AACI Update | August 2022

Headlines

AACI Announces 2022 Award Recipients

AACI Announces 2022 Award Recipients

The AACI Board of Directors has selected the recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Scientist, Cancer Health Equity, and Champion for Cures Awards. The awards will be presented in person on Monday, October 3, during the 2022 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO. Congratulations to this year's honorees!

Pictured, clockwise from top left: Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee (Distinguished Scientist), Dr. Electra Paskett (Cancer Health Equity), and Pelotonia (Champion for Cures)

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Register Today for AACI's New LDDI Workshop

Registration is now open for AACI’s new Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative (LDDI) Workshop, which will be held November 8-9 at Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel. The event will convene a diverse group of emerging leaders from AACI cancer centers with both didactic and experiential leadership development sessions over 1.5 days. Each AACI cancer center director may select one emerging leader from their center to attend. The selected participants should represent diverse backgrounds, perspectives, roles, and qualifications.

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Report Documents Lack of Senior Leadership Diversity in U.S. Cancer Centers

Report Documents Lack of Senior Leadership Diversity in U.S. Cancer Centers

In 2021, AACI surveyed members on diversity in cancer center leadership. A group led by Caryn Lerman, PhD, AACI president and director of USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, shared the results of this study in "Leadership Diversity and Development in the Nation’s Cancer Centers," published last month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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CRI Steering Committee Seeks Nominations

CRI Steering Committee Seeks Nominations

The AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) Steering Committee is seeking nominations. The CRI Steering Committee helps guide and implement activities to disseminate best practices across AACI cancer center clinical trials offices. The current steering committee members will vote, and one (1) chair-elect and three (3) new members will be added to the steering committee.

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Biden Appoints AACI Members to Cancer Panel

Biden Appoints AACI Members to Cancer Panel

President Joe Biden has appointed Carol Brown, MD, FACOG, FACS;Elizabeth Jaffee, MD; and Mitchel Berger, MD, FACS, FAAN, to the President’s Cancer Panel. Dr. Brown is senior vice president and chief health equity officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Jaffee is deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Berger directs the University of California San Francisco Brain Tumor Center.

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States Continue Work Toward Full Implementation of CLINICAL TREATMENT Act

The AACI-endorsed CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which took effect January 1, 2022, requires all states and territories to cover and reimburse routine costs of care for treating a Medicaid enrollee who is participating in a qualifying clinical trial. While the law brings needed coverage and access to clinical trials to more than 42 million Medicaid patients, some states have yet to finalize implementation plans.

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CRI Meeting Focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CRI Meeting Focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

From July 12-14, AACI’s Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) convened its 14th annual meeting. The 444 in-person attendees (with an additional 117 joining online) participated in meeting sessions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); barriers to clinical trial participation; technology; clinical trial feasibility; and preparing for the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant.

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News from the Centers

Sandler Elected President of ASTRO

Sandler Elected President of ASTRO
Cedars-Sinai Cancer

Howard Sandler, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, has been named president-elect of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He will begin his term as president-elect in October, followed by single-year terms as president, chair, and immediate past chair of the ASTRO board.

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Comprehensive Center of Excellence Designation Earned for Radiopharmaceutical Therapy

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

UCLA Health’s Ahmanson Translational Theranostics Division has been designated a Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence by the Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging.

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Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification Announced

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced that nine outpatient oncology group practices have achieved certification through the new ASCO Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification pilot based on their adherence to oncology medical home standards. The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is part of the first cohort of health systems participating in the pilot that achieves this certification.

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KU Cancer Center Earns Comprehensive Status

KU Cancer Center Earns Comprehensive Status
The University of Kansas Cancer Center

The University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) has been designated a "Comprehensive" cancer center – the highest level of recognition award by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The designation includes a five-year, $13.8 million grant to support the center’s research programs, shared equipment, and resources. KUCC also received an "outstanding" rating by NCI reviewers. AACI Immediate Past President Roy A. Jensen, MD, is director.

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$9 Million Grant to Accelerate Groundbreaking Surgical Technology

Cancer Center at Illinois

Developed by Cancer Center at Illinois scientists, an innovative camera technology recently led to a $9 million award from the National Cancer Institute in which researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, and Johnson & Johnson are collaborating on innovations that synergize with the camera technology and leading clinical trials with lung cancer patients at Penn Medicine.

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Mount Sinai Designated as NCI Proteogenomic Data Analysis Center

The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

The Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded $4.2 million over five years to Mount Sinai researchers establishing a Proteogenomic Data Analysis Center to advance cancer research and treatments.

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NIH Study Aims to Prevent Heart Disease in Young Breast Cancer Survivors

Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded a $3 million grant to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center, VCU Massey Cancer Center, and Duke Cancer Institute to collaborate in a first-of-its-kind prospective study about the long-term heart health of young breast cancer survivors.

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Researchers Win $1.4 Million Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Health Equity Grant

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have been awarded a Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Health Disparity Research Award for New Investigators. The three-year, $1.4-million grant provides funding to investigate how social determinants of health, including environment and socioeconomic status, impact quality of life and treatment-related decision-making in men with advanced prostate cancer.

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Cancer Research Program Established in Zambia

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Zambia are partnering on a program to develop a cadre of researchers and educators to lead cancer epidemiology research and training in Zambia and to encourage U.S.-based researchers to engage in cancer research in low- and middle-income countries. The program is supported by a $1.3 million National Cancer Institute grant.

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Cancer Research Institute Awardees Selected

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Cancer Research Institute announced two UCSF investigators in the newest cohort of scientists chosen for the Lloyd J. Old STAR Program (Scientists Taking Risks). Each STAR will receive a grant of $1.25 million payable over five years to carry out high-risk/high-reward research that has the potential to produce transformative leaps forward in tumor immunology.

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Doubeni Appointed Chief Health Equity Officer

Doubeni Appointed Chief Health Equity Officer
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has selected Chyke A. Doubeni, MBBS, MPH, to serve as chief health equity officer and lead the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He joins Ohio State from Mayo Clinic, where he is the director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research.

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Krumwiede Named Dean of School of Health Professions

Krumwiede Named Dean of School of Health Professions
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has announced Kimberly Hoggatt Krumwiede, PhD, as dean of MD Anderson’s School of Health Professions, effective August 1.

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Sampson Leads Clinical Research Office

Sampson Leads Clinical Research Office
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

Clinical trials form the backbone of the care provided at UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. "At the end of the day, everything we do that is standard of care at one point was a clinical trial," said Cheryl Sampson, MBA, recently hired director of the center's clinical research office and executive director of the New Mexico Cancer Research Alliance.

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Regional Medical Director for Radiation Oncology Named

Regional Medical Director for Radiation Oncology Named
Cedars-Sinai Cancer

Marc Botnick, MD, has been named regional medical director for radiation oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer. His primary clinical practice site will be at Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Radiation Oncology, but he will work closely with physicians throughout the enterprise.

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Hansel Tapped as Division Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Hansel Tapped as Division Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has announced that Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, has been named division head of pathology and laboratory medicine. A distinguished pathologist, researcher, and leader, Dr. Hansel will join MD Anderson September 12.

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Watts Named Associate Director of EDI

Watts Named Associate Director of EDI
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) surgeon-scientist Tammara Lynn Watts, MD, PhD, has been named associate director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). She will be responsible for strategic oversight of EDI across DCI’s clinical and academic workforce.

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Regular Screening of People at High Risk for Pancreatic Cancer Pays Off

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Surveillance programs for people at high risk of developing pancreatic cancers can help detect precancerous conditions and cancers early, when they are most treatable, according to a new multicenter study directed by experts at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

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First Mouse Model of a Merkel Cell Carcinoma Created

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center were the first to generate a bona fide mouse model of a Merkel cell carcinoma. A Merkel cell polyomavirus is believed to cause about 80 percent of these tumors, but researchers have been unable to definitively show this in vivo.

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Strategic Alliance Struck to Advance Next-Generation TIL Therapies for Solid Tumors

Moffitt Cancer Center

Turnstone Biologics Corp. and Moffitt Cancer Center have announced the formation of a broad strategic alliance, deepening their existing multi-year research collaboration. As part of this expanded partnership, Turnstone will have priority access to Moffitt’s scientific research, manufacturing, and clinical capabilities for the development of novel tumor infiltrating lymphocyte ("TIL") therapies.

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Study Suggests That C. Difficile Drives Some Colorectal Cancers

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Data collected by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy suggest that Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff, a bacterial species well known for causing serious diarrheal infections, may also drive colorectal cancer.

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Dynamic Cells Linked to Brain Tumor Growth and Recurrence

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

University of Michigan and Rogel Cancer Center researchers have discovered brain tumors contain highly active cells that move throughout tissue in complicated patterns. What’s more, the accumulations of these elongated, spindle-like cells found throughout the tumor, coined "oncostreams," serve as the basis for cancerous cells’ behavior, determining how tumors grow and invade normal tissue.

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Center Participating in National Initiative to Sequence Pediatric Brain Tumors

Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern is joining with medical centers around the nation to apply advanced sequencing to pediatric brain tumors as part of the National Cancer Institute’s new Molecular Characterization Initiative, a subset of the Cancer Moonshot Childhood Cancer Initiative.

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For Medicaid-Insured Patients With Cancer, Health Insurance Does Not Always Mean Health Access

Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine

Although there has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. residents insured through Medicaid since the expansion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, the ability of Medicaid-insured patients to access cancer care services has not been well understood. In a recently published study, researchers at Yale Cancer Center assessed the acceptance of Medicaid insurance among patients diagnosed with common cancers.

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Clinical Trial Shows Promise for HNSCC Patients

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

In an investigator-sponsored study, 91 percent of participants with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) experienced clinical benefit in a Phase II trial testing a combination of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib, with the immune check point inhibitor in pembrolizumab.

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Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Brings Progress

Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine

Two new innovations could make it easier to decipher when cancers that impact women are present and need urgent attention. A system to detect circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream earlier and less invasively was recently granted FDA approval, and additional research at the University of Rochester confirms that ultrasounds are an effective predictor of ovarian cancer in women of average risk who develop a mass in the pelvic region.

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Software Program Allows Simultaneous Viewing of Tissue Images Through Dimensionality Reduction

Moffitt Cancer Center

To analyze images of tissue specimens to their fullest potential, scientists ideally need an application that enables multiple images to be viewed simultaneously. In a recently published article, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers describe a new open-source software program they developed that allows users to view many multiplexed images at the same time.

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Study Reveals How Gastric Cancer Forms, Suggests Preventive Treatment

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

A recently published study reveals new insights into how gastric cancer develops and suggests a preventive treatment. Researchers identified for the first time that Trop2+/CD133+/CD166+ dysplastic stem cells are a key source of clonal evolution of dysplasia to multiple types of gastric cancer.

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Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Are Common in Cancer Survivors

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

While children receiving chemotherapy routinely undergo hearing tests, adults don’t, and a new study by UC San Francisco reports for the first time that significant hearing issues often occur among adult survivors of the most common forms of cancer. Researchers found that more than half the survivors in their study who had been treated with chemotherapy experienced significant hearing problems.

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Enhancing Awareness and Participation of Black Breast Cancer Patients in Clinical Trials

Enhancing Awareness and Participation of Black Breast Cancer Patients in Clinical Trials
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Coral Omene, MD, PhD, medical oncologist in the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, has been awarded a grant from the V Foundation for Cancer Research in partnership with ESPN to increase clinical trial awareness and enrollment of Black women with breast cancer.

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Lung Cancer Screening Program Established

UK Markey Cancer Center

Kentucky has established a lung cancer screening program, supported by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC) Lung Cancer Network—with over 100 organizations—and the Kentucky LEADS(Lung Cancer Education Awareness Detection Survivorship) Collaborative, both housed at UK Markey Cancer Center.

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Study Reveals Cancer Screening Decreased Worldwide During Height of Pandemic

Study Reveals Cancer Screening Decreased Worldwide During Height of Pandemic
Stony Brook Cancer Center

A study that surveyed cancer screening data included in medical journals worldwide from January 2020 into December 2021 showed significant decreases in the number of screenings for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paolo Boffetta, MD, MPH, is the study's lead author.

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Study: COVID-19 Vaccines Much Less Effective for NHL/CLL Patients

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

A new study conducted by Winship Cancer Institute finds that COVID-19 vaccines are much less effective for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (NHL/CLL), particularly those age 65 and older. After vaccination, many of these patients produced low or no antibodies that bind or neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern, especially Omicron.

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Data Portal Provides Digital Footprint of Cancer in Kentucky

UK Markey Cancer Center

The UK Markey Cancer Center’s Community Impact Office recently launched Cancer InFocus: Kentucky – a new, online data mapping application that allows users to explore cancer incidence and mortality data alongside population demographics, social determinants of health, and behavioral risk factors at various geographic levels across the Commonwealth.

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Cancer Center Jobs

Clinical Research Opportunities
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
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Deputy Director and Chief Technology Officer, Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute
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Associate Center Director, Clinical Research
GW Cancer Center
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Director of Operations
Livestrong Cancer Institutes, The University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School
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Associate or Full Researcher/ Professor (Translational Scientist; co-Leader, Cancer Biology Program)
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
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Assistant Director, Clinical Research Staff
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
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Director of Clinical Research Operations
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health
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Protocol Review and Monitoring Administrator
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
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Meeting Announcements

31st Annual Short Course on Experimental Models of Human Cancer

August 14, 2022
The Jackson Laboratory, Farmington, CT
Unlike graduate courses or an academic seminar series that can span a full year or more, the 31st annual JAX Cancer Short Course provides highly relevant, cutting-edge material in just 10 days. This intensive course combines seminars and workshop-based learning opportunities from leaders in cancer genetics, cancer cell biology, emerging animal models of human cancers, cancer immunology & therapy, and computational science.

The JAX Short Course ia a hybrid event. The virtual option will be presented through a combination of on-demand lectures, live panel discussions, virtual workshops and Q&A sessions. Live sessions will be recorded and posted on a centralized canvas course for participants within 72 hours of airing.

For more information, please contact Lothar Holzke.
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2022 Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Conference: Discovery to Mainstream Oncology

September 15, 2022
National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Masur Auditorium, Bethesda, MD

The conference is hosted by the CCR Center of Excellence in Immunology and organized by Steven Rosenberg, MD, PhD; Claudia Palena, PhD; James Gulley, MD, PhD, of the NCI Center for Cancer Research

Important Dates:
Abstract Submission Deadline: August 19, 2022
Registration Deadline: September 1, 2022

Registration is free, but seating is limited.

Please send conference-related questions to [email protected].

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2022 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

October 2, 2022
InterContinental at the Plaza, 401 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, MO 64112

AACI cancer centers form North America's cancer research infrastructure and are hubs of critical discoveries, treatment advances and improvements in patient care. AACI and the Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) jointly formulated the program for the 2022 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting.

This three-day event convenes AACI cancer center members with national cancer research and advocacy groups, industry, and government health agencies to develop solutions to common challenges. No other program presents information on cancer research and patient care issues as they pertain to the leaders of the nation's cancer centers and provides those leaders with a forum to discuss common issues with their peers.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) is jointly provided by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and AACI. Your participation in this national meeting helps us chart a course for AACI's work on behalf of its cancer center network. We look forward to hosting you and your colleagues for this always innovative and high-quality educational experience, scheduled to be held in-person for the first time since 2019.

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