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January 13, 2014


‌‌Stan Gerson, MDStan 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.

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[Read 2013 year-end message]


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 - 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 - 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 - 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


Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award
Deadline: January 13

2014 CTSC Annual Pilot Grant Funding
Deadline: January 15

Radiological Society of North America Research Seed Grants
Deadline: January 15

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Fellowship and Young Investigators Programs
Deadline: January 16

CWRU Nutrition Obesity Research Center Request for Pilot Proposals
Deadline: January 17

Audrey Meyer Mars International Fellowship in Clinical Oncology
Deadline: February 1

Radiological Society of North America Research Medical Student Grants 
Deadline: February 1

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Pediatric Oncology Student Training Program Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program
Deadline: February 10

ASH HONORS (Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation of Research Scientists) Award
Deadline: February 21

Dan David Prize Scholarships
Deadline: February 28

National CENter for ReGenerAtive Medicine UnderGraduate StudEnt Summer Program (ENGAGE)
Deadline: March 28

Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Deadline: April 1

AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards - Other Conferences and Meetings
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

Solving Kids' Cancer Therapeutic Development Initiative
Application Deadline: Open

Pilot Grants: Planning for Multi-Investigator Proposals
Deadline: Open

NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Notice of NHGRI Participation in PA-14-015 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T32)" and Restructuring of NHGRI Training Programs Focused on Genomic Sciences (NOT-HG-14-016)

Notice of NHGRI Participation in PA-14-015 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T32)" and Creation of New NHGRI Postdoctoral Training Programs in Genomic Medicine Research (NOT-HG-14-017)

Fundamental Mechanisms of Affective and Decisional Processes in Cancer Control (U01)(PAR-14-067


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! Send items to Gillian Irwin at

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January 13

Genetics Student Seminar
Emily Pontzer
Student, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Topic: A Potential New Role for the Tumor Suppressor KLLN in Chromosomal Stability
11 am BRB 732

Special Pathology Grand Rounds
Michael Gerdes, PhD
General Electric Global Research
Topic: Determining Complex Epithelial Phenotypes with Multi-omyx and Single Cell Analysis
12 pm Pathology Amphitheatre

Physiology and Biophysics Seminar
Allen W. Cowley, Jr., PhD
Professor and Chair, Physiology
Director, Cardiovascular Center
Medical College of Wisconsin
Topic: Role of O2- and H2O2 production in the regulation of medullary blood flow, NaCl excretion and blood pressure
4 pm SOM E-501

January 14

Immunology Seminar Series
Booki Min, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor, Immunology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Regulation of T Cell Homeostasis by Antigen Presenting Cells
12 pm WRB 1-413

Cancer Biology Seminar
Monica Venere, PhD
Research Fellow, Rich lab, Stem Cell Biology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Novel Targeting of Cancer Stem Cells
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

January 15

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference canceled

Neurosciences Guest Speaker Series
Marco Prinz, MD
Director, Institute of Neuropathology
University Medical Center, University Hospital Freilburg
Topic: Microglia in the Universe of Myeloid Cells in the Body
10 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Immunology Seminar
William Baldwin, MD, PhD
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Acute and Chronic Rejection: Compartmentalization and Kinetics of Counterbalancing Signals in Cardiac Transplants
12 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

January 16

Cancer Trainee Seminar
James Morrow
Graduate Student, Scacheri lab, Pathology
Topic: Specific Alterations in the Enhancer Epigenome Mediate the Metastatic Phenotype in Osteosarcoma
Michelle Treasure
Fellow. Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: GI Cancer
12 pm WRB 3-136

Immunology Journal Club
Charles Su
Student, Immunology
Topic: Perivascular Macrophages Mediate Neutrophil Recruitment during Bacterial Skin Infection
12 pm WRB 5-136

January 17

Hematology/Oncology Fellows Conference/Curriculum Series
Christopher Hoimes, MD
Andrew Parchman, MD
Nicole Williams, MD
Raj Choudhary, MD
Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Practical "Management of Prostate Cancer" in the New Era of All of These Novel Therapies
8 am Breen Conference Rm.

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Mary McCabe, RN, MN
Director, Cancer Survivorship Initiative
Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Topic: Cancer Survivorship: The Future is Now
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series
Longhou Fang, PhD
Department of Medicine
University of California at San Diego
Topic: Hypercholesterolemic Zebrafish and Regulation of Angiogenesis by Cholesterol Efflux
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
David Danielpour, PhD
Professor, Div. of General Medical Sciences-Oncology
Topic: Mechanistic Insights on Targets of Prostate and Renal Cancer Therapy
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Research in Progress
Tony Scott
Graduate Student, Wang lab, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Topic: PTPRT Regulates High-fat Diet-induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance
4 pm WRB 3-136

Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


Screening for Cancer in Women: 2014
May 21
Embassy Suites - Rockside Rd. - Independence

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat
July 10-11
Wolstein Research Bldg/Corporate College East


2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Update
February 14-15
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa
Fort Myers, FL

International Symposium on Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy and Stereotactic Radiosurgery
February 21-23
The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
Naples, FL