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July 7, 2014


Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat

Dear Cancer Center Members:

Later this week, July 10-11, we will host our Annual Cancer Center Scientific Retreat. The agenda is filled with interesting, never-before-heard talks and top-notch science. In addition, there will be time to not only meet new members and form new collaborations, but also attend program meetings and provide input on how to spend our discretionary support in pilot projects in the coming year. This is your chance to have your opinion heard.

As we lead up to the retreat, here are some goals for this important two-day event:

New research initiatives
Areas ripe for collaborative cross-programmatic research
Ways to enhance the function and value of the scientific programs
Where do you want to go?

Provide input on...
New investments, directions, recruitments, core support
Translational research opportunities given the new realities of limited support for clinical investigation

Finally, I would like to give one final reminder that the retreat kicks off the afternoon of Thursday, July 10 in the Wolstein Research Building with the introduction of new members and a keynote address by UCSF researcher Dr. Kevin Shannon, who will discuss his Ras research. Friday's event will be held at Corporate College East on Richmond Road.

I hope to see you all there. If you have not already registered, please do so immediately so we can plan for your attendance.

Retreat Home page


The Doctor Gets V.I.P. Treatment
New York Times - Jul 3, 2014
After a biking accident, Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, Director of the Leukemia Program at the Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ohio talks about his experience of going from doctor to patient.

Bone Marrow Tx Promising in Adult Sickle Cell
MedPage Today - Jul 2, 2014
Bone marrow transplantation with reduced intensity, nonmyeloablative conditioning cured many adults with severe sickle cell disease, updated results from a pilot study affirmed...Also, "by incorporating the drug sirolimus into the transplant conditioning regimen, they created a state of 'mixed chimerism' in which donor and host cells coexist in tolerance and harmony, to simultaneously solve the problems of graft-rejection and graft-versus-host disease," noted Yogen Saunthararajah, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, who called the procedure "already a game-changer."

Study Finds Increased Risk of Febrile Neutropenia with Several Comorbid Conditions
Consultant 360 - June 24, 2014
Patients with a history of several comorbid conditions may be at an increased risk of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia, according to a recent study. The study, published online June 10 in "Annals of Oncology," found that people with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, HIV infection, autoimmune disease, peptic ulcer disease, renal disease, thyroid disorder, or bone marrow suppression may be at higher risk of febrile neutropenia during the first cycle of chemotherapy...Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, Director of the Leukemia Program at the Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ohio, told Reuters Health, "The authors have identified 20 comorbid conditions that they were going to explore for an association with a higher rate of fever neutropenia. If you are looking at 20 factors, by chance alone, at the 5% mark you are going to find one of them has a significant association."


PDX Pilot Awardees

The following teams of researchers have been selected to receive Cancer Center pilot funding to develop patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDX) to benefit collaborative, multi-investigator projects within the Center, with special emphasis on tumor types of high value to members. The Cancer Center received five applications of which three are awarded:

Development of a Breast and Ovarian Cancer Patient-Derived Xenograft Resource
PI: Mark Jackson, PhD
Investigator Team: Analisa DiFeo, Hannah Gilmore, Lyndsay Harris, Efstathios Karathanasis, Ruth Keri, Huiping Liu, Goutham Narla, Raymond Redline, Bill Schiemann, Nicole Steinmetz.

Establishment of a Patient Derived Primary Xenograft Model of Lung Cancer
PI: Neelesh Sharma, MD, PhD
Investigator Team: Afshin Dowlati, Goutham Narla, George Stark

Development of human orthotopic brain metastasis xenografts (hOBMX) derived from breast, lung, and melanoma (BLM) brain metastasis
PI: Andrew Sloan, MD
Investigator Team: Marta Couce, Eli Bar

Dr. Anant Madabhushi Awarded Phase II Coulter Grant on Brain Tumor

Dr. Anant MadabhushiDr. Pallavi Tiwari, PI, and Dr. Anant Madabhushi, Co-I, at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) in Biomedical Engineering have been awarded a Phase II Coulter award on their project NeuroRadVision™: Image based risk assessment for presence of recurrent tumor or radiation effects on MRI. The $130,000 project is a continuation of the Phase I award for identifying quantitative sub-visual MRI markers to distinguish radiation necrosis from recurrent brain tumors, currently a challenging problem in clinical management of brain tumor patients.

Drs. Lisa Rogers (Neuro-oncologist), Leo Wolansky (Neuro-radiologist), and Mark Cohen (Neuro-pathologist), all from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, will continue to serve as clinical co-investigators on the project.

Family of Proteins Plays Key Role in Cellular Pump Dynamics

Mark ChanceCase Western Reserve University scientists have discoveredhow a family of proteins–cation diffusion facilitators (CDFs)–regulates an important cellular cycle, where a cell's energy generated is converted to necessary cellular functions. The finding has the potential to inform future research aimed at identifying ways to ensure the process works as designed and, if successful, could lead to significant breakthroughs in the treatment of Parkinson's, chronic liver disease and heart disease.

The results of this research were posted online June 22 by the journal "Nature" and will be published in the print edition at a later date.

"CDF is a major protein family type found in all forms of life," said senior author Mark R. Chance, the Charles W. and Iona A. Mathias Professor of Cancer Research in the School of Medicine. "Mutations or altered regulation of human CDFs modify the concentrations of metal ions critical to cell function and are associated with key human diseases, including those affecting endocrine, neurologic, hepatic and cardiovascular systems."

Case Western Reserve University Researchers and Collaborators Receive $12.6 Million NIH Grant to Study Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease

Jonathan HainesResearchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are part of a five-university collaboration receiving a $12.6 million, four-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk.

At Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, the Consortium for Alzheimer's Sequence Analysis (CASA) is led by Jonathan Haines, PhD, chair of the department of epidemiology & biostatistics and director of the Institute for Computational Biology. Fellow Case Western Reserve investigator is William Bush, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics.

CASA investigators will analyze whole exome and whole genome sequence data generated during the first phase of the NIH Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Program, an innovative collaboration that began in 2012 between NIA and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), also part of NIH. They will analyze data from 6,000 volunteers with Alzheimer's disease and 5,000 older individuals who do not have the disease. In addition, they will study genomic data from 111 large families with multiple members who have Alzheimer's disease, mostly of Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic descent to identify rare genetic variants.


2014 Grant Writers Coaching Group for NIH Awards

Faculty members who are working on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development K or R grant proposals and need additional support are invited to apply for the 2014 Grant Writers Coaching Group for NIH Awards, being held September 5 in Vancouver. This one-day workshop (followed by three months of optional online sessions and support) is designed to provide practical knowledge, skills, and one-on-one guidance to submit a competitive proposal. 
Deadline: July 10

Clinical Investigator Development Program

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR), a Division of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is pleased to announce its annual call for applications for the Clinical Investigator Development Program (CIDP). This is an exciting training opportunity intended for physicians interested in dedicating their careers to clinical research.

The CIDP assists board-eligible/board-certified translational researchers to transition from a mentored position to that of independent investigator in either laboratory-based or patient-oriented research in academia or comparable positions in government and industry. Potential areas of interest include: medical oncology, pediatric hematology-oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, neuro-oncology, urology and dermatology. Program objectives are to: develop competence and skills in study design, protocol development and patient-oriented research; acquire knowledge related to the ethical and regulatory issues of conducting clinical research involving human subjects; gain direct experience with the collection and management of research data; and learn about function, development, organization and leadership of a multidisciplinary clinical research team.

Candidates may be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or possess (or be eligible for) the appropriate work visa and must have successfully completed subspecialty training at a U.S.–accredited institution in appropriate fields.
Deadline: October 31


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.


DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Prostate Cancer Pathology Resource Network Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 23
Application Deadline: October 29

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Health Disparity Research Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 23
Application Deadline: September 24

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Laboratory–Clinical Transition Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 23
Application Deadline: October 29

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Population Science Impact Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 23
Application Deadline: October 29

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Clinical Exploration Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 23
Application Deadline: October 29

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

Linda K. Arena Endowed Scholarship Award For Lung Cancer Education 
Deadline: July 28

ACSR Young Investigator Pilot Award
Deadline: August 1

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

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Research Grant Program
Deadline: August 8

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

Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine
Deadline: August 15

American Society of Cytopathology Foundation Patient Advocacy Grant
Deadline: August 15

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Physician Research Training Award
Pre-Application Deadline: August 27
Confidential Letters of Recommendation: September 10
Application Deadline: September 10

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Collaborative Undergraduate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Student Summer Training Program Award
Pre-Application Deadline: August 27
Application Deadline: September 10

DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Training Award
Pre-Application Deadline: August 27
Confidential Letters of Recommendation: September 10
Application Deadline: September 10

DoD Bone Marrow Failure Idea Development Award 
Deadline: August 28

R. Robert & Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer
Deadline: August 29

Center for Global Health Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program
Deadline: September 1; December 1; March 1; June 1

Lymphoma Research Foundation Adolescent/Young Adult Cooperative Group Correlative Studies Grant
Deadline: September 3

Lymphoma Research Foundation Clinical Investigator Career Development Grant Program
Deadline: September 3

Lymphoma Research Foundation Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP)
Deadline: September 3

Lymphoma Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant 
Deadline: September 3

2014 AICR Conference Scholarship
Deadline: September 5

Elsa U. Pardee Foundation
Deadline: October 1; February 1; June 1

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 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Participation in PAR-14-225 "Clinical Evaluation of Adjuncts to Opioid Therapies for the Treatment of Chronic Pain (R01)"(NOT-CA-14-050)

Request for Information (RFI): National Longitudinal Study of Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Substance Use (NOT-DA-14-014)



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, July 7

Tues, July 8

Wed, July 9

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference Curriculum Series
Paula Silverman, MD
Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Metastatic Breast Cancer
8 am Lerner Tower B-151

Thurs, July 10

Molecular Genetics Departmental Seminar
K. P. Connie Tam, PhD
Assistant Staff, Ophthalmic Research, Cole Eye Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Keratin 6A as a new innate defense player in corneal epithelium
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat
Keynote Speaker: Kevin Shannon, MD
Roma and Marvin Auerback Distinguished Professorship in Pediatric Molecular Oncology
Professor, Pediatrics
Keynote Address: Preclinical Models to Test Strategies for Targeting Oncogenic Ras
4:30-8:30 pm Wolstein Research Bldg
Pre-registration required

Fri, July 11

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat
7:45 am - 7 pm Corporate College East
Pre-registration required

Tues, July 15

Cancer Biology Staff Candidate Seminar
Hannelore Heemers, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Urology and Cancer Genetics
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Topic: Targeting Androgen Receptor Action for Prostate Cancer Treatment: Emerging Insights Provide Novel Opportunities
2 pm NC1-202 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


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