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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesFebruary 2015
The Association is dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer by enhancing the impact of the nation's leading academic cancer centers.
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 AACI reserves the right to decide whether or not materials are appropriate for inclusion.

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University of Mississippi is AACI's Newest Member
AACI is pleased to welcome its newest member, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Cancer Institute, in Jackson, MS. Srinivasan Vijayakumar, MD, is the institute's director.

According to its most recent community report, UMMC Cancer Institute physicians saw 1,557 new cancer patients in 2012-13, and physicians and staff followed 4,800 cancer survivors. Cancer institute members, associates and affiliates received millions of dollars in research funding, resulting in an economic impact of more than $16 million for its community. Cancer training was provided for some 2,700 students and the institute helped launch the state's only melanoma clinic. more...

Capitol Hill Visit Aims to Restore Federal Support for Cancer Research
AACI's annual Hill Day is set for Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Washington, DC. The event kicks off with a Congressional reception Wednesday evening. Hill Day consists of scheduled meetings with members of Congress and their staff which allows participants to showcase the work of the nation's cancer centers and explain how federal investment in research sustains progress in the search for better cancer treatments. Partner organizations for the 2015 event are the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). more...

Save the Date - CRI 7th Annual Meeting
The 7th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Meeting is set for July 8 and 9, in Chicago.

AACI CRI is a network of cancer center clinical research leaders that examine and share best practices that promote the efficient operation of cancer center clinical research facilities. Last year's annual meeting hosted 189 clinical research leaders from 59 cancer centers who discussed a variety of issues related to the conduct of cancer clinical trials at the nation's cancer centers.

Stay tuned for more information regarding accommodations and registration. more...

2014 AACI Report Now Online
An up-to-date overview of AACI's programs and initiatives is now available online in our 2014 Report. The publication highlights the Association's progress toward achieving its strategic goals of promoting broad recognition of the cancer center network, facilitating interaction among centers, and fostering collaboration and communication with other cancer organizations. The full report can be found at: more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Biggins Awarded the Genetics Society of America's Novitski Prize
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Genetics Society of America has announced that Sue Biggins, PhD, researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been awarded the Society's Edward Novitski Prize. The award recognizes Dr. Biggins' extraordinary level of creativity and intellectual ingenuity in solving significant problems in genetics research-namely, her groundbreaking research on the molecular mechanisms of chromosome segregation, a process essential for cell division and frequently impaired in cancer. more...
Two UNM Physicians Named to National Clinical Trials Network Task Forces
University of New Mexico Cancer Center
Richard Lauer, MD, FACP, and Melanie Royce, MD, PhD, were recently named to national task forces under the National Cancer Institute's new clinical trials structure. Dr. Royce sits on the Breast Oncology Locally-Advanced Disease, or BOLD, task force. Dr. Lauer, who has published clinical research papers on kidney cancers, sits on the Renal Cancer task force. more...
Adair Recognized as 'Outstanding New Investigator'
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Jennifer Adair, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been named a 2015 Outstanding New Investigator by the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. The award recognizes Adair's independent research efforts to understand and improve blood stem cell-based gene therapies. more...
Grants & Gifts
$25M Gift Endows The Genome Institute at Washington University
Siteman Cancer Center
James and Elizabeth McDonnell have pledged $25 million to endow The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The gift will fund innovative research to understand the genetic origins of diseases ranging from cancer and diabetes to autism and Alzheimer's disease, with the aim of developing more effective diagnosis and treatment for patients. Richard Wilson, PhD, is director of The Genome Institute. more...
$5.3 Million Grant Enhances Blood-Related Cancer Research, Services
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute will be able to build on the success of its blood-related cancer services thanks to a generous grant of $5,375,000 from the Dresner Foundation. The grant will be distributed over the next five years and will elevate the Institute's leadership in hematologic malignancies research. The grant will create an endowed chair position, help recruit gifted scientists and fellowship positions, and establish a patient registry and tissue bank for blood-related cancers. It will also establish a Patient Assistance Fund to help low-income cancer patients with financial challenges during their cancer care. The Dresner family's total giving to Karmanos stands at more than $10.4 million since 1998. more...
Team Earns $3.3 Million NIH Grant to Study HPV, Cervical Cancer in Kenyan Women
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
An international team of oncology research specialists led by Indiana University has been awarded a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study HPV and cervical cancer in Kenyan women with HIV/AIDS. The grant will enable the researchers to create a sustainable approach to education, clinical care and research, with the goal of providing early detection screenings for human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. more...
Grants to Help Engage Underrepresented Students in Science, Improve Cancer Treatments
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
New and promising projects proposed by Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers have recently attracted $1.76 million in outside investment to the Western New York region. The grants include competitive National Cancer Institute grants and subcontracts, as well as awards from private funders. They cover a variety of endeavors, ranging from summer internships for students underrepresented in scientific fields to ambitious studies aimed at improving cancer treatments for lymphoma and ovarian, lung, kidney and prostate cancers. more...
Researchers Awarded CDC Grants for Cancer Research in Appalachia
UK Markey Cancer Center
Two University of Kentucky researchers have been awarded $1.62 million in grants through special interest projects from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grants fund projects that focus on methods for improving the dire cancer statistics in Appalachian Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the country. more...
Grant Supports Research on Immunotherapy Treatment for Neuroblastoma
The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
A Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Cancer Center researcher was one of three inaugural recipients of the Bio-therapeutics Impact Award from the nonprofit organization Alex's Lemonade Stand. Leonid Metelitsa, MD, PhD, a member of the pediatric cancer program of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor, received the $1.5 million, three-year grant for his research on a new form of cancer immunotherapy to treat neuroblastoma, one of the most common solid tumors in children. more...
First-In-Children Cancer Clinical Trial
GRU Cancer Center
Theodore S. Johnson, MD, PhD, has been awarded Georgia Regents University/Medical College of Georgia's first grant from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. The three-year study picks apart the mechanisms that drive tumor destruction when drugs that block the protein indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) are combined with chemotherapy and radiation. The award of up to $1.5 million will support a first-in-children clinical trial using an IDO inhibitor, indoximod, in combination with chemotherapy to target pediatric brain tumors. more...
$1.5M Grant to Develop Customized Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
One day, a pancreatic cancer patient will provide a blood sample and doctors will recommend treatments designed to target all the harmful cell's in the individual's tumor. This is the vision of pancreatic cancer researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. A new grant worth $1.5 million from the Lustgarten Foundation will help them get there. more...
Funding Awarded for Work on Pediatric Oncology
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Two UC San Francisco faculty members are among three promising young researchers nationally recognized for their work in pediatric oncology. UCSF's Adam de Smith, PhD, and Kyle Walsh, PhD, will share a $1.35 million award with Duke University's Lisa Crose, PhD. more...
Innovative Program to Add New Segment to STEM Education Pipeline
University of New Mexico Cancer Center
Angela Wandinger-Ness, PhD, recently won a National Cancer Institute Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience grant. She will use it to include underrepresented minority high school students in an education pipeline that she and colleagues at the University of New Mexico created to help students excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. more...
Leadership Transitions
Jaffee Named Deputy Director
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, a pioneer in the field of vaccine therapy for pancreatic cancer, and an internationally-recognized leader in immunology research, has been appointed deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Jaffee, the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been a faculty member there since 1992. more...
Smith Appointed Director of Survivorship Center
Duke Cancer Institute
Sophia Smith, PhD, MSW, formerly a research scientist at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and currently an associate professor with the Duke University School of Nursing, has been named to serve as director of the Duke Cancer Survivorship Center. more...
Kaufman Steps Down at Wistar
The Wistar Institute
The Wistar Institute has announced that Russel E. Kaufman, MD, FACP, FCPP, will step down as president and CEO, effective March 2, becoming president emeritus. Dario C. Altieri, MD, Wistar's executive vice president and chief scientific officer will succeed Dr. Kaufman as CEO. Dr. Altieri will also continue to serve as director of the Wistar Cancer Center. more...
Hedges Named Acting Director at Hawaii
University of Hawaii Cancer Center
Jerris Hedges, MD, has been named the acting director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. Dr. Hedges is the dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. He took the helm at the Cancer Center on Nov. 21, after Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, resigned the director's post to return to cancer research. more...
Expert in Immune Responses in Stem Cell Transplantation Joins UPCI
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Warren Shlomchik, MD, a leading expert in investigating the immunologic mechanisms underlying graft-versus-host-disease, a common complication for some stem cell transplant patients, has been named director of stem cell transplantation and cell therapies for the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Hematology-Oncology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a partner with UPMC CancerCenter, and UPCI's scientific director of hematopoietic malignancies. more...
Brahmer Appointed Thoracic Cancer Director
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Julie Brahmer, MD, an expert in the use of immunotherapies to treat lung cancer, has been named director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The medical oncologist will lead a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, researchers and fellows developing new treatments for lung and esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. She will also oversee a $35 million investment in the program and the opening of the new Thoracic Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, as well as laboratory research and clinical trials. more...
Moffitt Leader Elected to Personalized Medicine Coalition's Board of Directors
Moffitt Cancer Center
Howard L. McLeod, PharmD, medical director of the DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been unanimously elected to the Personalized Medicine Coalition's (PMC) Board of Directors. McLeod will serve a three-year term beginning next year. Bill S. Dalton, PhD, MD, founder and CEO of M2Gen, a national biotechnology subsidiary of Moffitt, and a past president of AACI, is chairman of the PMC board. more...
Reese Appointed Assistant Professor of Cancer Prevention and Control Program
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Jennifer (Jenny) Reese, PhD, a behavioral science researcher and licensed psychologist, has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program as an Assistant Professor. In this role, Dr. Reese will work on developing and evaluating interventions to improve sexual health and quality of life for cancer survivors. more...
Corbett Named Administrative Director For Supportive Care Services
Duke Cancer Institute
Cheyenne Corbett, PhD, LMFT, director of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, has been named to serve as administrative director for Cancer Supportive Care Services. Corbett joined Duke in 2002 as a counselor with the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. In 2002, she assumed the role of assistant director and in 2006 was named director of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. more...
Research Highlights
High Vitamin D Levels Shown to Increase Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
According to a new study led by Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, and her research colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, clinical trial patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream prior to treatment with chemotherapy and targeted drugs, survived longer, on average, than patients with lower levels of the vitamin. more...
New Gene Mutations Linked to Colorectal Cancer in African Americans Identified
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have identified new gene mutations unique to colon cancers in African Americans. The findings became possible because of technological advances in gene sequencing and computational analysis. Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, is principal investigator of the $11.3 million federal gastrointestinal cancers research program (GI SPORE) that includes this project. more...
Prostate Cancer Androgen Receptor Activates a Different Gene Set When Bound to Antiandrogens
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

The androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells can activate different sets of genes depending on whether it binds with an androgen hormone or an antiandrogen drug, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The study found that when androgen receptor binds with testosterone or dihydrotestosterone, the activated receptor binds, as expected, to segments of DNA called androgen response elements. more...
CTRC Launching New Drug Study that Makes Researchers into Detectives
Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center
A still-experimental class of drugs called PARP inhibitors has shown promise in BRCA-positive patients. They could help more people still - but it will take a medical detective to figure out who. Virginia Kaklamani, MD, is leading a study that will focus on PARP inhibitors and which types of breast cancer they can treat. more...
Protein-Based Therapy Shows Promise Against Resistant Leukemia
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Resistance of leukemia cells to contemporary chemotherapy is one of the most formidable obstacles to treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Now researchers have designed and developed a new protein-based therapy they believe will prove highly effective against drug-resistant leukemia cells. It may also amplify the potency of standard treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. more...
Genetic Errors Linked to Aging Underlie Leukemia that Develops after Cancer Treatment
Siteman Cancer Center
A new study led by Daniel Link, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis challenges the view that cancer treatment in itself is a direct cause of what is known as therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia. Rather, the research suggests, mutations in a well-known cancer gene, P53, can accumulate in blood stem cells as a person ages, years before a cancer diagnosis. more...
New Drug Combination in Preclinical Studies Effectively Treats Brain and Breast Cancer, Ebola, Influenza and More
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, led by Paul Dent, PhD, have developed a drug combination that kills brain and breast cancer stem cells in preclinical studies. The breakthrough drug combination also prevents viruses, including Ebola, from replicating and makes "superbug" bacteria vulnerable to common antibiotics. more...
Trial Shows Stereotactic Body Radiation Plus Chemo Improves Survival in Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Simmons Cancer Center
A clinical trial that combined stereotactic body radiation therapy with a specific chemotherapy regimen more than doubled survival rates for certain stage 4 lung cancer patients, UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers report. more...
Research Unlocks How Melanoma Can Resist Newly Approved Drug Combo Therapy
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
In a new study led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Roger Lo, MD, PhD, researchers have uncovered how melanoma becomes resistant to a promising new drug combo therapy utilizing BRAF+MEK inhibitors in patients after an initial period of tumor shrinkage. more...
Evidence-Based Care Found to Eliminate Racial Disparity in Colon Cancer Survival Rates
Stanford Cancer Institute
African-American patients have consistently had lower survival rates when compared with white patients, despite a nationwide decline in colon cancer deaths overall. Now, a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, led by Kim Rhoads, MD, MPH, shows that more equitable delivery of evidence-based care can close this gap. more...
Early Trial of New Drug Shows Promise Against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Early results of a clinical trial by Dr. Rita Nanda show that nearly 20% of patients with triple-negative breast cancer--which currently has no targeted treatments--respond to a drug called pembrolizumab. more...
Vanderbilt-led Team Studies Blood Test for Prostate Cancer
Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
Vanderbilt University researcher William Mitchell, MD, PhD, and colleagues in Germany and Canada have demonstrated a method for detecting "cell-free" tumor DNA in the bloodstream. In a large retrospective study of blood samples, the researchers showed that the method, called a "liquid biopsy," could accurately distinguish prostate cancer from normal controls without prior knowledge of the genetic "signature" of the tumors, and with over three times the sensitivity of current prostate-specific antigen screening. more...
Lou Gehrig's Disease Drug Boosts Radiation Effectiveness in Melanoma Lab Models with Brain Metastasis
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Research from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University demonstrates that a drug used to treat Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) helps radiation be more effective when it was administered to laboratory models with melanoma that had metastasized to the brain. more...
Complex Math Model Could be Simple Way to Predict Bladder Cancer Recurrence
University of Kansas Cancer Center
Finding more accurate ways to predict the potential recurrence of cancer would be a boon to doctors and patients, and is something Devin Koestler, PhD, a member of the Cancer Biology Program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, is hoping to make a reality. more...
Many Women Lack Basic Understanding of Their Breast Cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
A new study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found a surprising lack of knowledge among breast cancer patients about the basic characteristics of their disease - how advanced it is, whether it is fueled by estrogen, whether it can be treated with trastuzumab, and the grade assigned by pathologists. Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH, was the first author of the report. more...
Cell Mechanism Discovered that May Cause Pancreatic Cancer
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have found that defects in how cells are squeezed out of overcrowded tissue to die, a process called extrusion, may be a mechanism by which pancreatic cancer begins. From these findings, they may have identified an effective way to reverse the defective extrusion’s effects without destroying normal tissues nearby. more...
Potential New Drug Target Found for Lung Cancer
UK Markey Cancer Center
A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that targeting a key enzyme and its associated metabolic programming may lead to novel drug development to treat lung cancer. Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study collected metabolic data directly from more than 120 human lung cancer patients. more...
Overcoming Treatment Resistance in Prostate Cancer
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Researchers have discovered what may be a promising new approach for controlling aggressive, treatment-resistant forms of prostate cancer. Leigh Ellis, PhD, and colleagues at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have identified two genes that appear to be simultaneously overexpressed in aggressive prostate cancers resistant to the androgen-targeted treatments enzalutamide and abiraterone acetate. more...
Alternative DNA Repair Mechanism Could Mean Better Neuroblastoma Treatment in Kids
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Researchers at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital have identified a promising new target for developing new therapies for kids with high-risk neuroblastoma, according to a new study published in Molecular Cancer Research. The research, led by Erika Newman, MD, found for the first time that components of an alternative DNA repair pathway are highly expressed in neuroblastoma tumors. more...
New Recommendation for Cervical Cancer Screening, Using HPV Test Alone
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
New interim guidance, written by a group of cervical cancer screening experts led by University of Alabama at Birmingham gynecologic oncologist Warner Huh, MD, highlights the health advantages of using the HPV test alone as the primary screen to find cervical cancer or its precursors. Under the new guidance, the Pap smear, which dates back more than 80 years, would still be used for follow-up tests if an HPV test is positive. more...
Researchers Pinpoint Chemo Effect on Brain Cells, Potential Link to Autism
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
UNC School of Medicine researchers have found for the first time a biochemical mechanism that could be a cause of "chemo brain". The research shows how the common chemotherapy drug topotecan can drastically suppress the expression of Topoisomerase-1, a gene that triggers the creation of proteins essential for normal brain function. more...
Sugar Molecule Links Red Meat Consumption and Elevated Cancer Risk in Mice
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans. more...
Protein Found to Block Benefits of Vitamin A Cancer Therapy
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Retinoic acid is a form of vitamin A that is used to treat and help prevent the recurrence of a variety of cancers, but for some patients the drug is not effective. The reason for this resistance was unclear until this week when researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center demonstrated that a protein known as AEG-1 blocks the effects of retinoic acid in leukemia and liver cancer. Because AEG-1 is overexpressed in nearly every cancer, these findings could impact the care of countless cancer patients. more...
Researchers Reveal How Pancreatic Cancer Cells Sidestep Chemotherapy
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Research led by Timothy J. Yen, PhD, reveals that one reason pancreatic cancer can be so challenging to treat is because its cells have found a way to sidestep chemotherapy by hijacking the vitamin D receptor, normally associated with bone health, and re-purposing it to repair the damage caused by chemotherapy. more...
Study: Breast Density Helps Better Predict Breast Cancer Risk
University of Virginia Cancer Center
A new study from UVA Cancer Center found that adding a measurement of breast density better predicts women’s risk for breast cancer. Including breast density as part of risk models for breast cancer could support the development of a personalized risk model to recommend how often a woman should have a mammogram based on her unique risk factors. more...
Obesity, Acid Reflux Precursors for Esophageal Cancer
The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Driven by obesity and acid reflux, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus has become the fastest rising cancer in white men in the United States, said experts from Baylor College of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in a review article published in New England Journal of Medicine. The review summarizes the latest developments in the risk factors, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of the two major types of esophageal cancer. more...
Researchers Create New Technique to Silence Leading Cancer-Causing Gene
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
UNC Lineberger researchers and colleagues at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a new approach to block the KRAS oncogene, one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer. The approach offers another route to attack KRAS, which has proven to be an elusive and frustrating target for drug developers. more...
Modified Pancreatic Cancer Regimen Effective While Reducing Side Effects and Cost
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

A simple change to a two-drug therapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer provides similar cancer control while significantly improving quality of life and reducing the cost of care, according to data collected by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Results suggest that the same two-drug regimen given every other week - rather than weekly - can reduce the toxic side effects of treatment without changing the treatment's effectiveness. more...
Prognostic Test for E2F4 in Breast Cancer will be Valuable in Other Cancers
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center
By looking at the expression levels of downstream genes of the regulators in breast cancer, investigators at Dartmouth Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, led by Chao Cheng, PhD, have identified a gene signature in E2F4 that is predictive of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. The findings define a new opportunity for personalizing medicine for women whose Oncotype DX assay results classify them as of "intermediate-risk for recurrence." more...
Method Developed to Predict Postoperative Liver Cancer Recurrence in Transplant Patients
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
UCLA transplantation researchers have developed a novel method that more accurately calculates the risk of disease recurrence in liver cancer patients who have undergone a liver transplant, providing a new tool to help physicians make treatment and surveillance decisions. more...
New Findings Help Physicians and Patients Determine Prostate Cancer Risk
Huntsman Cancer Institute
A discovery by Lisa Cannon-Albright, PhD, and colleagues at Huntsman Cancer Institute shows that looking at whether a man's uncles and great-grandparents, among other second- and third-degree relatives, had prostate cancer could be as important as looking at whether his father had prostate cancer. A more complete family history would give physicians a new tool to decide whether or not a PSA test was appropriate. more...
Combo Therapy May Help Fight Melanoma
Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
A new study, led by Anna Vilgelm, MD, PhD, a Vanderbilt postdoctoral fellow, and Ann Richmond, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, indicates that two therapies already in clinical development as single agents may work in combination to treat many subtypes of melanoma. The investigators' ultimate target was to block cell proliferation and induce cell death by targeting two proteins - MDM2, a protein which facilitates degradation of the tumor suppressor p53, and Aurora kinase A (AURKA), a protein that regulates cell division and growth. more...
Newly-Identified Gene Mutation Could Help Explain How Breast Cancer Spreads
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
A newly-identified genetic mutation could increase our understanding of how breast cancer spreads and potentially guide treatment options for women with the disease, according to a study from Magee-Womens Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. more...
Dartmouth CAR Cell Therapy Moves to Clinical Trial
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, developed in the laboratory of Charles Sentman, PhD, at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, are taking the next step into a Phase I clinical trial beginning early in 2015. more...
Other News
Long-Time Pittsburgh, UNC Administrator Heisler Dies
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jules Heisler, PhD, MBA, senior associate dean at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health from 2005 to 2007, died on Jan. 18 from lung cancer complications. He was 67. Dr. Heisler had retired after more than 35 years of executive experience in health care and university administration. From 1987 to 2005, he served as the founding administrative director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), where he helped build a nationally recognized cancer care and research organization. He also served the University of Pittsburgh as administrator of the office of research and worked closely with the senior vice chancellor for health affairs on a number of committees.

Dr. Heisler's family requests that those wishing to make a donation do so to UPCI/Hillman Lung Cancer Research or the lung cancer programs at UK Markey Cancer Center or the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
ASCO's Cancer.Net Provides Free Educational Videos About Clinical Trials
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
The American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) Cancer.Net is providing free access to a new educational program to help patients and their caregivers learn about clinical trials and address barriers to participation.

Cancer.Net licensed the program from the Case Western Reserve University, where the program was developed by ASCO member Neal J. Meropol, MD, of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, through a grant from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Meropol began designing PRE-ACT with a team of colleagues when he was a faculty member at Fox Chase Cancer Center. more...
Paul Marks Prize Call for Nominations
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. Nominees must be age 45 or younger on the date of the submission deadline, April 30, 2015. The Paul Marks Prize is awarded every other year to up to three investigators. The winners will present their work at a scientific symposium at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and share a cash award of $150,000. more...
Job Opportunities
Director Basic and Population Science Shared Resources  
Moffitt Cancer Center


Quality Assurance and Education Manager  
UW Carbone Cancer Center


Manager of Clinical Trials Regulatory Compliance  
Moffitt Cancer Center


Marketing Manager  
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center


Assistant Director of Finance and Strategic Planning  
UW Carbone Cancer Center


Manager, Clinical Trials Office  
Moffitt Cancer Center


Meeting Announcements

Roswell Park Hosts Workshop for Minority Physicians

March 18-21, 2015
Sheraton Fairplex Hotel
Pomona, CA

In an effort to increase the number of minority investigators in clinical research, The Center for Drug Development and Clinical Trials at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) will run, for a second year, a training program specifically tailored to minority physicians, with support from Eli Lilly and Company.

"Reducing Cancer Disparities Through the Training of a Diverse Workforce" workshop will be held March 18-21, 2015, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel in Pomona, Calif.

For questions, please contact Vun-Sin Lim, PhD, Research Associate at RPCI: or 716-845-5835

For more, please visit:

CCAF Spring Meeting

March 29-31, 2015
Hyatt Regency Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky

The Markey Cancer Center is pleased to be hosting the 2015 CCAF meeting in beautiful Lexington, KY. Our website includes information to register for the meeting, make hotel accommodations, review the agenda for the meeting and much more. Please follow this link:

2015 Capitol Hill Day

Save the Date!
May 7, 2015

AACI will co-host its annual Capitol Hill Day with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Attendees will highlight how cancer research creates both health and economic benefits for the nation.

7th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting

Save the Date!
July 8th, 8:00 am - July 9th, 5:00 pm CST
The Westin O'Hare
6100 North River Road, Rosemont IL 60018

More information regarding accommodations and registration will be forthcoming.

2015 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

Save the Date!
October 25-27, 2015
Washington, DC