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June 2, 2014


Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Academic Drug Development Seminar

As cancer researchers, we are often frustrated when our insight into cancer biology cannot be translated into saving lives due to lack necessary tools or drugs. The Developmental Therapeutics Program is interested in helping to alleviate this problem by hosting the Academic Drug Development Seminar, a monthly forum to discuss the process of creating your own therapeutic agent.

The importance and potential of academic drug development has been recognized by federal and foundation funding agencies, however, to obtain such support or the interest of pharma, certain pieces must be in place. The Academic Drug Development Seminar, held the fourth Wednesday of every month at 4 pm in the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center at 10000 Cedar, is one forum where your colleagues will offer insight into the process by sharing lessons learned.

The next seminar will be held July 23, where Zhenghe John Wang, PhD will discuss his novel approach to targeting the Akt pathway. Details will be sent out soon.

To be added to the seminar mailing list or for more information on this effort, please contact Yogen Saunthararajah ( or John Pellecchia (

Symposium: Drug Development at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Related to the topic of drug discovery, I want to remind you that this Friday, June 6, the UH Harrington Discovery Institute will host a symposium, Drug Development at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, from 4:30-6 pm in the Wolstein Research Bldg Auditorium. I will give the Introduction and Overview, and set the stage for the following presentations:

Goutham Narla, MD, PhD: Small Molecule Activators of Tumor Suppressor Genes
Nima Sharifi, MD: Targeting Androgen Synthesis in Advanced Prostate Cancer
Bing-Cheng Wang, PhD: Development and Utility of Small Molecule Agonists of EphA2
Zhenghe John Wang, PhD: Targeting Mutant PI3K for Cancer Therapy

I hope you will join us for this event to hear about this timely and exciting topic.

NCI Specimen Resource Locator

Researchers are encouraged to participate in the Specimen Resource Locator (SRL), which is a biospecimen resource database designed to help researchers locate resources that may have the samples needed for their investigational use. This publicly searchable database includes information about biospecimen banks and sample procurement services. The specimens and samples come from non-commercial, either NCI or non-NCI-funded resources. Investigators can search the database and gain access to thousands of specimens of various tumor, organ, and preservation methods.

In the event you are unsuccessful in finding the appropriate specimen resource you may contact the NCI Tissue Expediter, a scientist, who can further assist you. The Tissue Expediter can also assist researchers to identify potential collaborators when needed.

The SRL is also helpful for those of you wanting to publicize the availability of your specimens and lead cancer research investigators directly to your resource. Please note that you should include only the specimens that you would like to advertise and distribute. You may indicate if specimens are available for a fee or available only through collaboration. The SRL will help you operate your resource more efficiently by directly matching investigator to resource and reducing the number of inappropriate requests.


Expensive Drugs Forcing Cancer Doctors to Weigh Price 
Bloomberg - May 31, 2014
As a result, cancer doctors trained to weigh side effects and efficacy are being regularly pulled into delicate discussions on cost, an issue that will be explored at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago through June 3. The group is working on an algorithm to rate the cost-effectiveness of oncology drugs to help doctors with those conversations. "The amount of support we need to provide to patients in navigating the financial aspects of their care has increased substantially in the past few years," said Neal Meropol, an oncologist at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Case CCC in Cleveland, who is chairman of a panel on value in cancer care at the meeting.

New Drug Helps Prevent Infertility in Breast Cancer Patients
CBS News - May 30, 2014
Now, a new study suggests that adding goserelin to a standard chemotherapy regimen in women with early-stage breast cancer may indeed help prevent an onset of early menopause. Not only that, it also appeared to increase patients' survival rates in a new study. "I think this is practice changing," study author Dr. Halle Moore, a medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, told CBS News. "I think now that we are confident that this is a treatment that will help patients who are interested in preserving ovarian function."

New Way to Predict Response to Chemotherapy in Triple-negative Breast Cancer
Oncology Nurse Advisor - May 30, 2014
"Triple-negative breast cancers tend to be more aggressive compared to other types of breast cancers, and being able to predict response to therapy could greatly impact treatment decisions and patient outcomes," said study author Shaveta Vinayak, MD, oncologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center, Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Life Beyond the Cancer Clinic
NY Times - May 29, 2014
In this Well blog, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Mikkael Sekeres reflects on his oncology practice through real life stories.

Cleveland Clinic to Participate in WellPoint Program Aimed at Cutting Cancer Care Costs
Crain's Business Cleveland - May 28, 2014
Insurers are changing how they pay for cancer care, and the Cleveland Clinic is taking part in an effort by WellPoint Inc. aimed at getting soaring costs under control, according to a story from The Wall Street Journal. Brian J. Bolwell, chairman of the Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute, tells the newspaper that the Clinic will participate in the WellPoint program "where it makes sense," and the extra $350 payment "is not something we'd ignore." Bolwell says WellPoint's clinical recommendations were reasonable, but The Journal notes that the Clinic "is developing its own treatment pathways, and he is concerned about facing different recommendations from each insurer."

Study Finds Disconcerting Trends in NSCLC Trials 
Oncology Times - May 27, 2014
Sacher speculated that one reason for an increasing number of trials being deemed positive may be that investigators are asserting noninferiority of a drug without using a noninferiority design in their trial. Another is that researchers may focus on secondary endpoints such as toxicity and progression-free survival in an attempt to create a paper thought to be more publishable. Also asked for his opinion, Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology at Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, speculated that researchers may be under pressure from pharmaceutical companies and by academicians to produce positive studies. Still, the oncology community does do a good job of interpreting results appropriately, he added.

Running 26 Miles Through Slush and Snow? Count Me In!
Everyday Health - May 27, 2014
Joe Boyle, a social studies teacher in Bowling Green, Ohio, was training to run in his first marathon when he learned his kidney cancer had come back, this time in his lungs....His doctor,Brian Rini, MD, a specialist in renal cancer at Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a part of that running community, and he ran with Boyle in his makeshift marathon. Just a few weeks after that run, Boyle began his new treatment. Traditional chemotherapy attacks cancer cells directly, but also does harm to healthy cells. Immunotherapy operates instead on the immune system. Our immune systems naturally attack cancer cells, but sometimes the cancer is stronger. Immunotherapy involves "taking off the brake," Dr. Rini explained. "We all have a natural brake on our immune system, otherwise we'd all have rampant autoimmune diseases."

Should You Have Chemotherapy Before Surgery for Breast Cancer?
Cleveland Clinic Health Hub - May 27, 2014
"Traditionally, we've done surgery first, then treatments such as chemotherapy," says Stephen Grobmyer, MD, Director of Breast Services at Cleveland Clinic. "But for certain patients, it makes sense to reverse the order and do chemotherapy first."..."When a patient has a large tumor, surgeons often have to perform a mastectomy rather than a breast-conserving surgery," says Cleveland Clinic oncologist Alberto Montero, MD. "But often, we can do chemotherapy first to shrink the tumor. Then a surgeon can do a smaller surgery that preserves the breast."

Solving Mysteries
Think Magazine - Spring 2014
After a dozen years of searching, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member Analisa DiFeo, PhD, and her team have discovered what appears to be one of the key drivers in the spread of ovarian cancer. The culprit is a biomarker, which can signal the presence of a disease. In this instance, however, the biomarker known as miR-181a plays a role in accelerating the development of tumors.


Cancer Center Members Receive CTSC/Coulter Grant

Cancer Center members Anant Madabhushi, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Lyndsay Harris, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology, and Hannah Gilmore, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, were awarded a one-year Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative and Case Coulter Translational Research Partnership grant for their proposal titled, Computerized Histologic Image-based predictor of recurrence in breast cancers following treatment. The goal of this $50,000 pilot project is to develop a histologic image based predictor of treatment response in estrogen receptor positive breast cancers using advanced computer vision and machine learning tools to quantitatively extract patterns of tumor morphology, vascular density, proliferation index from immunohistochemistry and hematoxylin and eosin digitized histological images of biopsy specimens.


Limited Submission: NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards

The NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) program will support proof-of-concept centers (Hubs) that facilitate and accelerate the translation of biomedical innovations into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance health. The REACH Hubs will provide qualified institutions with the initial investment and resources to nurture innovators to develop high priority early-stage technologies within the NIH’s mission by providing: (1) infrastructure for identifying the most promising technologies, (2) funding for product definition studies (e.g. feasibility studies, prototype development, or proof-of-concept studies), (3) coordinated access to expertise in areas required for early stage technology development (including scientific, regulatory, reimbursement, business, legal, and project management), and (4) skills development and hands-on experience in entrepreneurism. Establishing public-private partnerships and providing additional non-federal funds will be critical for success.
Internal Deadline: June 6
External Deadline: June 26

NCI Office of Acquisitions: Systematic Review to Inform Research and Treatment for Multi-Morbidities

Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. (Leidos Biomed), on behalf of the Behavioral Research Program is soliciting proposals to conduct a systematic review of the representation of individuals with multiple chronic conditions in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of behavioral and psychosocial interventions. This project is inspired by a recent systematic review of the representation of patients with multiple chronic conditions in RTCs published in high-impact general medical and specialized journals (Jadad, To, Emara, & Jones, 2011). The goal is to conduct a systematic review to assess the frequency with which research participants with multiple chronic conditions are represented in all or a representative subset of RCTs of behavioral and psychosocial interventions published in general medical and specialized journals, published within the last decade or decade and a half, that focus on behavioral medicine and behavioral science, health psychology, social science, and public health.
Deadline: June 11

Limited Submission: Gabrielle's Angel Foundation

Gabrielle's Angel Foundation has invited the Case CCC to submit two applications (1 conventional and 1 integrative)for its annual Medical Research Awards. Eligible candidates must have their MD or PhD degree and currently hold a junior faculty position at a 501(c)(3) teaching research institution. Applicants must also currently be an Assistant Professor, hold a tenure track position, and have spent no more than five years in their current position.

Interested candidates should submit a one-page LOI to Kristin Waite by Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
Internal LOI Deadline: June 25
External Application Deadline: August 15


Call for Abstracts: Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat

The Annual Case CCC Scientific Retreat will be held July 10-11, 2014. 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, on Preclinical Models to Test Strategies for Targeting Oncogenic Ras. 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: Emerging Topics and Trends; Cancer Signaling and Drug Resistance; Cancer Genomics & Population Sciences; Experimental Therapeutics; Highlight on Innovative Awards.

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 the next generation of cancer researchers. All trainees, fellows and students are encouraged to submit an abstract. Monetary prizes will be awarded.

Pre-registration to attend the retreat is required. The retreat is open to Cancer Center members, Core Facility Directors/Managers, and students, fellows or postdocs who present posters. See the retreat webpage for more 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.

Attendees are invited to submit abstracts of original investigation for consideration in the conference poster session and possible short talk podium presentations. Accepted abstracts will be published online on the conference website and the conference program. Abstract submission deadline is June 1.

In addition, the conference will offer Cancer Stem Cell Conference Abstract Awards that are sponsored by the CWRU School of Medicine Dean's Office. Six outstanding graduate students will be chosen to receive free registration to attend this conference and present their abstracts. This opportunity is open to all graduate students interested in attending this conference. Contact Lyn Haselton (; 216.844.5375) for more information.


Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program
Request for Letter of Support Deadline: June 2
Full Application Deadline: July 29

HHMI Investigator Program National Competition
Deadline: June 3

DoD Ovarian Cancer Research Program Clinical Translational Leverage Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): August 27

DoD Ovarian Cancer Research Program 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 Lung Cancer Research Program Career Development Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

DoD Lung Cancer Research Program Clinical Exploration Award (CEA)
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

DoD Lung Cancer Research Program Idea Development Award
Pre-Application Deadline (Required): June 3
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

Individual and/or Cross Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet) pilot projects
Deadline: June 6

Limited Submission: Hartwell Foundation - Individual Biomedical Research Awards
Internal LOI Deadline: June 9
Internal Application Deadline: July 11
Sponsor Deadline: September 15

Limited Submission Reminder: W.M. Keck Foundation 
Internal Deadline: June 9
External Deadline: November 1

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

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Idea Development Award
Pre-Application (Preproposal) Deadline: June 12
Application Deadline: September 24

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Synergistic Idea Development Award
Pre-Application (Preproposal) Deadline: June 12
Application Deadline: September 24

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Biomarker Development Award
Pre-Application (Preproposal) Deadline: June 18
Application Deadline: September 24

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Bio-Therapeutics Impact award
Deadline: June 12

Lung Cancer Research Foundation
Deadline: June 16

Limited Submission: Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation
Internal Deadline: June 16
External Deadline: August 1

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences
Internal Deadline: June 16
External Deadline: November 3

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

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
LOI Deadline: June 27

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award
Deadline: July 1

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

DoD Lung Cancer Research Program Concept Award
LOI Deadline: July 29
Application Deadline: August 12

American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor
LOI Deadline: August 1
Application Deadline: October 15

Uniting Against Lung Cancer
Deadline: August 13

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellowship Awards
Deadline: August 15

Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine
Deadline: August 15

DoD Breast Cancer Research Program Breast Cancer Innovator Award
Deadline: August 15

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

DoD Bone Marrow Failure Idea Development Award 
Deadline: August 28

DoD Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Idea Award with Special Focus
Pre-Application Deadline: June 10
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

DoD Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Career Development Award
Pre-Application Deadline: June 10
Application Deadline (Invite Only): September 17

Elsa U. Pardee Foundation
Deadline: Oct 1; Feb 1; June 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

Oncology Models Forum (U24)(PAR-14-239)

Collaborative Research Projects to Enhance Applicability of Mouse Models for Translational Research (Collaborative R01)(PAR-14-240)

Research Projects to Enhance Applicability of Mouse Models for Translational Research (R01)(PAR-14-241)

Revision Applications to P01 Awards for Research on Imaging and Biomarkers for Early Cancer Detection (P01)(PAR-13-317)

Revision Applications to P50 Awards for Research on Imaging and Biomarkers for Early Cancer Detection (P50)(PAR-13-318)


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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Mon, June 2

Genomic Medicine Institute Seminar
Wanfeng Yu, PhD
Research Associate, Genomic Medicine Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Cowden Syndrome-associated Germ line SDHD Variants Induce PTEN Nuclear Translocation through SRC-induced PTEN Oxidation
12:30 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Molecular Biology & Microbiology Thesis Presentation
Kenneth Yan
Rich lab, Molecular Biology & Microbiology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Instructional Cues for Hierarchy Maintenance in Glioblastoma
1 pm Rottman Seminar Rm W203

Tues, June 3

Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds
Jennifer Dorth, MD
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology
Topic: Radiation-Induced Carotid Artery Injury
8:10 am Lerner Tower B-151

Molecular Genetics Departmental Research Seminar Series
Maupali Dasgupta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stark lab, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: A Novel Methylation of K49 in STAT3 and its Role in Directing Gene Expression
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Translational Hematology and Oncology Research (THOR) Lecture Series
Kathryn Guinta
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Seiri Seiton Seiso Seiketsu Shitsuke: Not sushi - It is 5S for the 4th floor
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Frontiers in Digestive Health Lecture Series
Nicholas LaRusso, MD
Professor, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Medicine
Mayo Clinic
Topic: The Cholangiopathies
5 pm WRB 1-413

Wed, June 4

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference
Andy Parchman, MD 
Fellow, Div of Hem/Onc
Topic: Research: Trial Prospector: Leveraging Technology to Match Patients with Clinical Trials
8 am Lerner B-151

Immunology Faculty Candidate
Ronen Sumagin, PhD
Instructor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Emory University
Topic: Leukocyte Trafficking: Consequences for Endothelial/Epithelial Function and Homeostasis
11 am WRB 6-136

Thurs, June 5

Molecular Biology & Microbiology Seminar
Urvashi Rai
Tartakoff lab, Molecular Biology & Microbiology
Topic: Ambivalence of the Yeast Nucleus upon Checkpoint Arrest
Alan Tartakoff, PhD
Professor, Pathology
Topic: From Anaphase to the End of the Cell Cycle in Yeast
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room W203

Fri, June 6

Hematology/Oncology Fellows Conference/Curriculum Series
Hillard Lazarus, MD
Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: How To Get Your Paper Published
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
G. Thomas Budd, MD
Kriti Mittal, MD
Adriana Alvarez, MD
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: ASCO Poster Presentations
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

WHIG Seminar
Georg Lauer, MD, PhD
Associate Immunologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Topic: HCV-specific T cells in Viral Control and Viral Persistence
9 am BRB 105

Molecular Biology & Microbiology
Georg Lauer, MD, PhD
Associate Immunologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Topic: HCV-specific T cells in Viral Control and Viral Persistence
1 pm Rottman Seminar Rm W203

Drug Development at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Stan Gerson, MD: Introduction and Overview
Goutham Narla, MD, PhD: Small Molecule Activators of Tumor Suppressor Genes
Nima Sharifi, MD: Targeting Androgen Synthesis in Advanced Prostate Cancer
Bing-Cheng Wang, PhD: Development and Utility of Small Molecule Agonists of EphA2
Zhenghe John Wang, PhD: Targeting Mutant PI3K for Cancer Therapy
4:30–6:00 pm Wolstein Research Bldg

Mon, June 9

Genomic Medicine Institute Seminar
Alvaro Monteiro, PhD
Moffitt Cancer Center
Topic: Searching for Mechanisms Underlying Cancer Predispositions Loci: Dreaming in Genetic Space
12:30 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


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

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