For optimal viewing of the AACI Update click here.
News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesNovember 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 aaciupdate@aaci-cancer.org. AACI reserves the right to decide whether or not materials are appropriate for inclusion.

To subscribe to AACI Update, please send an e-mail to aaciupdate@aaci-cancer.org with your name, title, address, and telephone number 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, 503
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Headlines

Highlights from the 2015 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting
The 2015 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, held October 25-27, in Washington, DC, convened more than 340 AACI cancer center directors and executive-level administrators with leaders of national cancer research and advocacy groups, industry, and government health agencies to develop solutions to common challenges and to share best practices.

Suleika Jaouad, who at age 22 was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia, opened the meeting by sharing her journey as a young woman living with cancer with interviewer Susan Dentzer. Ms. Jaouad is the author of the New York Times Well column, "Life Interrupted". Ms. Dentzer is a Senior Policy Adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a health policy analyst with the PBS NewsHour and other television and radio networks.

2015 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting speakers, awardees and other attendees, clockwise from upper left corner, left to right: Drs. Stanton Gerson, Lewis Cantley, George Weiner and Michelle Le Beau; Dr. Patrick Loehrer; Dr. Roy Jensen and Rep. Kevin Yoder; Drs. Elizabeth Jaffee, Louis Weiner and Kunle Odunsi; Drs. Ted Lawrence, Stephen Nimer, and Michael Samuels; Ms. Suleika Jaouad and Ms. Susan Dentzer; Drs. Hasnaa Shafik, Gisele Sarosy and Gary Stein; Mr. Brian Springer and Ms. Jeanine Stiles.
more...


PCLI Session at Annual Meeting Focuses on Value in Cancer Care
More than 50 members of the AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative convened during the AACI/CCAF Annual meeting in Washington DC. on October 25.

This year's meeting focused on Cancer Center Approaches to Value in Cancer Care. Dr. Randall Holcombe from Mount Sinai Health System Tisch Cancer Institute presented on "Best Practices: Cancer Patient Navigation", Dr. Michael Neuss from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center presented "Best Practices: Demonstrating High Value Care", and Dr. Craig Bunnell from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School presented "Pathways at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute". more...


Save the Date: AACI/AACR/ASCO 2016 Annual Hill Day in Washington, DC
AACI's annual Hill Day is set for Thursday, May 12, 2016, 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 in which participants have the opportunity to highlight the progress taking place at our nation's cancer centers and explain how sustainable federal investments in cancer research allow for advances and improvements in cancer treatment. AACI will once again partner with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for this important day in Washington. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Fred Hutch President and Director Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center President and Director Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine). Election to NAM is considered to be one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and it recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. more...
Kanetsky Named Next President of the American Society of Preventive Oncology
Moffitt Cancer Center
Peter A. Kanetsky, PhD, MPH, chair and program leader of Cancer Epidemiology at the Moffitt Cancer Center, has been elected as the new president for the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO). He will serve as president-elect before taking the post in March 2017. ASPO is a multi-disciplinary society which, through a variety of professional education activities, is committed to accelerating progress towards cancer prevention and control. Dr. Kanetsky previously served on the executive committee of ASPO. more...
Abramson Honored with Two American Cancer Society Awards
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has been named the 2015 recipient of the Partners in Health Initiatives Award and Andy J. Minn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, is the recipient of the Scientific Research Award, both presented by the Pennsylvania Division, Southeast Region of the American Cancer Society. more...
Massey Doctor Honored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Massey physician Leland Rogers, MD, was recently awarded the Fellows designation by the American Society for Radiation Oncology at the society's 57th Annual Meeting on October 20 in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Rogers is a radiation oncologist and member of the Radiation Biology and Oncology research program at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. more...
Schreiber Named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Immunology Journal
Siteman Cancer Center
Robert Schreiber, PhD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Siteman Cancer Center, has been named a co-editor-in-chief of Cancer Immunology Research. The peer-reviewed journal, published by the American Association for Cancer Research, contains original articles on topics such as host-tumor interactions, developmental therapeutics in model systems, early translational studies in patients, and late-stage clinical trials. His co-editor-in-chief is Philip Greenberg, MD, of the University of Washington. more...
Kinzler Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cancer "gene hunter" Kenneth W. Kinzler, PhD, co-director of the Ludwig Center at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, is one of 80 new members elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Members of the academy advise the U.S. government on medical and health issues. They are elected by their peers for their accomplishments and contributions to medical sciences, health care and public health. more...
Meltzer Elected to National Academy of Medicine
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
David Meltzer, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, was one of two University of Chicago physicians elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Meltzer is a professor in the departments of medicine, economics and the Harris School of Public Policy. He also serves as director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science, and director of the University of Chicago Urban Health Lab. more...
Radiation Oncologist Chakravarthy Named ASTRO Fellow
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
A. Bapsi Chakravarthy, MD, professor and residency director of Radiation Oncology, has been named a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). She is one of 17 ASTRO members named to the 2015 class of Fellows. Dr. Chakravarthy specializes in the treatment of breast and gastrointestinal malignancies. She works closely with basic scientists and imaging scientists to design innovative trials for the next generation of cancer care. more...
McLeod to Receive American College of Clinical Pharmacy Award
Moffitt Cancer Center
Howard L. McLeod, PharmD, FCCP, medical director of the DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute at Moffitt Cancer Center, received the Russell R. Miller Award at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Global Conference in San Francisco. The Russell R. Miller Award recognizes an individual's substantial contributions to the literature of clinical pharmacy, thereby advancing both clinical pharmacy practice and rational pharmacotherapy. Dr. McLeod had published almost 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 26 book chapters and more than 300 abstracts. more...
Grants & Gifts
Abramson Earns "Exceptional" Rating by the National Cancer Institute
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center has received an "exceptional" rating by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) during an extensive peer-review process for its five-year competitive research support grant. The rating is the highest possible for an NCI cancer center. Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, is the center’s director. more...
$17.4 Million to Tackle Cancer in Chicago's Low-Income, Minority Neighborhoods
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new $17.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will help three Chicago universities work together with many of the city's underserved communities to foster meaningful cancer research, education, training and outreach. The five-year grant will support the creation of the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative, led by researchers from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University. more...
Ley Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award
Siteman Cancer Center
Timothy J. Ley, MD, a leukemia researcher and hematologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Siteman Cancer Center, has received a seven-year, $6.4 million Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The funding will allow him to continue research aimed at understanding the mutations that initiate acute myeloid leukemia and how they might be targeted with new approaches. more...
Grants in 3rd Quarter Total More than $7 Million
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute received more than $7.2 million in grant awards for important research projects during the third quarter of 2015. Two faculty members, Katerina Gurova, MD, PhD, and Mikhail Nikiforov, PhD, were awarded more than $2 million each for their respective investigations into the origins of the disease and cancer cell genesis. more...
$2 Million Gift to Accelerate Research in Cancer Stem Cell Biology
University of Colorado Cancer Center
The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus has received a $2 million gift to establish the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Chair in Cancer Stem Cell Biology. The gift will provide critical resources to accelerate research and improve patient outcomes under the direction of the first recipient of this Chair, Antonio Jimeno, MD, PhD, a professor in the CU School of Medicine's Division of Medical Oncology. more...
Grant to Unravel Ties That Bind Pancreatic Diseases
UF Health Cancer Center
Diseases that afflict the pancreas — pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and diabetes — are often risk factors for one another. Now University of Florida Health researchers are seeking the links between them. The researchers have received a five-year, $2 million grant to study the link between these three diseases. They will be part of a nationwide group called the Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer, administered by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or the NIDDK. Christopher Forsmark, MD, is the principal investigator of the grant at UF. more...
Case Western Reserve Receives $2 Million for Smoking Cessation Research
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine team received $2 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study a combination approach to help patients stop smoking, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. The project involves partnership with faculty and staff at MetroHealth Medical Center, the Ohio Department of Health and National Jewish Health, the Quitline providers for Ohio. The study team is led by Susan Flocke, PhD. more...
Leadership Transitions
New Pediatric Cancer Chief Will Head Joint Program
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Kara Kelly, MD has been appointed as the new leader of the joint program in pediatric hematology/oncology, a partnership of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, UBMD Pediatrics and the University at Buffalo. The institutions have provided pediatric hematology and cancer care through a comprehensive and collaborative program for more than 40 years. more...
Diabetes Researcher Joins City of Hope
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research scientist Debbie C. Thurmond, PhD, has joined City of Hope as professor and founding chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology within the institution's new Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute. Dr. Thurmond will lead City of Hope's efforts to develop new diabetes treatments, focusing on potential therapies that can reverse or prevent the onset of the disease. more...
Genomics Researcher McPherson Joins UC Davis
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
John D. McPherson, PhD, a basic scientist whose work contributed significantly to the sequencing of the human genome, has assumed the role of associate director, basic sciences at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds the Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science. Dr. McPherson replaces Hsing-Jien Kung, who retired three years ago to become president of the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan, an organization similar in function to the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. more...
New Chair of Urology Named
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Edward (Ted) M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized physician-scientist with deep expertise in urologic oncology, has been named chair of the departments of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, effective December 1. more...
Healthcare Innovator Joins City of Hope Board of Directors
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Health care leader Glenn D. Steele Jr., MD, PhD, the recent past president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health System, will join the City of Hope board of directors beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Dr. Steele is currently chair of xG Health Solutions, an independently operated venture that promotes the advances and models developed at Geisinger, one of the nation's largest integrated health systems. more...
Research Highlights
Why Elephants Rarely Get Cancer
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Why elephants rarely get cancer is a mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. A study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University, and including researchers from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, may have found the answer. Co-senior author Joshua Schiffman, MD, is a pediatric oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute. more...
"Moon Shots" Mission Grows to Confront Six More Cancer Types
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program, an unprecedented effort and novel organizational model designed to more rapidly convert scientific discoveries into life-saving advances, has expanded its targets, adding several of the most intractable cancers to its campaign. The program's transdisciplinary team-science approach now applies to B-cell lymphoma, glioblastoma (brain cancer), cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), high-risk multiple myeloma, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. These join the original moon shots launched in 2013 to address breast and ovarian cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer. more...
A New Peptide-Mimic Prevents Abnormal Blood Vessel Growth and May Lead to Anti-Cancer Drugs
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
An international research team led by scientists at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center discovered and developed a novel ligand peptide-mimic that inhibits abnormal overgrowth of blood vessels in retinal diseases and tumors. The discovery could lead to new drugs that keep cancers from growing. The team published a paper in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The new drug candidate, named Vasotide™, is a cyclic peptide-mimic, which is a small chain of non-natural amino acids linked together. more...
Menopausal Status a Better Indicator than Age for Mammography Frequency
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
In a study conducted to inform American Cancer Society breast cancer screening guidelines, UC Davis researcher Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, reports a screening mammogram once every two years is safe for postmenopausal women at average risk of breast cancer. The research also suggests that premenopausal women over age 40 deciding whether to undergo mammography may want annual mammograms to increase their chances of finding cancers at an earlier stage; however, they should weigh this potential benefit against the increased potential for false alarms, which occur more often with more frequent screening. more...
Potential Shown to Increase Leukemia Treatment Effectiveness by Blocking Production of Nuclear Protein
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Preclinical experiments led by a team of researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have shown that blocking the production of a protein known as chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) may help increase the effectiveness of first-line treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a particularly lethal blood cancer that is increasing in incidence among older adults. The study's lead author Gordon Ginder, MD, is director of Massey Cancer Center. more...
Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy Does Not Significantly Impact Quality of Life for Prostate Cancer Patients
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Fewer, larger radiation doses did not significantly impact quality-of-life outcomes for prostate cancer patients but may result in potentially worse outcomes for individuals with preexisting urinary problems, according to new research from Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple Health investigators. The results of the large-scale, long-term phase III clinical study were presented October 19 at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in San Antonio, Texas. more...
Pathway to Cancer-Associated Muscle Weakness Found
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Cancer researchers at Indiana University and their colleagues have discovered how cancer-induced bone destruction causes skeletal muscle weakness. Led by Theresa Guise, MD, a researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the investigators have identified the molecular pathways that lead to cancer-associated muscle weakness. They found that inhibiting TGF-β, a growth factor released from bone during cancer-induced bone destruction, improved muscle function in mouse models of human cancers. more...
Mitochondrial Health Plays Role in Breast Cancer Growth and Progression
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Kay Macleod, PhD, associate professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research, and a team that included Gregory Karczmar, PhD, professor of radiology, have discovered that when mitochondria become dysfunctional, breast cancer is more likely to metastasize, or spread to other areas of the body. Their paper on the topic was published in the journal EMBO Reports in September. more...
Oxygen Treatment Boosts the Success of Umbilical Cord Blood Transplants
University of Kansas Cancer Center
Omar Aljitawi, MD, member of the Cancer Biology Program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and associate professor of hematology/oncology at The University of Kansas Medical Center, has just completed a pilot clinical trial that tested the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve the outcomes of umbilical cord blood transplant patients. The preliminary data from a small first trial showed positive results and could pave the way towards a simple and safe way of making umbilical cord blood transplants more effective. more...
Study Shows Antioxidant Use May Promote Spread of Cancer
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center
A team of scientists at the Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern has made a discovery that suggests cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells, raising concerns about the use of dietary antioxidants by patients with cancer. The studies were conducted in specialized mice that had been transplanted with melanoma cells from patients. Prior studies had shown that the metastasis of human melanoma cells in these mice is predictive of their metastasis in patients. more...
Study Finds Possible Frontline Therapy for Older Patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new University of Alabama at Birmingham research study reports that brentuximab vedotin is an effective and safe first course of treatment for older patients with Hodgkin lymphoma that cannot be treated with conventional combination chemotherapy. The study was led by Andres Forero, MD. more...
$2.82 Million NIH Grant Awarded to Make Stealth Bombs for Brain Cancer Treatment
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
Efstathios Karathanasis, a biomedical engineer at Case School of Engineering, has developed chain-like nanoparticles that can carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier that keeps standard medicines from reaching their target--a highly aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. The nanochains will tote bombs of chemotherapy medicine and glioblastoma stem cell inhibitors identified by Jeremy Rich, MD, chairman of the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. more...
FDA OKs Viral Therapy in Melanoma Clinical Trial Led by Rutgers Physician-Scientist
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a viral melanoma therapy that was the focus of a phase III clinical trial led by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Associate Director for Clinical Science and Chief Surgical Officer Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS. more...
Virus-Drug Combination Shows Improved Effectiveness Against Brain Tumor Cells
UF Health Cancer Center
A rabbit virus currently being developed for cancer therapy can be paired with one of several existing drugs to deliver a more potent punch to a deadly type of brain tumor cell, researchers have found. A group that includes a University of Florida Health virus expert has identified six compounds that make brain tumor-initiating cells more sensitive to treatment with the virus. The findings show that the combination of a drug and the myxoma virus gives better anti-cancer results against glioblastoma. more...
Breast, Ovarian Cancer Risk may be Associated with Sense of Smell
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research led by Louis Dubeau, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and medical director of molecular pathology, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, demonstrates for the first time that a better sense of smell may contribute to elevated cancer risk in women with BRCA1 mutations. The research showed that the estrous cycle (the equivalent of human menstrual cycle) in mice carrying the BRCA1 mutation known to cause familial predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer in humans is more readily stimulated by scent than in normal mice. Even more surprising was the finding that the ovary, independently of the nose, mediated the olfactory signals. more...
New Cancer Genes Identified, Opening Door to Targeted Treatments
University of Virginia Cancer Center
In a discovery that could lead to more targeted and effective treatments for certain lung and prostate cancers, researchers at the School of Medicine have identified two new cancer-causing gene mutations – mutations that may be particularly susceptible to cancer-fighting drugs already approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One of the gene mutations also may play a key role in early menopause. Anindya Dutta, MD, PhD, was lead researcher on the study. more...
FDA Approves Immunotherapy Drug to Fight Lung Cancer
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the breakthrough drug Keytruda to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer, signaling a paradigm shift in the way the deadliest of all cancers is treated. In the largest study published to date using immunotherapy to treat lung cancer, the drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was tested on approximately 500 patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Because so many of the patients in the study showed significant long-lasting responses, in October 2014 the FDA granted the drug "breakthrough therapy" status for use in lung cancer, allowing it to be fast-tracked for approval. Edward Garon, MD, the study’s principal investigator, is a researcher at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
Researchers Awarded $1.6 Million by Department of Defense for Breast Cancer Study
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Two Indiana University researchers have been awarded nearly $1.6 million to study how a non-drug treatment may benefit women with breast cancer who also experience muscle weakness and bone loss. The Department of Defense awarded Theresa Guise, MD, and William Thompson, DPT, PhD, who propose that low-intensity vibration therapy may be a way to restrict muscle weakness and bone loss in patients with breast cancer. The vibration treatment may also prevent breast cancer from spreading to bones. more...
Management of Diabetes Affects Survival Rates in Prostate Cancer Patients
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer found in men in the United States, affecting 14 percent, whereas diabetes affects about 9 percent of the population. Even though both conditions are often present in the same individual, it has not been clear how a diabetes diagnosis affects clinical outcomes for prostate cancer. Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple Health showed that the answer depends on what type of anti-diabetic drugs, if any, prostate cancer patients are taking. more...
New iPhone App Helps Find Skin Cancer
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new application for the Apple iPhone enables users to measure and track their moles by comparing their potential trouble spots over time. The 'Mole Mapper' app was developed using ResearchKit, an open source framework developed by Apple, Inc., and is free to download from the App Store. Scientists who study melanoma use the de-identified data from users to complement other research efforts. more...
GammaPod Clinical Trial to Begin, a Radiation Therapy System for Early Breast Cancers
University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center
After more than a decade of research and development, researchers in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will begin enrolling patients in the first clinical trial of GammaPod,™ a new high-precision, image-guided radiation therapy system specifically designed to treat early-stage breast cancer. more...
Finding a Fingerprint for an Invasive Cancer Still in Hiding
University of Kansas Cancer Center
Fariba Behbod, PhD, and her team are studying a potential biomarker gene called BCL9 that's been shown to play a role in the progression of cancer. She has developed an in-vivo DCIS model called MIND (mouse intraductal) that has the ability to mimic breast cancer progression from start to finish, tracking the cells as they leave the in-situ microenvironment and invade the surrounding breast tissue. more...
Despite Promise, Vitamin D and Calcium Do Not Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk
University of Colorado Cancer Center
The New England Journal of Medicine reports results of a 2,259-person study conducted at 11 academic medical centers showing that dietary supplementation with vitamin D and/or calcium after removal of pre-cancerous colorectal adenomas (aka polyps) does not reduce risk of developing future adenomas. Despite promising findings in models of the disease and in previous, smaller trials, the study offers strong evidence against the usefulness of these supplements in the prevention of future polyps. more...
Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer Boosts Survival by More Than 75% in Mice
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
A new study in mice by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that a specialized type of immunotherapy — even when used without chemotherapy or radiation — can boost survival from pancreatic cancer, a nearly almost-lethal disease, by more than 75 percent. The findings are so promising, human clinical trials are planned within the next year. more...
'Remote Control' of Immune Cells Opens Door to Safer, More Precise Cancer Therapies
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC San Francisco researchers have engineered a molecular "on switch" that allows tight control over the actions of T cells, immune system cells that have shown great potential as therapies for cancer. The innovation lays the groundwork for sharply reducing severe, sometimes deadly side effects that have been a significant hurdle to advancing T cell-based treatments. more...
UCLA, VA Launch Program to Enhance Cancer Care for Veterans
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
A new collaboration between UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System will provide access to the latest therapeutic cancer clinical trials and state-of-the-art care for men and women who have served in the armed forces. The Operation Mend Project to Enhance Cancer Care for Veterans will involve three UCLA entities: the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ronald A. Katz Center for Collaborative Military Medicine and Operation Mend. The pilot project is the nation's first to offer veterans access to cutting-edge cancer clinical trials and state-of-the-art treatment facilities. more...
Despite Accelerated Treatment Option, Many Breast Cancer Patients Still Not Getting Life-Saving Radiation
University of Virginia Cancer Center
Accelerated partial breast irradiation was designed to be a faster, more convenient and potentially safer way for many women with breast cancer to reduce their mortality risk and help keep their cancer from returning after surgery. But a new study shows that the availability of the approach is failing to reduce the percentage of early-stage breast cancer patients who do not receive the radiation treatment that could save their lives. more...
Other News
Vanderbilt, Incyte Corp. Form New Scientific Alliance
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) investigators have joined forces with scientists at Incyte Corp. to explore new therapies for the treatment of various types of cancer, as well as other diseases. The company has agreed to help fund basic and translational science research by VUMC investigators. more...
MD Anderson, Theraclone Sciences form OncoResponse
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
OncoResponse, an immuno-oncology antibody discovery company, has been launched jointly by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Theraclone Sciences. OncoResponse will use Theraclone's I-STAR™ immune repertoire screening technology to identify therapeutic antibodies against novel targets from immuno-oncology treated patients. I-STAR technology rapidly screens antibodies made by the human immune system to identify those with exceptional reactivity that may lead to cancer treatment development. MD Anderson will provide access to samples and physiologic, prognostic and genotypic data from patients who have responded well to cancer immunotherapies, along with oncology and translational medicine expertise. more...
Stand Up To Cancer Makes $7.5 Million in Funding Available to Early-career Scientists
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Stand Up To Cancer is making $7.5 million in research funding available to early-career scientists who are pursuing innovative approaches to cancer, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced. A total of 10 Innovative Research Grants will be funded up to $750,000 each over three years. This is the third round of IRG funding offered by SU2C. Previous rounds were awarded in 2009 and 2011, to a total of 26 grant recipients. The deadline for letters of intent is Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, by noon ET. more...
Dana-Farber Asserts Joint Inventorship on Cancer Immunotherapy Patents
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is petitioning a federal court to determine that one of its scientists, Gordon Freeman, PhD, and another researcher are co-inventors on a series of cancer immunotherapy patents previously issued to a Japanese researcher and Japanese drug company. The Institute filed suit in September asking the U.S. District Court in Boston to correct the list of inventors on five patents issued as recently as July 2015 to Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Tasuku Honjo, MD, PhD, of Kyoto University. more...
Two NCI-Funded Training Programs in Supportive Care and Distress Screening
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Learn how to build, maintain and grow supportive care programs of excellence and how to successfully implement biopsychosocial screening programs of excellence in separate workshops next March and April at City of Hope. Application deadline is November 6, 2015. more...
Mount Sinai Launches New Masters in Biomedical Informatics
Mount Sinai Health System Tisch Cancer Institute
With the goal of providing students a comprehensive education in data science and computing, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will launch a new Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics degree beginning in Fall 2016. This program complements an impressive array of graduate programs in the biological sciences typical of Mount Sinai's pursuit of innovation. more...
Meeting Announcements

Implementing Comprehensive Biopsychosocial Screening

Learn how to successfully implement biopsychosocial screening programs of excellence. Workshop is scheduled for March 1-2, 2016 in Duarte, CA. Receive up to 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Training Program is followed by APOS Meeting on March 3-5, 2016 in San Diego, CA.

For further information please email us at screeningprograms@coh.org or visit us at www.supportivecaretraining.com

Roswell Park & Lilly Diversity Workshop March 2016

Methods in Clinical Research Workshop for Minority Physicians

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 will conduct a training program specifically tailored to minority physicians, with support from Eli Lilly and Company. The workshop is open to under-represented minority (defined by NCI: African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander) fellows and faculty in the first 5 years of their academic appointments or in private practice with a track record of significant cancer clinical trial activity.

Details of the workshop can be found here.

Click here to apply.

Building, Implementing, and Evaluating Supportive Care Programs

Learn how to build, maintain and grow supportive care programs of excellence. Workshop is scheduled for April 21-23, 2016 in Monrovia, CA. Receive up to 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

For further information please email us at buildprograms@coh.org or visit us at www.supportivecaretraining.com

2016 Capitol Hill Day

AACI will co-host its annual Capitol Hill Day with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
May 11-12, 2016
Washington, DC

8th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting

Save the Date!
July 20-21, 2016
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel

2016 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

Save the Date!
October 23-25
Chicago, IL