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April 28, 2014


Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat

Save the date: July 10 (4-7pm) and July 11 (8am-7pm) is the Annual Case CCC Scientific Retreat. We will kick-off the retreat in late afternoon on Thursday, July 10 at the Wolstein Research Building with a keynote presentation by Kevin Shannon, MD from UCSF, an expert in Myc and RAS in cancer. A cocktail reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres will follow, allowing you the chance to network with your colleagues. New this year, there will be discussion of new members and their research, including poster presentations during the reception.

The retreat will continue Friday, July 11 at Corporate College East. We have a full scientific line-up of talks from Cancer Center members. Presentation titles are still being finalized, but see the draft agendaagenda for speaker names. A mid-day breakout for each scientific program to discuss new initiatives, collaborations, and requests for Cancer Center support through research pilot project and core resources will be one of the highlights of the day.

Finally, we will once again have poster presentations by students, postdocs and fellows. Poster judging will run concurrently with the cocktail reception. This is your chance to view the incredible research being conducted by the next generation of cancer researchers. Please encourage your trainees, fellows and students to submit an abstract.

Please plan to set aside the time to participate in this year's retreat. Register early, and we will see you there!

Call for Abstracts: Society for Integrative Oncology

The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) has opened its Call for Abstracts for SIO's 11th International Conference, to be held October 26-28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Abstracts representing the broad spectrum of integrative oncology, integrative cancer research (basic, clinical, health care utilization, cost effectiveness, program and best practice guideline development), and clinical care are welcomed through April 30. In keeping with this year's conference theme of Personalized Integrative Oncology: Targeted Approaches for Optimal Outcome, individuals submitting abstracts are encouraged to consider the targeted and personalized approaches of their work and its relevance to integrative cancer care.

Please review this opportunity to participate in the upcoming SIO conference. This year, the SIO will take place in Houston, near MD Anderson, Baylor and Texas Childrens. While the effort has coalesced alternative and integrative oncology elements, it does provide a very interesting perspective on supportive oncology, the elements of pain management and palliative care, the use of all aspects of supportive oncology, music, massage, nutrition, and move innovative aspects of genomics and outcomes research. The Moss Foundation has offered to support travel and attendance costs which I would like to suggest be prioritized to those members of the Cancer Center who submit an abstract. If you do, please let me know.


Exploradio: High-tech physics meets hands-on medicine
WKSU - Apr 28, 2014
Radiation therapy is an effective and expensive form of cancer treatment, but incentives could be lagging behind advances in technology...The problem, says Dr. Mitchell Machtay, head of radiation oncology at University Hospitals in Cleveland and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member, is that doctors don't always know the best way to use new technology. Machtay says research is needed to know how many fractions, or individual treatments are necessary with the new machines. He ponders, "Is it really 30 to 40 treatments? Is it five? Is it something in between?"

Targeting cancer before it strikes - Apr 25, 2014
"We've known for over 100 years that our immune system can protect us from cancer," said Vincent Tuohy, PhD, Immunologist at the Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Tuohy is one of just a handful of researchers developing vaccines to prevent cancer. "These are diseases that we think can be controlled not just by offense, not just by treatment, which is the current paradigm, but by defense," he said.


Study Shows Aspirin Can Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risks for those with Specific Gene

The humble aspirin may have just added another beneficial effect beyond its ability to ameliorate headaches and reduce the risk of heart attacks: lowering colon cancer risk among people with high levels of a specific type of gene.

The extraordinary finding comes from a multi-institutional team that analyzed data and other material from two long-term studies involving nearly 128,000 participants. The researchers found that individuals whose colons have high levels of a specific gene product–that is, the biologic materials expressed by the gene 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH)– dramatically reduce their chances of developing colorectal cancer by taking aspirin. In contrast, the analgesic provides no benefit to individuals whose colons show low levels of the gene product 15-PGDH. About half of the population possesses high levels of 15-PGDH.

The findings appear in the April 23 edition of Science Translational Medicine. While previous trials and prospective studies had indicated that aspirin could reduce colorectal cancer risk, this retrospective study provides the first evidence to help explain why aspirin benefits some people, but not others.

"If you looked at the folks from the study who had high 15-PGDH levels and took aspirin, they cut their risk of colon cancer by half," said senior author Sanford Markowitz, the Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "If you looked at the folks from the study that were low for 15-PGDH, they did not benefit at all from taking aspirin. These findings represent a clean Yes-No about who would benefit from aspirin."

The research team included researchers from Case Western Reserve, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

To learn more
New York TimesAspirin Benefits Some at Risk for Colon Cancer
Cleveland Plain DealerCould aspirin help lower your colorectal cancer risk? Study: Yes, if your colon has a lot of a certain gene

Dental School Researchers Discover New Method of Isolating Immune Cells

Case Western Reserve University dental researchers found a less invasive way to extract single rare immune cells from the mouth to study how the mouth's natural defenses ward off infection and inflammation.

By isolating some specialized immune cells (white blood cells known as "leukocytes") to study how they fight diseases in the mouth–or reject foreign tissues, such as in failed organ transplants–researchers hope to learn more about treating and preventing such health issues as oral cancers, cardiovascular disease, AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Lead author Pushpa Pandiyan is Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the CWRU School of Dental Medicine. Cancer Center member Dr. Aaron Weinberg, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, contributed to the study, which was funded by the university's dental school.

Cancer Stem Cell-specific Scavenger Receptor CD36 Drives Glioblastoma Progression

Research conducted by a team of researchers from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center was recently featured in the Cancer Stem Cell News based on a paper published in "Stem Cells". The team showed for the first time that cancer stem cells utilize scavenger receptors, which are normally expressed on immune cells, to promote their growth and tumorigenic behavior. In addition, they showed that lipid ligands, which are present in the tumor microenvironment, can drive CSC growth and provides an additional survival mechanism for cancer stem cells.

Contributing authors include the following Cancer Center members: Andrew E. Sloan, Roy L. Silverstein, Candece L. Gladson, Joseph A. DiDonato, J. Mark Brown, Jeremy N. Rich, and Justin D. Lathia (pictured).

Carvell Nguyen Receives DoD Training Award

Carvell Nguyen, MD, PhDCarvell Nguyen, MD, PhD, a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received a Physician Research Training Award from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. The grant provides funding of $819,000 over four years. The translational project seeks to assess EphA2 and Ephrin-A as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of prostate cancer. The proposed research also focuses on racial disparities regarding prostate cancer risk and outcomes. Dr. Nguyen is a urologic oncologist at MetroHealth Medical Center and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Bingcheng Wang, co-leader of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Genitourinary Malignancies Program, is the mentor on the training award.

Mellar Davis Elected to MASCC Board of Directors

Mellar Davis, MDCancer Center member Mellar Davis, MD, Cleveland Clinic Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine, was elected to the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Board of Directors for a two-year term beginning June 25, 2014. MASCC is an international multidisciplinary organization dedicated to research and education in all aspects of supportive care for people with cancer regardless of the stage of their disease.


DoD Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program

Applications to the Fiscal Year 2014 Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) are being solicited for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program, by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisitions Activity.

  • The PRCRP Idea Award with Special Focus supports innovative, untested, high-risk/potentially high-reward concepts, theories, paradigms, and/or methods in cancer research that are relevant to active duty service members, their families, and other military beneficiaries. The "Special Focus" of this award mechanism is on the cancers associated with exposures, conditions, or circumstances that are unique to the military or disproportionately represented within the military beneficiary population.
    Pre-Application Deadline: June 10
    Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17
  • The PRCRP Career Development Award supports independent, early-career investigators to conduct impactful research with the mentorship of an experienced cancer researcher (i.e., the Designated Mentor) as an opportunity to obtain the funding, guidance, and experience necessary for productive, independent careers at the forefront of cancer research. This award supports impactful research projects with an emphasis on discovery. Under this award mechanism, the early-career investigator is considered the Principal Investigator (PI), and the application should focus on the PI's research and career development. It should be clear that the proposed research is intellectually designed by the PI and not a product of the Designated Mentor.
    Pre-Application Deadline: June 10
    Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17


Join Our Team - Race for the Place

Walk or run with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center team at the Race for the Place, June 1, 2014. This great event helps The Gathering Place to offer services to anyone touched by cancer, no matter their economic situation. Anyone is welcome to join our team. If you can't make the Race in person, please consider making a donation to support our efforts. Click here to view our team page.


16th Annual Midwest DNA Repair Symposium

Wayne State University will be hosting the 16th Annual Midwest DNA Repair SymposiumMay 17-18. The keynote speakers will be Joann Sweasy (Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Human Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine) and Thomas Glover (Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, and Pathology, University of Michigan). Abstracts will be accepted through Friday, May 2.

CME Event - Screening for Cancer in Women: 2014

Registration is open for Screening for Cancer in Women: 2014Wednesday, May 21 from 8 am - 3:35 pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Independence.

This conference will feature speakers from health centers across Northeast Ohio working together to fight cancer, who will offer expert insight, updates, and advice on screening for cancer in women.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Cancer Screening and Prevention in High-Risk Women
Allison Kurian, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Medicine (Oncology) and Health Research & Policy, Associate Director, Stanford Program in Clinical Cancer Genetics, Physician Leader, Stanford Women’s Cancer Genetics Clinic, Stanford University

Stan Gerson, MD: Welcome
Holly Marshall, MD: Breast Cancer Screening
Jeff Marks, MD: Update on Colon Cancer Screening in Women
Brian Bolwell, MD: Affordable Care Act
Allison Vidimos, MD: Skin Cancer Screening in Women
Phyllis Nsiah-Kumi, MD, MPH: Cancer Disparities
Allison Kurian, MD, MSc; Andrea Sikon, MD, FACP; Shaveta Vinayak, MD; Cindy Zelis, MD: Panel Discussion
Charles Lau, MD, MBA: Lung Screening
Kim Gecsi, MD: Gynecologic Cancer Screening
Paula Silverman, MD: Closing Remarks

Donna Plecha, MD, Activity Director
Paula Silverman, MD, Chair
Lyndsay N. Harris, MD
Halle Moore, MD

Primary care physicians, hematologists, medical oncologists, and nurses should attend this course.

CME credit will be offered. Visit the conference website for more details and registration information.

NCRM Cancer Stem Cell Conference

The first CWRU: National Center for Regenerative Medicine Cancer Stem Cell Conference will be held in Cleveland, August 17-20, 2014. This conference is guaranteed to have incredible research from a variety of backgrounds in the Cancer Stem Cell field, and will feature keynote speakers from over 25 different institutions from around the world. Register before May 1 and receive $100 off the registration price.

Prostate Cancer Foundation 2014 Movember-PCF Global Treatment Sciences (GTSN) Challenge Award For Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Deadline: April 30

Limited Submission: National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program
CWRU LOI Deadline: May 1
NSF Deadline: June 24

Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award
LOI Deadline: May 2
Invited Application Deadline: August 1

American Society of Hematology (ASH) Scholar Awards
LOI Deadline: May 7
Invited Application Deadline: August 1

2014 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen®
Nomination deadline: May 14

GlaxoSmithKline Discovery Fast Track Challenge
Deadline: May 16

L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship Program
Deadline: May 19

DoD OCRP Pilot Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): May 22
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 20

DoD BCRP Breast Cancer Breakthrough Award Levels 1 and 2 
Deadline: May 28

DoD BCRP Breast Cancer Breakthrough Award Levels 3 and 4
Deadline: May 28

Doctors Cancer Foundation
Deadline: May 31

HHMI Investigator Program National Competition
Deadline: June 3

DoD OCRP Clinical Translational Leverage Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 27

DoD OCRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award 
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 27

DoD Ovarian Cancer Academy Dean and Assistant Dean (Leadership) Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 20

DoD Ovarian Cancer Academy Award – Early-Career Investigator
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 27

DoD LCRP Career Development Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

DoD LCRP Clinical Exploration Award (CEA)
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

DoD LCRP Idea Development Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

Vilcek Prizes For Creative Promise in Biomedical Science
Deadline: June 10

Lung Cancer Research Foundation
Deadline: June 16

2014 AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G. Komen®
Nomination deadline: June 18

2014 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research
Nomination deadline: June 18

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)-Cancer Research UK Translational Research Fellowship
Deadline: July 28

Damon Runyon Fellowship Award
Deadline: August 15

DoD BCRP Breast Cancer Innovator Award
Deadline: August 15

DoD BCRP Breast Cancer Era of Hope Scholar Award
Deadline: August 15

DoD BMFRP Idea Development Award 
Deadline: August 28

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

Understanding User Needs and Context to Inform Consumer Health Information Technology (IT) Design (R01)(PA-11-199)

Targeting Co-Dependent Molecular Pathways in Oral Cancer (U01)(RFA-DE-15-004)

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Tues, April 29

Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds
Junran Zhang, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology
Topic: The Roles of RNF126 in the Response to DNA Double Strand Breaks and Its Implications in Cancer Therapy
8:10 am Lerner B-151

Imaging Center Seminar Series
Jeffrey Duerk, PhD
Dean, School of Engineering
Topic: Reflections on the 25-Year Evolution of Imaging Research at Case
11:30 am Wearn B37

Immunology Seminar Series
Steven de Jesus Carrion
PhD Candidate, Pearlman Lab, Pathology
Topic: The Role of Neutrophil Chitinases in Aspergillus Keratitis
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Biology Special Seminar
Sooryanarayana Varambally, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology
Michigan Center for Translational Pathology
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Topic: An Integrative Analysis of Oncogene-Tumor Suppressor Network Regulated by Histone Methyltransferase EZH2
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Wed, April 30

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference
Topic: TBD
8 am Lerner B-151

Pathology Grand Rounds - Inaugural Harry Taylor Scholar Lecture
Michael R. Jacobs, MD, PhD
Harry Taylor Scholar Recipient
Professor, Clinical/Experimental Pathology
Topic: Bacterial Contamination of Platelets
8 am Pathology Amphitheatre

Immunology Seminar 
Andrew Chen, PhD
Senior Vice President, Research Biology
Topic: Sorting Human Autoimmune Syndromes into Molecular Pathways
10 am NA1-138 Cleveland Clinic

Thurs, May 1

Molecular Genetics Seminar
Jocelyn McDonald, PhD
Assistant Staff, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Coordination of Cell Polarity and the Cytoskeleton in Collective Cell Migration
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Pathology Faculty Candidate
Topic: TBD
10 am WRB 5-136

Immunology Journal Club
Alexander Tong
Student, Immunology
Topic: Baseline Tumor Growth and Immune Control in Laboratory Mice are Significantly Influenced by Subthermoneutral Housing Temperature
12 pm WRB 5-136

Molecular Biology & Microbiology Seminar
Marissa Sherman
Nguyen Lab, Molecular Biology & Microbiology
Topic: Methyl Folate Trap Sensitizes Pathogenic Bacteria to Existing Sulfonamides
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room, Wood W203

Basic Science Program Meeting
Clark Distelhorst, MD
Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Translating Basic Research to the Clinic
John Pink, PhD
Assistant Professor, General Medical Sciences (Oncology)
Topic: Translational Research Core Facility
3 pm Wearn 137

2nd Annual Hopfer Lecture
Christian Aalkjaer, MD
Professor, Biomedicine
Aarhus University (Denmark)
Topic: Ca2+ Activated Cl- Channels in Smooth Muscle
4 pm SOM Robbins E-501

Fri, May 2

Hematology/Oncology Fellows Conference/Curriculum Series
Topic: TBD
8 am Breen Conference Rm.

WHIG Joint Seminar with Center for Global Health and Disease ID & HIV Host Defense
Andrew Talal, MD, MPH
Professor and Chief, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
University of Buffalo
Topic: Peripheral and Intrahepatic Viral Kinetics and Host Immunie Responses in HCV during Antiviral Therapy
9 am BRB 105

Cancer Center Research in Progress
Topic: TBD
4 pm WRB 3-136

Mon, May 5

Genomic Medicine Institute Seminar
Scott Small, PhD
Serre Lab, Genomic Medicine Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Genomics of Wuchereria Bancrofti: The primary causative agent of Lymphatic Filariasis
12:30pm in NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

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

NCRM Cancer Stem Cell Conference
August 17-20, 2014
Cleveland, OH


ASCO Review
June 26
InterContinental Hotel & Bank of America Conference Center
Cleveland, OH

American Society for Matrix Biology Biennial Meeting: Integrating Extracellular Matrix and Cellular Networks in Biology and Medicine
October 12-15
Cleveland, OH

Society for Integrative Oncology
October 26-28, 2014
Houston, Texas