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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesOctober 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 Joins Advocates at "Rally for Medical Research"

L to R: Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH; Roy Jensen, MD; Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS); Michael Caligiuri, MD; George Demetri, MD

On September 14, AACI participated in the fifth annual "Rally for Medical Research Hill Day." More than 350 individuals took part in more than 250 meetings on Capitol Hill. The Rally attendees represented 37 states and the District of Columbia. The Rally unites public health advocates in Washington to request stable, predictable funding for biomedical research. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Humans Services, Education and Related Agencies Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) delivered the keynote for the "Rally for Medical Research Hill Day" kickoff breakfast. more...

CRI Welcomes New Steering Committee Chair, Members

L to R: Carrie Lee, MD, MPH; Tricia Adrales Bentz, MHA, CCRP; Stefan C. Grant, MD, JD; Therica Miller, MBA, CCRP; Helen Peck, RN, MA, OCN, CCRP

AACI congratulates Carrie Lee, MD, MPH, medical director of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Clinical Protocol Office, who has been elected chair of AACI's Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Steering Committee. She replaces Paul Martin, MD, whose term as Chair concluded October 1.

Four new CRI steering committee members have also been elected: Tricia Adrales Bentz, MHA, CCRP, Clinical Trials Office Director, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina; Stefan C. Grant, MD, JD, Associate Director, Clinical and Translational Research, Associate Professor of Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center; Therica Miller, MBA, CCRP, Associate Director, Clinical Research Administration, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and, Helen Peck, RN, MA, OCN, CCRP, Executive Director, Clinical Research Services, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new members' terms start October 1, 2017. more...

Upstate Cancer Center Joins AACI
The Association of American Cancer Institutes is pleased to announce its newest member, Upstate Cancer Center, based at SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, New York. Jeffrey Bogart, MD, is the center's interim director. The center sees more than 2,000 new cancer patients per year, resulting in 45,000 visits on its downtown campus and additional visits to satellite locations. more...
AACI, Oncology Nursing Society Forge Policy Collaboration

AACI and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) will partner on a clinical trials panel discussion during an ONS policy summit, "Approaches to Patient Centered Care", on Tuesday, October 17, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The collaboration is a first for the organizations, which are both based in Pittsburgh. More information about the summit is available here. more...
Surge of New Cancer Center Leadership Marks 2017 Annual Meeting
The Association of American Cancer Institutes will welcome about two dozen new cancer center directors, along with the head of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), when it convenes its annual meeting in Washington, DC, on October 15.

The unprecedented influx of new directors "is a watershed opportunity to reinvigorate our focus and determination," said AACI President Stanton Gerson, MD. "The cancer centers represent the major national effort against cancer, combining research, clinical care, training and community outreach."

Details about the AACI/CCAF meeting and registration information are here. more...

News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Schreiber Awarded Balzan Prize for Pioneering Cancer Research
Siteman Cancer Center
Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, a Washington University researcher at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, has been named a co-recipient of the Balzan Prize for his groundbreaking work in immunology and melanoma research. In helping to pioneer our understanding of the immune system's potential role in battling cancer, Schreiber and his collaborators have laid the foundation for the development of personalized vaccines for patients with cancers of the breast, brain, lung, pancreas, prostate, melanoma and certain forms of lymphoma. more...
Hopkins Earns Accreditation From CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Johns Hopkins Hospital will join the ranks of more than 200 organizations that have been accredited as CEO Cancer Gold Standard employers by meeting standards of excellence in cancer prevention, early detection and quality care for their employees. The accreditation is given by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a nonprofit group of CEOs founded by former President George H.W. Bush. more...
Grants & Gifts
More Than $6.8 Million Drawn for Research on New Treatments and Supportive Care
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute recently received more than $6.8 million in grant awards to support six specific projects aimed at improving supportive care and developing new immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatment approaches. The largest individual award, a $3.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, was awarded to Elizabeth Gage-Bouchard, MA, PhD. more...
Leadership Transitions
Marcus Named Associate Director for Basic Research and Shared Resources
Winship Cancer Institute
Adam Marcus, PhD, director of Emory University’s Integrated Cellular Imaging Shared Resource, is Winship Cancer Institute’s new associate director for basic research and shared resources, effective September 1st. In this role, he will provide oversight and direction for the development and growth of Winship’s shared resources and its basic scientific activities across all of Winship’s four research programs. Paul Doetsch, PhD, has served in the position since 1999 and has been designated to become the deputy scientific director in the Division of Intramural Research of the National Institute of Environmental Health. more...
New Associate Center Director of Population Science Named
Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center has named Shelley Tworoger, PhD, its new Associate Center Director of Population Science. Tworoger’s research focuses on enhancing ovarian cancer prevention and improving understanding of breast and ovarian carcinogenesis through collaborations with biostatisticians, pathologists and oncologists. more...
Huntsman Announces New Clinical Research Director
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has announced David Gaffney, MD, PhD, as Senior Director for Clinical Research. In this position, Dr. Gaffney oversees HCI's clinical research efforts which include more than 200 active clinical cancer trials at any given time. Dr. Gaffney has been a faculty member at the University of Utah since 1996, where he is professor and vice chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. more...
Research Highlights
Newly Identified Mitochondrial Metastasis Suppressor Pathway Controls Metabolic Reprogramming of Tumor Cells
The Wistar Institute
A novel mitochondrial variant of the protein Syntaphilin, or SNPH, which orchestrates the choice between cancer cell proliferation and metastasis in response to oxygen and nutrient shortage in the tumor microenvironment, has been identified by researchers at The Wistar Institute. Dario C. Altieri, MD, president and CEO of The Wistar Institute, was lead author of the study. more...
Zika Virus Kills Brain Cancer Stem Cells
Siteman Cancer Center
While Zika virus causes devastating damage to the brains of developing fetuses, it one day may be an effective treatment for glioblastoma. The virus kills brain cancer stem cells, the kind of cells most resistant to standard treatments, according to new research from Washington University scientists at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis and from scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. more...
New Technique Lets Doctors Predict Genetic Disease Severity
University of Virginia Cancer Center
An international team of researchers has found a way to diagnose disease and predict patient outcomes simply by measuring unbelievably small changes in interactions between molecules inside the body. The simple new technique could offer vastly superior predictions of disease severity in a huge range of conditions with a genetic component, such as Alzheimer's, autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, schizophrenia and depression. more...
Vessels That Help Cancers Spread Can Also Boost Immune Therapies
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
In a surprise finding, an international research team from the University of Chicago, the University of Lausanne, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne has discovered that the lymphatic vessels, often blamed for enabling cancer cells to spread from a primary location to many other sites, have a flip side. The team was led by Melody Swartz, PhD. more...
Potential 'Silver Bullet' Uncovered for Preventing and Treating Colon Cancer
VCU Massey Cancer Center
In preclinical experiments, researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center led by Massey’s deputy director, Steven Grossman, MD, PhD, have uncovered a new way in which colon cancer develops, as well as a potential "silver bullet" for preventing and treating it. The findings may extend to ovarian, breast, lung, prostate and potentially other cancers that depend on the same mechanism for growth. more...
Erectile Tissue-Sparing Radiation Technique Offers No Additional Preservation of Sexual Function for Men with Prostate Cancer
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
In a trial of whether a modified method of radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer would more effectively preserve men's sexual function, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center found no statistically significant benefit. Eddie Zhang, MD, worked with a team that used standard intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with additional dose-limiting parameters to the penile bulb and corporal bodies, both of which are thought to be involved in erectile function. more...
Characterization of a Slowly Proliferating Population of Melanoma Cells with High Metastatic Properties
The Wistar Institute
A study conducted at The Wistar Institute has led to the identification of a slowly proliferating and highly invasive melanoma cell subpopulation, characterized by production of a protein associated with invasive behavior. Meenhard Herlyn, DVM., DSc, was the lead researcher. more...
Tibetan Yoga May Improve Sleep for Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Participating in twice-weekly practice of Tibetan yoga may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, according to a study from researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The research found that women who practiced Tibetan yoga at least two times a week reported less daytime disturbances, better sleep quality and sleep efficiency over time, compared to those practicing less often and to women in an active control group receiving usual care. Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, is lead author. more...
Physicians First to Perform Unique Procedure for Ovarian Cancer
UK Markey Cancer Center
Physicians at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center are the first to perform a unique procedure to treat a rare and persistent type of ovarian cancer. Surgical oncologist Lauren Baldwin, MD, and radiation oncologist Jonathan Feddock, MD, collaborated on the procedure, which involved resecting the tumor and installing a special internal radiation device known as a CivaSheet. more...
Overall Cancer Risk not Increased With Use of Popular Diabetes Medication
Indiana University Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center
People taking a new oral medication for Type 2 diabetes can breathe a sigh of relief concerning suspicions they might be at an increased risk for many types of cancer, according to Indiana University researchers. A review of 46 clinical trials involving more than 34,000 patients showed no increased risk of developing most forms of cancer for individuals taking sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. The article is the first meta-analysis looking at the risk associated with SGLT2 and cancer using multiple resources including all available randomized clinical trials, multiple subgroup analyses, as well as meta-regression and sensitivity analyses. more...
Natural Molecule Appears to Shut Off Cancer Cells' Energy Source
Duke Cancer Institute
The Warburg Effect describes a phenomenon in which cancer cells voraciously consume glucose for energy - something scientists have long known, yet have had little success exploiting as a way to stunt tumor growth. Now researchers at Duke Cancer Institute have not only untangled an unusual wiring system that cancer cells use for carbohydrate metabolism, but also identified a natural compound that appears to selectively shut down this system in laboratory studies. Jason Locasale, PhD, is senior author of the study. more...
Timely Treatment of Lesions That May Cause Anal Cancer Can Cut Risk by 80 Percent
Moffitt Cancer Center
No guidelines exist for the treatment of precancerous anal lesions that might ultimately develop into anal cancer, leaving physicians to make a best guess about whether to remove them or wait and watch to see if they go away on their own. A study led by a University of Florida researcher offers recommendations for treating the lesions in a high-risk group that could lower patients' risk of developing anal cancer by 80 percent. The study's lead investigator is Ashish A. Deshmukh, PhD, MPH. more...
Molecular Profiling of Key Survival Proteins in B-cell Lymphoma Subtypes
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
Investigators at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson uncovered potential new culprits that contribute to the development and progression of several types of lymphoma. The study results indicate that targeting BCLW in B-cell lymphomas alone or in combination with other specific BCL2 family inhibitors should be considered and is likely needed, according to senior author Christine Eischen, PhD. more...
Study: Diet and Exercise Improve Outcomes for Obese Pediatric Cancer Patients
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Diet and exercise may improve treatment outcomes in pediatric cancer patients, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. The findings also revealed that diet and exercise have strong potential to improve chemotherapy effectiveness and reduces the risk of late effects in pediatric cancer patients. This discovery propels the need for more work to determine how energy balance - a combination of diet and exercise - can be implemented effectively during treatment to manage or treat obesity. Joya Chandra, PhD, is lead author on the study. more...
'Epigenetic' Changes From Cigarette Smoke May be First Step to Lung Cancer
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have preliminary evidence in laboratory-grown, human airway cells that a condensed form of cigarette smoke triggers so-called "epigenetic" changes in the cells consistent with the earliest steps toward lung cancer development. more...
Breast Cancer Patients on Opioids Less Likely to Stick to Vital Treatment
University of Virginia Cancer Center
A new University of Virginia study has found a troubling lack of adherence to a potentially lifesaving treatment regimen among breast cancer patients who take opioids to manage their pain. The treatment, adjuvant endocrine therapy, commonly known as hormone therapy, is used to prevent the cancer from returning after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Opioid use, however, was "significantly associated" with both failure to adhere to the hormone therapy and a higher risk of death, the study found. more...
Gold Nanostars and Immunotherapy Vaccinate Mice Against Cancer
Duke Cancer Institute
By combining an FDA-approved cancer immunotherapy with an emerging tumor-roasting nanotechnology, Duke University researchers improved the efficacy of both therapies in a proof-of-concept study using mice. The potent combination also attacked satellite tumors and distant cancerous cells, completely curing two mice and effectively vaccinating one against the disease. more...
Commitment to a Cure for Liver Cancer
VCU Massey Cancer Center
When Devanand Sarkar, MBBS, PhD, arrived at VCU Massey Cancer Center in 2008, he wanted to pursue a new direction in his research. Driven by the loss of his close friend and colleague, Dr. Sarkar has been on a mission to better understand the processes that drive the development of liver cancer. Now, nearly a decade after he started, his research is close to bringing about new treatments for the disease while redefining how obesity is connected to cancer. more...
Other News
ORIEN Personalized Medicine Consortium Adds Roswell Park
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
An unprecedented network of centers collaborating to share information and translate these pooled resources into personalized treatments for cancer patients has expanded to 16 institutions with the addition of Roswell Park Cancer Institute as a member. The National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN), a unique research partnership among North America's top cancer centers. more...
University of California Cancer Consortium Takes on California’s $14 Billion Killer
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of California's five academic cancer centers, home to some of the world's leading scientists and physicians, have formed a consortium to better address California's most pressing cancer-related problems and opportunities. The alliance of the UC centers, which all hold the highest designation possible from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, reflects a new model for cancer research and treatment that calls for the best minds to work together, regardless of where they are, to tackle cancer's many problems. more...
Center for Research Excellence in Jamaica Established
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH, has earned a grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a center of research excellence at the University of the West Indies, a regional university with its main campus in Jamaica. The new center will focus on cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It is the planned first step toward developing a broader network of Caribbean centers of excellence, which will increase research collaboration to address these diseases throughout the region more...
Hearst Invests in Moffitt Subsidiary M2Gen
Moffitt Cancer Center
Hearst, a market leader in healthcare technology, announced an equity investment in M2Gen, a health informatics subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the top comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. This partnership will help accelerate the discovery of innovative cancer therapies and improve care for patients nationwide. The collaboration will provide funding to expand the efforts of the nation's first major data sharing network among leading cancer institutions. more...
Job Opportunities
Stanford Cancer Institute

Chief Administrative Officer  
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Professor & Chair of Toxicology and Cancer Biology  
UK Markey Cancer Center

Associate Director, Administration  
University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute
Meeting Announcements

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

5th Annual AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative Meeting
View the Agenda
Space is limited, please RSVP to: cj@aaci-cancer.org
October 15, from 4:00-6:00pm
Grand Hyatt Washington, DC

SITC 2017
November 8-12, 2017
Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center
201 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2017) is the largest annual conference solely dedicated to cancer immunotherapy and brings together stakeholders across the field to advance the science, discover breakthroughs and educate the world on cancer immunotherapy. Known as the premier destination for scientific exchange, education and networking in the cancer immunotherapy field, SITC 2017 is the conference you don't want to miss!

Inaugural National Latino Cancer Conference in San Antonio
Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos
February 21-23, 2018
Marriott Plaza San Antonio
Register today and submit an abstract for the inaugural Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference on Feb. 21-23, 2018, in historic and culturally dynamic San Antonio, led by Dr. Amelie Ramirez, a cancer researcher at UT Health San Antonio.