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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesOctober 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.


Ulrich Appointed Director at Huntsman
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has announced the appointment of Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, MS, as director of its National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. She will oversee HCI’s academic consortium of nearly 200 cancer research teams. Dr. Ulrich will lead efforts to advance HCI’s research in laboratory, clinical, and population science, with the goal of improving cancer prevention and treatment. more...

Artandi Tapped to Lead Stanford
Steven Artandi, MD, PhD, has been named the new director of the Stanford Cancer Institute. He is a cancer biologist whose research focuses on the role played by the enzyme telomerase in cancer, aging, and stem cell biology. Dr. Artandi replaces Beverly Mitchell, MD, who has served as director for the past 10 years. Dr. Mitchell will continue her involvement with the institute as senior adviser, researcher, and mentor. more...

AACI Annual Meeting Highlights Global Cancer, CAR T-Cell Therapy
Clockwise, from upper left (L-R): Dr. Lihua Elizabeth Budde; NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless; Dr. Patrick Loehrer (second from right), director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, and colleagues on the “Cancer is a Global Issue” panel. Photos by Ken Carl

This year’s AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting featured a global perspective on cancer, with a panel discussion probing research, treatment, and partnerships in Kenya, Malawi, and Cuba. Closer to home, intense interest in CAR T implementation at cancer centers generated a series of informative presentations, and National Cancer Institute Director Norman Sharpless, MD, delivered his first report at an AACI gathering as he approaches his one-year anniversary as head of the agency.

Immediately following the annual meeting, a media team from The University of Kansas Cancer Center recorded a "Bench to Bedside" video featuring AACI’s new president, Roy Jensen, MD, and Jennifer Pegher, incoming executive director of AACI. Their conversation focused on AACI’s history, mission, and accomplishments, with a look to the future. more...

Public Service, Science, Philanthropy Celebrated at Annual Meeting
Clockwise, from upper left (L-R): Barbara Duffy Stewart and Dr. Stanton Gerson; Richard and Susan Rogel and Dr. Eric Fearon; Dr. Roy Jensen, Ms. Stewart, Drs. Gerson, Charles Perou, Carrie Lee, and Shelton Earp. Photos by Ken Carl

Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH, received the 2018 AACI Public Service award on September 30, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, in Chicago. She will retire later this month after 19 years as AACI’s first executive director. Other awardees were Richard and Susan Rogel (2018 AACI Champion for Cures Award), and Charles M. Perou, PhD, (2018 AACI Distinguished Scientist). more...

CRI Welcomes New Steering Committee Chair-elect, Members

AACI congratulates Theresa Werner, MD, clinical trials office medical director at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, who has been selected as chair-elect of AACI’s Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Steering Committee. Three new CRI steering committee members have also been elected: Collette Houston, vice president, clinical research compliance, clinical research administration, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Tara Lin, MD, medical director, clinical trials, The University of Kansas Cancer Center; and Melissa Nashawati, MPA, director of quality assurance, research administration, Mays Cancer Center UT Health San Antonio. The new members’ terms started October 1, 2018. more...
News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
2016 AACI Distinguished Scientist Allison Receives Nobel Prize
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jim Allison, PhD, chair of Immunology and executive director of the immunotherapy platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for launching an effective new way to attack cancer by treating the immune system rather than the tumor. Dr. Allison received the 2016 AACI Distinguished Scientist Award. more...
American College of Surgeons Recognizes Cancer Institute
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer recently presented an Outstanding Achievement Award to the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai. The institute is one of only 32 accredited cancer programs in the U.S.- and one of two in California-to earn the distinction of receiving this award in 2017. Only seven percent of programs surveyed by the commission receive the award. Award criteria were based on qualitative and quantitative surveys of cancer programs conducted during the second half of 2017. more...
American Cancer Society Honors Ruckdeschel with St. George Award
University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recognized John Ruckdeschel, MD, director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute, for his lifetime body of work to eradicate cancer and his continuing support of the ACS. Citing his 30-plus years of working with the ACS in multiple states, Dr. Ruckdeschel said the partnership furthers patient care. more...
LeBlanc Receives International Clinical Impact Award
Duke Cancer Institute
Thomas LeBlanc, MD, a practicing hematologic oncologist and palliative care physician at Duke Cancer Institute, recently received the 2018 European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) Clinical Impact Award. The association is a membership organization dedicated to the promotion and development of palliative care throughout Europe and beyond. more...
Grants & Gifts
University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center Status Renewed
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has renewed the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center’s designation as a comprehensive cancer center. The University of Chicago has been home to an NCI-designated cancer center since 1973, when the federal government set up the cancer center program following the National Cancer Act in 1971. Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, leads the cancer center. more...
Foundation Makes Historic $66 Million Gift
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
In the largest gift ever given to The University of Kansas Health System, The Sunderland Foundation has announced a $66 million donation earmarked for an inpatient care unit in the remaining unoccupied three floors of Cambridge Tower A. In this space, patients will receive individualized care by the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy. more...
$12 Million Awarded to Study Deadly Lung Conditions
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
A scientific team led by Cedars-Sinai has been awarded $12 million from the National Institutes of Health to investigate two deadly lung conditions: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic lung allograft dysfunction. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which scars lung tissue and obstructs breathing, affects more than 100,000 people in the U.S. While the course of the disease often is unpredictable, patients typically die within five years of diagnosis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. more...
$6.5 Million Awarded to Explore Precision Oncology
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
As researchers gain more understanding of how to target cancer treatment to specific genetic markers, identifying the best, most "actionable" markers is crucial. A new National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award grant to University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center member Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, will provide long-term support to increase understanding of these markers to leverage targeted treatments for cancer. more...
More Than $6 Million in Moonshot Funds to Lead New Data Management Resource
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Through a grant award provided by the Cancer Moonshot SM, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center will support and advance some of the nation’s most ambitious cancer research projects. A cross-disciplinary Roswell Park team submitted the winning application to establish and house a Data Management and Resource-Sharing Center to serve the Immuno-Oncology Translational Network, which directly responds to the goals of the Moonshot, and was awarded $6.28 million to cover the cost of creating and maintaining this resource for five years. more...
Broxmeyer Receives NHLBI Outstanding Investigator Award
Indiana University Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center
Indiana University Distinguished Professor Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD, is the recipient of a highly competitive National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Outstanding Investigator Award to continue his 35 years of groundbreaking research into lifesaving umbilical cord blood transplantation. Dr. Broxmeyer received a seven-year, $5.4 million grant to continue his research into how to maximize the use of adaptable blood-forming cells in cord blood for transplantation for certain types of cancer, and metabolic and blood diseases. more...
$3.2 Million Grant Aims to Correct Diagnostic Errors for Breast Cancer
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
In a new UCLA-led study, funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, researchers will examine how perception and cognition interact in the interpretation of breast biopsy images. The aim is to improve physicians’ diagnostic skills and accuracy. Joann Elmore, MD, MPH, is leading the five-year project. more...
Funding to Develop New Paradigm in Fight Against Colorectal Cancer
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Certain genes that code for proteins have long been known to contribute to cancer progression. But in a frame shift, researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine recently found that non-coding genes also contribute to the development and spreading of the disease, one of the first known examples of researchers doing so. Ahmad Khalil, PhD, has been awarded a five-year, $1.85 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build on the discovery, with an eventual aim of pinpointing additional targets for cancer-fighting treatments. more...
Link Between Parasitic Infection and Bile Duct Cancer Investigated
GW Cancer Center
A team led by Paul Brindley, PhD, has received more than $1.7 million from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to investigate the cellular and molecular links between liver fluke infection and bile duct cancer. more...
Researchers Awarded $1 Million for Prostate Cancer Research
Duke Cancer Institute
A team of researchers has been awarded a Movember Foundation-Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award. The $1 million award will support a two-year project investigating targeting RNA splicing for therapeutic application in race-related aggressive and lethal prostate cancer in African American and Caucasian patients, including veterans. more...
Researchers Receive NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Awards
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
Two researchers with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Bret Freudenthal, PhD, and Prachee Avasthi, PhD, have received National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators’ Research Awards (MIRA). The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency of funding from The National Institute of General Medical Sciences by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs. more...
Leadership Transitions
Drake Named Associate Director of Cancer Health Equity
Siteman Cancer Center
Bettina Drake, PhD, MPH, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named associate director of cancer health equity for Siteman Cancer Center. She will oversee Siteman’s community outreach and engagement and will work to promote cancer disparities research that impacts Siteman patients and the larger community. more...
Big Data Specialist Joins Geffen School of Medicine
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Paul C. Boutros, PhD, will join the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in key leadership roles within the school and at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. As director of cancer data science for the cancer center, associate director of cancer informatics at the Institute for Precision Health, and professor of urology and human genetics, Dr. Boutros will use big data to help optimize treatment for patients. more...
Madhavan Named Chief Data Scientist
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University Medical Center has named Subha Madhavan, PhD, as its chief data scientist and director of its newly established Office for Health Data Science and Informatics. Dr. Madhavan, associate professor in the Department of Oncology, also serves as director of the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics at Georgetown. more...
New Chief of Breast Surgery Named
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has named M. Michele Blackwood, MD, FACS, as its new chief of breast surgery. Dr. Blackwood, whose surgical expertise is in complex breast malignancies, is currently the medical director and northern regional director of breast services for RWJBarnabas Health. As chief of breast surgery, Dr. Blackwood will work with the surgical team in the institute’s Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center to further enhance and expand clinical and surgical services. more...
Pediatric Oncologist joins UNMC
Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Donald Durden, MD, PhD, a pediatric oncologist and researcher specializing in the treatment of children with brain tumors and the development of leading-edge therapeutics, has joined the teams at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Dr. Durden’s research brings more than $9 million in NIH grant support to the Child Health Research Institute, doubling its funding. more...
Research Highlights
BRCA1 Mutations Influence Therapy Resistance Mechanisms in Breast, Ovarian Cancers
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
In addition to impacting cancer risk, mutations in the BRCA1 gene also have a role in determining whether a patient responds to certain types of therapies. In a new publication, Neil Johnson, PhD, found that cancers with different types of BRCA1 mutations have varying susceptibilities to biological pathways that induce resistance to PARP inhibitors, an emerging class of cancer drugs. more...
Identical Driver Gene Mutations Found in Metastatic Cancers
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Driver genes in different metastases from the same patient are remarkably similar, providing optimism for the success of future targeted therapies, according to a new study. The report looked at data from samples that have spread from the site of origin to another part of the body in 20 patients with breast, colorectal, endometrial, gastric, lung, melanoma, pancreatic, or prostate cancers. The researchers found within individual patients, driver gene mutations were common to all metastatic deposits. Bert Vogelstein, MD; Kenneth Kinzler, PhD; and Rachel Karchin, PhD, were involved in this study. more...
Study Maps Activities, Effects of Widely-Used Components in Cellular Immunotherapies
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
In the first comprehensive study of its kind, led by Fred Hutch’s Stanley Riddell, MD, scientists have mapped out how a critical design choice affects the way chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, signal immune system attack and how well cells carrying these CARs can eradicate cancer in mice. Findings, published in Science Signaling, will inform the next generations of CAR T-cell immunotherapy. more...
In Apoptosis, Cell Death Spreads Through Perpetuating Waves
Stanford Cancer Institute
Inside a cell, death often occurs like the wave at a baseball game. What starts with two hands flung skyward prompts another, and another, until the wave has rippled far and wide across the whole stadium. This kind of a rolling surge, spurred by the activity of one or a few things, is known as a trigger wave. A new study out of the Stanford University School of Medicine has found that this phenomenon guides one of the most well-known and widespread forms of cell death: apoptosis. James Ferrell, MD, PhD, is senior author on the study. more...
Promising Results for Entrectinib Against ROS1+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Results of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the drug entrectinib in ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) show a response rate of 77.4 percent for 53 patients evaluable for response, with a median duration of response of 24.6 months. The trial included patients with untreated and treated brain metastases at baseline. Robert C. Doebele, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator. more...
Vaccine, Anti-PD1 Drug Show Promise Against HPV-Related Cancers
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
A tumor-specific vaccine combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor shrank tumors in one third of patients with incurable cancer related to the human papilloma virus (HPV) in a Phase II clinical trial led by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Bonnie Glisson, MD, is principal investigator. more...
Biomarker Found in Ovarian Cancer Patients Can Predict Response to Therapy
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Despite months of aggressive treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy, about 85 percent of women with high-grade, widespread ovarian cancer will have a recurrence of their disease. This leads to further treatment, but not a cure. About 15 percent of patients, however, do not have a recurrence, and most remain disease-free for years. Research teams from the University of Chicago Medicine; the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried/Munich, Germany; and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen, Denmark, have identified an independent prognostic factor-cancer/testis antigen 45-and begun to elucidate its actions. more...
New Clues Found to Understanding Relapse in Breast Cancer
Siteman Cancer Center
A large genomic analysis has linked certain DNA mutations to a high risk of relapse in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, while other mutations were associated with better outcomes, according to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of British Columbia. The knowledge could help predict which patients are most likely to have their cancer return and spread, and could help guide treatment decisions. Obi L. Griffith, PhD, is the study’s first author. more...
‘Evil’ Proteins Force for Good in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
Marco Padilla-Rodriguez, PhD, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson’s Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine, has untangled some of the mysteries of a protein called EVL-pronounced “evil”-which is thought to reduce the ability of ER-positive breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body. As a graduate student, Dr. Padilla-Rodriguez collaborated with UA Cancer Center member Ghassan Mouneimne, PhD. more...
Prostatectomy Plus Radiotherapy May Improve Prostate Cancer Survival
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health
High-risk prostate cancer, that which has continued to grow but not yet metastasized, is commonly treated with combination therapies. Each method has pros and cons, but there is little clarity whether one might be more effective than the other. For the first time, researchers have shown that more patients live longer if treated with the combination of prostate removal plus radiation therapy. Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, is senior author. more...
Trial Shows Best Outcomes Yet for Older Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Recently published results of a Phase II clinical trial have shown the best outcomes to date for newly-diagnosed, older Hodgkin lymphoma patients treated with brentuximab vedotin given before and after doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine chemotherapy, which is the standard of care. Andrew M. Evens, DO, MSc, FACP, is the lead and corresponding author of the work. more...
To Fight Kentucky’s Biggest Cancer Killer, Markey Researchers Think Small
UK Markey Cancer Center
In a new study, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers used nanoparticles to deliver powerful chemotherapy drugs directly to lungs affected by metastatic disease while avoiding toxicity elsewhere in the body. In the study, Markey researchers placed chemotherapeutic agents or drugs targeting cancer survival pathway inside of a polymeric nanoparticle as a drug delivery system for colorectal cancer that had metastasized to the lung. The study showed that intravenously administered nanoparticles loaded with drugs delivered their payload in lung tissue and avoided normal organs like the liver, kidney, brain, and heart. more...
Cause of Aggressive Skin Cancer Linked to Butterfly Syndrome Revealed
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health
Patients with a rare skin disease, commonly called butterfly syndrome, that causes chronic blistering and extensive scarring also develop an aggressive and fatal form of cancer early in life. Now an international team of scientists led by researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center - Jefferson Health finds that immune system-related enzymes are major contributors to the cancer’s development. Andrew South, PhD, is senior author on the study. more...
Immune-Activating Drug Combination is Safe, Effective in Melanoma Patients with Brain Metastases
Moffitt Cancer Center
Patients with advanced melanoma and disease that has spread to the brain have limited treatment options and may survive only four to five months. But Moffitt Cancer Center researchers hope to improve the prognosis of these patients. They participated in a clinical trial to determine if drugs that reactivate the immune system to target cancer cells are effective treatment options for melanoma patients with brain metastases. more...
Targeting Multiple Members of a Family of Tumor Antigens with a Synthetic DNA Vaccine Shows Promise for Cancer Immunotherapy
The Wistar Institute
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have implemented a novel structurally designed synthetic DNA vaccine to simultaneously target multiple members of a family of proteins that are specifically overexpressed in several types of cancer. This approach addressed a difficult issue in cancer immunotherapy, specifically how to simultaneously drive antitumor immune responses against multiple tumor antigens in a single, easily delivered formulation. David B. Weiner, PhD, executive vice president of The Wistar Institute, is leader researcher. more...
Rare Pediatric Cancer Initiative Announced at Biden Cancer Summit
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
As part of the National Biden Cancer Summit in Washington, DC, on September 21, the Life Raft Group announced a new initiative to strengthen and advance research for effective treatments of a rare subset of gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients who have been unresponsive to the current standard treatments. Margaret von Mehren, MD, chief of the Division of Sarcoma Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, is one of the founding members of this initiative. more...
Clinical Trials Show Promise in Leukemia
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Two drugs that target different mutations showed encouraging results in treating leukemia, according to two publications of recent clinical trials. Jessica Altman, MD, was a co-author of both studies. In a recent Phase I clinical trial, the safety and efficacy of an oral medication that specifically inhibits mutated IDH1, called ivosidenib, was evaluated. In a Phase II trial, investigators assessed the efficacy and safety of quizartinib, a drug that inhibits FLT3, among patients with refractory or relapsed AML. more...
Secrets of "Hot" and "Cold" Pancreatic Cancer Tumors Revealed
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
So-called "hot" tumors filled with T cells are often considered to be more sensitive to immunotherapy compared to "cold" tumors with fewer T cells, but a clear demonstration of why has eluded cancer biologists - until now. A team from Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center discovered that whether a tumor is hot or cold is determined by information embedded in the cancer cells themselves. Ben Stanger, MD, PhD, is senior author on the study. more...
UVA Developing ’Two-Headed Arrow’ to Kill Ovarian Cancer Tumors
University of Virginia Cancer Center
University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Jogender Tushir-Singh, PhD, is developing a two-fisted, antibody-based approach to destroying deadly ovarian cancer - an approach he believes could also be modified to kill breast, prostate, and other solid tumors. The dual-pronged approach aims to overcome obstacles that have undermined otherwise-promising immune therapies for ovarian cancer, the deadliest gynecological disease. If the approach proves successful, it may even rescue some failed therapies, allowing doctors to move them from the scrap heap to the clinic, where they could benefit patients. more...
’Liquid Biopsy’ Predicts Lymphoma Therapy Success Within Days
Stanford Cancer Institute
A blood test can predict which patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma are likely to respond positively to initial therapy and which are likely to need more aggressive treatment, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. more...
Potential Path to a Targeted Treatment for Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most aggressive and deadly form of lung cancer. A new report examined one of the most frequently mutated genes associated with SCLC, called CREBBP. Fred Hutch researchers found that when the CREBBP gene is active, it acts as a tumor suppressor. They also found that Pracinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor drug (HDAC) already in clinical trials for other cancers, was particularly effective against SCLC tumors lacking functional CREBBP. more...
Chemotherapy Regimens Compared for Best Outcomes in Invasive Bladder Cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center
Patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer have been shown to benefit from chemotherapy prior to surgical removal of the bladder. But which type of chemotherapy leads to the best outcomes in terms of complete response rates or cancer control? Moffitt Cancer Center researchers examined data from more than 800 surgical patients with advanced bladder cancer. The results show higher likelihoods of complete response or down-staging associated with a chemotherapeutic combination called ddMVAC. more...
Brigatinib Becomes Potential First-Line Option for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Results of a 275-patient, multi-national Phase III clinical trial known as ALTA-1L argue for brigatinib as a first-line treatment option for advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, is lead author of the study. ALTA-1L compared the benefits of crizotinib, the first licensed ALK inhibitor, with brigatinib, a next generation ALK inhibitor, which already has proven activity when given to a patient after they have progressed on crizotinib. more...
‘ROCKy’ Road Traveled Toward a Cure for Post-Radiation Dry Mouth
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
The United States is in the midst of a head-and-neck cancer epidemic. Although survival rates are relatively high-after treatment with chemotherapy and radiation-survivors can suffer permanent loss of salivary function, potentially leading to decades of health problems and difficulties eating. It is unknown why the salivary gland sometimes cannot heal after radiation damage, but Wen Yu "Amy" Wong, BS, a University of Arizona cancer biology graduate student, may have taken a step toward solving that riddle. more...
Other News
First-Ever Biotech Venture Between U.S., Cuba to Research New Cancer Treatments
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that Buffalo-based Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has formed the Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., the first-ever biotech venture between the U.S. and Cuba. This historic step will advance the research and development of new cancer medicines that may prolong and enhance survival for thousands of U.S. patients. more...
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Available
LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes
The Dell Medical School Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, hosted by the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes in Austin, Texas, introduces undergraduate students from across the US to cancer research by placing them in various labs and clinics throughout University of Texas at Austin and Dell Med. In addition to working on independent research projects under the supervision of established investigators, the fellows will also attend lectures introducing them to various disease specific topics such as GI, lung, and breast cancers. more...
Funds Raised to Develop Checkpoint Inhibitor Powered Vaccine Therapies
The Wistar Institute
Virion Therapeutics, a new Philadelphia-based startup spun out of The Wistar Institute, will work to advance innovative, immune-based therapies for the treatment of chronic viral-associated cancers and viral infections utilizing the first genetically-encoded checkpoint inhibitor that can be given via vaccination. Virion is co-founded by Hildegund C.J. Ertl, MD, professor in the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center at Wistar, along with life science entrepreneurs Andrew D. Luber, PharmD, and Bernard Rudnick, MBA. more...
GW Launches Summer Cancer Research Program for Undergrads
GW Cancer Center
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in partnership with the GW Cancer Center, has launched a new summer program to advance cancer research through enhancing diversity in the field. The program is open to undergraduate students and is called the GW Summer Program Advancing Research on Cancer (GW-SPARC). more...
Job Opportunities
Assistant Director and Director of Clinical Trials Office   
Yale Cancer Center


Division Director/Chief of Medical Oncology  
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute


Division Director/Chief of Hematology and Cell Therapy  
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute


Supervisor of Budgets and Contracts, Clinical Trial Business Office  
Moffitt Cancer Center


Unit Manager, Solid Tumor Office  
UF Health Cancer Center


Director of Research Quality and Safety  
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center


Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement  
University of Colorado Cancer Center


Administrative Director of the Clinical Research Office (CRO)  
The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center


Associate Director, Administration  
University of Arizona Cancer Center


Advertising Specialist  
UC Davis Medical Center


Meeting Announcements

Gayle Brinkenhoff Breast Cancer Symposium

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
City of Hope, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, CA | Argyros Auditorium

Neoplastic Hematopathology Update

November 8-10, 2018
The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel