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April 22, 2013


‌Stan Gerson, MDStan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Impact of Genomics on Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Open Drug Policy Forum

I write to you today to encourage you to participate in an important event taking place on campus in early June. The Case CCC will convene a public forum on the emerging revolution in genetic testing known as precision or personalized medicine on Monday, June 10. Titled, Impact of Genomics on Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Open Drug Policy Forum, the discussion will focus on the myriad of challenges facing the healthcare, insurance and pharmaceutical industry as this emerging technology rapidly becomes mainstream.

Participants include cancer experts from six Midwest cancer centers within 150 miles of Cleveland- Karmanos Cancer Institute, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Representatives from the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, public health, patient advocacy, industry and government will also participate in dynamic lectures and discussions to consider the complexities of integrating genetic testing into cancer care.

A revolution in cancer care is emerging and will become mainstream over the next few years. We now have the ability to analyze the genetic changes in each person's tumor- so-called precision or personalized cancer care. However, this often leads to a conundrum. The drug selected based on the genetic mutation may not have been approved for that type of tumor. While a physician can prescribe the drug, insurance and Medicare may not pay for it. Right now the complexity of these issues is disruptive to normal reimbursement policy.

In this forum we will discuss the following:

  • How can we be sure that genetic tests are accurate enough to predict the utility of the drug?
  • How can we possibly test every conceivable genetic test and drug combination, when each cancer is unique and one cancer may not predict the response of a different cancer?
  • Is there any likelihood that this will be a more effective and less costly approach to treating patients, and will there be better outcomes?

Patients have begun to ask for genetic tests and now face the prospect of expecting access to drugs that cannot be reimbursed through insurance carriers. The ways that physicians at cancer centers are evaluating these issues will be described. We will ask the FDA to help us understand the review process for genetic tests, and will educate the public about the complexity of the process and the incredible potential for this new therapeutic approach. Legislation may be needed to change the way drugs are reimbursed based on individualized genetic testing. Now is the time to have the discussion about the approaches that could be taken.

This event is open to the public. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required: The draft agenda is available on our website. Contact Gillian Todd with questions.


GRPE Elements to Help Cure HIV Via Gene Therapy
BioSpectrum Asia - Apr 16, 2013
A research team from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has discovered an approach that could make gene therapy dramatically more effective for patients. Led by professor Dr. Eric Arts, the scientists discovered that the process of gene therapy is missing essential elements thereby reducing the effectiveness of this treatment. Re-introducing this element into their model system suggests that improvements for gene therapy horizon...

"Using lentivirus for gene transfer appears to be a safe option," said Stanton L. Gerson, MD, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Asa and Patricia Shiverick- Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and director of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, who is not involved in the study.

Cleveland Clinic App Helps Connect Patients, Doctors, Trials
mobihealthnews - Apr 15, 2013
Cleveland Clinic has built an app to help both physicians and patients find cancer clinical trials. The app, available for free from the iOS AppStore and the Google Play store, allows users to search the Cleveland Clinic's the 130 active clinical trials by disease, phase, hospital location, or doctor... "When patients come in we're always seeing if they're appropriate for our clinical trials," Dr. Brian Rini, an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic ...

Success of T-cell Therapy in Hematologic Malignancies Cause for Optimism, Concern
Helio/HemOnc Today - Apr 10, 2013
That expansion is responsible for the durability of the remission, according to Mitchell Smith, MD, PhD, director of lymphoid malignancies at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.

"What is impressive is that these cells have persisted, expanded and grown for a long time," Smith said. "These cells continue to kill off cells that express CD19."


Special In Vivo Imaging Seminar: Advantages of Multiple Modalities, Image Fusion, and Data Analysis in Preclinical Small Animal Imaging

Registration is open for a special in vivo imaging seminar: Advantages of Multiple Modalities, Image Fusion, and Data Analysis in Preclinical Small Animal ImagingWednesday, May 8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton- The Tudor Arms Hotel. This half-day seminar will feature four presentations by imaging researchers and preclinical imaging system developers including discussions on new optical and nuclear imaging probes (Dr. Bradley Smith, Univ. of Notre Dame), MRI Assessments of Pathophysiology (Dr. Chris Flask, CWRU), Metabolic Imaging by FDG (Dr. Daan van der Veen, Univ. of Surrey), and Advances in Gamma Detector Technology (Dr. Seth Gammon, Bruker Corporation).

Race for the Place- Join Our Team!

The Race for the Place, an event that benefits the Gathering Place, will be held Sunday, June 2 at Beachwood Place Mall. The Case CCC has created a team. Click here to join the team or to show your support by making a donation. Contact Gillian Todd for more information.


Limited Submission: The Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award in Neuroscience

The Brain Research Foundation has invited CWRU to nominate one senior faculty member to submit a Letter of Intent for the 2014 Scientific Innovations Award. The objective of the program is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.

Internal Deadline: May 10
External Deadline: July 1

Request for Proposals for Pilot Collaborations with LMICs in Global Cancer Research or Global Health Research at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

The NCI Center for Global Health and the Office of Cancer Centers are announcing a new funding opportunity‌ to promote research collaborations between NCI-designated Cancer Centers with institutions in low and mid-income countries (LMICs). Through this funding opportunity, the NCI seeks to stimulate cancer research pilot programs in order to expand the reach of Cancer Centers in international settings.

These pilots may include research projects, trainings, advanced technologies, development of clinical trial networks, and other focus areas that will help develop cancer research capacity in LMICs. The research proposal should address questions that stem from cancer prevention practice and/or clinical observations in LMICs.

Deadline: June 14

Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer Postdoctoral Training Program

The Case CCC invites applications to its 2-3 year NCI-funded Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer Postdoctoral Training Program. The program combines a mentored cancer research project designed by the fellow in collaboration with their mentors with a specialized curriculum of formal didactic training and individualized longitudinal curriculum.

This program is designed to prepare trainees for careers as independent investigators engaged in research at the intersection of cancer research, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics and computer science. Cancer researchers obtaining training will have the skills vital to decipher the complex pathways comprising genetic and environmental risk factors for disease, and will ultimately be able to provide clinicians and their patients with valuable information for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Candidates with an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degree, strong quantitative skills, and an interest in a career in genetics research are encouraged to apply.



Dr. Paula Silverman Recognized for Clinical Trial Enrollment

Dr. Paula Silverman, Clinical Director of the Seidman Cancer Center Breast Cancer Disease Team, received a letter of congratulations from the NCI Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) for her support of clinical trials available through the CTSU to all members of the National Cooperative Group Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Silverman was among the top enrollers to CTSU studies in 2012. These included large-scale adjuvant trials led by the National Cancer Institute of Canada, and the NCI-sponsored Southwest Oncology Group. Support of the publicly-funded clinical trials system is critical to establishing new standards of cancer care. In addition to conducting smaller early phase investigator-initiated trials, the Case CCC also prioritizes these larger multicenter cooperative group efforts which hope to establish new effective treatments for common as well as rare cancers. Kudos to Dr. Silverman and the entire breast cancer clinical trials team!

Dr. Lyndsay Harris Made New Member of NCI Study Section

Dr. Lyndsay Harris was recently appointed as a standing member of the NCI Developmental Therapeutics study section. The major emphasis of this study section is on the rational development of novel therapeutic strategies that have a significant potential for early translation to the clinic.






Call for Pilot Projects: Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet)‌
Deadline: May 10

Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator Grant Program
LOI Deadline: May 15
Application Deadline: August 2

NCI Provocative Questions
LOI Deadline: May 20
Applications Deadline: June 20

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Program Project Development Grants
LOI Deadline: May 23
Application Deadline: August 23

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Liz Tilberis Scholars Early Career Awards
LOI Deadline: May 23
Application Deadline: August 23

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award
LOI Deadline: May 23
Application Deadline: August 23

Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program
LOI Deadline: May 24
Application Deadline: June 24

Lustgarten Foundation
Concept Deadline: May 24
Full Application Deadline: August 9

Chris4Life Colon Cancer Pilot Study Grant Program
Deadline: June 1

James S. McDonnell Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Studying Complex Systems
Deadline: June 14

Translational Technology Concept Studies of Circulating Tumor and Endothelial Cells (CTC/CEC)
Deadline: Open

AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards - Other Conferences and Meetings
Deadline: Open

Case CCC Protocol Specific Research Support (PSRS)
Deadline: Open

International Union Against Cancer (UICC) International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowships
Application Deadline: Open

International Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) Research Grant Program
Application Deadline: Open

James S. McDonnell Foundation Collaborative Activity Awards
Deadline: Open

SAIC-Frederick Support of the Cancer Genome Atlas Program
Application Deadline: Open

Solving Kids' Cancer Therapeutic Development Initiative
Application Deadline: Open

NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Revisions to P50 Awards for Research on Detection of Pathogen-Induced Cancer (DPIC) (P50)(PAR-13-170 )

Notice of Change in Expiration Date of PAR-12-266 "Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R21)" (NOT-OD-13-055)

Notice of Change in Expiration Date of PAR-12-267 "Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R01)" (NOT-OD-13-056)

Notice of Change in Expiration Date of PAR-12-268 "Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R03)"

NIH Reminds Grantee Institutions of the Requirement to Use the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for All SNAP and Fellowship Progress Reports for Awards with Start Dates On or After July 1, 2013(NOT-OD-13-061)

AHRQ Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Institutional Mentored Career Development Program (K12)(RFA-HS-13-008)

Limited Competition: Restoration of New Investigator Pilot Projects Adversely Affected by Hurricane Sandy (R21)(RFA-OD-13-005)

NIH Administrative Supplements to Recover Losses Due to Hurricane Sandy Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act – Non-Construction (Admin Supp)

Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology (K12)(PAR-13-201)

Early Phase Clinical Trials in Imaging and Image-Guided Interventions (R21)(PAR-11-216)

Enhancing post-market surveillance through developing registries for medical device epidemiology (U01)(PAR-13-202)

Produced by:
Gillian Irwin Todd
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn 149
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5065
216.844.8317 phone
216.844.7832 fax


If you have a new grant, recently won an award, or have other newsworthy items, please let us know so we can publicize them in the newsletter and other media outlets. You deserve the accolades!

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April 22

Pathology Research Seminar Series: Dissertation Defense
Kumar Sukhdeo
PhD Candidate, Rich Lab, Pathology
Topic: Defining Immunophenotypic Signatures of Stem Cells
12 pm WRB 5-136

Sequencing Data Interest Group
Gurkan Bebek, PhD
Instructor, Case Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Visiting Scientist, Genomic Medicine Institute
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic 
Topic: Whole Genome Sequencing of Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder- Diagnosed Children
2:30 pm WRB 1-403

Case CCC Clinical Research Retreat
5-7 pm WRB 1-413
Registration required

April 23

Molecular Genetics Departmental Seminar
Jaime Wetzel, MS
Senior Research Technologist, Sen Lab, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Ifit2 Reduces Cytokine Induction and Protects Mice from Lethality in Sendai Virus Infection
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Medicine Grand Rounds
Thomas Zenty III 
Chief Executive Officer
University Hospitals
Topic: Rationale and Impact of Healthcare Reform on the Nation, State and University Hospitals
12 pm WRB 1-413

Pharmacology Seminar Series
Nima Sharifi, MD
Kendrick Family Chair for Prostate Cancer Research
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Bench to Bedside: From Mechanisms to Therapy in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
12 pm SOM W331

April 24

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference
Matthew Cooney, MD 
Associate Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Cancer Research Program and Capacity Building in Uganda
8 am Lerner B-151

Cancer Center Faculty Candidate
Janel Kopp, PhD
Assistant Project Scientist, Maike Sander Lab
University of California San Diego
Topic: Cell Plasticity in Pancreatic Development, Regeneration, and Cancer
11 am WRB 3-136

Hematology and Oncology Special Presentation
Hisashi Tanaka, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Gene Amplification Mechanisms as Targets of Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
12 pm WRB 2-136

Immunology Seminar
Vincent Tuohy, PhD
Professor, Immunology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Faculty Update
12 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture Series
David Julius, PhD
Professor and Chair, Physiology
University of California, San Francisco
Topic: From Peppers to Pit Vipers: The Molecular Mechanism of Thermosensation and Pain
2 pm SOM E301

Hanna Lecture
Philippe Sansonetti, MD
Professor, Collège de France
Professor, Pasteur Institute
Topic: From Commensals to Pathogenic Bacteria: Decrypting Signals in the Intestinal Crypt
4 pm WRB 1-413

April 25

Molecular Genetics Guest Speaker
Justin D. Lathia, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cell Biology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Silencing Stemness: developing approaches to compromise cell communication mechanisms that drive stem cell phenotypes in glioblastoma
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

National Cancer for Regenerative Medicine Seminar
Nadia Carlesso, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Indiana University
Topic: Notch in the Bone Marrow Niche: Deciphering the Inflammatory Circuitry in Myeloproliferative Neoplasia
1 pm WRB 2-136

April 26

Case Gastrointestinal Cancers SPORE Retreat
8:15 am - 3:35 pm Dively Rm. 202
Registration required

Hematology and Oncology Fellows Conference
Neelesh Sharma, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Shigemi Matsuyama, PhD
Associate Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Cancer Biology Series: Apoptosis, Autophagy and Necrosis
8 am Wearn 137/Breen Conference Rm.

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Terence Gutgsell, MD
Interim Section Head, Solid Tumor Oncology
Cleveland Clinic
Dale Shepard, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Palliative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic: Past, Present, and Future
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Robert C. Bast, Jr., MD
Vice President for Translational Research
Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Topic: Translational Approaches to the Management of Ovarian Cancer
12 pm BRB 105

Adamczyk Lecture Series
Jeff Hrkach, PhD
Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Sciences
BIND Therapeutics
Topic: TBD
4 pm Inamori Center (Crawford Hall)

Cancer Center Research in Progress
Anil Belur Nagaraj, MBBS, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar, DiFeo Lab, Div. of General Medical Sciences-Oncology
Topic: Hosting the 'Enemy'?: A tale of a microRNA host and its implications in ovarian cancer
4 pm WRB 3-136

Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


Breast Cancer Conference
May 24
Hilton Cleveland East

Impact of Genomics on Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Open Drug Policy Forum
June 10
9 am - 3 pm Wolstein Research Building Auditorium
Draft Agenda‌

Annual Cancer Center Scientific Retreat
July 11-12


National GvHD Health Symposium
November 1