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February 16, 2015


Breast Density Matters: A new law that's saving women's lives
NewsNet5 - Feb 2015
In fact, 50 to 65 percent of women have thick breast tissue. And although it's easily identified on a mammogram, Dr. Donna Plecha, of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, says many women aren't made aware of the risks. "When we have a lot of whiteness on our mammogram it may hide a cancer. Because cancer also shows up as white on the mammogram," said Plecha.


Study Links New Genetic Anomalies to Breast Cancer in African American Families

Dr. Jill Barnholtz-SloanDr. Robert ElstonA team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) assisted in a study that uncovered previously unknown segments of DNA shared by African American family members who have breast cancer. The study was led by Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom from the University of Buffalo, a former postdoc of Dr. Robert Elston.

African American women have different incidence of breast cancer as compared to European American women, in particular the distribution of the known subtypes of breast cancer are different between these groups. Treatment decisions and clinical outcomes are tightly coupled with breast cancer subtype designation.

For the study, Dr. Ochs-Balcom recruited African American women with breast cancer and their family members. Sophisticated statistical analysis was conducted by the team at CWRU and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, including Xiangqing Sun, Yanwen Chen, Jill Barnholtz-Sloan and Robert Elston. Using this analysis, Dr. Ochs-Balcom was able to find novel genetic variants for these families not previously described in European American families with breast cancer. [more]

Madabhushi Named Associate Member of NCI Quantitative Imaging Network

Dr. Anant MadabhushiAnant Madabhushi, PhD of the CWRU Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics, and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has been unanimously elected to the National Cancer Institute's Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) on account of his ongoing NCI funded grant R01CA136535-01, Software to facilitate multimode, multi-scale fused data for Pathology and Radiology.

The Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) grows from the NCI program announcement "Quantitative Imaging for Evaluation of Responses to Cancer Therapies". The network is designed to promote research and development of quantitative imaging methods for the measurement of tumor response to therapies in clinical trial settings, with the overall goal of facilitating clinical decision making. Projects include the appropriate development and adaptation/implementation of quantitative imaging methods, imaging protocols, and software solutions/tools (using existing commercial imaging platforms and instrumentation) and application of these methods in current and planned clinical therapy trials. The projects are focusing on imaging-derived quantitative measurements of responses to drugs and/or radiation therapy, and/or image-guided interventions (IGI).

As an Associate member of the QIN, Dr. Madabhushi will attend quarterly meetings in Washington, DC and will be contributing his expertise and tools being developed in computational imaging and radiology-pathology data fusion as part of R01CA136535-01 to the consortium.

Mark Your Calendars

Case CCC Clinical Research Retreat

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Spring Clinical Research Retreat will take place on March 5 from 5-7 pm in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium and Atrium. The agenda will focus on the Phase 0/I trials theme, and will offer 1.5 CME Category 2 hours. Pre-registration is required. Please contact Dr. Michael Gibson at with any questions.

St. Baldrick's "Shave It Off!" Event

On Friday, March 13, a special St. Baldrick's "Shave It Off!" event will be held at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital from 10 am - 2 pm. Over 50 people will shave their heads in solidarity with children who have cancer and typically lose their hair during treatment, while raising critical funds for childhood cancer research!

Even if you are not planning to shave your head, all are invited to attend the event in honor of all the patients and families at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital who are fighting the fight of their lives! For more information, please visit the UH Rainbow event page.

Graft versus Host Disease National Symposium

Registration is now open for the Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) National SymposiumFriday, April 24, at the Embassy Suites Cleveland. This conference is intended to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of GvHD, review cutting edge approaches to prevention and treatment, and highlight and promote research to further our understanding of its cause.

The symposium will have two tracks: a scientifically rigorous one for physicians and practitioners, and a survivor track that will focus on challenges faced by BMT recipients and their families. The survivor track is intended to provide both education and the opportunity for individuals to interact with national leaders in the GvHD field. The afternoon "Meet the Expert" uniquely interactive breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for the physicians, survivors and their families to come closely together during the program. Continuing Medical Education credits will be offered.

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat 2015

The Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat will be held July 9-10. The agenda is still being planned, but we hope you will set aside time to attend this important event! More details will be posted in future newsletters.


Revised Treatment Protocol Template

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Office has revised the old biomedical templates into one new treatment protocol template with guidance documents. The guidance documents can be reached via links in the protocol. This template is mandatory for investigator-initiated treatment studies for immediate use. Please contact April Firstencel at with any questions.


Pilot and Exploratory Projects in Palliative Care of Cancer Patients and Their Families

The American Cancer Society has released an RFA: Pilot and Exploratory Projects in Palliative Care of Cancer Patients and Their Families. These funds will support projects focused on the development of the specialty of palliative medicine is a critical step in addressing the unmet needs of patients with serious illness and their families. Pilot data are typically needed before funding agencies (e.g., NIH, VA or the American Cancer Society) will consider funding a research project. In an effort to support clinician investigators conducting patient-oriented research in palliative care, the American Cancer Society, in parallel with the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC), is soliciting applications for pilot/exploratory research grants in palliative care of cancer patients and their families. These grants will generate the pilot data necessary to maximize an investigator's chances of competing successfully for larger grants.
Deadline: April 1 and October 1

Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is accepting applications for the Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (CORP). The purpose of this program is to provide interdisciplinary training in clinical and translational oncology research for clinical oncology junior faculty physicians who are interested in pursuing academic research careers as physician scientists. This training addresses the need for clinician investigators to translate fundamental cancer research discoveries into medical care of cancer patients. Eligible candidates are physicians (MD, DO or MD/PhD) with a clinical training background in one of a number of oncology disciplines, including medical, surgical, pediatric, dermatological, gynecological and radiation oncology.

This career development program is supported by robust interdisciplinary clinical and translational research programs in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center that provide Paul Calabresi Scholars the opportunity to select one of three areas of concentration:

  • Mechanism Based Therapeutics and Clinical Trials
  • Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoietic Malignancy Clinical Trials
  • Prevention, Aging and Cancer Genetics and Clinical Trials

Deadline: April 17


CWRU Skin Diseases Research Center Pilot and Feasibility Program
Deadline: February 27

Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award
Deadline: February 28

Ohio Cancer Research Associates
Deadline: February 28

Myeloma Research Foundation
Deadline: March 1

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network 2015 Young Investigator Awards
Deadline: March 4

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - Improving Healthcare Systems
LOI Deadline: March 6

Multiple Myeloma Senior Research Grants
Deadline: March 17

Taub Foundation Grants Program for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Research
Initial Proposal Deadline: March 17
Invited Proposal Deadline: August 14

Limited Submission: National Science Foundation Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR)
Internal Deadline: March 23
External Deadline: July 13

ASTRO Residents/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Research Seed Grants
Deadline: March 27

Limited Submission: National Science Foundation Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR)
Internal Deadline: March 23, 2015
External Deadline: July 13, 2015

ASTRO Residents/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Research Seed Grants
Deadline: March 27

American Cancer Society: The Role of Health Policy and Health Insurance in Improving Access to and Performance of Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Services
Deadline: April 1

Multiple Myeloma Research Fellow Awards
Deadline: April 21

Worldwide Cancer Research
Deadline: April 24

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

Support of Multi-investigator Initiatives in the Case CCC
Deadline: Open

Collaborative Activity Awards
Deadline: Open

NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities


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


Tues, Feb 17

Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds
Elizabeth Weinstein, MD, MS
Medical Director, Supportive Oncology
Assistant Professor, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Topic: Cancer Pain: A Rapid Review (and a couple symptoms)
8:10 am Lerner B-151

Molecular Genetics Departmental Research Seminar Series
Anna Kondratova, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stark Lab, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: The Role of the DNA Repair Protein Mre11 in Suppression of Gene Amplification
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Shunji Egusa, PhD
Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Gold Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery and Enhanced Therapeutic Index Evaluated in AML Models
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Biology Seminar
Shuvojit Banerjee, PhD
Research Associate, Silverman Lab, Cancer Biology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Roles of RNase L in Inflammasome Activation and Innate Immunity
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Pharmacology Seminar
Thomas Egelhoff, PhD
Professor, Cell Biology
3 pm Webster Conference Room W331

Wed, Feb 18

Hem/Onc Division Research Conference
Mike Gibson, MD
Associate Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Update on Head and Neck Cancer Program
8 am Lerner B-151

CFAR/Frontiers Seminar
Robert Siliciano
Johns Hopkins University
Topic: Visualizing Intracellular HIV in Primary Human Macrophages
4 pm WRB 1-413

Skeletal Research Center
Maneesh Dave, MD, MPH
Instructor, Div. of Gastroenterology and Liver Disease
Topic: Stem Cells in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: From Bench to Bedside
4 pm Millis 123

Thurs, Feb 19

Cancer Biology Trainee Seminar 
Research Speaker: Dustin Thomas
Egelhoff lab, Pharmacology
Topic: Non-Muscle Myosin IIB is Critical for Nuclear Translocation During 3D Invasion
Clinical Speaker: Michelle Treasure, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
Clinical Topic: TBA
12 pm WRB 3-136

PHRM 511 Journal Club
Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Topic: The Responsible Conduct of Research Session
3 pm Webster Conference Room W331

Fri, Feb 20

Hem/Onc Fellows
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD
Translational Research Director, MD-PhD Program
Associate Professor, Medicine and Genetics
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Topic: Translational Studies in Renal Cancer
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD
Translational Research Director, MD-PhD Program
Associate Professor, Medicine and Genetics
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Topic: Translational Studies in Renal Cell Carcinoma
12 pm BRB 105

Mon, Feb 23

Biochemistry Student Seminar
Andrew Knappenberger
Student, Biochemistry 
12 pm SOM W428

Genomic Medicine Institute Seminar
Charis Eng, MD, PhD
Chair, Genomic Medicine Institute
Professor, Genetics
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Neoplastic Causes of Hypertension: Genetic predisposition to pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma
12:30 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Breast Cancer Program Focus Group Meeting
4 pm WRB 3-136

Tues, Feb 24

Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Quteba Ebrahem, PhD
Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Cleveland Clinic
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Pharmacology Seminar
Kristina Baker, PhD
Department of Pharmacology
3 pm Webster Conference Room W331

Wed, Feb 25

Hem/Onc Division Research Conference
8 am Lerner B-151

Thurs, Feb 26

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
Marisa Winkler and Laura Rojas Coy
Bonomo lab, Molecular Biology and Microbiology
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room W203

Stem Cell Biology Guest Presentation
Jianwen Qu, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Genetics
University of Rochester Rochester
Topic: Basal Stem Cells in Development and Disease of the Esophagus
1 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

PHRM 511 Journal Club
Darcie D. Seachrist 
Department of Pharmacology
3 pm Webster Conference Room W331

Fri, Feb 27

Hem/Onc Fellows
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Thierry LeChevalier, MD
Institut Gustave-Roussy
Topic: Adjuvant/ Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Early Stage NSCLC, and the Use of Biomarkers to Optimize It
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Michael Goggins, MD
Professor, Pathology, Medicine and Oncology
Director, Early Detection Research Laboratory Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Topic: The Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Matthew Knarr
Pharmacology Graduate Student, DiFeo Lab, General Medical Sciences (Oncology)
4 pm WRB 3-136


Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Update
March 6-7, 2015
Weston, FL

Graft Versus Host Disease Symposium 2015
April 24, 2015
Embassy Suites Cleveland - Rockside

Advances in Lung Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach
April 25, 2015
Marriott Hotel at Key Center

Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium
June 4-6, 2015
Tinkham Veale University Center

ASCO Review
June 26, 2015
InterContinental Hotel


Symposium on Global Cancer Research
March 25, 2015
Boston Sheraton Hotel