MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC
Case CCC External Advisory Board
On Friday, October 17, 2014 the Case CCC hosted the annual meeting of our External Advisory Board (EAB). The members of this group are all prominent investigators in cancer research and leaders at their institutions:
- James L Abbruzzese, MD, FACP: Chief, Division of Medical Oncology; Associate Director Clinical Research, Duke Cancer Institute
- Michael A. Caligiuri, MD: Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center; CEO, James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Ohio State University
- Nelson Chao, MD, MBA: Donald D. and Elizabeth G. Cooke Professor; Chief, Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy/BMT, Duke University
- Edward Chu, MD: Professor of Medicine; Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology; Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Deputy Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; Associate Director, Drug Discovery Institute, University of Pittsburgh
- Richard C. Cote, MD: Chairman, Department of Pathology, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
- Kevin J. Cullen, MD: Director, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center
- Robert B. Diasio, MD: Professor, Pharmacology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
- Raymond DuBois, Jr., MD, PhD: Executive Director, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
- H. Shelton Earp, III, MD: Director, University of North Carolina Cancer Care; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine
- Jean G. Ford, MD: Chair, Department of Medicine, Brooklyn Hospital Center
- Beverly Ginsburg-Cooper, MBA: Consultant, Huron Consulting Group
- Michael Ostrowski, PhD: Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
- David Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD: Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging (CSI); Professor of Cancer Biology; Deputy Division Head, Research Affairs, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
- Jerome Ritz, MD: Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine; Director, Connell O'Reilly Cell Manipulation and Gene Transfer Laboratory; Associate Director, Core Facilities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH: Deputy Center Director, Karmanos Cancer Institute; Executive Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs; Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University
- Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, MPH: Director, Cancer Center & Research Institute; Executive Vice President, Moffitt Cancer Center
- Donald L. "Skip" Trump, MD: President and Chief Executive Officer, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
- Eileen White, PhD: Associate Director, Basic Science, Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University
Your program leaders each gave an update on the scientific programs followed by lively discussion designed to recognize the many program and scientific strengths, and help us identify both easy and more challenging opportunities to improve our basic, translational, clinical and collaborative efforts. We will debrief over the next month, and you will see the impact of this advice as your program leaders introduce initiatives discussed by the EAB.
In the meantime, let me make a few broad points:
- Eileen White commented that our science was better than ever, and that our list of high-impact publications and our practice-changing results surpassed that of prior years and was "the best ever." Congratulations!
- Our increasing efforts in patient-based genomics, personalized tumor sequencing for therapeutic decisions, and drug discovery and development were applauded! These efforts involve more than many dozens of investigators and countless collaborations.
- We were encouraged to increase participation in monthly program meetings for all members and all programs. Of course, that suggests we place an emphasis on making program meetings irresistible, and we intend to do so!
- The hand-offs between investigators and programs, as we transition from basic discovery to patient-based and clinical research, can be and was confusing. In response, we will be asking you to help the program leaders clarify how we hand off and collaborate between investigators and programs, whether the topic is a PDX model, a drug, or a genomics analysis.
- We have disparities research taking place across the Center –studies of under-served and at-risk populations that can be linked to our disparities research initiative, suggesting we convene a group to interact on this important topic.
- Finally, they gave a terrific report on our Center to our institutional leaders.
Much more to follow. To all who contributed data and to the Program Leaders, thank you for your effort and input!
New Case CCC Web Site - Check it out!!
We have a new web site! See it at: cancer.case.edu.
Gillian Irwin has worked tirelessly with the CWRU web team to devise and migrate our web site to the new format preferred by CWRU. The site has a cleaner more contemporary look, provides full access to your news, newsletter, programs, annual report, and special announcements.
Now that we have approval, Gillian can enhance the site more easily (we just changed the name of our basic science program to Molecular Oncology!). Soon, you will see us charge ahead with major upgrades such as:
- Member web pages that the Center will produce for each member with automatic updates based on recent publications and linked to their web site in their primary department
- More comprehensive program descriptions written by our program leaders
- Case CCC Cancer Blog written by members on newsworthy topics such as commentary on recent advances, controversies, breakthroughs, and other items of research and public interest
- Cancer information for patients pulled from our own databases, that of NCI, and links to the best sites available
- Clinical Trials – our active list with sorting techniques and links to SCC and TCI for discussion with physicians
- Links to TCI and SCC for access to care and clinical trials
CASE CCC IN THE NEWS
Case Western Researchers Awarded $250,000 to Develop an Effective Treatment for Childhood Brain Tumors: Cleveland-area charitable research foundation makes third major grant in three years
Weekly Villager- Oct 13, 2014
Prayers from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation announced that it will award its $250,000 Melana Matson Memorial Grant–its third major research grant since 2010–to Case Western Reserve University, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers James Basilion, PhD, Efstathios Karathanasis, PhD, and John Letterio, MD, who are studying the use of nanotechnology to more effectively treat pediatric glioma brain tumors.
Rini Discusses Variable Impact of Angiogenesis in Solid Tumors
OncLive - Oct 13, 2014
Brian I. Rini, MD, focuses on antiangiogenic therapy and immunotherapy for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and prostate cancer. He has been involved in the initial and ongoing development of targeted agents for metastatic RCC and in the clinical development of several agents that are now FDA approved. Rini, who is a professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in addition to holding several posts at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed broad issues in antiangiogenic research in this interview with OncologyLive.
Preserving Fertility in Women With Breast Cancer
Clinical Oncology News - Oct 2014
Adding goserelin to standard chemotherapy preserves fertility in women with early-stage, hormone receptor-negative breast cancer, according to data from POEMS (Prevention of Early Menopause Study) presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (abstract LBA505). "For the 25% or so of women with breast cancer who are diagnosed under the age of 50, the induction of early menopause is a common and potentially devastating side effect of treatment," said POEMS investigator Halle Moore, MD, a staff physician in the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology at Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This is the first demonstration of improved fertility prospects and more successful pregnancies when goserelin was used."
MEMBER & RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Lathia Receives Award for Brain Cancer Research
Justin Lathia, PhD, of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently honored with a Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sontag Foundation. The award is given to young scientists whose research is likely to improve the quality of life of patients with brain cancer. It includes a $600,000 award over four years for a brain-cancer-related research project. Dr. Lathia will use the funds to study how cancer stem cells, a population of cells that drive tumor growth and resistance to therapy, interact with the immune system in glioblastoma, the deadliest type of brain tumor.
Dr. Lathia became an independent investigator in the Lerner Research Institute in 2012, after spending several years studying brain cancer stem cells with Jeremy Rich, MD, Chair of the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Lathia's research interests lie in learning how brain tumor cells communicate and capturing real-time images to better understand these interactions.
Khalil Selected to Present at Chinese-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium
Article From Case Daily
Ahmad Khalil, PhD, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genome Sciences at the CWRU School of Medicine and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, was selected to speak at the 16th Chinese-American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, was held in Beijing October 11-13. The symposium is the academy's premier activity for distinguished young scientists and takes into account an overview of advances and opportunities in a wide-ranging set of disciplines. A committee of academy members selects the attendees–young researchers who already have made recognized contributions to science, including recipients of major fellowships and awards.
Before coming to Case Western Reserve University, Khalil authored a paper that identified more than 3,300 novel genes in human cells, referred to as long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs). The publication demonstrated that many lincRNAs are important for regulating the epigenome: the information in our cells that is encoded outside of the DNA sequence itself.
At Case Western Reserve, Khalil's lab - in collaboration with several members of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center - studies lincRNAs in the context of human disease such as cancer and birth defects. Khalil and his collaborators used several novel approaches to identify key lincRNAs that are deregulated in human breast, colon and lung cancers. Moving forward, Khalil hopes to develop RNA-based therapeutic approaches in which cancer cells can be targeted without affecting neighboring healthy cells.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
2014 Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers Symposium
There is still time to register for the first Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer conference hosted by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is being held October 30-31 at the Wolstein Research Building. This collaborative symposium is organized by the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, UH Seidman Cancer Center, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute. The focus of this two-day symposium is on advancement of AYA-related cancer research, including exploration of scientific, clinical and psychological considerations in adolescent and young adult cancer patients.
We are excited to feature two key speakers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Dr. Henry Koon, Disease Team Leader of Melanoma and Dr. Cheryl Kingsberg, Division Chief Ob/GYN Behavioral Medicine, CWRU Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital.
We hope that you will join us this year for our first AYA cancer conference, and we hope that we can help you connect to an international community of researchers and advocates for the AYA cancer community. Register today! Continuing Medical Education credits are available.
Symposium on Global Cancer Research: Call for Abstracts
The Symposium on Global Cancer Research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will be held March 25, 2015 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel, prior to the start of the 6th Annual CUGH Global Health Conference.
The Symposium is an annual event started in 2013 that aims to promote the exchange of scientific findings, best practices, and innovations in global cancer research. In addition, Symposium participants work to identify potential geographic and scientific areas for collaboration, and to develop strategic priorities related to cancer research focused on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Highly interactive discussions will cover a range of topics, foster network building, and be geared toward developing action items for advancing global cancer research priorities. The Symposium consistently draws quality senior- and junior-level professionals from multiple sectors, providing a valuable combination of experience, enthusiasm and varied perspectives to the discussions.
Call for Poster Abstracts is now open. Abstracts are due December 15, 2014. Presentation of cutting-edge research that addresses the global burden of cancer is at the heart of the Symposium. NCI invites all persons wishing to report original research, innovative projects or novel programs related to global cancer research and control to submit abstracts to be considered for posters. Abstracts will be collected through two categories:
- Scientific: original research (abstracts must include background, aims, methods, results, and significance)
- Program: innovative projects that move the field forward (abstracts must include background, purpose/goals, methods, outcomes, and next steps).
*Please note: Registration for the Symposium on Global Cancer Research is separate from registration for the 6th Annual CUGH Global Health Conference.
Kure It-AACR Research Grant for Immunotherapy in Kidney Cancer
The Kure It-AACR Research Grant for Immunotherapy in Kidney Cancer represents a joint effort to promote and support innovative cancer research. This grant is available to full time, independent junior and senior investigators to study immunological aspects of, or treatments for, kidney cancer. Research projects should advance the basic knowledge of tumor immunology mechanisms, or develop new concepts in the treatment, control, or prevention of kidney cancer by immunology-based therapeutic approaches. Proposed projects may be basic, translational, clinical or epidemiological in nature and must focus on cancer immunology including, but not limited to: immune recognition, regulation, tumor escape, and therapeutic manipulation for kidney cancer.
Deadline: December 2
Support of Case CCC Scientific Program Projects
Proposals are requested from the Case CCC Scientific Programs addressing unique research opportunities, innovative ideas or areas identified as strategically important to the program. Proposals must be for projects that are aligned with the goals described in the Cancer Center Strategic Plan. They may build on the institutional investments in genomics and informatics, drug screening and discovery, promote the development and use of new technologies, foster new collaborations or strengthen existing research teams through the development of new research areas aligned with the scientific program strategic plan. Attention to catchment area related research is preferred. Proposals should be multi-investigator in nature, with inclusion of translational or clinical research projects.
Each program is asked to submit one response to this RFA. Program leaders must be engaged in identifying potential areas or recommending topics and proposals for the program. Proposals must be reviewed by a committee within the program that is convened specifically for this purpose before being submitted to the Cancer Center Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will make the final determination for funding after evaluating proposals and reviews. It is expected that the research projects will lead to nationally competitive grant proposals from multi-investigator teams.
Deadline for Submission to Program Leaders: November 7
Deadline for Submission of priority proposals to Executive Committee: December 15
Support of Multi-investigator Initiatives in the Case CCC
The Case CCC will provide two modes of support to new research teams that plan to submit large multi-investigator grant applications (usually non-R support mechanisms).
- Administrative support and funding for travel are available to encourage team member meetings and meetings with external advisors.
- Pilot project funding for research teams with an established track record of collaborative research is available to support key research initiatives that are necessary to generate competitive multi-investigator proposals.
Requests are competitive. The research team must demonstrate the active engagement of members, clearly articulate the significance and innovation of the project, and provide a roadmap for acquisition of external funding. Advocacy and support of the specific program leaders interacting with the team is required. Discussion with Ruth Keri, PhD, Associate Director for Basic Research, is strongly encouraged before developing an application.
HELP US HELP YOU!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.