is a curriculum that educates lawmakers about the financial costs associated with providing world class care. It also highlights the role that elected state and federal officials play in sustaining the state of the art research and patient care provided at the nation’s cancer centers.

In partnership with Ohio State and the National Cancer Institute, AACI is moving forward with plans to expand PCE’s reach to a national audience, and efforts are underway to conduct a PCE demonstration later this year at NCI.
AACI’s Chris Zurawsky gathers facts about cancer research equipment.

Lynn O’Donnell, PhD, speaks to participants in the lab.
In an interview with Oncology Times, Dr. Caligiuri explained that the idea behind PCE is to provide the opportunity for elected officials and their staffs to fully appreciate the challenges and opportunities faced by cancer researchers.

“We wanted to bring them within the walls of the university, the medical center, and the cancer center, initially as medical students, so they could understand what training and education they need to go through as researchers, including the opportunities as well as the limitations, and then as physicians trying to successfully treat cancer patients, before surprising them with the announcement that they’ve been diagnosed with cancer,” he told the publication. more...

AACR Annual Meeting Highlights Research by AACI Members

The 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held last month in Washington, D.C., featured numerous presentations on work conducted by AACI cancer centers. AACI is proud to count AACR as a sustaining member. Major media outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today, covered studies involving AACI member centers. You can read about the studies at AACR’s website http://www.aacr.org/home/public--media/aacr-in-the-news.aspx , as well as in the “News from the Centers” section of this month’s AACI Update. more...

Online Registration for 2010 AACI/CCAF Meeting in Chicago

The 2010 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting will be held at the Westin Chicago River North, October 3 –5. Information on the meeting, including the program and electronic registration is available at http://aaci-cancer.org/annual_meeting/index.asp. The meeting will bring leaders of AACI cancer centers—center directors and executive-level administrators—together with top personnel of national cancer research and advocacy organizations, industry, and government health agencies to share best practices and devise solutions to common challenges.

AACI and the Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) developed the program, with Stanton L. Gerson, MD, Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, chairing the program committee. This year’s event—expected to attract around 275 participants—will feature sessions on the informatics of genomics, the Chemical Biology Consortium, health care reform, and proton therapy. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Jordan Inducted into National Academy of Sciences
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
The National Academy of Sciences has inducted V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, scientific director and vice chairman of the department of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center. Induction to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors for a scientist. The Academy said the induction, held Saturday, April 24, honors those who “serve as a role model for defining excellence in science for the next generation of scientists in his or her field.” more...
Gottschling Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Cell biologist Daniel Gottschling, PhD, a member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy-research centers. Gottschling studies yeast cells for clues to the molecular underpinnings of life – clues that he hopes will have parallels in humans. He uses this model organism to understand the relationship between cancer and aging – a problem that has long vexed biologists. more...
Medical Physicist Elected to National Academy of Engineering
University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
Maryellen L. Giger, PhD, professor and vice chair in the Department of Radiology, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (NAE), part of The National Academies. Election to the NAE is "among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer," according to the NAE. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education," especially those who are "pioneering new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." more...
Huntsman Founder Receives AACR Award
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Jon M. Huntsman, founder and executive chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a global manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, has been honored by the American Association for Cancer Research for his generous philanthropic accomplishments in advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. In 2003, Huntsman received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from CNN’s Larry King, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy placed him second on its 2007 list of largest donors. Huntsman and his wife, Karen, founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah with an initial pledge of $100 million. Since then, he has donated more than $250 million to the institute and donated or raised an additional $800 million. more...
Duncan Researcher to Receive ASCO Career Development Award
The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Dr. Carlos Almeida Ramos, an assistant professor of medicine – hematology and oncology in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, will be presented with a career development award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology at the organization’s annual meeting June 4 -8 in Chicago. Ramos will be one of 14 physicians to receive the award, which helps new physicians (within their first to third year of a full-time faculty appointment) establish an independent clinical cancer research program. He will receive a total of $200,000 over three years. more...
Vanderbilt Earns Commission on Cancer Award
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The award was granted following an on-site inspection of the cancer program by a physician surveyor in 2009. The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. Vanderbilt was among 74 cancer centers in the United States to achieve this special recognition. Fewer than 20 percent of the programs surveyed received the award. more...
CINJ Director Named to NJBIZ “50 Most Powerful People in Health Care in New Jersey” List
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), Robert S. DiPaola, MD, who is the associate dean for oncology programs at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has been named by the weekly business journal NJBIZ as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Health Care in New Jersey.” NJBIZ, whose focus is New Jersey, identifies itself as the only weekly business journal of its kind in the state. Dr. DiPaola, a clinician and researcher at CINJ since 1994, was selected to lead the center in 2008 following a nationwide search. more...
Posner Named President of the Society of Surgical Oncology
University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
An internationally recognized expert on cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, liver, colon and rectum, Mitchell Posner, MD, the Thomas D. Jones Professor and vice chairman of surgery and section chief of general and oncologic surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center, was sworn in to a one-year term as president of the Society of Surgical Oncology in March at the Society’s annual business meeting in St Louis. more...
Director Receives Prestigious Award from the American Surgical Association
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center
Dr. B. Mark Evers, director of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, has been chosen to receive the 2010 Flance-Karl Award from the American Surgical Association. The award is given each year to a surgeon in the United States who has made a seminal contribution in basic laboratory research that has application to clinical surgery. Evers accepted the award April 9 at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago. "To a surgeon, there are few things more highly prized than the esteem of one’s colleagues," Evers said. "It is always a humbling experience to be singled out for recognition from such a distinguished group of peers, and I am very grateful to receive this honor." more...
Woodruff Wins 2010 Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize in Translational Science and Education
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Teresa Woodruff, PhD, Thomas J. Watkins Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief of the Division of Fertility Preservation, Director and Founder of the Institute for Women’s Health Research, and member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, has been named the winner of the Tripartite Legacy Prize, presented annually to the faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in research that emphasizes translational approaches, teaching and montoring, and leadership. more...
Grants & Gifts
Inaugural Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards Announced
Winship Cancer Institute
Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, has announced the recipients of the inaugural Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards. The five Winship faculty members who earned the awards will each receive $50,000 for up to two years to support high-impact cancer research projects. The Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards are presented to cancer research faculty to support innovative projects, encourage career growth and foster greater collaboration among investigators. The grants are made possible through a generous gift of $4.7 million from James Kennedy, CEO of Cox Enterprises, and his wife, Sarah. The Kennedys made the gift to Winship to help support innovative cancer research that is not currently supported through other funding sources. These grants are just one component of how Winship will utilize the total gift to advance cancer research. more...
Biospecimen Collection Program Lands $5 Million Grant
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund has announced a grant of nearly $5 million to Peggy Porter, MD, a breast cancer pathologist and member of the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The grant will allow Porter and colleagues at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute to establish a blood and tissue biospecimen collection program. The program will facilitate the development of molecular tests for early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, as well as tests that enable treatments to be tailored to a patient’s condition. more...
Researchers Awarded Five-Year Grant to Study Cancer Viruses
University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Viruses are believed to be the cause of as many as 20 percent of all cancers, but some viruses can infect human cells and remain latent. To remain latent, they may have to suppress anti-viral host mechanisms, which can pave the way for cancer. The laboratory of Glen N. Barber, PhD, the Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Cancer Research and leader of the Viral Oncology Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has played a key role in unraveling these host mechanisms, referred to as innate immunity. Barber is now leading a team of physicians and scientists at Sylvester who have been awarded a prestigious five-year PO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to uncover these mechanisms and study them in clinical trials. more...
Masonic Scientist Receives $2.5 million Grant to Investigate Rare Cancer
Masonic Cancer Center
Masonic Cancer Center scientist Julie Ross, PhD, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead a study of adults in Minnesota with a rare cancer called myelodyplastic syndrome (MDS), which can lead to a form of leukemia. This is the largest-of-its-kind study, aiming to identify environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors that may predispose a person to MDS. more...
Breast Center Receives Grant to Continue Support for Clinic
The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Physicians with the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine received a $350,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant to continue support for the breast care program at the Harris County Hospital District’s Ben Taub General Hospital, the largest dedicated breast clinic for the medically underserved community. more...
Columbia Sportswear’s Boyle Family Endow OHSU Chair in Cancer Research
Knight Cancer Institute
Oregon Health & Science University has announced the creation of an endowed faculty chair in basic science in association with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute that will advance its efforts to develop new molecularly targeted cancer therapies. The chair — which will help OHSU recruit a nationally known cancer researcher — was made possible by a $2.5 million multigenerational gift from Columbia Sportswear’s Boyle family: President and CEO Tim Boyle, his wife, Mary, and his mother, Chairman of the Board Gert Boyle. The family gift is in memory of Gert Boyle’s late sister, Hildegard Lamfrom, PhD, for whom the chair will be named. Lamfrom died in 1984 at age 62, following a remarkable career in molecular biology marked by scientific achievement, superstar collaborators and legions of younger scientists buoyed by her mentorship. One of those beneficiaries was a promising undergraduate chemist at the University of California San Diego named Brian Druker, who today is director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. more...
Leadership Transitions
Kaelin Wins Prestigious International Research Award
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber physician-scientist William G. Kaelin, MD, is one of five recipients of a 2010 Canada Gairdner Award, among the world’s most prestigious medical research honors. Kaelin and two other scientists working independently are sharing a Canada Gairdner International Award for identifying the molecular mechanisms that allow cells to detect a shortage of oxygen and respond by making new red blood cells and blood vessels. The research may pave the way for therapies that manipulate oxygen to treat diseases ranging from heart disease and anemia to cancer. more...
Professor Named to Prevention and Control Position
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD, a professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Nutrition Sciences, has been appointed associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. A renowned researcher on the nutrition concerns of cancer patients and the ways diet and exercise can benefit cancer survivors, Demark-Wahnefried is one of the top-funded investigators of body composition and metabolic changes in response to cancer treatment. more...
Karmanos Cancer Institute Announces Staff Changes
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Gerold Bepler, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, announced leadership changes that are effective immediately. Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH, assumes the position of Deputy Center Director and Executive Vice President of Research and Academic Affairs. Terrance Albrecht, PhD, continues as the permanent Associate Center Director for Population Research. Patricia LoRusso, DO, is the Director for the new Center for Experimental Therapeutics. Anthony Shields MD, PhD, continues as the Associate Center Director of Clinical Research. Wei-Zen Wei, PhD, is the new Associate Center Director for Basic Research. more...
Research Highlights
Clinical Trial Launched for Patients with Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC will be the only site in Western Pennsylvania for a clinical trial of ABT-888, a drug previously proven in combination treatments to improve chemotherapy’s effectiveness by lowering cancer cells’ resistance to treatment. ABT-888 works by targeting the polymerase (PARP) family of enzymes responsible for a wide variety of processes in cancer cells, according to Kristin Zorn, MD, the principal investigator for the trial at Magee and a gynecologic oncologist with the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program of UPMC Cancer Centers. PARP inhibition currently is being studied as a mechanism that may be particularly effective for treating cancers related to BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations, which can be inherited in families with strong histories of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancers. more...
Targeted Agent Blocked Growth of Deadly Brain Cancer in Preclinical Studies
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
A drug already in clinical trials to treat a variety of tumors shows a remarkable ability to shut down growth of glioblastoma in both laboratory cells and in animals, say researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In their experiments, the agent put a brake on growth of laboratory cancer cell lines, and no mice with glioblastoma in their brain died as a result of their tumor while on therapy. more...
“Vicious Circle” Offers New Acute Leukemia Treatment Target
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -
Researchers have identified a self-feeding “vicious circle” of molecules that keeps acute leukemia cells alive and growing and that drives the disease forward. The findings suggest a new strategy for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one that targets this molecular network and lowers the amount of a protein called KIT, say researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James). Their study was published in the April 13 issue of the journal Cancer Cell. more...
Researchers Identify Early Ovarian Cancers
Fox Chase Cancer Center
A screening test that detects ovarian cancer early, when it is still treatable, would likely reduce the high mortality, yet scientists have not known where the tumors originate or what they look like. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center think they have answered both questions. The study, published on April 26th in PLoS ONE, reports that they have uncovered early tumors and precancerous lesions in cysts that fold into the ovary from its surface, called inclusion cysts. more...
Study Finds Few Men and Women Over 50 Receive Skin Cancer Screenings
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Among people over 50, those who did not finish high school or have not recently had common cancer screenings such as a mammogram, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or colorectal cancer screening, are also less likely to be screened for skin cancer. This finding appears in a new study from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), which shows screening rates for skin cancer are low among middle-aged and older Caucasian adults and that physicians may want to further emphasize skin examinations for this population, especially for men and those with less education. Elliot J. Coups, PhD, behavioral scientist at CINJ and associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was the lead author of the study, published in the American Journal of Medicine. more...
Decoding Tumor Unravels Deadly Breast Cancer Affecting Younger Women, African-Americans
The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
Using powerful DNA sequencing technology to decode the genomes of cancer patients, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are getting an unprecedented look at the genetic basis of a highly lethal breast cancer that disproportionately affects younger women and those who are African-American. They’re work was reported April 15 in the journal Nature. more...
New Genetic Clue Found for Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis, Treatment
Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
Multiple myeloma researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) recently discovered that widespread activity of a specific class of genes can identify aggressive, or high-risk, cases of the disease. Research led by John D. Shaughnessy Jr., PhD, director of the Donna D. and Donald M. Lambert Laboratory for Myeloma Genetics at the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, pointed to the high level of molecules known as microRNAs in patients with high-risk multiple myeloma. more...
UPCI Researchers Present Early Findings of Cancer Studies at AACR Annual Meeting
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
The potential of DNA repair proteins as biomarkers to predict the success of certain treatments against head and neck cancers, the use of anti-estrogen drugs against lung cancer, and many other studies conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) were highlighted during the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. more...
New Agent Chokes Off Energy Supply, Kills Cancer Cells
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -
Cancer cells grow so fast that they can outstrip their blood supply, leaving them short of oxygen. The cells then produce energy in a way that needs less oxygen but more sugar. Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute have designed an experimental drug that chokes off that sugar supply, causing the cells to self destruct. The agent, called OSU-CG12, is an example of a new class of anticancer drugs called energy-restriction mimetic agents. It is described in a paper published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. more...
New Procedure Aims to Save Vision of Children with Eye Cancer
The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
An ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is implanting radioactive discs in the eyes of children with a rare cancer in an attempt to save their vision and their eyes. J. William Harbour, MD, is one of only a few doctors nationwide to use the approach for treating a rare, childhood eye cancer, called retinoblastoma. more...
Immune Gene Expression May Worsen Some Tumors
University of Colorado Cancer Center
More than half of children diagnosed with ependymoma brain tumors will recur and die after standard treatment—surgery and radiation—what UCCC researcher Dr. Nicholas Foreman calls “one of the most significant problems in pediatric neuro-oncology.” Foreman, director of pediatric neuro-oncology at The Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM), and colleagues last year identified the reason why half of the tumors recur. more...
Physicians Who Interpret Mammograms May Benefit From Additional Training
Knight Cancer Institute
A multi-site study led by an Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute researcher has identified set criteria that could be used to help identify physicians who might benefit from additional training in interpreting screening mammograms. Patricia A. Carney, PhD, OHSU School of Medicine professor of family medicine, and of public health and preventive Medicine; and associate director of Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Studies in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, is the principal investigator on the study, and the lead author of a paper on these findings published in the May edition of the journal Radiology. more...
Study Offers First Clinical Evidence of Anti-Cancer Drug Triggering Viral Infection
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Important advances in the fight against cancer have come as researchers proved that viruses and cancers interact in ways that were previously unknown to scientists. A new study led by UNC scientists shows that a common cancer drug can activate a viral infection that, paradoxically, can help anti-viral medications eradicate virus-associated cancer. The cooperative study, conducted by a team of UNC School of Medicine scientists and the UNC Project in Malawi, demonstrated for the first time in humans that a common drug used to treat Burkitt lymphoma can activate infection by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a virus which typically lies latent inside the tumor cells of affected patients. The finding paves the way for a future study using both a cancer drug and an antiviral agent to eradicate both the active virus infection and the tumor. The findings are reported in the DATE issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research. more...
Grant to Study Familial Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors Awarded
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has been awarded a grant of $200,000 by the Ralph Wilson Medical Research Foundation to study a specific set of genetic mutations that increase a woman’s risk of developing familial ovarian cancer. Hua Zhao, PhD, is the principal investigator. “The most common form of familial ovarian cancer can be attributed to these and other genetic mutations, and family history is the strongest risk factor for ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Zhao. “Women with one first-degree relative with ovarian cancer have a 5% risk of developing ovarian cancer, compared to a 1.6% lifetime risk in the general population. Women with two first-degree relatives have a 7% risk. Parents, siblings, and offspring are all considered first-degree relatives.” more...
Breast Cancer Risk Factors Differ Between Hispanic and White Women
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Many of the established risk factors for breast cancer explain less of the breast cancer cases in Hispanic women compared with non-Hispanic White women, says Dr. Lisa Hines, lead author of a new paper published online April 26, 2010 in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, “Comparative analysis of breast cancer risk factors among hispanic and non-hispanic white women.” Dr. Hines is a cancer prevention and control scientist at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and associate professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. more...
Childhood Cancer Survivors May Face Shortened Lifespan
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Although more children today are surviving cancer than ever before, young patients successfully treated in the 1970s and ’80s may live a decade less, on average, than the general population, according to a study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health. Depending on the type of cancer, the estimated loss of life expectancy ranges from four years to more than 17 years, the scientists report in the April 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Causes of the premature deaths include recurrences of the initial cancer, new cancers caused by drug and radiation therapy, and other delayed complications from cancer treatments. more...
Researchers Find Four Biomarkers Important in Colorectal Cancer Treatment Prognosis
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Researchers affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a set of four biomarkers that will help predict which patients are more likely to develop aggressive colorectal cancer and which are not. The findings also shed light on the genetics that result in worse colorectal cancer-treatment outcomes for African-Americans, compared with Caucasians, the researchers said. more...
Researchers Find Genetic Variants Linked to Smoking Behaviors
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
A team of scientists has used data from genome-wide association studies to identify genetic variants associated with key smoking behaviors that have a significant impact on health. UNC-Chapel Hill genetics faculty members and UNC Lineberger members Helena Furberg, PhD and Patrick Sullivan, MD led the largest genetic study of smoking, called the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium (TAG), collaborating with scientists from 16 large genetic studies world-wide. They compared the DNA marker profiles between smokers and non-smokers to examine whether genetic variants affect whether people start to smoke. They also compared the DNA among smokers to see if genetic variants affected the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the age when people began to smoke and whether smokers were able to quit. more...
Flaxseed May Prevent Breast Cancer for Some Women
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Premenopausal women at high-risk for breast cancer are invited to participate in a chemoprevention study to determine if whole flaxseed has the potential to reduce their risk for the disease. Swati Kulkarni, MD, Department of Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), is the principal investigator. Flaxseed, a commonly available food often consumed as a dietary supplement, is a rich source of lignan, a phytoestrogen. Lignans have been shown to reduce tumor growth and metastasis in laboratory models and reduce markers of cell growth in human tumors. Flaxseed is safe and has no known serious side effects. more...
Other News
Markey Adopts First Sister Center
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has formed an international partnership with its first "sister center," the Shanghai First People’s Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center in Shanghai, China. Dr. Mark Evers, director of the Markey Cancer Center, hailed the partnership as an example of the type of international collaboration needed among scientists and medical practitioners in the worldwide effort to beat cancer. It also distinguishes the Markey Cancer Center as not just the premier cancer center in Kentucky, but as a world-class cancer treatment and research facility with global influence. more...
Landmark $1 billion Fundraising Campaign Announced
City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute
City of Hope, one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers, is announcing the most ambitious fundraising effort in its history. The “Power of Hope” is an eight-year, $1 billion campaign to raise private dollars to advance research and treatment in cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The Power of Hope campaign will help attract and retain accomplished faculty, expand opportunities for basic and translational research, advance graduate education in the biological sciences, support scientific collaborations and strengthen the institution’s mission of outstanding, compassionate patient care. more...
Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care Debuts
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care was unveiled April 19, at a ceremony that marked the debut of the novel center for treating breast and gynecologic cancers and honored the First Lady of Chicago. The Center for Women’s Cancer Care is part of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and is located within Northwestern Memorial Prentice Women’s Hospital. Mrs. Daley, who receives treatment for breast cancer at the Lurie Cancer Center, attended the ceremony accompanied by Mayor Richard M. Daley. The new two-floor center offers a unique “one-stop shopping” integrative, holistic approach that addresses and centralizes all of a woman’s needs – emotional, aesthetic and physical – during treatment. more...
Karmanos-Crittenton Cancer Center Celebrates Opening
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Two great medical institutions have expanded their partnership to bring exceptional cancer care closer to home. The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center and Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, which began their affiliation in 2003, celebrated on April 7 with a community ribbon-cutting celebration of their joint venture, the Karmanos-Crittenton Cancer Center, in Rochester Hills. Nearly 200 guests attended. The land for the new facility, dedicated in memory of Vivian V. Stolaruk, was donated by Vivian’s husband Steve Stolaruk. more...
Stimulus Funding Expands Opportunities to Enhance Cancer Research and Care at Community Hospitals

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is using $80 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to expand research benefitting patients at the 16 member hospitals of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) and to add 14 new hospitals to the current network. The expansion uses approximately $40 million of ARRA funds to support additional research opportunities within the original network of 16 NCCCP sites and another $40 million of ARRA funds to expand the network to include 14 new community cancer centers, for a total of 30 sites in 22 states. more...
AACR Elects New Officers, Directors and Nominating Committee

The members of the American Association for Cancer Research have elected Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, as their president-elect. Garber is the director of the Cancer Risk and Prevention Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and associate physician of medicine and attending physician of medical service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. more...