MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC
Remind our Senators of the Necessity of Government Investment in Scientific Research
Below is a remarkable and high impact message delivered by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. We all agree with what she says, but to be effective we need to respond both individually and collectively. Please review and consider a response to Senator Warren and our senators:
Senator Warren Calls on Congress to Double NIH Funding, Promotes Critical Government Investments in Scientific Research
In remarks to the Boston Chamber of Commerce on Monday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on Congress to double funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and stressed the importance of supporting innovation and basic scientific research. "What drives the Massachusetts economy – and the American economy – is innovation," said Senator Warren. "Innovation makes us soar. And government-supported research is a critical first step in generating that innovation." Senator Warren also said, "I know some will say that we cannot afford to double our investments in medical research. They are wrong. Research creates economic growth. It reduces health care costs. It creates a better life for our people. And yet, the success rate for NIH grants has dropped by nearly 50% over the last 10 years. That makes no sense. There is good work to be done-work to save lives and work to boost our economy. We cannot afford NOT to increase our investments in medical research."
CASE CCC IN THE NEWS
Pediatric and AYA Cancers to be the Focus of Conferences this Week in San Diego, Cleveland
The Plain Dealer - Nov 3, 2013
The needs of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer patients are taking center stage at two conferences this week. The gatherings, in San Diego and Cleveland, are meant to spur collaboration to come up with more effective treatments for a patient population whose needs are vastly different from those of their adult counterparts...On Wednesday, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital will serve as the host center of the annual three-day conference of Critical Mass. Started in 2006 by the Lance Armstrong Foundation as the Livestrong Young Adult Alliance, the group – now an entity separate from the foundation – serves as a coalition of dozens of organizations around the country that focuses on the needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients...
"We've had huge success and great stride in pediatrics, but the survival rate [for adolescents and young adults] has been flat," said Dr. John Letterio, division chief of pediatric hematology and oncology at UH Rainbow and UH Case Medical Center.
Cleveland Clinic to Buy Ohio Cancer Specialists
Crain's Business Cleveland - Nov 1, 2013
The Cleveland Clinic said it will acquire Ohio Cancer Specialists, a Mansfield-based cancer treatment center with 43 employees. The agreement will make Ohio Cancer Specialists, or OCS, part of the Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute..."The OCS team provides wonderful, state-of-the-art treatment to its patients, and we look forward to enhancing the excellent clinical care that Ohio Cancer Specialists provide," said Dr. Brian J. Bolwell, chairman of the Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute.
FDA OK's Gazyva for CLL; 1st Drug with Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Get FDA Approval
The Plain Dealer - Nov 1, 2013
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Gazyva (generic name: obinutuzumab) for use in combination with chlorambucil to treat patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL...Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, a hematologist/oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, said the new drug is a "fairly big deal," but cautioned that it might not be the right choice for every patient with CLL. "I think the challenge with how to use this drug is, what patient population would you choose?" Sekeres said. "On study, the average age was 73 years."
Leukemia Drug Pulled From Sale by FDA
Wall Street Journal - Oct 31, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration told the manufacturer of a new leukemia drug called Iclusig to stop marketing and selling the medicine because of an increasing number of strokes, heart attacks and other serious side effects...Mikkael Sekeres, director of the Cleveland Clinic's leukemia program, said the events surrounding Iclusig are "a clear demonstration that the accelerated approval process works."
Second Thoughts from Sekeres: Show Me The Money: What Price Clinical Cancer Research?
Oncology Times - Oct 29, 2013
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres discusses the costs associated with conducting clinical trials of new cancer drugs.
New Clinical Trial Tests Drug to Control Mesothelioma Cancer Stem Cells
Asbestos.com - Oct 23, 2013
A recently launched, international clinical trial that involves the targeted killing of mesothelioma cancer stem cells soon could provide a much-needed breakthrough for patients around the world..."The potential is there. If this (trial) turns out positive, it would be a big step forward for mesothelioma patients. It could become the next drug to be used," oncologist James Stevenson, M.D., principal investigator at the Cleveland Clinic, told Asbestos.com...
Cancer Society: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Survival Persist
Helio/HemOnc Today - Oct 23, 2013
Survival differences based on race and ethnicity still persist among patients with breast cancer, with black women continuing to demonstrate the poorest survival, according to statistics released by the American Cancer Society...Dr. Jame Abraham, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute offers a perspective on this story.
Meet ASCO Board of Directors Member Neal J. Meropol, MD
ASCO Connection- Oct 22, 2013
A Nine-Question and Answer Introduction to ASCO Board of Directors Member Dr. Neal J. Meropol, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University; Associate Director, Clinical Research, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Associate Director, Clinical Programs, Seidman Cancer Center, UH Medical Center.
Biomedical Engineering Researchers Aim Nanotechnology at Micrometastases
A group of researchers led by Dr. Efstathios Karathanasis, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at CWRU, received two grants totaling nearly $1.7 million to build nanoparticles that seek and destroy metastases too small to be detected with current technologies. The group will spend the next five years perfecting molecular coatings, called ligands, that enable nanochains injected into a patient's blood to home in on micrometastases. The National Cancer Institute awarded the group $1.6 million to pursue the work. They also received $60,000 from the Ohio Cancer Research Associates to increase the efficiency and rapid dispersal of chemotherapy drugs the nanochains tote inside the metastases.
The grants will build on earlier work within the CWRU School of Medicine by Drs. Karathanasis, Mark Griswold, Professor of Radiology and Director of MRI Research, and Ruth Keri, Professor of Pharmacology and Associate Director of Basic Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. They and colleagues invented a nanochain that explodes a barrage of chemotherapy drugs inside a tumor.
Other members of the research group include Vikas Gulani, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Director of MRI at UH Case Medical Center, Chris Flask, Director of the Imaging Research Core Facility in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Radiology, and William Schiemann, Associate Professor in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Call for Applications
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has released the following pilot grant funding opportunities:
- Pilot Grants: Opportunities for Developing Patient-Derived Xenografts will support the development of patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDX) that will benefit collaborative, multi-investigator projects within the Cancer Center. This RFA is open to all Cancer Center members, regardless of institution.
Deadline: November 15
- Pilot Grants: Use of Tumor Genomic Evaluation for Clinical Decision-Making will provide seed money to foster collaborations and promote and increase institution-wide capacity and competitiveness in the use of tumor genomic evaluation for clinical decision-making. Case CCC members with faculty appointment at all levels (eligible to apply for independent nationally competitive research grants) are encouraged to apply. Proposals from both junior and senior investigators are encouraged. Research proposals must involve patients and/or their tissues.
Deadline: December 2
- Pilot Grants: Planning for Multi-Investigator Proposals will provide funding to further the important goal of facilitating successful applications for large multi-investigator grants (e.g., P01, P50, U54) in the current funding cycle. Applicants must demonstrate they are in communication with appropriate NIH administration, other structures within NIH, or other funding agencies (e.g., formal invitation, preparatory meeting, LOI and/or positive response to RFA or PA). Applicants must be Cancer Center members with faculty appointments, demonstrate intent to apply for national funding within a defined timeline, and describe new research that could not be achieved without the collaboration.
Dan David Prize Scholarships
The Dan David Prize laureates annually donate twenty scholarships of $15,000 each to outstanding doctoral and postdoctoral students of exceptional promise in the chosen fields for the current year: History and Memory, Combatting Memory Loss, and Artificial Intelligence. Ten scholarships are awarded to doctoral and post-doctoral students at universities throughout the world and ten scholarships at Tel Aviv University. Advanced doctoral postdoctoral students of excellent achievement and promise studying topics related to the fields chosen for this year are invited to apply.
Deadline: February 28, 2014