12/1/2017 AACI Update / December 2017
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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesDecember 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.


PCLI Webinar - Navigators and their Role at Cancer Centers
AACI’s Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) will host its next webinar, "Plotting the Best Course for Patients: Navigators and their Role at Cancer Centers", on Tuesday, December 5, at 2:00 EST. It will be led by Danelle Johnston, RN, MSN, BSN, ONN-CG, OCN, CBCN, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Director of Planning and Initiatives with The Lynx Group. She has been instrumental in supporting the committee activities of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+), serving on the AONN+ Leadership Council and as co-chair of its Quality Metrics Task Force.

To register for the webinar, please complete this form. more...

AACI Weighs in on 340B Rule
On November 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their rule for Medicare Programs Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment Systems (OPPS). The rule would cut Medicare payments for drugs provided by 340B safety net hospitals from average sales price (ASP) plus 6% to ASP minus 22.5%. This amounts to a cut of $1.6 billion a year to 340B hospitals, beginning January 1, 2018.

AACI wrote to Congressional leaders on November 16, stating the administration’s decision will impact those most in need: patients. AACI highlighted how the 340B Drug Pricing Program has increased cancer centers’ ability to serve lower income and underserved patients, without absorbing exorbitant drug costs. more...

AACI Update Winter Break
AACI Update will not be published in January. Many thanks to all of AACI’s member centers that have submitted press releases and announcements throughout the year. Submission guidelines for AACI Update are available here.

The next AACI Update is scheduled for publication on February 1, 2018. Please keep the good news coming! more...

PCLI Welcomes New Steering Committee Members

Four new Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) steering committee members have been added: Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP, Director, UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center; Edith P. Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology and Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University; Claire Verschraegen, MS, MD, FACP, Director, Medical Oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute; and, Srinivasan Vijayakumar, MD, Professor and Chair, University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute. The role of the steering committee is to guide the initiative’s development and activities. The new member terms start January 1, 2018. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Jensen Honored as ’Kansas Citian of the Year’
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
The Kansas Citian of the Year, the highest civic honor in Kansas City, was presented to Roy A. Jensen, MD, at the climax of the KC Chamber’s 130th Annual Dinner Tuesday, November 22. Dr. Jensen is director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center and AACI vice president/president-elect. more...
2017 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research Awarded to He
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Chuan He, PhD, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago and director of the Synthetic and Functional Biomolecules Center at Peking University in China, is one of three recipients of this year’s Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. Dr. He, an expert in the field of cancer epigenetics and RNA modification biology, will share the prize with Gad Getz, PhD, and Aviv Regev, PhD, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The award recognizes promising investigators aged 45 or younger for their efforts in advancing cancer research. It was created to honor Paul A. Marks, MD, president emeritus of Memorial Sloan Kettering, for his contributions as a scientist, teacher and leader during the 19 years he led the institution. more...
Sampson Named to National Academy of Medicine
Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University’s John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, has been named to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Sampson is the Robert H. and Gloria Wilkins Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery, chair of the Duke Department of Neurosurgery, and co-leader of the Duke Cancer Institute Neuro-Oncology Program. His research led to the development of a vaccine against a common mutation in brain tumors that was given Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA after it was shown to extend survival in patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal form of brain cancer. more...
Chernoff Named AAAS 2017 Fellow
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer and Stanley P. Reimann Chair in Oncology Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Chernoff was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to the field of cancer biology, particularly PAK kinases, service to the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and mentoring young scientists. more...
Six Researchers From MD Anderson Elected as AAAS Fellows
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
In recognition of their contributions to basic, translational, and clinical research, six faculty members from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow, a tradition that began in 1874, is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. MD Anderson’s faculty now includes 46 AAAS Fellows. MD Anderson’s newly elected AAAS Fellows are: John Heymach, MD, PhD; Kelly Hunt, MD; Dimitrios Kontoyiannis, MD, PhD; Frederick Lang, MD; Zhimin (James) Lu, MD, PhD; and, Shao-Cong Sun, PhD. more...
Albert de la Chapelle Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics at The Ohio State University, has received a lifetime achievement award from the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer, which was established to improve understanding of inherited colorectal cancer and the clinical management of affected families, particularly those living in the Americas. Dr. de la Chapelle, is a member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) more...
Kirsch Receives J.W. Osborne Award
Duke Cancer Institute
The Radiation Research Society recently presented the 2017 J.W. Osborne Award to David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD. The award honors a member of the Radiation Research Society who has contributed significantly to the understanding of normal tissue radiation responses. Dr. Kirsch is the leader of Duke Cancer Institute’s Radiation Oncology & Imaging Program and serves as vice chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. more...
Grants & Gifts
Cancer Imaging Archive Bolstered by $8.3 Million NCI Grant
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded an $8.3 million grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for expansion and enhancement of an archive containing freely accessible cancer medical images and data. The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) is a free online service that hosts a large collection of cancer-related medical images available for public download. All patient identification has been removed from the images and supporting data, which include outcomes, treatment details, genetic information, pathology reports and expert analyses when available. Since its formation about seven years ago, TCIA data has been used to produce almost 500 academic papers. more...
$6 Million Supports Leukemia Research
Siteman Cancer Center
John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, has received a $6 million outstanding investigator award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research aimed at improving therapies for leukemia. DiPersio, the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine in Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, also is deputy director of Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. more...
Interdisciplinary Effort for Breast Cancer Launched
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
What do math, physics and engineering tell us about breast cancer? They could tell us a lot, say Johns Hopkins scientists. They’re using a $5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to unite biologists, clinicians and engineers at the new Johns Hopkins Center for Cancer Target Discovery and Development, or CTD2. more...
NCI Grant Aimed at Novel Disease Models of Colorectal Cancer, Including “Body-on-a-Chip” Technology
Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic researcher Emina Huang, MD, has been awarded a collaborative five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to create innovative models of colorectal cancer that will enhance understanding of how the disease develops and spreads. This grant – a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic, Duke University and Cornell University – is the newest project funded by NCI’s Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative Research Program. more...
Chicago Students to Get Cancer Research Experience Through $1.9 Million Grant
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
For many high school students, a summer job means bagging groceries or being a camp counselor. But next summer, 25 students in Chicago will get a chance to conduct hands-on research through a new program at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center received a $1.9 million grant over the next five years from the National Cancer Institute to launch Chicago EYES (Educators and Youth Enjoy Science) on Cancer, a two-year program to provide immersive laboratory and research training for high school and undergraduate students. more...
$1.8 Million Research Project Grant Marks Third Concurrent NIH Award for Scientist
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
A scientist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has reached a status few achieve by being awarded his third concurrent R01-type Research Project Grant by the National Institutes of Health. Daohong Zhou, MD, received the $1.8 million grant to support his research on a therapy to prevent and possibly reverse a lung disease found in patients who undergo radiation therapy for cancer. Dr. Zhou is associate director for basic research in the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. more...
Grant Secured for Study of Natural Compounds in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Prevention
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
A study that will explore triple-negative breast cancer prevention therapies using natural compounds has been recommended for approximately $1.5 million in funding by the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Called the Breakthrough Award, this grant funds work that supports promising research with the potential to lead to or make breakthroughs in breast cancer. more...
Leadership Transitions
Caligiuri Appointed President of City of Hope National Medical Center
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
City of Hope has appointed Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, in a new executive leadership role as president of City of Hope National Medical Center and physician-in-chief. Dr. Caligiuri is president of the American Association for Cancer Research, past president of AACI, and, most recently, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He will join City of Hope in February 2018. more...
Tang Selected as Director of Clinical and Translational Research
University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
Shou-Ching Tang, MD, PhD, FACP, FRCP, has joined the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Cancer Institute as associate director of Clinical and Translational Research and professor of Medicine and Pharmacology /Toxicology. Dr. Tang joins UMMC from the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. more...
Fisher Becomes Executive Director of Research and Business Administration
Siteman Cancer Center
Nick Fisher, an administration expert who has 14 years of experience with academic clinical research and cancer center operations, has been named executive director of research and business administration at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. He will lead the fiscal and managerial administration of research facilities, information systems, human resources and day-to-day operations of Siteman. He was selected after a national search. more...
Weiner to Lead Medstar Georgetown Cancer Institute
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
MedStar Health has named Louis M. Weiner, MD, as director of its MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. Dr. Weiner will serve in this capacity while also remaining director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the research engine of the institute. more...
De Delva to Head Cancer Institute’s Thoracic Team
University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
John Ruckdeschel, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute director, has named Pierre De Delva, MD, chairman of the interdisciplinary thoracic cancer care team. Dr. De Delva, an associate professor of surgery and section chief of general thoracic surgery, specializes in minimally invasive lung and esophageal surgeries and management of benign and malignant disorders of the airway. more...
Research Highlights
Study Identifies Enhanced Impact of Treatment for Hereditary Cancer Patients
Huntsman Cancer Institute
People with an inherited syndrome called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) have a 100% lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer if they do not seek appropriate medical care. Recent findings published by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah identified a promising prevention treatment for patients with FAP. A new study takes these findings a step further by reporting that the treatment led to a near-complete blockade of cancer growth pathways in polyps isolated from FAP patients. Further, these patients showed evidence of activated immune responses aimed at destroying pre-cancerous polyps. more...
Decoding the Molecular Mechanisms of Ovarian Cancer Progression
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
A new study from Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University investigator Christine Eischen, PhD, provides new insights into the mechanisms contributing to ovarian cancer. The Eischen group focused on the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have emerged as key regulators of genes. By evaluating the molecular changes that occur in large cohorts of ovarian cancer patients, the researchers were able to identify several lncRNAs that are linked to the disease. These lncRNAs were reproducibly altered in patients, and are responsible for a shift in cellular function that contributes to the metastatic properties of the cancer cells. more...
Newly Identified Laryngeal Cancer Subtypes Can Help Determine Treatment Options
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have identified two new subtypes of laryngeal cancer, each of which indicates different survival outcomes for patients. The researchers analyzed molecular and clinical data from hundreds of head and neck cancer patients available in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and applied computational algorithms that simultaneously analyzed several molecular features, such as gene expression, mutations, chromosomal abnormalities, and DNA methylation. These findings, which for the first time linked better survival to mutations damaging the genes NSD1 and NSD2, were validated in an independent cohort of patients treated at Fox Chase and Johns Hopkins. more...
New Imaging Technique Uses CRISPR to Map DNA Mutations
VCU Massey Cancer Center
A team of scientists led by Virginia Commonwealth University physicist Jason Reed, PhD, has developed new nanomapping technology that could transform the way disease-causing genetic mutations are diagnosed and discovered. This novel approach uses high-speed atomic force microscopy combined with a CRISPR-based chemical barcoding technique to map DNA nearly as accurately as DNA sequencing while processing large sections of the genome at a much faster rate. What’s more—the technology can be powered by parts found in your run-of-the-mill DVD player. more...
Chronic Stress Hormones May Promote Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors in Lung Cancer
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Elevated levels of chronic stress hormones, such as those produced by psychological distress, may promote resistance to drugs commonly used to treat lung cancer patients with EGFR mutations, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Retrospective analysis of clinical patient data suggests that beta blocker drugs may slow or prevent the development of resistance to EGFR inhibitors. The research used non-small cell lung cancer cell lines and mouse models to discover and validate the pathway by which stress hormones drive resistance to these therapies, known as EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. more...
Super T Cells Engineered for Optimal Performance Drive New Gene-Therapy Approach
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have initiated a clinical trial based on a unique two-pronged strategy for arming the immune system to more effectively attack cancer cells. Patients treated through this early-stage clinical trial, which is available only at Roswell Park, will receive one-time injections of their own cells —“super T cells” reprogrammed to make them more effective at targeting tumor cells, and armed with an added element to help them to evade one of cancer’s most resilient defenses. more...
Study Questions Exclusion of Cancer Survivors From Trials
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center
A quarter of newly diagnosed cancer patients 65 or older are survivors who had a prior cancer – often preventing them from participating in clinical trials, researchers from UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center have found. The scientists found that 11 percent of individuals ages 20-64 had a history of a prior cancer, and 25 percent of individuals 65 or older had a history of a prior cancer. more...
Researchers Trace Timeline of Tumor Evolution in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients
Huntsman Cancer Institute
A new study by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah observed how breast cancer tumors evolve over time and demonstrated how changes within tumors may contribute to the process by which cancers no longer respond to treatment. Further, the research identifies that some of these changes may be shared across certain treatment-resistant breast cancers. more...
For 1 in 10 Cancer Patients, Surgery Means Opioid Dependence
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
More than two million people in the United States are dependent on prescription opioid pain relievers, a number that continues to grow as the rate of opioid prescriptions has skyrocketed in the past 25 years. About six percent of patients who take opioids for the first time to relieve pain after surgery end up taking the medications for far longer than is clinically recommended, a University of Michigan study found earlier this year. more...
Computer Program Finds New Uses for Old Drugs
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a computer program to find new indications for old drugs. The computer program, called DrugPredict, matches existing data about FDA-approved drugs to diseases, and predicts potential drug efficacy. In a recent study published in Oncogene, the researchers successfully translated DrugPredict results into the laboratory, and showed common pain medications—like aspirin—can kill patient-derived epithelial ovarian cancer cells. more...
Study Shows Cell Signaling Interaction May Prevent Key Step in Lung Cancer Progression
UK Markey Cancer Center
New findings from University of Kentucky faculty published in Scientific Reports reveals a novel cell signaling interaction that may prevent a key step in lung cancer progression. Lung cancers are often diagnosed in later stages, with very few treatment options available. Often patients develop a resistance to a targeted therapy, resulting in a need for a variety of therapies that can be administered in stages or coupled together. A collaboration between the UK College of Pharmacy and the Department of Statistics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences is working to address this problem. more...
Childhood Cancer Survivors Pay More for Health Care, More Likely to be Denied Insurance Coverage
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
A new study has looked at the insurance status and health care costs of adult survivors of childhood cancer right before the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented. These survivors were denied health care coverage more often than their cancer-free siblings, paid more out-of-pocket for their health care, were more likely to borrow money due to health care costs and were more prone to skip filling necessary prescriptions due to their price, the study saw. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Wendy Leisenring, ScD, was a co-author on the study. more...
Discovery Suggests Better Way to Treat Certain Prostate Cancers, Lymphomas
University of Virginia Cancer Center
Certain prostate cancers and lymphomas have a major genetic weakness that doctors can exploit to help save patients’ lives, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered. The weakness makes the subset of cancers particularly vulnerable to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, suggesting that those approaches should be the first line of treatment. The researchers believe the finding could apply to 10-15 percent of prostate cancers and lymphomas. more...
Diverse Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells Share a Hidden Weakness: Killing off So-Called ’Persister’ Cells Could Eliminate Recurrence in Many Cancers
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a gene vulnerability that could let oncologists wipe out drug-resistant cancers across many different cancer types. With implications for treating drug-resistant cancer in humans, the researchers developed a pre-clinical test in laboratory mice, with results suggesting that combining targeted tumor-shrinking therapies with GPX4 inhibitors capable of eliminating persister cells could be an extremely promising approach to preventing relapse across multiple human cancers. The findings suggest a promising new approach to preventing cancer recurrence, if they can be validated in human patients. more...
Newly Approved Breast Cancer Drug Beats the Ras Genes Known for Causing Many Cancers
VCU Massey Cancer Center
Blocking the function of the Ras oncogenes is considered by many scientists to be the “holy grail” of cancer therapeutics because mutations in these genes drive the growth of so many different types of cancers. The three Ras genes found in humans — H-Ras, K-Ras and N-Ras —were among the first to be linked to cancer development, and a new study led by VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Paul Dent, PhD, has shown the recently approved breast cancer drug neratinib can block the function of Ras as well as several other oncogenes through an unexpected process. more...
Study Finds a New Way to Shut Down Cancer Cells’ Ability to Consume Glucose
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Cancer cells consume exorbitant amounts of glucose, a key source of energy, and shutting down this glucose consumption has long been considered a logical therapeutic strategy. However, good pharmacological targets to stop cancers’ ability to uptake and metabolize glucose are missing. In a new study, a team of University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers, led by Matthew Galbraith, PhD, and Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, finally identifies a way to restrict the ability of cancer to use glucose for energy. more...
New Insights Into RECIST Criteria Measuring Cancer’s Response to Treatment
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Oncologists and researchers use a measurement known as Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) to evaluate the degree to which a patient’s cancer responds to treatment during clinical trials. The tool is key to being able to compare the effectiveness of different treatments across different research trials. A University of Colorado Cancer Center article examines current RECIST guidelines in an effort to bring them up to speed with new complexities presented by the latest targeted therapies. more...
Liquid Biopsies Help Reveal Lung Cancer Mutations
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Cancer investigators led by researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have co-developed a liquid biopsy blood-based assay used to identify specific gene mutations associated with the development or relapse of small-cell lung cancer. Working in conjunction with researchers at Resolution Bioscience, Bellevue, Washington, the group used circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to monitor the progression of the disease using non-invasive methods. In several cases, analysis of ctDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before it could be detected by standard imaging. more...
Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk Lingers Years After Treatment Ends
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Even 20 years after a diagnosis, women with a type of breast cancer fueled by estrogen still face a substantial risk of cancer returning or spreading, according to a new analysis from an international team of investigators. Standard treatment for estrogen receptor-positive, or ER-positive, breast cancer includes five years of the endocrine-based treatments tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, both of which are taken daily as a pill. more...
Consortium Aims to Cut Preclinical Cancer Drug Discovery from Six Years One
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, GSK, and University of California San Francisco launched an unprecedented effort to transform the way cancer drugs are discovered by creating an open and sharable platform that integrates high-performance computing, shared biological data from public and industry sources, and emerging biotechnologies to dramatically accelerate the discovery of effective cancer therapies. The goal of the consortium – Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) – is to create a new paradigm of drug discovery that would reduce the time from an identified drug target to clinical candidate from the current approximately six years to just 12 months. more...
UVA Tests Power of Focused Ultrasound, Immunotherapy to Battle Breast Cancer
University of Virginia Cancer Center
In its latest effort to harness the power of focused ultrasound to battle disease, the University of Virginia Health System is examining the scalpel-free surgery’s potential to enable the body to identify and destroy metastatic breast cancer cells. UVA Cancer Center researchers Patrick Dillon, MD, and Dr. David Brenin, MD, have launched a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a two-pronged experimental approach to combatting breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. The researchers use focused ultrasound to destroy a portion of the primary tumor, with the goal of prompting an immune response. Study participants receive the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in the hopes it will prevent the cancer cells from blocking that immune response. This may allow the patient’s immune system to recognize and kill the cancer cells. more...
Other News
Cancer Pioneer Coffey Dies at 85
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Donald Coffey, PhD, a distinguished Johns Hopkins professor and prostate cancer expert, who was the former director of the Brady Urological Research Laboratory and deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, died on Nov. 9 at the age of 85. more...
Markey Joins Personalized Medicine Consortium
UK Markey Cancer Center
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN), a personalized medicine consortium that allows its members to exchange data and push forward evidence-based cancer care to patients. Markey is the latest addition to this 17-member research partnership, which includes many of the top cancer centers in the nation. more...
Meeting Announcements

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.