If you are unable to see this message, click here to view.
News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesMarch 2018
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.

Join Your Cancer Center Colleagues for AACI's Annual Hill Day, April 24
AACI's annual Hill Day is set for Tuesday, April 24, in Washington, DC. AACI will partner with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to bring advocates to Capitol Hill to request stable, predictable investments for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Registration and accommodation information can be found here. Please contact Jennifer Pegher with questions.

The NIH and NCI enjoy strong support on Capitol Hill, but the need for advocates to highlight the achievements of cancer centers and request a robust investment for biomedical research has never been greater. With the federal government currently operating under a continuing resolution, Hill Day presents a unique opportunity for advocates to visit their legislators and request a stable budget for the NIH and NCI in Fiscal Year 2019 and beyond. more...

Online Registration Now Open for 10th Annual AACI CRI Meeting
The 10th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Meeting will be held July 11-12, in Chicago, at the Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel. The theme for this year's meeting is "Leveraging Change to Advance Cures for Cancer Patients".

This year's keynote speaker is Kimberly Scott, PhD, director of the graduate program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. She will provide her perspective on improving the workplace environment and embracing practices that foster employee wellness, learning and success when confronting organizational change. more...

News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Szent-Györgyi Prize to Honor Lowy and Schiller
National Cancer Institute
The 2018 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research will be awarded to Douglas R. Lowy, MD, and John T. Schiller, PhD, of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They are being recognized for their contributions toward the development of vaccines for the human papillomavirus (HPV). Dr. Lowy, who is also deputy director of NCI, and Dr. Schiller have co-authored more than 150 papers over the last 30 years. Most notably, their work to understand and prevent HPV infection has led to the approval of three preventive HPV vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. more...
NCI Names KU Cancer Center "High-Performing Site"
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
The University of Kansas Cancer Center was recently recognized as a "high-performing site" by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Under NCI's High-Performing Site Initiative, the program recognizes institutions that enroll a large number of patients onto National Clinical Trials Network trials while demonstrating scientific leadership in the design and conduct of clinical trials. KU Cancer Center's Westwood and Overland Park, Kan., locations were specifically recognized for high accrual. more...
Klitzke Named President of the American College of Nuclear Medicine
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
The American College of Nuclear Medicine (ACNM) has named Alan Klitzke, MD, FACNM, as its 47th president. Dr. Klitzke is an associate professor of oncology in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He specializes in whole-body PET/CT imaging, CT guided biopsy procedures, as well as, CT, MRI and Ultrasound imaging of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis. more...
Kozempel Receives American Physical Therapy Association Award
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Jean Kozempel, PT, DPT, MS, manager of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been selected by the American Physical Therapy Association to receive the 2017 Oncology Section President's Award. The President's Award recognizes physical therapists in the oncology field who are considered pioneers within their practice areas. more...
Ferris Tapped as JTT Editor-in-Chief
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
The Journal of Targeted Therapies in Cancer (JTT), a peer-reviewed journal that aims to enhance patient outcomes by sharing clinical articles in which advances in cancer targets and targeted therapies are analyzed, has appointed Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, as its editor-in-chief. Dr. Ferris is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Hillman Cancer Center. His research primarily focuses on cellular immune mechanisms of natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and T lymphocyte activation against head and neck cancer tumor antigens. more...
Payne Appointed to National Certification Committee
University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
Dr. Thomas Payne, PhD, director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's tobacco treatment program, was selected to serve on the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Development Committee, a group developing a national certification process for tobacco treatment specialists. more...
Grants & Gifts
UW Carbone Received "Outstanding" Grade on NCI Renewal
University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
Every five years, the UW Carbone Cancer Center receives a thorough check-up from the nation's top cancer researchers. Leaders recently learned that it passed its review with flying colors and will retain its designation as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center and $27 million in core funding. more...
More Than $6.5 Million Garnered for New Discoveries in Cancer, Infectious Disease
The Wistar Institute
Scientists at The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious diseases, received research funds totaling $6.58 million between the end of 2017 and the first months of 2018. Awards from the National Institutes of Health totaled $5.61 million. more...
$3 Million Grant for Imaging Technology to Help Predict Aggressiveness of Lung Cancer
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are leading development of a computerized tissue-imaging program that could soon help identify which lung cancer patients are likely to face an earlier recurrence of the disease. The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a $3.16 million grant to advance the promising project. more...
$2.7 Million in Grants to Help Scientist to Learn About HPV Infection
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
Michelle Ozbun, PhD, is using two grants totaling $2.7 million to learn how human papillomaviruses (HPV) sneak into cells to reproduce. She and her team are investigating how HPV may use the skin extracellular matrix and how it may hijack the endocytosis process to sneak inside skin cells. They are also developing new ways in which to measure infections. more...
$1 Million Grant for Researcher on International Prostate Cancer Study
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
A $1 million grant from Gateway for Cancer Research will help Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Urologic Oncology Chief Isaac Yi Kim, MD, PhD, MBA, evaluate the impact of surgically removing the prostate in men with metastatic prostate cancer in the United States and Asia. more...
Innovative Cancer Supportive Care Practices Extended With $1 Million Gift
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
City of Hope has received a $1 million gift from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation to launch two supportive care projects to train oncologists, nurses and other health care professionals to deliver the institution's compassionate, holistic cancer care. more...
Leadership Transitions
Integrated Cancer Care Leader Named at Rutgers
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health have named Andrew M. Evens, DO, MSc, FACP as a new oncology leader responsible for the delivery of integrated cancer care across both entities in servicing the region. Dr. Evens, whose clinical expertise is in hematologic malignancies, most recently was the director of the cancer center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. more...
Vance to Become Assistant VP, Associate Director for Administration
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Barbara A. Vance, PhD, CRA, will join Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on March 17 as assistant vice president and associate director for administration. In that role, Dr. Vance will be a senior member of Sylvester's leadership team, responsible for efficient operations and financial performance, including submission of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant. more...
Dhodapkar Named Director of New Center for Cancer Immunology
Winship Cancer Institute
Madhav V. Dhodapkar, MBBS, an expert in cancer immunology and translational immunotherapy, has joined Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University as the director of the new Winship Center for Cancer Immunology. Dr. Dhodapkar’s wife, Kavita Dhodapkar, MBBS, a cancer immunology researcher at Yale, will also join the Emory faculty as director of the Pediatric Immuno-Oncology Program at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She will also become an active Winship investigator in cancer immunology. more...
Sample Named Assistant Vice President, Clinical Programs
Duke Cancer Institute
Laura Sample, MHA, has been named assistant vice president for Duke Cancer Institute's clinical programs. In her new role, she will serve as the senior leader for the administrative functions of the disease-based programs, providing oversight for the development of strategic business plans focused on the integration of clinical services and research. Most recently the director of business development for Duke Network Services, Sample will utilize her strategic and business planning strengths to ensure the coordination of high quality patient care across Duke Cancer Institute. more...
MUSC Recruits Cancer Researcher for Dual Appointment
Hollings Cancer Center
Denis C. Guttridge, PhD, will be joining the Medical University of South Carolina as director of the Charles P. Darby Children's Research Institute and associate director of translational sciences for the Hollings Cancer Center effective May 1. Dr. Guttridge most recently served as professor of cancer biology and genetics at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. more...
Orr to Chair Interdisciplinary GI Program
University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
John Ruckdeschel, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute director, has named Shannon Orr, MD, chair of the interdisciplinary gastrointestinal cancer program. Dr. Orr, assistant professor of surgical oncology in the UMMC Division of Transplant Surgery, specializes in gastrointestinal surgeries, including some procedures rarely needed such as cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. In this procedure surgeons remove tumors from a person's abdominal cavity, flood it with a chemotherapy solution, drain it and complete the surgery. more...
Chief Financial Officer, Chief Digital Officer Appointed
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
City of Hope has announced the appointments of two leaders that will propel the organization forward. Jennifer Parkhurst joins the organization as its chief financial officer and Mark Hulse as its chief digital officer. Both are members of City of Hope's Enterprise Leadership Team and report directly to the institution's President and Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Stone. more...
Research Highlights
Placebo Pills Prescribed Honestly Help Survivors Manage Symptoms
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Long after cancer treatment ends, many continue to deal with one particular symptom that refuses to go away: fatigue. In a new study, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Harvard Medical School have found that the power of placebos, even when fully disclosed to patients, might be harnessed to reduce fatigue in cancer survivors. Teri Hoenemeyer, PhD, is the study's lead author. more...
Microbiome Research Refines HIV Risk for Women
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Drawing from data collected for years by AIDS researchers in six African nations, scientists have pinpointed seven bacterial species whose presence in high concentrations may significantly increase the risk of HIV infection in women. The findings add strength and precision to a growing body of evidence that the makeup of bacterial communities in the vagina - the vaginal microbiome - may increase or decrease HIV risk for women, depending on which bacteria are there. These clues are particularly important in sub-Saharan Africa, where women account for 56 percent of new HIV infections. David Fredricks, MD, is senior author of the study. more...
Health Indicators for Newborns of Breast Cancer Survivors May Vary by Cancer Type
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
For breast cancer survivors, the risk of giving birth prematurely, and for other health concerns for their newborns, may depend on the type of breast cancer they had, according to a study from University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers. The study analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina. This included evaluating whether newborns were born preterm (less than 37 weeks), if they were below normal weight, small for gestational age, or if they were born through a Cesarean delivery. Overall, there was not an increase in the prevalence of preterm birth, C-section, small for gestational age, or low birth weight for newborns across all breast cancer types. more...
Team Targets Tumor Suppressor to Treat 'Triple-Negative' Breast Cancer
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
A study by scientists at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and Cancer Research UK has found that the loss of a specific tumor suppressor in "triple-negative" breast cancer provides clues about potential new approaches to treatment. Triple-negative breast cancers lack three receptors that can be targeted by drugs, which limits treatment options. Therapy can be "targeted" to be more specific to a patient's individual tumor profile, allowing for the delivery of "personalized" medicine. Currently, patients with triple-negative breast cancer are treated with radiation or chemotherapy, and lack options for targeted forms of treatment. more...
New Targeted Therapeutic Approach to Combat Ovarian Cancer
The Wistar Institute
According to a new study by The Wistar Institute, EZH2 inhibitors that are currently in clinical development for hematological malignancies and solid tumors may be effectively targeted to epithelial ovarian cancers overexpressing the CARM1 protein. Lead researcher Rugang Zhang, PhD, and colleagues analyzed a publicly available atlas of ovarian cancer genetic profiles and observed that CARM1 expression is elevated in approximately 20 percent of cases, and it is associated with poor patient survival. more...
Involving ’All of Us’ in Research to Prevent Diseases
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
In 2016, the National Institutes of Health launched the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), which will enroll one million or more participants in a national research effort designed to find better ways to prevent and treat disease based on lifestyle, environment and genetics. Cancer is a major focus of the PMI, given the promise of more effective tailored treatments and prevention methods. A portion of the funds allocated for the PMI are dedicated to the National Cancer Institute's efforts in cancer genomics, and the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center is participating in the All of Us Research Program, a key element of the PMI. more...
Experimental Drug May Improve Treatments for Brain and Other Metastatic Cancers
VCU Massey Cancer Center
A team led by Paul B. Fisher, MPh, PhD, and colleagues at VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine may have developed a drug that can overcome some of the most challenging aspects of treating brain cancer-it's ability to spread into surrounding tissue and develop resistance to radiation therapy. more...
Labs Differ Widely in BRCA Testing Protocols
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

An international survey of genetic testing labs shows that - despite the availability of BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing for more than two decades - global protocols and standards are surprisingly inconsistent when it comes to analyzing cancer susceptibility genes and their many variations. A multi-institutional team led by Amanda Toland, PhD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, surveyed 86 genetic testing laboratories around the world to better understand their testing practices for BRCA1/2, known cancer susceptibility genes linked the types of breast and ovarian cancer passed down through families. more...
Diet May Influence the Spread of a Deadly Type of Breast Cancer
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
A single protein building block commonly found in food may hold a key to preventing the spread of an often-deadly type of breast cancer, according to a new multicenter study. Investigators found that by limiting an amino acid called asparagine in laboratory mice with triple-negative breast cancer, they could dramatically reduce the ability of the cancer to travel to distant sites in the body. Among other techniques, the team used dietary restrictions to limit asparagine. more...
Ethnic Composition of Neighborhood May Influence Cancer Risk
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
A growing body of evidence suggests that where a person lives can impact cancer risk and outcomes. A new paper finds that living in ethnic enclaves or areas of high segregation was associated with positive and negative effects on cancer risk, stage at diagnosis, and mortality. Findings varied among the ethnicities and types of cancer being studied. Carolyn Fang, PhD, is lead author of the paper. more...
New Way Identified to Unmask Melanoma Cells to the Immune System
Duke Cancer Institute
Melanomas have an especially lethal ability to turn off the body's immune system, which enables these deadly skin cancers to grow and spread. And while new therapies have been effective in releasing the immune system's restraints to unleash the body's own cancer-fighting powers, they only work in about half of melanoma patients and often lose their potency as the cancer develops resistance. Now a research team at the Duke Cancer Institute has found a new way to keep the immune system engaged, and is planning to test the approach in a phase 1 clinical trial. more...
Family History Increases Breast Cancer Risk Even in Older Women
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Family history of breast cancer continues to significantly increase chances of developing invasive breast tumors in aging women - those ages 65 and older, according to new research led by Dejana Braithwaite, PhD. The large study of more than 400,000 women is the first to specifically look at family history as a breast cancer risk factor in two groups of women, age 65-74 and 75 and older. more...
Cancer 'Vaccine' Eliminates Tumors in Mice
Stanford Cancer Institute
Injecting minute amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid tumors in mice can eliminate all traces of cancer in the animals, including distant, untreated metastases, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The approach works for many different types of cancers, including those that arise spontaneously, the study found. more...
Study Suggests PD-1 Inhibitors Against Aggressive Pediatric Brain Cancer Subtype
University of Colorado Cancer Center
One type of immunotherapy removes a genetic blindfold that cancer uses to hide from the immune system. These "PD-1 inhibitors", including drugs like pembrolizumab, nivolumab and atezolizumab, have proven useful and have even in some cases revolutionized the treatment of common adult cancers ranging from melanoma, to lung cancer, to kidney cancer and more. Now PD-1 inhibitors are entering clinical trials to treat childhood cancers. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study lays the scientific groundwork for the use of PD-1 inhibitors with an aggressive form of brain cancer, namely supratentorial pediatric ependymoma. more...
New Insights into How Packages of DNA Orchestrate Development
Huntsman Cancer Institute
New research from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah illuminates aspects of how an early embryo, the product of fertilization of a female egg cell by a male sperm cell, can give rise to all the many cell types of the adult animal. Researchers demonstrated that the hundreds of genes important for controlling embryonic development are all packaged in a unique manner in the early embryo - and even as far back as the paternal sperm - and that this packaging helps control how, when, and where different genes are expressed in the embryo. more...
Five Novel Genetic Changes Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
In what is believed to be the largest pancreatic cancer genome-wide association study to date, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute, and collaborators from over 80 other institutions worldwide discovered changes to five new regions in the human genome that may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. more...
Physical Inactivity Linked to Higher Risk of Lung, Head/Neck Cancers
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
An increasing body of evidence suggests that a lack of exercise can cause a wide variety of diseases, but physical inactivity is not currently recognized as a risk factor for cancer. Two research teams led by Kirsten Moysich, PhD, MS, have identified a direct association between physical inactivity and two different types of cancer: lung cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma - adding to a growing list of cancers linked to sedentary lifestyles. more...
Study Shows Repurposing Leukemia Drugs May Prevent Melanoma Metastasis
UK Markey Cancer Center
Data from a new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that repurposing drugs used to treat leukemia has promise for preventing melanoma metastasis. The study revealed new evidence linking the activation of ABL kinases - cancer-promoting genes - to the secretion of pro-metastatic cathepsins in melanoma. more...
Structure, Function of Enzyme Key to Blood Cancers Defined
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scientists at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of California, Riverside, have unveiled new findings about the structure and function of an enzyme that is commonly mutated in blood disorders and cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia. The researchers reported findings about the structure and function of the DNMT3A enzyme complex, which helps control gene expression by organizing DNA. more...
Cancer-Killing Virus Acts by Alerting Immune System
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new UC San Francisco study has shown that an oncolytic virus currently in clinical trials may function as a cancer vaccine — in addition to killing some cancer cells directly, the virus alerts the immune system to the presence of a tumor, triggering a powerful, widespread immune response that kills cancer cells far outside the virus-infected region. To better understand the underlying mechanisms of these viral therapies, a collaboration was forged between UCSF vascular researcher Donald McDonald, MD, PhD, and researchers at San Francisco-based biotech SillaJen Biotherapeutics Inc. (formerly Jennerex Biotherapeutics, Inc.), a subsidiary of SillaJen, Inc., headquartered in Korea. more...
Advanced Cancer Patients May Be Less Competent Decision-Makers Than Doctors Think
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Patients with terminal cancer face difficult decisions. What treatment options support their goals? When is it reasonable to discontinue care? A study led by Elissa Kolva, PhD, shows that these patients may be less competent to make these decisions than their doctors think. more...
Researchers Seek to Perfect Calculations for Comparing Radiation Therapy Doses for Cervical Cancer Treatment
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Research from VCU Massey Cancer Center has found that one of the standard practices for comparing cervical cancer radiation therapy treatments may be misleading, and the use of an alternative mathematical formula could be used to more effectively predict and potentially improve outcomes for patients. more...
"Icebreaker" Protein Opens Genome for T cell Development
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania describe in a new study the role of a transcription factor called TCF-1 in targeting the condensed chromatin and regulating the availability of genome sequences in T-cell development. The new connection between TCF-1 and chromatin will aid in developing new therapies using epigenetic drugs to alter T-cell fate in cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. Golnaz Vahedi, PhD, is senior author of the study. more...
Cancer Risk Linked to Key Epigenetic Changes Occurring Through Normal Aging Process
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development-particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation-arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration process called senescence. Now, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center demonstrated that instead, tumor-associated epigenetic states evolve erratically during early stages of tumor development, eventually selecting for a subset of genes that undergo the most changes during normal aging and in early tumor development. more...
Potential New Treatment Identified for Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer
Stanford Cancer Institute
Over half of newly diagnosed advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinomas are resistant to currently approved drug treatments. Yet many of these skin cancers harbor no known resistance-associated genetic mutations. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a link between changes in the cancer cells' internal scaffolding and one of the last steps of the cellular signaling pathway that drives their growth. more...
Researchers Inhibit Cancer Metastases via Novel Steps
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
In one of the first successes of its kind, researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and six other institutions have inhibited the spreading of cancer cells from one part of the body to another. In doing so, they relied on a new model of how cancer metastasizes that emphasizes epigenetics, which examines how genes are turned on and off. In the study, the investigators, including scientists from the National Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic, used innovative epigenetic-centered techniques to halt the spread of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) cells to the lungs in mice. more...
Apalutamide Delays Progression of Nonmetastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Treatment with an investigational androgen receptor inhibitor significantly delayed the development of metastasis in patients with prostate cancer that had become resistant to standard androgen-deprivation therapy. The results of a multi-institutional, phase 3 clinical trial of apalutamide - led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California San Francisco - were presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. more...
How the Immune System's Key Organ Regenerates Itself
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
With advances in cancer immunotherapy splashing across headlines, the immune system's powerful cancer assassins - T cells - have become dinner-table conversation. But hiding in plain sight behind that "T" is the organ from which they get their name and learn their craft: the thymus. A new study identifies a molecule called BMP4 that plays a key role in the thymus's extraordinary natural ability to recover from damage. more...
Decoding the DNA Repair Process
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
Researchers at The University of Kansas Cancer Center are working to fill the knowledge gap between DNA damage and cancer, including developing approaches to manipulate the DNA damage response to treat and prevent disease. A DNA repair enzyme, termed APE1, removes DNA damage and mismatched base pairs by cutting them out of the genome during DNA repair. more...
New Prostate Cancer Risk Model Could Better Guide Treatment
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
A new model developed by Michigan Medicine researchers could change treatment guidelines for nearly two-thirds of men with localized prostate cancer. Four multicenter, retrospective cohorts of nearly 7,000 men, all of whom had gene expression biomarker scores, were used to design, test and validate a new model for assigning prostate cancer risk groups. Two new clinical-genomic systems were created: a simple three-tiered system and a more granular six-tiered system. When the researchers tested the new risk group models against conventional NCCN risk groups for the development of metastatic disease and death from prostate cancer, they found that the new clinical-genomic groups were much more accurate predictors than the traditional NCCN risk groups. more...
New Immunotherapy Combination Tolerable, Effective for Advanced Kidney Cancer
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Combining an anti-angiogenesis agent, which blocks blood vessel formation, with an immunotherapy agent was found to have promising anti-tumor activity and no unexpected side effects in an early-phase clinical trial in patients with advanced kidney cancer who had not been previously treated, according to Michael B. Atkins, MD, deputy director, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator for the study. more...
Obesity Linked With Longer Survival for Men With Metastatic Melanoma
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Obese patients with metastatic melanoma who are treated with targeted or immune therapies live significantly longer than those with a normal body mass index, investigators report. This effect, referred to as the "Obesity Paradox", principally manifested itself in men, according the Jennifer McQuade, MD, lead author. more...
Pediatric Cancer Data Commons Aims to Accelerate Research
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
The paucity of pediatric cancer cases has created barriers for researchers. Fewer cases mean fewer technological advancements in treatment driven by synthesizing "big data." And, the pediatric data that do exist are often hard for scientists to access and analyze. But University of Chicago researchers are hoping to shift this paradigm by creating a comprehensive Pediatric Cancer Data Commons that centralizes data and makes it easily accessible to the entire research community. more...
Liquid Biopsy Can Help Predict Outcomes in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

A clinically relevant "liquid biopsy" test can be used to profile cancer genomes from blood and predict survival outcomes for patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, according to new research published by a multi-institutional team of researchers with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. more...
Smart Bomb Virus Shows Promise as Brain Tumor Immunotherapy
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
A common cold virus engineered to attack the most common and deadly of brain tumors allowed 20 percent of patients with recurrent glioblastoma to live for three years or longer, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report. The altered adenovirus, called Delta-24-RGD or DNX-2401, was injected one time directly into the tumors of 25 patients whose glioblastoma had recurred after surgery and other treatments, a patient group that typically has a median survival of six months. more...
Other News
'Beacon of Hope' Lighted in Honor of Jon M. Huntsman
Huntsman Cancer Institute
A new lighting installation at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah honors Jon M. Huntsman's enduring impact on cancer research and care. The installation, called 'The Beacon of Hope' is located within an architectural feature on the west façade of the original HCI research building, and is viewable from the exterior of the building. more...
Siteman Unveils State-of-the-Art Bed Tower
Siteman Cancer Center
With a new, state-of-the-art bed tower, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis aims to enhance the care and comfort of oncology patients who require hospitalization. The high-rise, located at Siteman's main location on the Washington University Medical Campus, consolidates and expands existing inpatient services. It also complements outpatient care provided at Siteman's five outpatient facilities. more...
Inaugural TEAM Training Cohort and Nationally Renowned Speakers Welcomed
GW Cancer Center
The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center recently welcomed 24 multidisciplinary health care teams from across the country to its inaugural TEAM (Together, Equitable, Accessible, Meaningful) Training program. The two-and-a-half day program was the culmination of a multi-phase online and in-person education program intended to help individual health care organizations implement quality improvements regarding patient-provider communication, cultural sensitivity, health literacy, and shared decision-making. more...
Personalized Tool for Reducing Disease Risk is Revamped
Siteman Cancer Center
Newly rebuilt and easier to use, the Your Disease Risk website measures an individual's risk of 12 common cancers and six chronic diseases, and provides personalized tips for preventing them. The tool, developed by researchers at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, incorporates the latest scientific evidence on disease risk. more...
ASCO Resource for Research Sites: Insurance Coverage of Clinical Trials Toolkit
American Society of Clinical Oncology
A new toolkit is available to assist research sites with issues related to insurance coverage for clinical trials. Developed as part of a workshop at the ASCO Research Community Forum (RCF) 2017 Annual Meeting, the toolkit contains sample checklists, templates, and forms to help determine insurance coverage of clinical trials, deal with coverage denials, and navigate the appeals process. more...
Job Opportunities
Associate Director for Administration and Finance  
The University of Colorado Cancer Center

Manager, Phase 1 Operations, Clinical Research  
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Director of Finance and Clinical Operations, Department of Oncology  
LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin

Contracting Officer   
UF Health Cancer Center

Grant Manager - CCSG  
University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center

Meeting Announcements

2018 Cancer Center Administrators Forum & CCAF-IT
March 18-20, 2018
Portland, Oregon
For more information visit: pdxforum.com

2018 NACCDO/PAMN Annual Conference
March 26-29, 2018
Seattle, Washington
For more information visit: NACCDO/PAMN

AACR Annual Meeting 2018
April 14-18, 2018
McCormick Place North/South
Chicago, Illinois

AACI will co-host its annual Capitol Hill Day with the American Association for Cancer Research.
April 24, 2018
Washington, DC
Register to attend today!

Midwest Tumor Microenvironment Meeting: Call for Abstracts
The University of Iowa is hosting the 4th Annual Midwest Tumor Microenvironment Meeting in Iowa City this May and the organizing committee is currently accepting abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. Abstracts are due by March 23.

The Midwest Tumor Microenvironment Meeting brings together investigators from Midwestern universities broadly interested in topics related to the tumor microenvironment, including epithelial-stromal interactions, cell-matrix signaling, tumor immunology, and mechanobiology of the tumor microenvironment.
For more information visit: tme2018.centerforconferences.uiowa.edu

2018 ASCO Annual Meeting
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Friday, June 1, 2018 to Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Chicago, Illinois

10th Annual AACI CRI Meeting
Register today: aaci-cancer.org/cri_meeting
10th Annual AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting
July 11-12, 2018
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel
Rosemont, IL

2018 Pan Pacific Lymphoma Conference
July 16-20
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, Hawaii
Join us for a 5-day comprehensive educational conference with expert faculty from around the globe presenting the most up-to-date clinical advances in lymphoma and transplantation. Registration deadline is June 22.

2018 ASCO Research Community Forum Annual Meeting
Save the Date: Attend the 2018 ASCO Research Community Forum Annual Meeting
Mark your calendar for the 2018 Forum Annual Meeting! This unique meeting allows researchers to come together with their colleagues to discuss barriers and identify solutions to common challenges in research settings. The impactful meeting consists of opportunities to network and collaborate, in addition to educational presentations.
September 23-24, 2018
DC Metro Area (Alexandria, VA)
For more information visit: www.asco.org/research-progress

2018 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting
Save the Date!
September 30 - October 2, 2018
Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel
Chicago, IL