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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesJuly 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.

AACI Board Member Sharpless To Be Next NCI Director

On June 9 the White House announced President Donald Trump’s intention to appoint Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD as the next National Cancer Institute (NCI) director. Dr. Sharpless is director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 97 AACI member cancer centers in the U.S. and Canada. He currently serves on AACI’s Board of Directors. Dr. Sharpless will replace Douglas Lowy, MD, who has served as acting director since Harold Varmus, MD, stepped down in 2015. Dr. Varmus is the former president of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, also an AACI member. more...

Cancer Immunology Expert Will Lead UPMC Hillman
Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, an expert in immunotherapy and specialist in head and neck cancer, has been named director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, in Pittsburgh. On July 1, Ferris, a 15-year veteran of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, assumed overall responsibility for all aspects of cancer research and education at Hillman. His appointment follows a nationwide search after the departure of Nancy Davidson, MD. more...
Director Named for UT Health Cancer Center
Ruben A. Mesa, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, has been named director of the UT Health Cancer Center, in San Antonio, effective in August. Dr. Mesa has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of more than 70 clinical trials for patients and has led efforts in obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for several new cancer drugs. more...
Leach to be Director of Norris Cotton
Physician and scientist Steven D. Leach, MD, has been selected as the new Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Dr. Leach is currently the David M. Rubenstein Chair and Director of the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City. He will start his role at the NCCC in September. more...
House Cancer Caucus Revitalized by New Leadership

On June 29, the House Cancer Caucus hosted its first briefing of the 115th Congress under its new leadership. The standing room only event was co-hosted by returning Caucus co-chair Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) as well as new co-chairs Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS). The legislators convened Congressional staffers to educate them on current breakthroughs being made by top researchers and drug manufacturers, and the impact of these breakthroughs on cancer patients.

Dr. Louis Weiner, Director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, moderated the event, which featured panelists, Dr. Roy Jensen, Director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center and AACI President-Elect, as well as AACI Board Member, and President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Candace Johnson. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Executive Vice President and Deputy Director, Dr. Fred Applebaum, Executive Vice President of Novartis, Bill Hinshaw, and cancer patient, Ashley Randolph, were also part of the panel. more...
Abstract Winners Selected for AACI CRI Meeting

The AACI Clinical Research Initiative Steering Committee has selected three abstracts from 33 submissions for formal presentation at the 9th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, July 12-13, in Chicago. The winning abstract authors represent: The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai Health System; Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health and Carbone Cancer Center; Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Sciences University; Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Health System; and, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. more...
AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative Will Meet October 15th
AACI's Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) invites physician leaders responsible for cancer center clinical operations to attend an in-person meeting at the 2017 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on October 15. Program topics will include the role of advanced practice nursing in cancer quality and an overview of two Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Quality Programs-the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). more...
AACI Requests Patient-Centered Healthcare Replacement Package
Senate Republicans and administration officials continue to discuss options for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement package, as they aim for a vote before the August recess. Through letters to Senate leaders as well as each individual senator, AACI has continued to advocate for a patient-centered approach to the healthcare replacement package, including coverage protections, prevention programs, and patient access to care. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Müschen Named for Professorship in Pediatrics
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Markus Müschen, MD, PhD, the founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology, has received The Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation Professorship in Pediatrics. Müschen is the first City of Hope physician-scientist to serve as the Lee professor in pediatrics. Dr. Müschen joined City of Hope in December 2016 to develop new approaches in treating pediatric leukemia. more...
UVA Honored as Center of Excellence for Bone Marrow Cancer
University of Virginia Cancer Center
University of Virginia Cancer Center has earned recognition as a national center of excellence for its care of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a cancer of the bone marrow that often leads to leukemia. According to the MDS Foundation website, centers of excellence have: an established MDS program; recognized expertise in understanding the form and structure of MDS; expertise in how genes and chromosomes impact MDS; ongoing research, including clinical trials; and researchers that have published peer-reviewed articles on MDS. more...
Indo-American Cancer Association Honors Salgia
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Indo-American Cancer Association honored City of Hope's Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD, with the IACA Award for Outstanding Contributions to Oncology during its annual meeting, which took place during the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) 2017 annual meeting in Chicago. Dr. Salgia has more than 25 years of accomplishments in translational research and the development of targeted therapies to improve the quality of life and survival of cancer patients, especially as related to small cell lung cancer. more...
Grants & Gifts
New Cancer Research Center Unveiled, $120 Million Donation Announced
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has officially opened its Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center and Jon M. Huntsman has announced a commitment from the Huntsman family and Huntsman Cancer Foundation to give $120 million to HCI. The 225,000 square-foot expansion doubles HCI's research capacity. Research enhancements include a biotechnology center, complete with the latest advanced genetic sequencing and imaging equipment. more...
Coffey Lands NCI Award to Support Colorectal Cancer Research
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Robert Coffey Jr., MD, has received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) - more than $6.6 million over seven years - to support studies aimed at advancing the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. Dr. Coffey is one of 27 researchers nationwide to receive Outstanding Investigator Awards in the second round of the NCI program. more...
Grant Establishes Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson received a $3 million development donation from education and healthcare philanthropists Esperanza and David Neu to establish the Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship. The Center will serve as a comprehensive resource for psychosocial care and research, ensuring patients feel supported and emotionally healthy as they confront and recover from cancer. more...
$2.24 Million Awarded to Identify Nutrients Critical for Growth of Aggressive Cancers
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
A $2.24 million competing renewal of a grant awarded from the National Cancer Institute to Eileen White, PhD, and Joshua D. Rabinowitz, MD, PhD, will support research focused on melanoma and lung cancer caused by mutations in genes known as K-ras and Braf. more...
NCI Funds $2 Million Grant For Duke-NCCU Disparities Research Partnership
Duke Cancer Institute
A "Duke-NCCU Cancer Disparities Translational Research Partnership" grant has been funded by the National Cancer Institute for four years in the amount of $2 million for two laboratory-based translational research projects. The principal investigators are Steven Patierno, PhD, deputy director of Duke Cancer Institute, and Kevin Williams, PhD, an associate professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and faculty member of the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise at NCCU. more...
Leadership Transitions
Medical Oncology Division Director, Associate Director for Clinical Research Appointed
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
After a national search, The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the University of Kansas School of Medicine have appointed Weijing Sun, MD, the new Sprint Foundation Professor of Medical Oncology and medical oncology division director. He also will be associate director for clinical research for the KU Cancer Center. He will join the faculty September 1. Dr. Sun is currently professor of medicine and medical oncologist at the University of Pittsburgh where he also serves as director of the gastrointestinal cancers section of hematology-oncology and co-director of the UPMC Gastrointestinal Cancer Center of Excellence. more...
Guru Named Chair of Urology
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Khurshid Guru, MD, an expert in robotic surgery, has been named chair of the Department of Urology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Guru, who was recruited to Roswell Park in 2005 to direct the Institute's robotic surgery program, will lead a team of more than 50 faculty members, clinicians, researchers and staff who provide care for patients with various genitourinary diseases, including prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. more...
Pal to Lead Cancer Health Disparities Program
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Clinical geneticist Tuya Pal, MD, has joined Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as associate director of Cancer Health Disparities. Pal also has been named an associate professor of Medicine and Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research. As one of the faculty in the Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Clinic, Dr. Pal will focus on clinical and research efforts to ensure that all patients have access to the latest tests and treatments for cancer and genetic tests for cancer risk. more...
Slusser Appointed AVP/Chief Nurse
Duke Cancer Institute
Kim M. Slusser, MSN, BSN, has been appointed assistant vice president, DUHS/Chief Oncology Nursing Services for Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Health System. In her new role, Slusser is responsible for leading Nursing, Quality, Safety & Outcomes and Care Redesign, within the oncology service line at Duke University Health System. more...
Two to Lead Engagement with Government Officials and Agencies
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Roswell Park Cancer Institute's engagement with elected officials and government agencies will be led by Laura Krolczyk, who has been promoted to Vice President of External Affairs, and Leah Halton-Pope, who joins the Institute as Director of Government and Community Relations. more...
Research Highlights
New Insight Illuminates How Cells Respond to Stress
Duke Cancer Institute
Duke Cancer Institute scientists have described a previously unknown series of steps that cells undergo when stressed, adding crucial information to the understanding of DNA damage that is at the heart of research into aging and cancer. Senior author on the study is Michael Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of Duke Cancer Institute. more...
Genetic Tests Help Identify Relative Risk of 25 Cancer-Associated Mutations
Stanford Cancer Institute
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia have analyzed the genetic test results, family histories and disease status of nearly 95,600 women who underwent genetic testing for 25 mutations associated with the development of breast and ovarian cancer. Some of the women had cancer; many did not. Seven percent of the women in the study carried at least one of the mutations, the researchers found. The researchers hope the study is the first step to providing much-needed clarity to women and their physicians as they struggle to interpret the results of genetic testing. more...
Phase III Trial of Targeted Drug Shows Promise in Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
The first phase III trial of a new class of drugs for breast cancer is reporting promising data. In the multicenter, international trial led by Memorial Sloan Kettering medical oncologist and clinical geneticist Mark Robson, MD, the drug olaparib (Lynparza™) extended progression-free survival by an average of three months longer than treatment with standard chemotherapy. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. more...
Scientists May Have Found a New Way to Halt Lung Cancer Growth
VCU Massey Cancer Center
The gene p53 functions normally as a cancer suppressor, but mutated versions of the gene have been implicated in the development and growth of nearly half of all human cancers. Now, for the first time, scientists at VCU Massey Cancer Center have uncovered a mechanism that makes lung cancer cells dependent on mutated versions of the gene, opening the potential for new, more effective treatments. more...
New Cancer Drug Tested In Mice May Benefit Certain Leukemia Patients
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Almost 6,000 new cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, are expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States. Scientists have found up to 30 percent of adult ALL patients have what's called a Philadelphia chromosome, where two segments of chromosomes have aberrantly fused together. Adult ALL patients exposed to standard treatments often see high relapse rates, and treatment-related deaths remain high. But researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have discovered new science that could provide better therapeutic options for patients. Srividya Bhaskara, PhD, led the study. more...
Scientists to Develop Bioassay for Ovarian Cancer for New NCI Initiative
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
A team of scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will lead an initiative launched by the National Cancer Institute to advance the use of targeted proteomics and genomics in the most lethal gynecological malignancy, ovarian cancer. The new Proteogenomic Translational Research Centers, established by the NCI's Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research, involves teams of researchers and oncologists across the U.S. and aims to integrate proteomics with genomics ("proteogenomics") into NCI clinical trials. more...
'Very High Risk' of Blood Clots in Ovarian Cancer Patients Who Have Chemo Before Surgery
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
More than 25 percent of patients undergoing chemotherapy before and after surgery for ovarian cancer develop blood clots, according to a new retrospective cohort study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study suggests providers should consider using prophylactic blood thinners before and after surgery to decrease the incidence of blood clots and improve outcomes. Shitanshu Uppal, MD, is senior author on the study. more...
New Insights into Key Regulatory Pathway for Cancer Cell Survival
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
New research from the laboratory of Christine Eischen, PhD, has revealed a previously unappreciated feature of a well-known cell survival mechanism with potentially important implications for the treatment of some cancers. The study focuses on the roles of the intensively studied tumor suppressor p53 and its negative regulator Mdm2. In many normal developmental contexts as well as different cancers, the survival of cells depends on a delicate balance of cell death-promoting p53 activity and the opposing cell survival-promoting activity of its binding partner, Mdm2. more...
First-line Use of Alectinib Potential New Standard of Care for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Results of a 303-patient, multi-national phase III clinical trial argue for alectinib replacing crizotinib as first-line standard of care in advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, is the trial's North American primary investigator. The primary endpoint of the study was progression free survival (PFS), the time that a patient can live with a cancer without it getting worse. Overall, patients given alectinib saw 53 percent reduction in the risk of progression compared with those given crizotinib. more...
Barrier Proteins in Tumors are Possible Key to Immunotherapy Success
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
By comparing variations in protein expression in tumor samples from a single melanoma patient, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center say their findings have the potential to reveal some of the mechanisms underlying response or resistance to immunotherapy drugs. The "proof of concept" findings point to distinct variations not in the genetic code of each tumor sample, but in the expression levels of certain proteins encoded by normal genes. more...
Balance Gait Negatively Impacted After Chemotherapy Treatment
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

A single chemotherapy treatment can result in a significant negative impact on walking gait and balance, putting patients at an increasing risk for falls, according to a new study involving breast cancer patients conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James). The study is the first to objectively measure the functional abilities of cancer patients during and after taxane-based chemotherapy. Researchers followed 33 patients with stage I-III breast cancer, assessing functional performance (standing balance and gait) and patient-reported outcomes at five timepoints spanning before treatment began up to three months post-treatment completion. more...
HPV Testing Leads to Earlier Detection and Treatment of Cervical Precancer
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
Women who receive human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, in addition to a pap smear, receive a faster, more complete diagnosis of possible cervical precancer, according to a study of over 450,000 women by Queen Mary University of London and the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study used data from the New Mexico HPV Pap Registry in the United States. It is the first comprehensive evaluation of HPV testing on the long-term outcomes of women who had received a borderline abnormal Pap test result. more...
Karmanos Physician National Co-Chair in Worldwide Study
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Findings from a 10-year, worldwide study - The IDEA International Duration Evaluation of Adjuvant Chemotherapy Collaboration - involving 12,834 stage 3 colon cancer patients on adjuvant chemotherapy showed that patients with a lower risk of cancer recurrence who received three months of chemotherapy verses the standard six months of treatment, did just as well. The findings (abstract LBA1) were presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Anthony F. Shields, MD, PhD, of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute was co-chair of the North American study. more...
Drug Targeting Genetic Mutation Works Across All Tumor Types
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Landmark clinical trial results show that a drug called larotrectinib has a dramatic antitumor effect in all cancers harboring a mutation called a TRK fusion. Data from three clinical trials demonstrate that larotrectinib works in the vast majority of both adults and children whose tumors have this mutation. Furthermore, its effects appear to be lasting in most cases. more...
I-SPY 2 TRIAL Shows Potential of Precision Medicine Therapy for Breast Cancer
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Results from a nationwide clinical trial, conducted in part at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have found that adding the drug pembrolizumab in combination with standard therapy before surgery shows potential for meaningful outcomes in patients with locally advanced triple negative (TNBC) or hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) breast cancers. The findings from I-SPY 2 TRIAL (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging And moLecular Analysis 2) were exclusively presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. more...
Researchers Identify Genetic Mutations that Increase Risk of Breast, Ovarian Cancer
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Analyzing a panel of 25 genes, researchers found mutations in genes associated with increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer in approximately seven percent of women tested through a large commercial laboratory. In addition, the study helps to better quantify the magnitude of cancer risk associated with the genes tested. Depending on the gene, they found increased risk between two- and six-fold for breast cancer and two- and forty-fold for ovarian cancer. Michael J. Hall, MD, MS, co-authored the paper. more...
Delays for Asian-American Women After Abnormal Mammogram
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Asian-American women are more likely to experience delays in follow-up treatment after an abnormal mammogram compared to white women, according to new UC San Francisco research. These delays in diagnostic radiology could put Asian-American women at higher risk of later breast cancer diagnosis, especially women of Vietnamese or Philippine ethnicity, who had the highest rate of delays, the researchers said. The findings point to a significant need to reduce racial and cultural barriers in medical testing among Asian-American women. more...
Subtle Molecular Changes Along Upper Digestive Tract Could Guide Cancer Therapy
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Based on a new molecular study of tissues biopsied from various parts of the upper digestive tract, researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified significant, if subtle, differences in gene mutations and other factors that could help in developing more tailored treatment options for cancer patients. This finding is notable because as the digestive tract winds its way down from the mouth to the rectum, a continuum of cancers can arise, each of which may be amenable to precision treatment. more...
Genetic Sequencing Could Influence Treatment for Nearly Three-Quarters of Advanced Cancer Patients
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new analysis finds that nearly three-quarters of 500 patients with advanced cancer could be referred to a potential targeted treatment based on the results of a comprehensive analysis of their tumor's genetic landscape. The study suggests the value of so-called next generation sequencing, a sophisticated method of evaluating the DNA and RNA of a tumor to help direct treatment. more...
Searching for Keys to Immunotherapy Success in Tumor Microenvironment
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
In a recently published report, four current and former University of Chicago-based researchers describe the process that nullifies T cell recruitment and suggest approaches that may be able to transform such cold, sheltered, T cell-deprived tumors into exposed, vulnerable, T cell-ravaged hot ones. The study's senior author is Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD. more...
Gene Variant Identified to Personalize Therapy for Deadly Form of Leukemia
University of Florida Health Cancer Center
A genetic variation identified by researchers at University of Florida Health may help clinicians target a deadly form of leukemia using a promising drug therapy. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, UF Health researchers in the UF College of Pharmacy found that genetic variation within patients with CD33 - a surface molecule that acts as a receptor for drug therapy on a leukemia cell - can predict the effectiveness of the anti-leukemic drug gemtuzumab ozogamicin, or GO. Cancer cells with adequate CD33 allow GO to bind it and enter the cell, eventually killing it. Cells without CD33, or with altered CD33 due to genetic variation, will not respond to GO. Jatinder Lamba, PhD, MSc, is lead author on the study. more...
Eating Right, Exercise Could Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer Recurrence
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Colon cancer patients who have a healthy body weight, exercise regularly and eat a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables have a significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence or death, according to a research team led by UC San Francisco investigators. This finding represents an analysis of data collected on patients participating in a national study for people with stage III colon cancer. The analysis involved 13 other institutions and patients were evaluated over approximately seven years. Erin L. Van Blarigan, ScD, is the lead author on the study. more...
Biomarkers Can Predict Which ER-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Respond Best to First-Line Therapy
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Two challenges in treating patients with estrogen-positive breast cancer (ER+) have been an inability to predict who will respond to standard therapies and adverse events leading to therapy discontinuation. A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed new information about how the biomarkers retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and cytoplasmic cyclin E could indicate which patients will respond best to current first-line therapies. Khandan Keyomarsi, PhD, led the study team. more...
Researchers Kill Cancer Cells Using Nanobubble Spaser as the World's Smallest Laser
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences research team led by Vladimir Zharov, PhD, DSc, has demonstrated the ability to kill single cancer cells using the world's smallest laser. At 22 nanometers in diameter, the laser - known as a spaser - is capable of detecting and killing single cancer cells by generating super-bright light directly in the cells and transforming the light into heat, nanobubbles and sound waves. One nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter. more...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells use Hedgehog to 'Evilize' Docile Neighbors
University of Colorado Cancer Center
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows that metastatic breast cancer cells signal neighboring cells in ways that allow otherwise anchored cells to metastasize. The work pinpoints a promising link in the chain of signaling that, when broken, could reduce the metastatic potential of the disease. The finding takes place in the context of an important debate in the field of research into breast cancer metastasis, namely whether breast cancer cells must undergo what is called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in order to metastasize. more...
Many Testicular Cancer Survivors Have Low Testosterone, Other Health Problems
Indiana University Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center
Indiana University cancer researchers found that many testicular cancer survivors have low testosterone levels and are more likely to have chronic health problems. In the study, the researchers found that 38 percent of 491 testicular cancer survivors had low testosterone levels, or hypogonadism. Further, compared to survivors with normal testosterone levels, survivors with low testosterone were more likely to report a range of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Mohammad Issam Abu Zaid, MBBS, is lead author of the study. more...
Targeted Therapies Show Initial Effectiveness in Subset of Papillary Thyroid Cancer
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

Two immunotherapy drugs currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of melanoma also show promise for treating a rare but aggressive form of papillary thyroid cancer. In a randomized, phase 2 multi-center clinical study, led by Manisha Shah, MD of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James), investigators tested the effectiveness of the targeted therapy drug, dabrafenib (pronounced "da bRAF e nib" and marketed as Tafinlar), given alone compared with the same drug given in combination with trametinib (pronounced "tra ME ti nib", marketed at MeKinist) to treat a subset of advanced papillary thyroid cancer patients with B-raf mutations. more...
Beat AML Clinical Trial for Leukemia is Launched
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center has been selected as the only Texas site for a national Cancer Moonshot clinical trial to find individually tailored approaches to better treat acute myeloid leukemia. The Beat AML trial was announced last year by former Vice President Joe Biden, along with other Cancer Moonshot-inspired initiatives, and is designed to speed up the process of finding better treatments. more...
Blocking Cancer-Scientists Find New Way to Combat Disease
UK Markey Cancer Center
Kentucky continues to lead the nation in incidence and death rates from lung cancer, and the University of Kentucky is committed to reducing these numbers. A collaboration between scientists from University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital brings researchers one step closer to a solution. A compound developed by Dean Kip Guy's lab of UK College of Pharmacy, with research that began at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, now provides us with a way to block cancer-causing proteins on a cellular level. more...
Partnership with Dana-Farber, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Offers Blood Cancer Trials
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
The University of Kansas Cancer Center has announced that it will join a consortium with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in collaboration with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to bring clinical trials testing innovative blood cancer therapies to Kansas City. This groundbreaking Blood Cancer Research Partnership brings clinical trials closer to where patients live and helps to address one of the primary bottlenecks in the development of new cancer therapies: the need for more patients to take part in trials. more...
Dark Hair Dye, Relaxers Associated with Increased Breast Cancer Risk
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Can use of hair products have an impact on breast cancer risk for women? That is a question explored by Rutgers University investigators and colleagues from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center. Lead author of the work Adana A.M. Llanos, PhD, MPH, and her colleagues share details about the work in a new study which examined use of hair dyes, hair relaxers and cholesterol-based hair products in African-American and Caucasian women. more...
Other News
UAB Joins TAPUR Study as Site Offering Treatments for Advanced Cancer Patients
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of eight new institutions, and the only one from Alabama, selected to participate in the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR™) Study run by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO). The TAPUR Study is the first clinical trial conducted by ASCO. It focuses on whether specific targeted therapies can benefit more patients outside of United States Food and Drug Administration-approved uses. more...
CDC-Funded Portal Enables Scheduling of Free Colorectal Cancer Screenings for Uninsured Patients
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of Chicago Medicine has launched ILColonCARES.org, a new website that is part of an innovative partnership designed to help health care providers directly schedule colorectal cancer screenings for Cook County residents ages 50 to 75. The web portal, known as Illinois Colon CARES, also seeks to enhance communication across health systems and provide timely results to patients and their doctors. more...
Supportive Oncodermatology Clinic Opened
GW Cancer Center
The George Washington University Cancer Center has announced the opening of the Supportive Oncodermatology Clinic. Adam Friedman, MD, is director of the clinic. The clinic will support patients during their cancer treatment to prevent and reduce common side effects, such as hair loss, severe skin rashes, skin infections, brittle nails, and dry skin, of chemotherapy and the array of new targeted therapies. The clinic will also support cancer survivors who suffer from established persistent side effects from these medications, even months to years after treatment, as well as provide diligent skin cancer surveillance as these patients are at higher risk. more...
Brodie, Renowned Cancer Researcher, Dies
University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and an internationally recognized scientist whose groundbreaking cancer research is considered among the greatest advances in treating breast cancer, passed away of complications from Parkinson's disease at her home in Fulton, Md. She was 82. more...
New Tech Promises Easier Cervical Cancer Screening
Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University researchers have developed a handheld device for cervical cancer screening that promises to do away with uncomfortable speculums and high-cost colposcopes. The "pocket colposcope" is a slender wand that can connect to many devices, including laptops or cell phones. more...
Hopkins Expands Collaboration with Allegheny Health Network, Highmark
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins Medicine has announced an expansion of its five-year affiliation with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Highmark, which provide health care services and insurance to people in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. The newly expanded relationship aims to support the care of patients with rare and complex adult and pediatric cancers and some organ-transplant patients, widen the portfolio of cancer clinical trials available to AHN's patients, facilitate participation in medical education, and collaborate on genomic sequencing and precision medicine research. more...
Alliance Established to Further Develop Radiation Technology With Fewer Side Effects
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Convergent R.N.R. Ltd. (CRnR) have announced a collaboration to further develop new radiation technology aimed at reducing side effects of standard radiation including unwanted radiation to healthy tissue. The alliance will study the feasibility of using CRnR's converging x-ray lens technology as an effective radiotherapy and radiosurgery option. MD Anderson will develop technologies to enhance and enable clinical implementation of CRnR's X-ray lens system called Mercy Beam™. more...
Remembering W. Thomas London, MD
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
A noted figure within Fox Chase Cancer Center's legacy, W. Thomas London, MD, Professor Emeritus, died June 3. He was 85 years old. Dr. London spent his scientific and academic career at Fox Chase, originally as a member of the Institute for Cancer Research, which later became the research arm of the current Center. He was recruited in 1966 from the National Institutes of Health by his mentor and scientific colleague, Nobel Laureate Baruch "Barry" Blumberg, MD, PhD, to participate in the Hepatitis B Research Program. more...
Job Opportunities
Senior Research Specialist  
University of Illinois Cancer Center

Clinical Research Coordinator  
University of Illinois Cancer Center

Research Specialist (Regulatory)  
University of Illinois Cancer Center

Senior Clinical Research Prospective Reimbursement Analysis (PRA) Manager  
Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina

Research Nurse - Oncology  
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Director, Oncology Clinical Trials Office  
University of Illinois Cancer Center

Funding Opportunities
Astellas Oncology C3 Prize

Can your bright idea improve cancer care for patients and their loved ones? The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize is a challenge aimed at inspiring novel, non-treatment and non-medicine based ideas in four categories where patients living with cancer and the cancer community face obstacles to receiving or providing optimal care. More information can be found here: www.c3prize.com/

Meeting Announcements

AACI Corporate Roundtable Meeting
AACI Corporate Roundtable Meeting
July 11, 2017
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel
For more information contact: kate@aaci-cancer.org or call 412-647-3844

9th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting
Register today:aaci-cancer.org/cri_meeting
July 12-13, 2017
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel

Advancing Cancer Care through Research Partnerships
2017 ASCO Research Community Forum Annual Meeting:
Advancing Cancer Care through Research Partnerships
September 24-25, 2017
ASCO Headquarters, Alexandria, VA
Mark your calendar to join the conversation this September! Space is limited, regsiter today!

Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy: From Conception to Delivery
This two-day national symposium addresses recent advances in the field and should be an exciting forum for discussion and debate on the current understanding of cancer and immunology and immunotherapy.
October 12-13, 2017
NCI/National Institutes of Health
For more information visit: ncifrederick.cancer.gov/events/CancerImmunology2017

2017 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting
Register now: aaci-cancer.org/annual_meeting
October 15-17, 2017
Grand Hyatt Washington, DC