MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC
Outlook for 2014
Dear Members of the Case CCC community:
I am writing to congratulate you on an incredibly successful 2013 and a remarkable outlook as we begin 2014. As you all are aware, our outstanding rating from our 2012 NCI review has received national attention. The combined research and clinical trials efforts, the coordination of interdisciplinary collaborative research, and efforts we make in research across institutions all gained recognition and respect.
Of course, none of us can rest on our laurels. Luckily, we have had many scientific advancements and grant successes in a very restrictive environment, and have recruited outstanding faculty to join our campuses to help us further our cancer research mission. I would like to provide just a few examples of each of these accomplishments.
CASE CCC IN THE NEWS
Study Discovers Chromosome Therapy to Correct Severe Chromosome Defect
Science Daily - Jan 13, 2014
Geneticists from Ohio, California and Japan joined forces in a quest to correct a faulty chromosome through cellular reprogramming. Their study, published online today in Nature, used stem cells to correct a defective "ring chromosome" with a normal chromosome. "In the future, it may be possible to use this approach to take cells from a patient that has a defective chromosome with multiple missing or duplicated genes and rescue those cells by removing the defective chromosome and replacing it with a normal chromosome," said senior author Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, James H. Jewell MD '34 Professor of Genetics and chair of Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences and University Hospitals Case Medical Center and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Letters to the Doctor
New York Times - Jan 9, 2014
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres of the Cleveland Clinic and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center shares his personal story of receiving letters from families of his deceased patients.
Cleveland Clinic Stroke Study Shows Quick MRI Helps Cut Down on Unnecessary Interventions, Patients Fare Better
Cleveland.com - Jan 9, 2014
Rapidly administering an MRI scan of the brain to patients who have had a stroke reduces by half the number of minimally invasive endovascular procedures they receive, procedures that are not always effective and can sometimes be harmful, according to a study published Thursday by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic...Dr. Jeffrey Sunshine, vice chair of radiology and an interventional neuroradiologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said that the Clinic's study is "good work" that "helps confirm the benefit of advanced imaging before committing to surgery."
Researchers Discover Ovarian Cancer Biomarker
Science Daily - Jan 8, 2014
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) have identified a microRNA biomarker that shows promise in predicting treatment response in the most common form of ovarian cancer – a breakthrough that has the potential to improve outcomes for patients with the disease. A Case Comprehensive Cancer Center research team led by Analisa DiFeo, an assistant professor of General Medical Science-Oncology in the CWRU School of Medicine, found that the biomarker miR-181a is a molecular driver of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The research team also found that elevated levels of miR-181a in ovarian tumors are associated with chemotherapy resistance and disease progression..."Prognostic markers and early detection markers for ovarian cancer have been elusive," said Stanton Gerson, MD, Asa and Patricia Shiverick- Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology, Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Seidman Cancer Center at UH Case Medical Center. "This study is one of the first to indicate that, it is possible using a novel genomic analysis, to identify abnormalities specific to ovarian cancer. Women worldwide will benefit from this discovery."
Cytogenetic Response Linked to Transfusion Independence and Longer Survival In Del(5q) MDS Patients Treated with Revlimid (ASH 2013)
MDS Beacon - Jan 8, 2014
Results of a recent retrospective analysis provide important insights into the relationship between cytogenetic response and transfusion independence in lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients with a deletion in chromosome 5 who have been treated with Revlimid...Dr. Mikkael Sekeres from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center presented the results at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting earlier this month. Dr. Sekeres explained the significance of the study's results to The Beacon, noting that "achieving a cytogenetic response implies that the MDS clone, on some level, has been eliminated, at least for a period of time. This implies a 'deeper' response, and one that likely translates to improved survival."
Researchers at CWRU and UH Receive $1.7 Million NIH Grant for Artery Imaging
Cleveland.com - Jan 6, 2014
A research team at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center has received $1.7 million in National Institutes of Health funding for its work on an imaging technology that gives doctors a detailed look at the life-saving stents that hold blood vessels open after a heart attack. They hope their project will help determine if the stents are working well, if more are needed, or if they've failed. The grant, from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will help fund three primary investigators at CWRU and UH who are working on the imaging technology, called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). David Wilson, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at CWRU,Andrew Rollins, professor of biomedical engineering at CWRU, and Dr. Hiram Bezerra, medical director of the Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, Cardiovascular Imaging Core Laboratories at UH will head up the team.
Reps. Fudge, Kaptur, Renacci Fought Hard for 3D Mammography: Letter to the Editor
Cleveland.com - Jan 3, 2014
Letter to the Editor by Donna Plecha, MD of University Hospitals, CWRU School of Medicine and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center: I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with our elected U.S. representatives, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Rep. James Renacci, about a critical preventive screening service for women: 3D mammography. I would like to thank our members of Congress for their hard work to ensure 3D mammograms receive a fair reimbursement from insurers and Medicare.
Latest Edition in Energy Balance and Cancer Series Released
The latest volume in the Energy Balance and Cancer series, edited by Drs. Susan Redline and Nathan Berger, has been released. This volume on the Impact of Sleep and Sleep Disturbances on Obesity and Cancercontinues the transdisciplinary approach of this series with chapters authored by the leading experts in this field, focused on the normal regulation of the restorative sleep associated processes across the lifespan, the major mechanisms of sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances and the behavioral, physiologic, biochemical and molecular consequences of sleep disturbances. These areas, in turn, are discussed in relationship to their effects on cancer incidence and progression.
Cancer-focused Harrington Scholars 2014: Dr. Jean Tang
As we mentioned in previous weeks, three cancer-focused researchers were named as 2014 Harrington Scholars: Drs. Darren Carpizo and David Wald who were already featured, and Dr. Jean Tang, a dermatologist from Stanford who was involved in early studies of sonic hedgehog inhibitors for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma. She has now developed a topical administration to provide long term treatment and protection from non melanoma skin cancers. It was for that research that she was named as a Harrington Scholar.
Informational Conference Calls for Prospective Applicants for NIH BRAIN Initiative
The NIH will be hosting a series of informational conference calls to address technical questions regarding applications for the six Funding Opportunity Announcements for the inaugural set of projects under the BRAIN Initiative. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is a new Presidential project aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. For more information on dates and contacts for each of the conference calls, visit NIH's website.
American Institute for Cancer Research Investigator-Initiated Grants
The American Institute for Cancer Research is now accepting Letters of Intent for Investigator-Initiated Grants for the 2014 Grant Cycle. Principal Investigators must have a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree, and be a research staff or faculty member at a non-profit academic or research institution at the level of an assistant professor (or its equivalent) or higher.
LOI Deadline: January 27
RFA: The Role of Healthcare and Insurance in Improving Outcomes in Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment
The American Cancer Society has released an RFA: The Role of Healthcare and Insurance in Improving Outcomes in Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment. This RFA will stimulate research that will generate new knowledge of the effects of the US healthcare system structure and the role of insurance on both access to and outcomes of cancer screening, early detection and treatment services. Studies investigating how one or more factors impacting access and outcomes interact – such as insurance status, costs, capacity, personal characteristics, provider characteristics, components of the healthcare delivery system and other known factors – are encouraged.
Deadline: April 1