MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC
Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat Wrap-up
Last week's Cancer Center Retreat was just terrific. Many commented to me (and your thoughts are welcome -call or email me) that the scientific accomplishments represented by the speakers was astonishing in quality and in presentation. Congratulations to all who presented!
First, I would like to thank the organizing committee: Mohamed Abazeed, Goutham Narla, Johnie Rose, Nima Sharifi, John Wang, and Scott Welford. It was a lot of work to organize, and it paid off. I would also like to thank the administrative staff of the Cancer Center and their friends who provided a seamless organization and kept us fed, handled the AV, and managed our locations with ease.
This year, we focused on the scientific advances across the Center. We covered activities from all of the scientific programs – basic, translational and clinical research – and a number of projects that cut the spectrum from basic to clinical observations. Most important of all, most presenters were from our junior to early mid-career faculty – sort of like the team around LeBron James! With that team, we will remain a powerhouse for years to come.
For those of you that were unable to attend, I would like to discuss some highlights.
We introduced 48 new members who joined our Center since January 2013. Kevin Shannon provided a wonderful review of his insight into Ras and the development of downstream signaling inhibitors that may provide clinical value.
In my introduction, I commented on our strategic plan and outlined a few highlights worthy of mention across the Center. For instance, we have a great headstart in encouraging genomic analysis across our scientific programs. Alex Miron, who runs the Genomics Sequencing Core, is available for consultation. A number of presentaters have already taken advantage of that expertise and capacity, including Peter Scacheri, Mark Jackson, Steve Fink, and Mohamed Abazeed.
Likewise, our drug discovery and development efforts are strong and will benefit from the introduction of a high throughput screening center at CWRU later this year, as well as a recruitment currently in the works. Among the talks there was mention of the new immune check point agents (Rini), drugs targeting the telomere (Taylor), p53 (Saunthararajah), Hdmx (Wald), androgen metabolism (Sharifi), and a fascinating computational approach to drug resistance analysis based on huge databases of drug exposure and response to treatment (Xu).
While we were aware we have a strong and cross-disciplinary Imaging Program, the presentations by Mark Griswold, Peter Mazzone, and Anant Madabhushi really displayed the breadth of this expertise and its utility for diagnosis, detection, and prognosis.
Finally, I think we accomplished our goal of introducing members and science across the Center, and encouraging new collaborative partnerships. We plan to focus on multi-investigator collaborations in the coming year, therefore this effort will have immediate pay off for many of you! Watch your email for an RFP later this week.
Thanks to the more than 270 members and trainees who attended and contributed to the success of our retreat!
CASE CCC IN THE NEWS
Recurrent VTE linked to Certain Cancers, Leg Paresis
Helio/HemOnc Today - July 9, 2014
Specific types of malignancies – including brain, lung and ovarian cancers, as well as myeloproliferative or myelodysplastic disorders – increased risk for recurrent venous thromboembolism among patients with active cancer, according to results of a population-based analysis...Cheng E. Chee, MD, of the division of hematology and oncology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and colleagues evaluated data from 477 patients who experienced active cancer-related incident VTE from 1966 to 2000. The mean age of patients at the time of the VTE incident was 66.8 years, and 46.3% were women.
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center gets $4.6 million federal award to improve patient care
The Plain Dealer - July 9, 2014
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center will get a $4.6 million grant made possible by the Affordable Care Act to improve care for adult patients with the hardest-to-treat cancers or whose age, physical condition or home situation add to the difficulty of treating them..."We realized that we needed additional staffing," said UH Seidman President Dr. Nathan Levitan told The Plain Dealer. In the process of applying for the federal funds, he said, "We decided that we would focus on patients who are most in need."...The benefit of putting in place a cancer support team early on after a patient's diagnosis was highlighted the findings of a study conducted by nurse researchers at Case Western Reserve University. The study, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Cancer Institute, appears in in the July issue of the journal Oncology Nursing Forum.
Prostate Cancer: Crunching the Numbers
Biomedical Computation Review- June 18, 2014
Anant Madabhushi, PhD, wants to use computers to get a better picture of prostate cancer...Madabhushi, who is associate professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics at Case Western Reserve University, has therefore been trying to draw more algorithm developers into the fray. In 2012, he was the lead organizer for the Prostate MR Image Segmentation challenge (aka PROMISE12), which had 11 teams from industry and academia compete to see whose algorithms–some fully automated, some highly interactive–could best segment scores of MR images provided by imaging centers in the United States and Europe.
RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS/MEMBER NEWS
Bacteria Hijack Plentiful Iron Supply Source to Flourish: Case Western Reserve Discovery Could Lead to New Ways of Treating Bacterial Infection
In an era of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant illness, Case Western Reserve researchers have identified a promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria's access to iron in the body. The scientists showed how bacterial siderophore, a small molecule, captures iron from two abundant supply sources to fan bacterial growth – as well as how the body launches a chemical counterassault against this infection process. Their findings appear in a recent edition of "The Journal of Experimental Medicine."
"Bacterial siderophore will be an important target for therapeutics one day because it can be modified to prevent bacteria from acquiring iron, but at the same time, it's possible to preserve host access to iron," said senior author Laxminarayana Devireddy, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, CWRU School of Medicine, and member, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Bacterial infection activates an inflammation response, often a serious one. Inflammation, in turn, promotes cancer development by triggering tumor growth. For example, the bacteria helicobacter pylori sparks inflammation known to cause stomach cancer. Shutting down bacterial infection at the outset would prevent the inflammation response required to set off cancer.
CTSC KL2 Training Program
Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) KL2 Training Program is designed to address the need to enhance the training of individuals interested in clinical research. The CTSC KL2 Scholars come from diverse professional disciplines, and will be trained to conduct team-based, multidisciplinary, patient-oriented clinical research. Once the training is complete, our Scholars will have the knowledge and skills to conduct cutting-edge translational clinical research and lead teams of investigators who recognize the mutuality of different research paradigms – ranging from molecular medicine to public health sciences.
Hold an MD, PhD, DDS, PharmD, PsyD or an equivalent degree
Have demonstrated a keen interest in clinical research
Need to hold a position in one of the CTSC partner Institutions on or before July 1, 2015
Are U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status
Applications are encouraged from physicians, nurses, dentists, social and behavioral scientists, engineers, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, bioethicists and other professionals with expertise relevant to clinical research.
Deadline: October 27
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 theClinical 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
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
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.
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED OPPORTUNITIES
NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities
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