AACI Update | September 2021

Headlines

AACI to Honor Winn With Inaugural Cancer Health Equity Award

AACI to Honor Winn With Inaugural Cancer Health Equity Award

AACI will honor Robert A. Winn, MD, with the inaugural AACI Cancer Health Equity Award during the 2021 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually October 19-21. Dr. Winn is AACI’s vice president/president-elect and director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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Promote Your Cancer Center With a Program Ad

Promote Your Cancer Center With a Program Ad

AACI invites you to promote your cancer center by purchasing an ad in the 2021 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting program. The digital program book offers an excellent opportunity to showcase your center while supporting the annual meeting. Your cancer center’s program ad may highlight a conference or a new initiative. Cancer centers may also include links to their website and any upcoming events.

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AACI Joins Cancer Centers, Other Organizations to 'Get HPV Vaccination Back on Track'

AACI Joins Cancer Centers, Other Organizations to 'Get HPV Vaccination Back on Track'

Last month St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 15 of AACI’s leading academic and freestanding cancer center members, all National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers—among them 70 AACI members—and other organizations issued a joint statement urging the nation’s health care systems, physicians, parents, children, and young adults to get human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations and other recommended vaccinations back on track.

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Supporter Message: Patient Resource Navigator

Supporter Message: Patient Resource Navigator

Patient Resource Navigator provides the tools to guide patients through their care continuum. This leading-edge platform offers one-to-one patient education guides and apps, created with specific content for each patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. System-provided metrics assist in demonstrating patient-centered care, meeting accreditation standards and developing marketplace differentiation.

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News from the Centers

Licht Receives ASH Mentor Award

Licht Receives ASH Mentor Award
University of Florida Health Cancer Center

UF Health Cancer Center Director Jonathan Licht, MD, has received the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Mentor Award. The ASH Honorific Awards are the society’s most prestigious awards, recognizing individuals within the global hematology community who have made significant contributions to the field.

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Bergom Elected Councilor-at-Large for Radiation Society

Bergom Elected Councilor-at-Large for Radiation Society
Siteman Cancer Center

Carmen R. Bergom, MD, PhD, a Washington University associate professor of radiation oncology at Siteman Cancer Center, has been elected to a three-year term as a councilor-at-large for the Radiation Research Society.

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Weinberg Named Co-Editor of Gastroenterology Journal

Weinberg Named Co-Editor of Gastroenterology Journal
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

David S. Weinberg, MD, MSc, chair of the Department of Medicine at Fox Chase Cancer Center, was recently named one of two new editors-in-chief of Gastroenterology, the premier journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

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Karlan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Gynecologic Oncology

Karlan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Gynecologic Oncology
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Beth Karlan, MD, director of cancer populations at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Gynecologic Cancer Society for her contributions to gynecologic cancer research and clinical practice.

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Fox Chase Staff Member Recognized for Advancing Patient-Centered Care

Fox Chase Staff Member Recognized for Advancing Patient-Centered Care
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Delinda Pendleton, BSN, MSN, staff liaison for the Fox Chase Patient and Family Advisory Council, has been named a Planetree Fellow in Person-Centered Care. The fellows program is operated by Planetree International, a leading person-centered care advocacy and standard setting organization.

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Camarata Named President of Neurosurgical Society

The University of Kansas Cancer Center

Paul Camarata, MD, neurosurgery clinical service chief at The University of Kansas Health System, has been elected president of the Neurosurgical Society of America.

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Landmark Tisch Gift Announced

Landmark Tisch Gift Announced
The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

The Mount Sinai Health System has announced a $60 million gift from James S. and Merryl H. Tisch to establish the Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Center. This gift will support the construction of a modern, state-of-the-art cancer hospital at the Mount Sinai Hospital campus.

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Baylor Receives More Than $20 Million in CPRIT Funding

Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine has been awarded more than $20.7 million through 11 grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support innovative cancer research, treatment, prevention measures, and community outreach.

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$10 Million State Appropriation for Pediatric Cancer Will Advance Research and Treatment

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

The fiscal year 2022 New Jersey state budget included a $10 million appropriation to support pediatric cancer research. This legislation will support the establishment of the Pediatric Cancer Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

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Grant Awarded to Study Anal Cancer Screening in High-Risk Women

The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been awarded a grant of more than $4 million by the National Cancer Institute for a large-scale study to evaluate anal cancer screening in high-risk women who have been previously diagnosed with human papillomavirus infection. The study is a collaboration between Mount Sinai, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

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Researchers to Study Mechanisms Driving Uveal Melanoma Spread to Liver

University of Florida Health Cancer Center

Researchers at the University of Florida Health Cancer Center, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Moffitt Cancer Center received a five-year, $3.95 million National Institutes of Health grant to study how uveal melanoma spreads to the liver. This work was previously supported by a Florida Academic Cancer Center Alliance pilot and two Florida Department of Health Biomedical Research Program Bankhead-Coley grants.

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$3.6 Million Awarded to Expand HPV Cancer Vaccine Study

$3.6 Million Awarded to Expand HPV Cancer Vaccine Study
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

Mayumi Nakagawa, MD, PhD, was awarded $3.6 million from the National Cancer Institute to complete Phase II clinical trials of PepCan, a breakthrough vaccine she developed at UAMS to treat cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

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Putting Cancer Screening on Wheels

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

Jefferson Health’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is launching a Mobile Cancer Screening program to better serve vulnerable populations in Greater Philadelphia. The mobile unit will deploy the latest imaging technology to detect cancers of the breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as melanomas. The initiative was made possible by a $1.4 million gift from Dietz & Watson.

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NCI Names Fong Outstanding Investigator

NCI Names Fong Outstanding Investigator
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

The NCI recently awarded Larry Fong, MD, an Outstanding Investigator Award (R35). These awards support investigators with outstanding records of productivity in cancer research and provide multi-year funding for projects of unusual potential in cancer research. Dr. Fong’s project will use single-cell approaches to explore response and resistance to immunotherapy.

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Brentjens Joins Roswell Park as Deputy Director, Chair of Medicine

Brentjens Joins Roswell Park as Deputy Director, Chair of Medicine
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

An influential figure in cancer immunotherapy has returned to his Western New York roots to take on leadership roles at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, starts in September as deputy director and chair of medicine. He joins Roswell Park from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as director of cellular therapeutics.

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Park Named to New Role as Deputy Director

Park Named to New Role as Deputy Director
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD, has been named deputy director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. His elevation to deputy director follows his promotion to director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2020. He will continue to lead the division in addition to serving in the new position.

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Hwang Named Interim Director of Breast Cancer Disease Group

Hwang Named Interim Director of Breast Cancer Disease Group
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH, has been named interim director of the Breast Cancer Disease Group at Duke Cancer Institute. In 2016, Time magazine named Dr. Hwang one of the 100 most influential people for her work in reframing the problem of pre-invasive breast cancer.

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Katzenellenbogen is Cancer Prevention and Control Co-Leader

Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

Rachel Katzenellenbogen, MD, has joined Susan Rawl, PhD, and Todd Skaar, PhD, as a co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program. She is the Chuck and Tina Pagano Scholar at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Hugo Named Medical Physics Director

Hugo Named Medical Physics Director
Siteman Cancer Center

Geoffrey Hugo, PhD, a Washington University professor of radiation oncology at Siteman Cancer Center, has been named director of the Medical Physics Division in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Hugo is recognized for his role in developing the use of radioablation to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and for his work advancing adaptive radiotherapy.

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Kheterpal Leads New DCI Oncodermatology Clinic

Kheterpal Leads New DCI Oncodermatology Clinic
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

The Duke Cancer Institute Melanoma (and advanced skin cancers) Disease Group has expanded clinic services at its Duke Cancer Center Durham location to include dermatological cancer care for those patients who require multidisciplinary care. Meenal Kheterpal, MD, leads the new clinic.

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Finance Professional Moves Into Executive Role for Cancer Center

Finance Professional Moves Into Executive Role for Cancer Center
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center announces the promotion of Todd Maier, CPA, to vice president of finance. Maier joined Roswell Park in 2014 and has previously served as manager of finance transformation and, more recently, director of financial analytics and planning.

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Bladder Cancer: New Subtype Discovery May Offer Better Treatment Options

Bladder Cancer: New Subtype Discovery May Offer Better Treatment Options
Cedars-Sinai Cancer

Cedars-Sinai investigators have identified a subtype of cancer cells that could help predict how bladder cancers respond to certain therapies. Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, is co-senior author of the study.

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Statins May Improve Survival for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients

Statins May Improve Survival for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

A study led by Kevin Nead, MD, and researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found a significant association between cholesterol-lowering drugs commonly known as statins and survival rates of triple-negative breast cancer patients.

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Blood Pressure Drugs Could Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival

Blood Pressure Drugs Could Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival
University of Virginia Cancer Center

After reviewing outcomes of almost 14,000 patients with colorectal cancer, researchers determined that ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and thiazide diuretics were all associated with decreased mortality. Rajesh Balkrishnan, PhD, led the research.

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Lasofoxifene Shows Promise for Therapy-Resistant Breast Cancer Treatment

The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Chicago researchers have found lasofoxifene outperformed fulvestrant, the current gold-standard drug, in reducing or preventing primary breast cancer tumor growth in mice. The drug also was more effective at preventing metastasis in the lung, liver, bone, and brain. Geoffrey Greene, PhD, is senior author on the study.

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Anti-Parasitic Drug Slows Pancreatic Cancer in Mice

Anti-Parasitic Drug Slows Pancreatic Cancer in Mice
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Gregory Riggins, MD, PhD, and his team used two different mouse models to determine that the anti-parasitic drug mebendazole could slow or stop the growth and spread of both early and late-stage pancreatic cancer.

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Model Developed to Predict Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Outcomes With Immunotherapy

Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have described a prediction model they have created that includes information calculated from computed tomography images that can identify patients who are not likely to respond to immunotherapy.

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Study Identifies Biomarker for Breast Cancer Response to Immunotherapy

Study Identifies Biomarker for Breast Cancer Response to Immunotherapy
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

A biomarker that has proven to be a predictor for response to immunotherapies in melanoma patients also has clinical relevance for breast cancer patients, according to a new study conceived and designed by Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD.

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Using AI to Personalize Cancer Care

Stanford Cancer Institute

Great strides have been made in recent years combining artificial intelligence (AI) and medical imaging to improve cancer diagnosis. Now a research team led by Stanford and including researchers from Texas, England, and Japan are using AI to help oncologists improve treatment for their patients.

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Entinostat Primes Body to Better Respond to Anti-Cancer Treatment With Immunotherapy

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Combining a histone deacetylase inhibitor drug with immunotherapy agents is safe, and may benefit some patients with advanced cancers that have not responded to traditional therapy, according to results of a Phase I clinical trial led by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and several other centers including University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Yale Cancer Center, City of Hope, and the University of Southern California.

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Genomic Markers of Aggressive Childhood Leukemias Identified

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

New research reports how two separate DNA changes appear to predict aggressive childhood leukemias when they occur in combination. Over the course of a decade, work in several study sites spanning multiple continents evaluated tumor characteristics of more than 1,300 childhood cancer patients who were diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Researchers Harness Power of Immunotherapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

It’s a scientific riddle tangled up in a complex web. How do you turn an immune cold cancer into one that responds to immunotherapy? Researchers led by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center started with a simple thread: an inhibitor that showed promise against metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.

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Immunotherapy May Be Effective for Subgroup of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients

City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

City of Hope researchers looked at the most common type of metastatic colorectal cancer and discovered that these patients are more responsive to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, an innovative treatment that helps the immune system recognize and attack cancerous cells, if tumors have not spread to the liver.

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Low-Dose, Four-Drug Combo Blocks Cancer's Spread in Mice

The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

New research from the University of Chicago shows that low doses of a four-drug combination help prevent the spread of cancer in mice without triggering drug resistance or recurrence. The findings suggest a new approach to preventing cancer metastasis in patients by simultaneously targeting multiple pathways within a metastasis-promoting network.

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Study Predicts Who May Benefit From CAR T-Cell Therapy for Blood Cancers

Stanford Cancer Institute

CAR T-cell therapy works for many types of blood cancers, but more than half of patients relapse. Stanford researchers studied whether simultaneously targeting two molecules, CD19 and CD22, would make it more difficult for cancer cells to evade the treatment. But they found it was difficult to engineer CAR T cells that were equally potent against each target.

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Adoptive Cell Therapy Plus Checkpoint Inhibitors Show Promise in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Moffitt Cancer Center

Researchers in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Center of Excellence believe a combination of checkpoint inhibitors with adoptive cell therapy could be the answer for patients who do not respond well to certain types of immunotherapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

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Discovery Suggests Potential New Treatment for Deadly Blood Cancer

University of Virginia Cancer Center

A drug used to treat certain advanced breast cancers may offer a new treatment option for a deadly blood cancer known as myelofibrosis, new research from UVA Cancer Center suggests. The drug, palbociclib, may be able to prevent the scarring of bone marrow that existing treatments for myelofibrosis cannot.

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Feeling the Impact of Pancreatic Disease

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

Patients with various forms of pancreatic disease are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other conditions that negatively impact their quality of life, according to new research from Thomas Jefferson University, suggesting that treating underlying conditions may be particularly important in this group of patients.

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Physically Active Women With Breast Cancer Have Less Brain Fogginess

Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine

A new study shows that women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, who were exercising moderately or vigorously before chemotherapy (getting the recommended 150 minutes per week), were less likely to suffer from "chemo brain" during and after treatment. Michelle Janelsins, PhD, MPH, is senior author of the study.

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Inhibition of Key Pathway Promotes Iron-Dependent Cell Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

A new study led by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center demonstrates how inhibiting a key enzyme known as GOT1 can flip a switch in the cancer cells, causing them to shift from using nutrients to fuel growth toward conserving them to maintain energy levels.

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Mechanism for Development of Rare Colorectal Cancer Subtype Identified

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey recently discovered a mechanism to explain what drives the formation of mucinous colorectal adenocarcinoma, a rare subtype of colorectal cancer, and has also identified the genes responsible for the regulation of this mechanism.

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Study Confirms Effectiveness of New Personalized Approach for Radiation Therapy

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Researchers from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Moffitt Cancer Center have found that the genomic adjusted radiation dose may be used to personalize radiotherapy (RT) to maximize the therapeutic effect of a given physical RT dose.

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New Affiliate Delivers Cancer Care Closer to Home

UK Markey Cancer Center

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center launched a new initiative to create a connected, integrated statewide cancer provider network. The initiative, which include upgraded cancer conference facilities and a comprehensive cancer care platform, will help ensure the delivery of quality cancer care close to home.

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Cancer Coalition Praises Passage of First in the Nation California Cancer Patients Bill of Rights

City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Care Is Different, a coalition-based campaign effort to improve patient access to advanced cancer care in California, applauds the state Assembly’s unanimous passage of the Cancer Patients Bill of Rights on August 19, joining the state Senate in adopting this resolution.

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Smoking Cessation Program Most Successful With Four or More Visits

Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine

When Tracy Downs decided to quit smoking, she had little faith that it would actually happen. Having smoked for 26 years, including while she received treatment for breast cancer in 2020, she had tried a lot of tactics but nothing seemed to stick.

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Pediatric Neuroendocrine Tumor Program Launched

UK Markey Cancer Center

UK HealthCare recently launched a new Pediatric Neuroendocrine Tumor Clinical and Research Program to improve treatment for children diagnosed with or at high risk for developing rare neuroendocrine tumors. This program, a joint effort between the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, is one of only a handful of centers specializing in this field.

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New Concerns About Coronavirus Evolution in Immunosuppressed Patients

New Concerns About Coronavirus Evolution in Immunosuppressed Patients
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

In the wake of findings that COVID-19 virus variants are more likely to spring from patients with weakened immune systems, Lawrence Corey, MD, and other leading medical experts are calling for heightened precautions in the treatment of such individuals and better, more intensive therapies to help them fully recover from their disease.

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Vaping Prevention Critical as Teens Head Back to School During Ongoing Pandemic

Vaping Prevention Critical as Teens Head Back to School During Ongoing Pandemic
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to live in relative isolation for more than a year. As adolescents return to school, public health experts caution parents to pay close attention to signs of tobacco use among teens.

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Cancer Center Jobs

Research Auditor
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Associate Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Office
Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine
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Co-Director, Cancer Control Program
Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina
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Biostatistics Shared Resource Director
VCU Massey Cancer Center
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Deputy Director
Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina
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Director, Office of Clinical and Translational Research
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Division Chair, Hematology, Oncology, and Palliative Care
VCU Massey Cancer Center
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Senior Administrator, Quality Assurance
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Research Program Manager, PRMS
GW Cancer Center
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Senior Director, Clinical Trials Office
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
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Clinical Research Specialist I Protocol Review and Management System (PRMS)
Cedars-Sinai Cancer
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Industry Contract Specialist
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Program Manager Cancer Clinical Trials Office
Cedars-Sinai Cancer
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Study Activation Coordinators
Moffitt Cancer Center
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Meeting Announcements

Affordable Cancer Technologies (ACT) Conference 2021

September 23, 2021
Case Western Reserve University

The Affordable Cancer Technologies (ACT) 2021 virtual conference will focus on the intersection of technological innovation, cancer research, and global disparities. Low and middle income countries (LMICs) suffer a disproportionate cancer burden compared to higher-income countries. To help bridge the gap, researchers, public health experts, policy advocates, and industry partners are coming together from all over the world to discuss promising new technologies in early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium

November 8, 2021
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

The 2021 Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium: Precision Medicine and Cancer Disparities will bring together experts in AI and machine learning as well as clinical, industry, and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, drug discovery, ethics, and policy to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement, and ethics surrounding AI in oncology. For the health and safety of all attendees, this year's symposium will again take place virtually.

Registration for the symposium is not yet open.

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