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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesFebruary 2017
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 as well as individuals interested in the cancer center-related activities of AACI. AACI Update reports on the progress of AACI initiatives along with 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, and telephone number asking to be added to the AACI's distribution list. To unsubscribe, please send an email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

WVU Names Goldberg New Director
Richard M. Goldberg, MD, an expert in gastrointestinal cancer, has been named the new director of the WVU Cancer Institute. Dr. Goldberg joined WVU from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, where he served as the Klotz Family Professor of Cancer Research, the physician‐in‐chief of the James Cancer Hospital, and the associate director of the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
Ruckdeschel Takes Helm at Mississippi
John C. Ruckdeschel, MD, has joined the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) as Cancer Institute director and Ergon Chair in Cancer Research. Dr. Ruckdeschel was previously director of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. He is succeeding Srinivasan Vijayakumar, MD, who served three years as UMMC Cancer Institute director. more...
Leone Recruited to Direct Hollings
The Medical University of South Carolina has named Gustavo W. Leone, PhD, director of the Hollings Cancer Center (HCC). His appointment begins March 1, 2017. In addition to his leadership background, Dr. Leone is a cancer research expert with a longstanding record of pursuing innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to cancer research while mentoring and supporting the next generation of cancer researchers. more...
AACI Joins Colleagues in Statement on Immigration
In response to the Presidential Executive Order on Entry into the U.S., AACI has joined other cancer and disease organizations in expressing concern about the Trump Administration's move to deny U.S. entry to people who bring unique expertise to the practice of medicine and the conduct of cancer and biomedical research.

"Our nation's cancer centers are home to innovative minds from around the world. These individuals bring research and techniques to our great country that aid our institutions in the care for patients battling cancer," said AACI President Dr. Stanton Gerson. "Denying these valuable individuals admittance to the U.S. will only hinder our ability to make further progress in cancer research." more...

Call for Abstracts for the 9th Annual AACI CRI Meeting
The AACI Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Steering Committee is currently soliciting abstracts for the 9th Annual AACI CRI Meeting that will be held July 12-13, 2017, in Chicago, IL. This year's meeting will focus on moving science forward and addressing the challenges cancer center clinical trials office leaders face when working with novel clinical trials. The purpose of the abstracts is to inform the CRI meeting audience about clinical trials office challenges and solutions implemented at the cancer centers.

Abstract FAQs, template and scoring guidelines can be found on the AACI website.

AACI to Host Educational Briefing on Capitol Hill, March 28
AACI will host an educational briefing to introduce the 115th Congress, staff, and Hill veterans, to academic cancer centers and highlight the role they play in pursuit of 21st Century Cures. The briefing, titled "Implementing the Promise of 21st Century Cures: The Role of Academic Cancer Centers" will take place on Tuesday, March 28 at 12 noon in the Rayburn House Office Building. more...

Registration is Open for Annual Hill Day, May 4
AACI's annual Hill Day is set for Thursday, May 4, 2017, in Washington, DC. AACI will once again partner with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to bring advocates to Capitol Hill and request stable, predictable investments in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI). more...

2016 AACI Report Now Online
An overview of AACI's programs and initiatives is now available online in our 2016 Report. The publication highlights the Association's efforts to accelerate cancer research and cures. It also describes AACI'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. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Moses Elected to National Academy of Inventors
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Harold (Hal) Moses, MD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and director emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Dr. Moses, professor and interim chair of Cancer Biology, is among 175 academic leaders named to the 2016 class of NAI Fellows. Among his many leadership positions in the cancer research community, Dr. Moses is a past president of AACI. more...
Champion Honored with Naming of New Center and IU President's Medal
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has announced the formation of the Champion Center for Cancer Control Research. The new center, located at the IU School of Nursing, was named for Distinguished Professor Victoria Champion, PhD, RN, FAAN, a leader in oncology research. more...
McDonnell To Receive Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology
Duke Cancer Institute
Donald McDonnell, PhD, has been named by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics to receive the 2017 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology. Dr. McDonnell is being recognized for his genetic and pharmacological dissection of steroid receptor signal transduction pathways and the development of novel estrogen and androgen receptor modulators with therapeutic applications. more...
Grants & Gifts
Indianapolis Entrepreneur Gives $30 Million for Immunotherapy Center
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Indianapolis entrepreneur Donald E. Brown, MD, has announced a $30 million gift to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy at the IU School of Medicine. The center will discover new ways to deploy immune-based therapies to treat cancers and pioneer use of this powerful technology in other diseases. Researchers will also study how to make this highly specialized therapy accessible to large numbers of patients. more...
UAB Receives $16 Million Grant to Reduce Cancer Disparities
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a five-year, $16.6 million renewal grant from the National Cancer Institute for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Morehouse School of Medicine and Tuskegee University partnership to address cancer disparities among African-Americans. Upender Manne, PhD, is lead principal investigator more...
Huntsman Leads International Colorectal Study
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah will head an international study to find out how lifestyle and other health factors impact colon and rectal cancer outcomes. HCI was awarded an $8.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead and expand an ongoing project in colon cancer research. The study, called ColoCare, seeks to identify elements that play a role in the survival and recovery of colorectal cancer patients. more...
Case Researchers Receive Outstanding Investigator Awards from NIH
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
Three Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have received Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Institutes of Health. They are Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD, and Mukesh Jain, MD. These highly competitive multi-year federal grants recognize investigators who have achieved significant research accomplishments. The amount and duration of the awards allows researchers to take greater risks and be more adventurous in their research. more...
Tackett Named Inaugural Recipient of Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
Alan J. Tackett, PhD, has been invested as the inaugural recipient of the Scharlau Family Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The endowed chair was established by a gift from Charles E. Scharlau III, JD, retired chairman and CEO of Southwestern Energy Company. It will be used to further Tackett's research efforts aimed at discovering new approaches to detect and treat metastatic melanoma. more...
Leadership Transitions
Karmanos Cancer Hospital Welcomes New President
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Justin F. Klamerus, MD, MMM, has been appointed president of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Hospital, the clinical operation of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. The appointment is effective immediately. Dr. Klamerus will report directly to Gerold Bepler, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of 47 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country. Dr. Klamerus assumes the role after serving as interim president since April 2016. He will oversee all clinical operations at Karmanos' treatment locations in Detroit and Farmington Hills and will also continue as associate professor of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine. more...
Winship Chief Administrator Cassels Retires
Winship Cancer Institute
Winship Cancer Institute Chief Administrative Officer Diane Cassels has retired after a 24-year career at Emory University. Ms. Cassels has served in a number of leadership roles since joining Emory in 1992 including Chief Department Administrator for Radiation Oncology and Administrator for The Emory Clinic's Section of Radiation Oncology from 1992 through 2015. She was the Chief Operating Officer at The Emory Children's Center and Department of Pediatrics from 2002 through 2006. more...
DeGregori, Ford Named to Leadership Roles
University of Colorado Cancer Center
James DeGregori, PhD, has been named deputy director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. He previously was the associate director for basic research and was also responsible for overseeing multiple CU Cancer Center Shared Resources. Heide Ford, PhD, will replace Dr. DeGregori as associate director for basic research. more...
Edelman is New Chair of Hematology/Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Martin J. Edelman, MD, an expert in the research and treatment of lung cancer, has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center as chair of the Department of Hematology/Oncology. He will also serve as deputy cancer center director for clinical research, leading the effort to integrate discoveries from the Translational Research Initiative into a strong investigator-initiated clinical trials program. more...
Oeffinger Appointed to Leadership Roles in Onco-Primary Care and Survivorship
Duke Cancer Institute
Kevin Charles Oeffinger, MD, has been named director of the Duke Cancer Supportive Care and Survivorship Center at Duke Cancer Institute. He has also been charged with establishing the Duke Center for Onco-Primary Care, an innovative program within the Duke Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Duke University Health System, that unites cancer specialists and primary care clinicians. more...
Guttridge Named Associate Director for Basic Research
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

Denis Guttridge, PhD, has been named associate director for basic research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) effective Feb. 1, 2017. In this role, Dr. Guttridge will be responsible for coordinating basic science across the OSUCCC research programs, with a focus on fostering existing and building new collaborative efforts. more...
Wistar Announces GSK Visiting Professor to Promote Collaboration, Drug Discovery
The Wistar Institute
The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious diseases, welcomes Kenneth W. Hance, PhD, MPH, Director of Antibody Therapies, Immuno-Oncology & Combinations DPU at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as its first Visiting Professor from GSK at Wistar. The Visiting Professor Program, which GSK has operated successfully in the United Kingdom for years, provides a unique opportunity for industry scientists to explore the world of academic discoveries and share knowledge to accelerate therapeutic breakthroughs. more...
Research Highlights
Diabetes Drug Takes Aim at Cancer's Fuel Source
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
In the last three years, researchers have shown that diabetic patients with head and neck cancer may have better outcomes than non-diabetic patients when they are taking the drug metformin for their diabetes. In order to examine this relationship further and understand how metformin changes the biology of cancer cells, researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University tested tumor cells before and after metformin treatment in non-diabetic cancer patients. more...
Novel Lay Navigation Program Demonstrates Significant Cuts in Cancer Care Costs
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new University of Alabama at Birmingham study shows that, when older cancer patients were paired with trained nonmedical professionals in the form of 'lay navigators,' there was significant decline in health care resource utilization and Medicare costs, providing an innovative model in transitioning to value-based health care on a national scale. more...
Researchers Learn More About Drink that Aids Post-Radiation Recovery
University of Florida Health Cancer Center
When patients get treated for cancer, radiation therapy administered to shrink tumors also affects healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract and causes difficult side effects. Now, a group of University of Florida Health researchers has learned more about how a set of amino acids, formulated as a rehydration drink, helps the small intestine repair itself after radiation therapy. more...
Groundbreaking Survival Protein for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Discovered
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
Scientists from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, led by Christine M. Eischen, PhD, have pinpointed a survival protein for patients suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Extensive research shows that a protein called Bcl-w plays a significant role in lymphoma development and lymphoma cell survival. more...
'Collateral' Lethality May Offer New Approach for Pancreas, Stomach, Colon Cancers
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that during early cancer development when a common tumor suppressor known as SMAD4 is deleted, a nearby metabolic enzyme gene called malic enzyme 2 (ME2) also is eradicated, suggesting the possibility of malic enzyme inhibitors as a novel therapy approach. Ronald DePinho, MD, president of MD Anderson, was senior author of the study. more...
Successful Immunotherapy Requires System-Wide Immune Response
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
New research led by researchers from UC San Francisco and Stanford University has found that successful cancer immunotherapy appears to depend on whether the treatment can trigger a system-wide immune response, rather than just a local response within the tumor itself. The findings suggest a new explanation for why immunotherapy, for all its promise, has so far only been effective in a minority of cancer patients, the authors say, and offers leads about how to tweak the approach to bring its benefits to many more people. more...
Clinical Trial Tests Chemotherapy and Radiation Combination for Pancreatic Cancer
VCU Massey Cancer Center
A phase 1 clinical trial developed at VCU Massey Cancer Center is testing a combination of targeted therapy with standard chemotherapy and radiation given prior to surgery in patients with non-metastatic pancreatic cancer. Andrew Poklepovic, MD, is the trials principal investigator. more...
Prostate Cancer Treatment Rates Drop, Reflecting Changes in Screening Recommendations
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
As some national guidelines now recommend against routine prostate cancer screening, the overall rate of men receiving treatment for the disease declined 42 percent, a new study finds. The decline reflects efforts to decrease overdiagnosis and overtreatment, preventing some unnecessary treatments that can cause long-term impact on quality of life, while still providing life-saving care to patients who need it. But among those who are diagnosed, only eight percent fewer are getting initial surgery or radiation treatments, even as data shows those with low-risk disease can substitute surveillance. more...
Researchers Discover Potential New Target for Treating Glioblastoma
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Scientists have found a way to inhibit the growth of glioblastoma by targeting a protein that drives growth of brain tumors, according to research from the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. The work shows that the gene mutations which the pharmaceutical industry and clinicians have been focusing on are essential only for starting tumor growth. Once the tumor has advanced to the stage where patients seek treatment, these mutations are no longer required for continued tumor growth; they are in effect redundant more...
Less Than Half of Recommended Adults Screened for Lynch Syndrome
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
A team of researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center led by Nestor F. Esnaola, MD, MPH, found that, despite the recommendation of screening guidelines, less than half of adults younger than 50 years old who have colorectal cancer are being screened for Lynch Syndrome, a genetic anomaly that increases the risk of colorectal and several other forms of cancer. more...
Elevated Cancer Risk Shown by Personal Genomic Testing Doesn't Change Behavior, Study Suggests
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
A group of interdisciplinary researchers is aiming to gain a deeper understanding of the pros and cons that direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing can offer both consumers and the health care industry through the Impact of Personal Genomics (PGen) Study. The latest arm of the research project, an analysis led by City of Hope's Stacy Gray, MD, examined consumer behavior after receiving DTC genetic testing that revealed an elevated cancer risk. more...
Newly Identified Pathway in Mitochondria Fuels Tumor Progression Across Cancer Types
The Wistar Institute
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have identified a novel protein pathway across several types of cancer that controls how tumor cells acquire the energy necessary for movement, invasion and metastasis. This protein pathway was previously only observed in neurons and represents a potential therapeutic target for several types of cancer. Dario C. Altieri, MD, president and CEO of The Wistar Institute, director of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, was lead author of this study. more...
Study Challenges Potential Pancreatic Cancer Target
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
A protein thought to fuel pancreatic cancer development plays a much more complicated role, a new study finds. PDX1, a transcription factor critical for pancreatic development, has distinct roles at different stages of pancreatic cancer – keeping cancer at bay in normal cells, then eventually contributing to the cancer's growth once a tumor forms, but also preventing the tumor from becoming more aggressive. Researchers from Michigan Medicine and the University of California-San Francisco used mouse models to look at normal pancreas cells, a type of pre-cancerous pancreas lesion called PanIN, and pancreatic cancer cells. more...
Study Unveils New Way to Starve Tumors to Death
Siteman Cancer Center
For decades, scientists have tried to halt cancer by blocking nutrients from reaching tumor cells, in essence starving tumor cells of the fuel needed to grow and proliferate. Such attempts often have disappointed because cancer cells are nimble, relying on numerous backup routes to continue growing. Now, Washington University scientists at Siteman Cancer Center have exploited a common weak point in cancer cell metabolism, forcing tumor cells to reveal the backup fuel supply routes they rely on when this weak point is compromised. Mapping these secondary routes, the researchers also identified drugs that block them. Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD, was lead author of the study. more...
New Insight into Origin of Stomach Cancer
Siteman Cancer Center
Conventional wisdom holds that the loss of cells that secrete acid in the stomach leads to a condition that eventually can develop into stomach cancer. But new research at Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis indicates otherwise. Researchers found that damage to acid-secreting cells alone doesn't jump-start the transformation of healthy cells into precancerous cells, at least in a mouse model. more...
New Study Aims to Determine Origin of Ovarian Cancer
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ovarian cancer only accounts for about 1.3 percent of new cancer cases each year, but less than half of patients survive for five years after diagnosis. These poor outcomes are due in part to the fact that ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in late stages after it has already metastasized, or spread to other organs. In a recent study, a team of researchers at The University of Chicago aimed to determine the points of origin and eventual metastatic trajectory of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, the most aggressive and deadly type of the disease. more...
Lab Technique has Potential to Change Medicine and Research
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Researchers who developed and tested a revolutionary laboratory technique that allows for the endless growth of normal and diseased cells in a laboratory are publicly sharing how the technique works. The Georgetown University Medical Center researchers hope that by doing so, scientists around the world can realize the many of possibilities of "conditional reprogramming," which includes living biobanks, personalized and regenerative medicine, and novel cancer research. more...
Immune Cell Therapy Shows Promising Results for Lymphoma Patients
Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center physician investigators are working to bring immune cellular therapies to refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients. The goal of the phase 1 portion of the ZUMA-1 study was to determine the safety of axicabtagene ciloleucel (KTE-C19) as assessed by the frequency of dose-limiting toxicities in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who were refractory to prior therapy that included anti-CD20 therapy and an anthracycline-containing regimen. The study included patients who had highly refractory disease, with two to four prior treatments. This is the first multicenter study of a CAR-T therapy that was produced manufactured at a centrally located facility. The Moffitt research team was led by Frederick L. Locke, MD. more...
Cancer Cells' Transition Can Drive Tumor Growth, Researchers Find
University of Florida Health Cancer Center
As cancerous tumors fester in the body, they need an ever-increasing blood supply to deliver the oxygen and nutrients that fuel their growth. Now, a team led by University of Florida Health researchers has established how some tumors bolster their own blood supply. Certain cancer cells can convert into blood vessel-supporting cells that drive tumor growth, according to the researchers' findings. more...
New Clinical Trial Combines Two Methods to Defeat Ovarian Cancer
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
Fewer than half of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer live for five years or more. Sarah Adams, MD, hopes her new clinical trial will change this outcome. Dr. Adams recently opened a clinical trial at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center to test a new approach to defeat ovarian cancer. The clinical trial treats women whose ovarian cancer results from mutated BRCA genes. It uses one drug that kills the ovarian cancer cells and another that boosts the immune system in response to the dying cancer cells. more...
Long-Term Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use May Increase Cancer-Related Deaths for Certain Patients
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

Regular use of over-the-counter non-steroidal inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen is associated with an increased risk of dying in patients diagnosed with Type 1 endometrial cancers, according to a new population-based study led by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. more...
Researchers Find Statins May Hold Keys to Future Cancer Treatment
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center have found that high doses of drugs commonly used to fight high cholesterol can destroy a rogue protein produced by a damaged gene that is associated with nearly half of all human cancers. Tomoo Iwakuma, MD, PhD, and his team have published the first research showing how the use of statins, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Mevacor (lovastatin), can shut down structurally mutated p53 proteins that can accelerate cancer progression, while not harming proteins produced by healthy p53 genes. more...
Blood Test May Provide Cheaper, Better Way for Doctors to Manage Lung Cancer
Stanford Cancer Institute
Profiling the genes of tumor cells from lung cancer patients' blood samples may be a cheap, noninvasive way to help doctors choose the right treatments, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The new findings strengthen the hope that evaluating the genetic profiles of tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream could transform cancer care: first, by indicating the next chemotherapy or targeted therapy to use when tumors evolve resistance to previous drugs; and, second, by providing a way to study how tumors change over time. more...
Affordable Care Act Made Cancer Screening More Accessible for Millions, Study Finds
University of Virginia Cancer Center
The Affordable Care Act helped make recommended cancer screening more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, according to new University of Virginia research. The study focused on how the sweeping health care law - commonly referred to as Obamacare - affected early cancer diagnoses, particularly for colorectal and breast cancer. Specifically, the study found that from 2011 to 2013, the ACA resulted in an 8 percent increase in the diagnoses of early-stage colorectal cancer among U.S. seniors aged 65 and older. more...
Extra Centrosomes Promote Tumor Formation in Mice
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
When a cell is dividing, two identical structures, called centrosomes, move to opposite sides of the cell to help separate its chromosomes into the new cells. More than 100 years ago, scientists observed that cancer cells often have more than two centrosomes, but they couldn't untangle whether the extra structures were a result of the cancer, or part of its cause. Now, biologists at Johns Hopkins have solved that conundrum, finding that extra centrosomes can single-handedly promote tumor formation in mice. more...
Research Holds Promise for Personalized Lung Cancer Treatments
Huntsman Cancer Institute
New research from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah uncovered distinct types of tumors within small cell lung cancer that look and act differently from one another. Scientists also identified a targeted drug combination that worked well with one specific tumor type. The findings suggest small cell lung cancer should not be treated as a uniform disease. Trudy G. Oliver, PhD, led the study. more...
New Drug in Development Shows Improved Progression-Free Survival for Patients with Advanced Metastatic Midgut Neuroendocrine Tumors
Moffitt Cancer Center
A new therapy in development for the treatment of midgut neuroendocrine tumors shows improved progression-free survival and response rates for patients with advanced disease. Moffitt Cancer Center is one of 41 cancer centers worldwide to investigate a novel therapy, 177Lu-Dotatate. The drug consists of a radioactive molecule attached to a somatostatin analog, allowing for radiation to be directly targeted to somatostatin receptor expressing tumors. Patients with metastatic or locally advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors that had disease progression during prior treatment with octreotide, a somatostatin analog, were enrolled in the trial. more...
New Bcl-2 Inhibitor Studies Expand Options for Patients with Hematologic Malignancies
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Hematologic oncologists in the Center for Hematologic Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center are leading studies of venetoclax (ABT-199), a first-in-class Bcl-2 inhibitor approved for patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia with 17p deletion. more...
Researchers Discover BRCA1 Gene is Key for Blood Forming Stem Cells
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Researchers from the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that the BRCA1 gene is required for the survival of blood forming stem cells, which could explain why patients with BRCA1 mutations do not have an elevated risk for leukemia. The stem cells die before they have an opportunity to transform into a blood cancer. more...
Lung-Sparing Surgery for Advanced Mesothelioma Results in Prolonged Survival
University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma treated with a combination of surgery to remove the cancer but save their lung, plus photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy, had a median survival of nearly three years, with a subset of patients living longer than seven years, according to research from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
Team's Discovery Offers New Insight on Lung Cancer Risk
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Researchers in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at Vanderbilt University have discovered a proteomic "signature" from the airways of heavy smokers that could lead to better risk assessment and perhaps new ways to stop lung cancer before it starts. Their findings are based on the observation that otherwise normal-looking cells in the epithelial lining of the lungs of heavy smokers and others at high risk for lung cancer undergo the same kind of "metabolic reprogramming" as do cancer cells. more...
Malaria Drug Successfully Treats 26-Year-Old Brain Cancer Patient
University of Colorado Cancer Center
After her brain cancer became resistant to chemotherapy and then to targeted treatments, 26-year-old Lisa Rosendahl's doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a published paper describes a new drug combination that has stabilized her disease and increased both the quantity and quality of her life: Adding the anti-malaria drug chloroquine to her treatment stopped an essential process that Ms. Rosendahl's cancer cells had been using to resist therapy, re-sensitizing her cancer to the targeted treatment that had previously stopped working. Two other brain cancer patients were also treated with the combination and both showed similar, dramatic improvement. more...
New Study Shows Promise for Repurposing Anti-Malarial Drug for Cancer Treatment
UK Markey Cancer Center
A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that chloroquine, a drug currently used to treat malaria, may be useful in treating patients with metastatic cancers. The study showed that chloroquine induced the secretion of the tumor suppressor protein Par-4 in both mouse models and in cancer patients in a clinical trial. Secreted Par-4 is essential for tumor cell death and the inhibition of tumor metastasis. more...
Prostate Tissue Used to Create Unique Model of Prostate Cancer Biology
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
For the first time, researchers have been able to grow, in a lab, both normal and primary cancerous prostate cells from a patient, and then implant a million of the cancer cells into a mouse to track how the tumor progresses. The achievement, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center who led the research, represents a critical advance in the effort to understand the origin and drivers of this puzzling cancer, the most common in men. more...
Other News
The University of Kansas Expands Pediatric Research Partnership
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
The University of Kansas (UK) Cancer Center and Children's Mercy Hospital have moved to solidify a partnership that could create a premier global pediatric research hub. The two institutions have announced the establishment of four first-of-a-kind endowed chairs that would help eliminate childhood diseases around the world.

Roy Jensen, MD, director of the UK Cancer Center and vice president/president-elect of AACI, said the endowed chair positions will focus on genomics, health outcomes, hematological malignancies and immunotherapy. Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, is chief scientific officer and executive director of the Children's Research Institute at Children's Mercy. more...
Miami Cancer Institute Joins the MSK Alliance
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
After a yearlong review and collaborative process, Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida became a full member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance. Miami Cancer Institute is the third member of the MSK Cancer Alliance, an initiative that aims to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community settings. more...
Global Cancer Program Launched at UCSF
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center announced the launch of the new Global Cancer Program under the leadership of Katherine Van Loon, MD, MPH. This initiative reflects UCSF's critical mass of world-class investigators already working to reduce the global cancer burden, with a focus on inequities in low- and middle-income countries. The vision for the Global Cancer Program is rooted in the Cancer Center's successes as an international hub for research, education, and innovation. Through partnerships with healthcare institutions, government, NGO's, philanthropists, and biotech, the new Global Cancer Program can improve cancer control, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care in underserved populations globally. more...
Former MD Anderson President LeMaistre Passes Away at 92
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Charles Aubrey "Mickey" LeMaistre, MD, past president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a pioneering crusader against the harmful effects of tobacco use and catalyst of the field of cancer prevention, has died. He was 92. Dr. LeMaistre joined MD Anderson as president in 1978 after serving seven years as chancellor of The University of Texas System. more...
Oncologist, Former Hospital President Owens Dies
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Albert H. Owens Jr., MD, a Johns Hopkins oncologist who played a leadership role in developing oncology as a scientific discipline and clinical specialty, and who also served as president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has died at the age of 90. He was named the first director of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in 1973. more...
New Drug Formulary Will Help Expedite Use of Agents in Clinical Trials
National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute has launched a new drug formulary (the "NCI Formulary") that will enable investigators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers to have quicker access to approved and investigational agents for use in preclinical studies and cancer clinical trials. The NCI Formulary could ultimately translate into speeding the availability of more-effective treatment options to patients with cancer. more...
Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic Highlights Patient-Focused Science
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The waiting room of the brand-new Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic was packed as philanthropists, scientific leadership, patients and families celebrated the one-of-its-kind facility's grand opening. The opening of the clinic, named in honor of the Bezos family's dedicated commitment to immunotherapy research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, was marked by a scientific symposium at Fred Hutch and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the clinic on the sixth floor of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. more...
Lurie, AbbVie to Collaborate on Multi-Year Cancer Research Agreement
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, and Northwestern University have announced a five-year collaboration with the goal of advancing research and discovery in oncology. Together, AbbVie and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University will work in several areas of oncology research, which in addition to others could include, lung, colorectal, breast, prostate and hematological cancer. more...
Job Opportunities
Chief Administrative Officer/ Associate Director of Administration and Education
University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Manager, Cancer Clinical Trial Office  
University of Vermont Cancer Center

Chief Informatics Officer Opportunity  
The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Development Administrator  
The University of Arizona Cancer Center

Director Research Administration and Operations  
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Office  
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Director of the Office for Clinical Research  
UVA Cancer Center

Chief Financial Officer  
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Meeting Announcements

2017 NACCDO/PAMN Annual Conference
2017 NACCDO/PAMN Annual Conference
April 18-21, 2017
Lexington, Kentucky
For more information visit: NACCDO/PAMN

The Wistar Institute
The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia is hosting a free, full day scientific symposium entitled "Epigenetics in Cancer" on April 25 from 10am-5pm. In this symposium, Wistar will bring together leaders in epigenetics research to discuss the most recent advances in the field and their potential translational applications. Learn more. Registration is required.

On June 20, The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia will host a free scientific symposium: "The Noreen O'Neill Melanoma Research Symposium -Melanoma: Advances in Therapy and Biology" from 9am-4pm Expanding our understanding of melanoma biology will help decode the mechanisms of innate and acquired resistance and drive the development of novel and improved targeted therapies. Learn more. Registration is required.

2017 Cancer Center Administrators Forum & CCAF-IT
Hosted by Moffitt Cancer Center
April 30 - May 2, 2017
The Vinoy Renaissance
St. Petersburg, Florida
For more information visit: moffitt.org

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 3-4, 2017
Washington, DC
Register to attend today!

Call for Abstracts!
   9th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting
Abstract FAQs, template and scoring guidelines can be found on the AACI website.
9th Annual AACI CRI Meeting
July 12-13, 2017
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel

2017 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting
Save the Date!
October 15-17, 2017
Grand Hyatt Washington, DC