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News from the Association of American Cancer InstitutesMarch 2013
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.


Powis is New Sanford-Burnham Director
Garth Powis, PhD, has been appointed professor and director of the the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Sanford-Burnham is one of seven NCI-designated basic research cancer centers in the U.S. Dr. Powis will also assume the Jeanne and Gary Herberger Leadership Chair in Cancer Research and will join the Sanford-Burnham faculty May 1. more...

Hill Day Registration is Underway
Registration is open for AACI’s annual Capitol Hill Day on Thursday, May 16. AACI is co-hosting the event with the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology and Friends of Cancer Research. Hill Day highlights the work of the nation’s cancer centers and how federal investment in research sustains progress in the fight against cancer. With sequestration--across the board federal budget cuts--threatening to decimate cancer centers, energetic advocacy efforts to maintain cancer research support will be vital in the coming year. We encourage you to participate in our visits to legislators. more...

Call for Abstracts for AACI CRI Meeting
The AACI Clinical Research Initiative is soliciting abstracts for presentation at the fifth annual CRI meeting, July 11-12, in Chicago. Qualified applicants must be affiliated with a current AACI member institution. Abstracts should focus on clinical trial operational problems and solutions.

More information can be found at http://aaci-cancer.org/cri/pdf/CRICallforAbstractsGuidelines2013.pdf.

The template for abstract submission can be downloaded at http://aaci-cancer.org/cri/pdf/2013_AACI_CRI_Abstract_Submission_template.docx.

Abstracts are to be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format (please no Adobe PDFs) via email to Amy Charley at amy@aaci-cancer.org by 5:00 PM PST on Friday, April 12, 2013. more...

AACI Website Portal Features Document Library
AACI’s online document library is available exclusively to association members through AACI’s Website Portal. The library includes useful resources from an array of AACI member services, including the Clinical Research Initiative, government relations efforts like state cancer fact sheets and Project Cancer Education, annual meeting presentations, and AACI annual reports. More documents will be posted as the member portal evolves. Please contact Sara Arvay at sara@aaci-cancer.org if you have suggestions for additional documents.

Portal sign-up is easy; just click on the green "Members Login" button on the front page of the AACI website (www.aaci-cancer.org) and follow the instructions for creating a user account. more...

Legislative Update
Included in this Legislative Update:

- AACI Government Relations Forum Convened February 22
- AACI Top Legislative Priorities: NIH funding, oral chemotherapy parity, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF)
- AACI seeks input from centers/academic institutions regarding impact of Sequestration
- AACI Government Relations Forum plans for the 113th Congress and AACI asks for your input on sequestration. more...

News from the Centers
Awards & Honors
Nurse Researchers Chosen for ONS Awards
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Three University of Michigan School of Nursing and Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty will receive Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Awards, which recognize individuals for their career achievements and contributions to cancer care. The recipients are: Laurel Northouse, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ellen Lavoie Smith PhD, APRN, AOCN; and Peg Esper, MSN, MSA, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN. more...
Report Places Roswell Park Among Best Centers for Blood and Marrow Transplant
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
For the third consecutive year, outcomes for patients receiving blood and marrow transplants through the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) are among the best in the nation. The latest report compiled by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research puts RPCI in the top 6% of U.S. centers performing allogeneic blood and marrow transplants, based on patient survival rates. more...
Grants & Gifts
Seidman Receives $7.5 Million Gift for Cancer Clinical Trials
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center has received a $7.5 million gift in support of the health system’s $1.5 billion Discover the Difference Campaign. Kathleen Coleman made the significant gift for UH Seidman Cancer Center’s clinical trials program. Seidman is part of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. more...
$4 Million Commitment Establishes Two Endowed Chairs
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Carol and Louis E. Della Penna Sr. of New Hope, PA, have made a $4 million commitment to Fox Chase Cancer Center establishing the Carol and Louis Della Penna Chair in Urologic Oncology and the Louis Della Penna Family Chair in Head and Neck Oncology. more...
Cancer Researchers Win $3 Million "Breakthrough" Prizes
Researchers from three AACI member centers--Napoleone Ferrara, MD, Charles L. Sawyers, MD, and Bert Vogelstein, MD--have won the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, a new $3 million prize for scientists funded by four Internet entrepreneurs. more...
Glazer Receives Grant to Study Light-Activated Cancer Drugs
Markey Cancer Center
University of Kentucky assistant professor of chemistry Edith "Phoebe" Glazer, PhD, has received an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant for $715,000 over four years to continue her research into ruthenium-based cancer drugs. more...
Leadership Transitions
Lung Cancer Expert Joins Georgetown Lombardi
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
Internationally recognized lung cancer expert Giuseppe Giaccone, MD, PhD, has joined Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. Giaccone serves as associate director for clinical research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, co-leader of its experimental therapeutics program and director of the lung cancer program. more...
Research Highlights
Diagnostic and Prognostic Prostate Cancer Genetic Tests Revealed
Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson
Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson (KCC) have developed potentially game-changing diagnostic and prognostic genetic tests shown to better predict prostate cancer survival outcomes and distinguish clinically-relevant cancers. The team, led by Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD, director of the KCC, report their preclinical findings from a blinded, retrospective analysis of over 350 patients and mouse study in a recent issue of Cancer Research. more...
New Strategy Prevents Rheumatoid Arthritis in Mice
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have demonstrated a new strategy for treating autoimmune disease that successfully blocked the development of rheumatoid arthritis in a mouse model. They say it holds promise for improved treatment of arthritis and other autoimmune disorders in people. Harvey Cantor, MD, is senior author of the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. more...
Discovery of Variants in Four Genes Linked to Increased risk of Colorectal Cancer
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
An international research team co-led by cancer prevention researcher Ulrike “Riki” Peters, PhD, MPH, (at left) and biostatistician Hsu Li, PhD, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified variations in four genes that are linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. more...
Growth Factor Aids Stem Cell Regeneration After Radiation Damage
Duke Cancer Institute
Epidermal growth factor has been found to speed the recovery of blood-making stem cells after exposure to radiation, according to Duke Medicine researchers. The finding could open new options for treating cancer patients and victims of dirty bombs or nuclear disasters. John P. Chute, MD, is senior author of the study, published in Nature Medicine. more...
Emerging Cancer Drugs May Drive Bone Tumors
Siteman Cancer Center, Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine
Cancer drugs should kill tumors, not encourage their spread. But new evidence suggests that an otherwise promising class of drugs may actually increase the risk of tumors spreading to bone, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Deborah Novack, MD, PhD, is senior author of the study, published in Cancer Discovery. more...
Clinical Trial of New Drug for Advanced Prostate Cancer Launched
Moffitt Cancer Center
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have opened a groundbreaking phase III clinical trial to test the drug cabozantinib (XL184) in treating end-stage or metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer that has progressed through standard treatments options. Jingsong Zhang, MD, PhD, is principal investigator. more...
New Hope for Ovarian Cancer Blood Test
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
New research from the University of Pittsburgh Magee-Womens Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute gives hope for a blood test to detect a deadly cancer in its earliest stages. Xin Huang, PhD, is senior author of the study, published online at Clinical Cancer Research. more...
Researchers Identify Specific Cell Compartment Supporting Blood Stem Cells
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
UCLA researchers at the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center and Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have refined a specific component of mesenchymal (bone marrow) stem cells called perivascular cells that support the maintenance of hematopoietic (blood) stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), dramatically improving scientists’ capabilities for sustaining ex vivo high-quality HSPCs, which are capable of becoming any kind of blood cell. more...
Less Invasive Treatment Associated with Improved Survival in Early Stage Breast Cancer
Duke Cancer Institute
Patients with early stage breast cancer who were treated with lumpectomy plus radiation may have a better chance of survival compared with those who underwent mastectomy, according to Duke Medicine research. more...
Mechanism to Halt Cancer Cell Growth Revealed
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) researchers have uncovered a technique to halt the growth of cancer cells, a discovery that led them to a potential new anti-cancer therapy. Bennett Van Houten, PhD, is lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Cell Science. This research is supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. more...
Smoking Intensity and Cancer Markers Predict Seriousness of Bladder Cancer
USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Smoking not only causes bladder cancer, it also affects its course, in that people who smoke more have greater likelihood of developing more aggressive and deadly disease. A new study published in the journal Cancer, also found that a panel of bladder cancer markers can predict which particular cases are at the highest risk for a fatal outcome. more...
Researchers Discover Promising Prognostic Marker for Aggressive Breast Cancer
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
A team of researchers led by Goutham Narla, MD, PhD, at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and collaborators at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Erasmus Medical Center, have discovered a gene variant that drives the spread of breast cancer. more...
Gene May Help Predict Best Chemotherapy Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have identified a gene that may better predict survival for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Researcher Richard Kim, MD, assistant member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program and colleagues from several other research institutions conducted a study that better defines the role of ribonucleotide reductase M1. more...
Study Tracks Genetic Evolution of Form of Leukemia
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Tumors are not factories for the mass production of identical cancer cells, but are, in reality, patchworks of cells with different patterns of gene mutations. In a new study, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute show how these mutations shift and evolve over time in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), providing a strobe-like look at the genetic past, present, and future of CLL tumors. Catherine Wu, MD, is co-senior author of the study. more...
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Subtypes Identified Using microRNA
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute
A new, large-scale study of triple-negative breast cancer shows that small molecules called microRNA can be used to define four subtypes of this aggressive malignancy. The findings, by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC, James) working with collaborators in Italy, could lead to new screening methods, prognostic markers and perhaps new targeted treatments for this aggressive and often-fatal form of breast cancer. more...
Drug Shown to Reverse Radioiodine Resistance in Some Advanced Thyroid Cancers
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The experimental drug selumetinib may allow some patients with advanced thyroid cancer to overcome resistance to radioiodine, the most effective therapy for the disease, according to new research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. James A. Fagin, MD, is senior author on the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. more...
Small Molecules in the Blood Might Gauge Radiation Effects After Exposure
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute

Ohio State University cancer researchers have identified molecules in the bloodstream that might accurately gauge the likelihood of radiation illness after exposure to ionizing radiation. more...
High-Dose Vorinostat Effective at Treating Relapsed Lymphomas
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Patients whose aggressive lymphomas have relapsed or failed to respond to the current front-line chemotherapy regimen now have an effective second line of attack against their disease. Reporting the results of a phase 1 clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a new class of drugs to augment standard chemotherapy, a team led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists found that giving patients high doses of Vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) in combination with another round of commonly used second-line drugs resulted in a 70 percent response rate, including several patients whose lymphoma cells disappeared entirely. more...
Long-Term Effects of Prostate Therapies Tracked
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
A new study comparing outcomes among prostate cancer patients treated with surgery versus radiotherapy found differences in urinary, bowel and sexual function after short-term follow-up, but those differences were no longer significant 15 years after initial treatment. more...
Discovery In Bone Marrow May Improve Chemotherapy, Stem Cell Transplants
Siteman Cancer Center, Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine
In research that could one day improve the success of stem cell transplants and chemotherapy, scientists have found that distinct niches exist in bone marrow to nurture different types of blood stem cells. more...
Study Shows Need for Improved Communication Between Hospice, Caregivers
Markey Cancer Center
A new study authored by University of Kentucky researcher Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles shows that more empathic communication is needed between caregivers and hospice team members. more...
Other News
Renowned Brain Tumor Pioneer Ohlfest Dies After Own Battle With Cancer
Masonic Cancer Center
John Ohlfest, PhD, a researcher with the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, passed away on Monday, January 21, 2013, after a battle with malignant melanoma. He was 35 years old. Dr. Ohlfest, the director of the center’s Neurosurgery Gene Therapy Program, pioneered treatment of brain tumors using both gene therapy and novel immunotherapies in an attempt to boost a patient’s own immune system to attack the cancer. more...
2013 Marks 40th Anniversary of USC Norris Founding
USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center marks the 40th anniversary this year of the cancer center’s founding as one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, is director of the center. more...
Ultrasound Breast Cancer Imaging Device Closer to FDA Approval
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
SoftVue, the whole breast ultrasound imaging device created by two scientists from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, is currently undergoing review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for market clearance.

“We are pleased to see the progress of SoftVue over the past 12 years, first with the concept followed by the prototype created at Karmanos a few years later,” said Gerold Bepler, MD, PhD, president and CEO of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. more...
Breast Center Receives Perfect Score From National Accreditation Program
Simmons Cancer Institute
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) has rated the Breast Center at the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield as 100 percent compliant on all 27 evaluation standards for accreditation used by the NAPBC. more...
Roswell Park Launches Center for Personalized Medicine
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The Center for Personalized Medicine, an extension of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), has leveraged $18.5 million in additional investments from an initial New York State investment of $5.1 million. The new Center treats cancer patients with personalized medical care and also creates a resource that scientists and medical providers can use for applications across the spectrum of clinical care. more...
Systems Biologist Joins CINJ
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Expanding a vital component of its research enterprise, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is welcoming systems biologist Elke K. Markert, PhD, to its Center for Systems Biology. Dr. Markert was most recently at the Simons Center for Systems Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. more...
Governor Marks Completion of Center for Care and Discovery
University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn joined other state and local officials to help dedicate the University of Chicago Medicine’s new state-of the-art, 1.2 million-square-foot Center for Care and Discovery in January. The ceremony marked completion of one the nation’s most modern clinical and surgical centers dedicated to specialty care in areas such as cancer, gastrointestinal disease, neuroscience and advanced surgery, and high-tech medical imaging. more...
Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research: 2013 Call for Nominations
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The Paul Marks Prize is awarded every other year to up to three investigators. Winners will present their work at a scientific symposium at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and share a cash award of $150,000. Nomination deadline is, April 30, 2013. more...
Meeting Announcements

Cancer Center Administrators Forum 2013 Spring Meeting

Cancer Center Administrators Forum 2013 Spring Meeting
March 10-12
Sheraton Society Hill Hotel
Philadelphia, PA

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, and The Wistar Institute are pleased to invite you to the Cancer Center Administrators Forum Spring Meeting, March 10-12, 2013 at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We have an exciting agenda in store to educate and inspire you. Linda Weiss, PhD, Director of the Office of Cancer Centers, will speak and Jon Retzlaff from AACR will provide an update on legislation as it pertains to Cancer. There will be the customary update from the Office of Grants Administration (OGA) and other sessions devoted to topics faced as Cancer Center Administrators. A breakout session is planned that is dedicated to the challenges unique to basic science Cancer Centers. And, we are once again including a track specifically for IT professionals.

For more information and to register, please visit our website at http://penncancer.org/ccaf

We look forward to welcoming you to Philadelphia!