Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Newsletter

October 20, 2008

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR– Notes from the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI), October 5-7, 2008

This three day conference of administrators and directors focused on the following topics: strategic planning, the pending Kennedy-Hutchison cancer research and care legislation, survivorship efforts, cancer health disparities, new advances in biomarkers, and state support for cancer centers.

Report from NCI Director John Niederhuber:
I would like to start with a summary of the report from John Niederhuber, Director, NCI. He did not talk about the flat NCI budget or projections for grant funding except to indicate that the continuing resolution expected to be in place until March 2009 limits funding for noncompetitive renewals to 90% or current year's funding, with the possibility to restore funds if full funding of the NCI materializes at current levels.

Second, Dr. Niederhuber noted that he participated in the CEO Roundtable discussion on barriers to clinical trials due to clinical trials agreements. The Roundtable completed a review of common language and issued their report, which was accepted by the Department of Justice. The major pharmaceutical companies will accept the common language. Our institutional lawyers now have this language and promise to incorporate it into pending and new agreements. Hopefully, this will facilitate review and approval of pharma-sponsored clinical trials and those sponsored by our two clinical institutions. The common language covers the common topics of intellectual property, indemnification, study data ownership, subject injury, and confidentiality. A copy of this agreement is posted on our web site.

Strategic Planning:
A detailed case study of the strategic planning process used at UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was presented by Diana Carmichael, principal of AMC Strategies. This process will be useful to us during our next strategic planning effort, which has been relatively quiet as we allowed the CWRU strategic planning effort to conclude and for institutional alignments to stabilize. That said, we are actually well into considerable progress on our strategic initiatives of two years ago. Over the winter months, I will review this progress with the senior leadership and we will issue a progress report and a questionnaire to gauge your assessments and priorities, and then ask the program leaders to develop their priorities for the next three years.

Key areas where we have made progress include:
  • Development of basic science scientific focus groups to guide our basic scientists towards more interactive and disease-based research;
  • Multi-investigator initiatives in melanoma, brain tumors, leukemogenesis, TGFbeta, lung cancer, and breast cancer;
  • Investigator-initiated clinical trials, which now account for more than a third of accruals with better management of protocol submissions, scientific and IRB reviews;
  • Biorepository with better coordinated tissue, blood and marrow collections, and a better bioinformatics for monitoring, retrieving and clinically annotating these samples;
  • Recruitments that are aligned with the basic and clinical research priorities;
  • At the institutional level, the recent External Advisory Board review of the Cancer Center with institutional leadership will provide opportunities for a coordinated commitment to the NCI-designated cancer center and alignment with NCI guidelines.

Kennedy Hutchison Bill:
Kavita Patel, who leads this effort for Senator Kennedy, described this bill which will be introduced into Congress in 2009. Titled the Comprehensive Cancer Legislation in the 21st Century, it provides for support for complex and far extending programs in cancer research, clinical trials, manpower at all levels, and inter-agency collaboration within the government to make substantial progress in the efforts against cancer and to support research, cancer care, survivorship, and coordinate national efforts in biospecimens and databases. This is an extensive effort. We have placed the slides from this presentation on the Case CCC website.

Most NCI-designated cancer centers have clinical and research programs related to survivorship. I described our initiatives back in July at the Case CCC Retreat that include development of psychosocial registries for patients beginning at diagnosis, a survivorship registry beginning at the end of the first course of active treatment, links among clinical demographics, blood samples and pathology specimens, and development of special clinical services in survivorship, treatment aftereffects, and high-risk patient management. Both Ireland Cancer Center and Taussig Cancer Institute are developing these programs. We encourage developing research efforts around these clinical initiatives. Given the geometric increase in survivors, a coordinated approach is needed.

Topics pursued at other centers include:
  • Best practices of follow up
  • Impact of the Institute of Medicine end of care summary recommendations
  • Benefits of special survivorship clinics
  • Common reports of treatment after-effects and best practice management
  • Education and follow-up impact research
  • Management of pediatric to adult transition
  • Special population survivorship research- minority populations, elderly, adolescents, high risk patients, familial genetics predisposing to cancer
  • Research into common after effects- endocrine dysfunction, co-morbidities, cardiac dysfunction, chronic neuropathies, cognitive dysfunction, osteoporosis, etc.

Cancer Health Disparities:
Most centers have health disparity programs and research efforts directed towards their community or state-wide population. Cleveland has a large city poor population with a high percentage of African Americans. East of Cleveland is a population of Amish, and to the west is a Hispanic population. Derek Raghavan, Cynthia Owusu, Tanyanika Phillips, Maghboeba Mosavel, and Hermione Malone have focused outreach and research efforts in these areas, developing a number of initiatives to engage the Cleveland population in health delivery and outreach efforts. Other centers partner extensively with the local community, engage in community participatory research, and use hospital-based databases to understand their at risk populations.

For instance, the George Washington Cancer Institute uses creative collaborations and partnerships with the community to reach populations in need of crucial screening for early detection. They target prostate cancer in men through a number of city-wide programs that use creative approaches to reach this population. They are also collecting tumor and blood samples for genetic and proteomic analysis of tumors in African American patients. The University of Chicago Cancer Research Center is adding "sub-studies" to clinical trials to add minority patients as accrual goals for enriched analysis of special populations. They found lower rates of surgery, combined modality treatments, and worse treatment compliance and outcomes in their minority patients. At Harvard, they are studying if access to health care is enough to reduce disparities. For example, they point out that much of their minority population comes from poor, densely populated areas that have many more fast food outlets than grocery stores, making it very difficult for people to consistently purchase fresh vegetables and fruit. This inequality, combined with other factors such as a lack of stable social support systems contribute to health care disparities along with the lack of health insurance and regular health care.

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC


As noted in last week's newsletter, Tim Kinsella, MD, recent Chair of Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Co-Leader of the Radiation Biology Program for our Cancer Center, has been appointed as the Director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center on Long Island.

Tim's successful career at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center included the development of his research in DNA damage and repair and leadership of a group of investigators in the area of systems biology of DNA repair, as well as serving for more than ten years in leadership roles in the Cancer Center.

Tim is also a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors.

We are grateful for his contributions to the Cancer Center, and wish him the best in his new position. For more information on his move, please click here.

Stanton Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– ASCO Young Investigator Award

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. The purpose of this award is to fund physicians during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. Priority consideration will be given to proposals that include patient-oriented and, ultimately, clinical research.

–The recipient must be a physician (MD, DO, or international equivalent) who, at the time of the grant award, is in the final year of his/her final subspecialty training program or in the first year post his/her final subspecialty training;
–Applicants should be planning an investigative career in clinical oncology;
–The applicant must either be a member of ASCO or submit a membership application with the grant application.

Deadline: October 30

For details, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– ASCO Advanced Clinical Research Awards

ACSO is currently accepting applications for the Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer and the Advanced Clinical Research Award in Glioma. These awards are designed to provide funding to investigators who are committed to clinical cancer research, and are intended to support original research not currently funded. Research must have a patient-oriented focus, including clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. By continuing to support proven clinical researchers at a critical stage in their early career, ASCO hopes to expand the cadre of expert clinical oncology researchers who are developing promising research initiatives. Applicants must be physicians (MD, DO, or international equivalent) who are 5-10 years post final subspecialty training, and with full-time faculty appointment in a clinical department at an academic medical center.

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 4
Application Deadline: January 8

For further information, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNUTY– 2009 Dana Foundation Brain and Immuno-Imaging Grant Program

CWRU has been invited to apply for the 2009 Dana Foundation Brain and Immuno-Imaging Grant Program. This program focuses on improving human brain and brain-immune function in health and disease. The program consists of two tracks (A & B). Both tracks support pilot-testing of promising but high-risk innovative ideas that have direct clinical application and that, when successful, are competitive for larger scale support from other funders. The program is designed to enable investigators to obtain pilot data more quickly than is possible through other funding processes. Investigations must be applicable to human brain or brain-immune functioning or malfunctioning to be considered for funding.

CWRU may submit TWO applications: ONE for Track A, and ONE for Track B:

Track A: Conventional imaging of anatomical or physiological brain functioning; should involve patient-oriented clinical research.
Track B: Cellular and molecular imaging; should have direct clinical relevance; should focus on the biological activities of human brain cells or their interactions with immune cells in health and disease; studies may involve human tissues or animal models.

If you are interested in participating in the CWRU internal competition, please send the following materials electronically to Ann Tillett at

1. CV (standard NIH four-page format),
2. Four-page preliminary proposal (see below), and
3. Letter of support/recommendation from your Chair.

For program details, please click here.

Internal Deadline: October 31

If you have any questions regarding this internal competition and/or the application requirements, please contact Richard Sohn at or 368-1158.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– AACR-GlaxoSmithKline Outstanding Clinical Scholars

AACR-GlaxoSmithKline Outstanding Clinical Scholars are promising young investigators who are the first authors and presenters of highly meritorious proffered papers in clinical cancer research. The Awards provide $4,000 travel grants to be spent over two years in support of the Scholars' participation and presentation of data at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting and future AACR meetings and conferences.

Awards are open to young investigators who have not yet achieved faculty status are eligible to apply. Applicants must be the first author and presenter of a proffered paper in clinical cancer research. For the purposes of this Award, clinical cancer research is defined as research involving human subjects or tissue/samples from human subjects. Cell lines, animal models, or other laboratory research will not be considered.

Candidates must be AACR members or must submit an application for membership by December 1, 2008. Candidates may be traveling from within the U.S. or from abroad. There are no citizenship or residency requirements. Employees or subcontractors of industry are not eligible.

Deadline: December 1

For details, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY- Doris Duke Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award

The Doris Duke Foundation recently released the Request for Nominations for the 2009 Clinical Scientist Development Award. Nominations must be made through the office of the Dean of the degree-granting institution. The intent of this award is to provide support for intensive, mentored research career development to help establish the grantee as an independent clinical investigator. Should an award be made, the institution must agree to provide the grantee with a minimum of 75% full-time professional effort to conduct research.

Please send the following items (in ONE document if possible) to
1. Full CV with funding history (please include gender and race),
2. 1-2 page proposal with specific aims, and
3. Letter of support from your Chair.

Internal Deadline: October 20

For details, please click here.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS– Molecular Targets for Cancer Prevention Symposium

February 4-5, 2009
NIH Natcher Conference Center
Bethesda, Maryland

The Center for Cancer Research and the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute are presenting Molecular Targets for Cancer Prevention Symposium on February 4-5, 2009 at the NIH Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies will provide an exciting forum for timely discussion and debate on the state-of-the-science, recent advances, and opportunities for discovery.

Topics Include:
–Targeting Transcription Factors
–PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway
–Oxidant Stress and Inflammation
–Molecularly Targeted Therapeutics
–Preclinical Studies with Mouse Models
–Clinical Prevention Trials

Abstract Deadline: December 1
Registration Deadline: January 11, 2009

For more information, please click here.


**All events are open to anyone interested in attending

October 20

Hematology/Oncology Research In Progress Seminar
Yuan Lin
Fellow, Gerson Lab, Division of Hem/Onc
Topic: In Vivo Selection of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Resulted in Persistent Colonies
12:00 pm WRB 2-136

Pathology Research Seminar Series
Roy Silverstein, MD
Professor, Cell Biology
CWRU/ Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Role of the Type B Scavenger Receptor in Athero-Thrombosis
12:00 pm WRB 1-413

Physiology & Biophysics Seminar
Alexey Ryazanov, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology
Robert Wood Johnson
Topic: Alpha Kinases: From Delaying Aging to Controlling Magnesium Hoemostasis
4:00 pm SOM E501

Skeletal Research Center
Nora Singer, MD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics– Rheumatology
Topic: Immune Targets and Arthritis
4:00 pm Millis 123

October 21

Taussig Cancer Institute Core Curriculum Series
Tarek Mekhail, MD
Assistant Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology
CWRU/ Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Lung Cancer
12:00 pm R3-002 Cleveland Clinic

October 22

Grand Rounds
Kevin Cooper, MD
Professor, Dermatology
Topic: Cutaneous Lymphomas
8:00 am Lerner B-151

Neurosciences and Developmental Biology Training Program Special Seminar
Ralph Greenspan, PhD
Senior Fellow, Experimental Neurobiology Neurosciences Institute
Topic: From Sleep to Attention in Drosophila: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
11:00 am BRB 105

Pathology Graduate Student Seminar
Luxuan Guo
Graduate Student, Pathology
Topic: Functional Studies of a Novel Protein Kinase LRRK2 Associated With Parkinson's Disease
12:00 pm WRB 1-413

Developmental Therapeutics Program Meeting (rescheduled from last week)
5:00 pm WRB 2-136

October 23

Taussig Cancer Institute Core Curriculum Series
Robert Dreicer, MD
Professor, Hematology & Medical Oncology
CWRU/ Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Systemic Therapy of Advanced Prostate Cancer
12:00 pm R3-002 Cleveland Clinic

Neurosciences Seminar
Hollis Cline, PhD
Professor, Cell Biology
Scripps Research Institute
Topic: Experience Dependent Visual Circuit Development
12:10 pm SOM E501

Aging-Cancer Seminar
John Pink, PhD
Assistant Professor, General Medical Sciences- Oncology
Topic: Age and Estrogen Receptor Dependent Expression of Calgranulins in Breast Cancer and Normal Breast Epithelium
4:00 pm BRB 732

Practice-Based Research Network Seminar
Topic: Participatory Research in PBRNs
6:00 pm Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office

October 24

Hematology/Oncology Fellows Seminar
Greg Chipman, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: TBA
8:00 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Fadlo Khuri, MD
Professor, Hematology & Medical Oncology
Emory University
Topic: Chasing Oncogene Addiction into the Clinic
8:00 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series/ Blood Club
Timothy Nilsen, PhD
Professor, RNA Molecular Biology
Topic: Mechanisms of miRNA-Mediated Regulation in Animal Cells
12:00 pm BRB 105

Prevention and Control Seminar
Benjamin Crabtree, PhD
Professor and Director of Research, Family Medicine
Cancer Institute of New Jersey
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Topic: Qualitative and Mixed Methods Round Table Discussion
12:30 pm Wearn 137


For a complete listing of LRI seminars click here.



**For more information on these symposiums, please contact Christine Rhoads.

Family-Centered Care
March 21, 2009
Holiday Inn, Independence
Details to follow

Head and Neck Conference
April 17, 2009
Holiday Inn, Independence
Details to follow

Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO)
June 15 - 17, 2009
CWRU campus
For details, click here.

Annual Breast Cancer Update: Highlights of the National Meetings
June 19, 2009
Marriott Cleveland East, Warrensville Heights
Details to follow

CALL FOR PAPERS– Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO)

The 4th Annual Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO 2009) will be held at CWRU June 15-17, 2009. The conference provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of methods, research findings, and experiences in the area of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. An important goal of the conference is to foster long-term collaborative relationships and networking opportunities within the domain of computational approaches to biology that benefit Ohio.

OCCBIO invites researchers in the broad area of bioinformatics to submit their unpublished work to the conference. The conference proceedings will be indexed.

Papers will be accepted December 27, 2008- January 27, 2009

For details, please click here.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS– Gathering Place West New Facility Open House

On Thursday, October 23 the Gathering Place West will be holding an open house from 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend and tour the new space, located at 800 Sharon Drive in Westlake. Information will also be available on programs being offered by the center. For details, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– Kimmel Scholar and Translational Science Award

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research is accepting applications for the Kimmel Scholar and Translational Science Awards.

Kimmel Scholar Award
Qualified applicants must hold an MD, PhD, or equivalent graduate degree and must perform research in an American not-for-profit institution during the period of Kimmel Foundation support. The Kimmel Foundation is seeking accomplished young investigators dedicated to a career in cancer research. Applications are limited to those who achieved the equivalent rank of Assistant Professor on or after July, 2005. However, physicians who have both clinical and research responsibility are eligible if appointed on or after July, 2004. These awards are designed for researchers who do not yet have their own R01 funding.

Kimmel Translational Science Award
The Foundation provides five additional awards specifically for physicians engaged in translational science. Eligibility includes those with MD or equivalent degrees, who have achieved the rank of Assistant Professor on or after July, 2004. Candidates must not hold R01 funding for the laboratory component of their cancer research. Applicants must demonstrate a significant personal involvement in the laboratory component of the translational project described.

Deadline for both awards: December 3

For more information, please click here.


Chemical Biology Consortium
Deadline: October 27

AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research
Nomination Deadline: October 30

Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Training Program Clinical Research Scholars
Deadline: November 4

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pilot Grants
Deadline: November 10

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Career Development Award
Deadline: November 10

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Research Fellowship
Deadline: November 10

Landon Foundation-AACR Innovator Award for Cancer Prevention Research
Deadline: November 20

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Postdoctoral Fellowships
Full Application Deadline: November 20

Landon Foundation-AACR Innovator Award for International Collaboration
Deadline November 20

Prostate Cancer Foundation Creativity Awards
Deadline: November 21

International Union Against Cancer (UICC)
Deadline: December 1

Kimmel Scholar Award
Deadline: December 3

Kimmel Translational Science Award
Deadline: December 3

Susan G. Komen Promise Grants
Full Application Deadline: December 4

ACS MEN2 Thyroid Cancer Professorship
Deadline: December 15

Sallie Rosen Kaplan Fellowship
Deadline: December 15

NCI Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program
Deadline: Open

NIH Bulletin – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Reaching Out to Potential Users on Non-Grant Shared Resources of the National Cancer Institute for Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (NOT-CA-09-001)

Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium (Limited Competition) (U01) (RFA-CA-09-503)

Produced by:
Gillian Irwin
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn 152
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5065
216-844-8317 phone
216-844-7832 fax

Janice Hassinger
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn 149
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5065
216-844-1862 phone
216-844-7832 fax
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