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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Newsletter

January 19, 2009


Welcome to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Newsletter for 2009. I would like to reflect briefly on our accomplishments and outlook as we begin this new year. By the end of this year, our Center will be increasingly focused on preparing for the renewal application of the NCI core grant. Many of us will be involved in preparation throughout 2010 and until the grant is submitted in 2011. As is common for cancer centers, nothing is ever quite constant as priorities and opportunities change, prospects brighten, and we overcome barriers to research by strengthening our infrastructure.

First, I would like to commend the more than 80 basic science investigators who contributed to the realignment of the basic science programs. Many of you were involved in the establishment of 11 scientific focus groups, each with a group leader, that self-assembled and prioritized cancer research. This effort was carefully scrutinized by our internal and external advisors, and was mentored by Drs. George Stark, Susann Brady-Kalnay, and Clark Distelhorst. Their support coupled with the hard work of the group leaders has resulted in stronger scientific focus groups, each with increased evidence of collaboration, and efforts towards multi-investigator project grant applications. As of January 2009, we have realigned these scientific focus groups into two scientific programs and one developing initiative in vascular cancer biology. The two scientific programs are the Molecular Basis of Cancer Program led by Drs. Susann Brady-Kalnay and George Stark, and the Cell Death Regulation Program led by Drs. Clark Distelhorst, Alex Almasan and Nancy Oleinick. These basic science programs remain large and complex. In future issues of this newsletter, the program leaders will provide details about each program.

Second, last spring we had a very successful basic science pilot grant RFA that resulted in 16 applications, each from a minimum of 2 investigators participating in the scientific focus groups. This effort resulted in four awards. We will hear about awardee progress later this year as part of our new Cancer Center Scientific Series.

Third, as part of our due diligence of review of scientific programs, we initiated an effort to establish a new Cancer Imaging Program. This effort was shared with our External Advisory Board. With their input, we officially established this Program comprised of 31 members and led by Drs. Jim Basilion and Jeff Duerk. The external funding is an overall annual total of $8,225,127 of research support. Of this total $5,462,987 is peer-reviewed funding, of which $3,231,646 is from the NCI.

The Cancer Imaging Program provides a highly collaborative environment for basic engineering, translational, and clinical research in cancer using all forms of imaging technology from molecular to tumor targeted to drug analytical imaging. Please take advantage of this superb group as you plan your next research project or clinical trial. Details of this new program are also available on our web site.

Fourth, our clinical trials group, which supports trials for our Stem Cell and Hematological Malignancies, Developmental Therapeutics, and GU Malignancies Programs, has been strengthened by increased coordination between the Ireland Cancer Center and Taussig Cancer Institute sites and through their efforts to include the regional and community sites into the clinical trials network. Improved operations in regulatory review, contracting, and IRB review are in place and should strengthen the process of clinical trials at our clinical sites. Dr. John Sweetenham has been appointed as Director of Clinical Trials for the Case CCC and will coordinate efforts to increase the functionality of clinical trials operations and increase protocol approval and accrual in 2009.

Fifth, we have developed a new internal award, that of Program Leader of the Year. As I announced at the holiday reception, the first recipient is Dr. Kevin Bunting for his efforts as leader of the Stem Cells and Hematologic Malignancies Program. Kevin has helped researchers in that Program develop collaborative scientific initiatives and strengthened translational research, and hopes to see the submission of at least two multi-investigator grants this year.

Finally, below is a partial list of priorities for 2009. We will expand this list during discussions of the Senior and Program Leaders in the first quarter of 2009.

1. Promote and support multi investigator grant applications in cancer.
Groups that have identified their intentions to submit an application in the next 12-16 months are:
• Lung Cancer- Afshin Dowlati, MD, Leader
• Breast Cancer- Ruth Keri, PhD, Leader
• TGF-beta- Phil Howe, PhD, Leader
• Colon SPORE- Sandy Markowitz, MD, PhD, Leader
• Colon Therapeutics- Janet Houghton, PhD, Leader
• Colon screening- Li Li, MD, PhD, Leader
• Stem Cells- Kevin Bunting, PhD, Leader
• Quantitative Imaging for Evaluation of Responses to Cancer Therapies U01- Afshin Dowlati, MD, Zhenghong Lee, PhD, and Ray Muzic, PhD, Co-Leaders

I would also like to note that Ernie Borden, MD lead a PG in melanoma submitted in October 2008. I hope others develop as well. In each group, the Cancer Center will provide administrative support, review of the proposal through the involvement of Center members with P01 grant review experience and, when needed, grant writer support.

2. Increase accrual to clinical trials
The clinical trials retreat is scheduled for February 24 and is intended to assist all clinical investigators of the Cancer Center interact in the development of more effective means of protocol development, review, activation, and accrual. We aim to increase accrual this year by at least 1.5% overall, from 11% in 2008 to 12.5%, based on our total new patient populations. This can be accomplished by an increase of 100-150 accruals to therapeutic trials. While the Case CCC can provide support for these activities, a large part of the effort relies on the involvement of the physicians and support personnel at the Ireland Cancer Center, Taussig Cancer Institute, and our affiliate clinical sites.

3. Enhanced capabilities and use of the Biorepository
In 2008, we succeeded in developing the framework of an outstanding Biorepository. Now, both UHCMC and CCF have active tissue collection and storage programs. UHCMC has implemented an annotation system for these tissues and it is available for any disease team to access. Investigators at either site can use this for tracking tissues and annotating samples. Both CCF and UHCMC are developing tissue array capabilities, and the Case CCC continues to refine its IRB submission form for a web-based application for access to tumor tissues in the Biorepository. These efforts are essential for SPORE and disease-based P01 applications.

4. Core review and enhancement
All of the cores are in the midst of convening advisory board meetings to assess the status and operations of the cores. We will then issue a series of surveys to help the membership provide input into the needs and activities of the cores. These cores are here to service the research needs of members, and your input will help us provide the valuable resources that you need for your research efforts.

5. High Throughput Sequencing Core
We have just initiated a NEW core, the High Throughput Sequencing Core. This core will operate on the 7th floor of the BRB, with Dr. Mark Adams as the Core Director. The essential piece of equipment is the Solexa sequencer purchased through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the laboratory of Dr. Sandy Markowitz to support efforts in cancer genetics. The Cancer Center has made a considerable investment to support the start-up costs of this Core. User fees will support the operational costs of the facility. I would hope that as this Core comes "on line" by March of 2009 many investigators can take advantage of this incredible resource to examine many facets of genetic alterations associated with both clinical and experimental cancers.

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC


A New Pitch to Draw More into Clinical Trials
MedCity News - Jan 19, 2009
... to up to 18 percent, said Dr. Stanton Gerson, director of the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the director of the NCI Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. ...

Stem Cell Product Commercialization Focus of Summit
PR Newswire (press release), NY - Jan 7, 2009
Dr. Caplan, a Case Western Reserve University professor who developed the technology that led to the...

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation Cancer Research Grant Program

The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation's is currently accepting applications for their Cancer Research Grant Program, which awards grants to doctors and medical scientists focusing on curing cancers that affect women. The Foundation is accepting applications for innovative grants for translational research in ovarian, uterine, breast, or cervical cancer.

The program will offer at least eight two-year grants of up to $100,000 each (combined direct and indirect costs). Applications must be submitted by one principal investigator selected by the institution. Only one grant application will be accepted from each accredited medical school or school of public health in the United States. If you are interested in applying, please email gillian.irwin@case.edu as soon as possible.

Deadline: February 13

For details, please click here.


Featured Article: FU-Based Chemotherapy Cures Some Patients with Colon Cancer

Validated Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment Tool Available Online

Colonoscopy Reduces Death from Cancer in the Left Colon, but Not the Right

PLCO Update Suggests Positive Predictive Value of Prostate Screening Drops over Time

Radiation Plus Hormone Therapy for Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer Improves Survival

Researchers Learn Why Some Platinum Drugs Are Toxic to Ear Tissue

Director's Update: Resource Digs Deep into NCI's Research Funding

In Depth
Special Report: Genome Studies Yield Insights into Childhood Leukemia

Spotlight: Looking to Refine HER2-targeted Therapy

Featured Clinical Trial: Studying Immune System Reconstitution Following Unrelated Donor Transplantation and Graft-Versus-Host Disease Prevention

Community Update: ASCO Proposes Strategies for Oncology Workforce Shortage


**All events are open to anyone interested in attending

January 19

Hematology/Oncology Research In Progress Seminar cancelled

January 20

Cancer Biology Seminar
Yi-Chieh Nancy Du, PhD
Research Fellow
Sloan Kettering Institute Memorial Cancer Center
Topic: Mice as Models for Assessing Tumor Progression Factors by Somatic Gene Transfer
11:00 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Taussig Cancer Institute Core Curriculum Series
Timothy Gilligan, MD
Associate Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Testicular Cancer: Early Stage Disease
12:00 pm R3/002 Cleveland Clinic

Case CCC Faculty Candidate Seminar
Hugh P. Cam, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Cancer Research
Topic: Epigenetic Control and Genome Organization by RNAi and Transposon-derived Proteins
3:00 pm WRB 3-136

January 21

Developmental Therapeutics Program meeting cancelled

Grand Rounds
Douglas Einstein, MD, PhD
Director, Radiosurgery
Topic: Extracranial Radiosurgery
8:00 am Lerner Tower B-151

Immunology Seminar
Alex Huang, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics- Hem/Onc
Topic: Utilization of inflammatory Chemokines by Naive T Cells in Orchestrating Adaptive Immunity in Vivo
12:00 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Pathology Graduate Student Seminar
Jennifer Ko
Graduate Student, Ko Lab, Pathology
Topic: Reversal of Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cell-mediated Immune Suppression in Cancer
12:00 pm WRB 1-413

Case CCC Faculty Candidate Chalk Talk
Hugh P. Cam, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Cancer Research
Topic: Epigenome Organization and Phenotypic Plasticity
3:30 pm WRB 1-403

PBRN Seminar on Interdisciplinary Research
Colin Drummond, PhD, MBA
Director, Coulter-Case Translational Research Partnership
Topic: Navigating Among Silos: Adventures in Interdisciplinary Research
6:00 pm Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office
Please RSVP to michelle.hamilton@case.edu

January 22

CTSC Seminar
David Kaplan, MD, PhD
Professor, Pathology
Topic: High-Resolution Immunophenotyping Flow Cytometric Analysis
12:00 pm BRB 9th Fl Conference Room

Taussig Cancer Center Core Curriculum Series
Timothy Gilligan, MD
Associate Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Testicular Cancer: Advanced Stage Disease
12:00 pm R3/002 Cleveland Clinic

Neurosciences Seminar
Debra Wood, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology
Topic: Plasticity and Stability in Pattern Generating Neural Circuits: It's a Balancing Act
12:10 pm BRB 105

Aging-Cancer Research Seminar
Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD
Professor, Hematology & Medical Oncology
CWRU/ Cleveland Clinic
Topic: UPD11q and New c-Cbl Mutations in MDS and Secondary AML
4:00 pm BRB 732

January 23

Cancer Prevention and Control Seminar cancelled in lieu of Special Seminar scheduled for 1/26 at 12:00 pm in Wearn 137, at which Dr. John Scott will present "An Empirical Model and an Emerging Measure of the Healing Process for Evaluation of Cancer Patients".

Hematology/ Oncology Fellows Seminar
Ajita Narayan, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Molecular Basis of Metastasis
8:00 am Wearn 137

Special Pathology Lecture
Eric Han, MD
Fellow, Cytopathology, Pathology
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Topic: Stability of Estrogen Receptor in Breast Cancer During Disease Progression From Primary and Following Chemo-Endocrine Therapy
8:00 am IP Amphitheatre

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Kevin Fox, MD
Professor, Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Topic: An Update on Adjuvant Therapy of Breast Cancer
8:00 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series/ Blood Club
Man-Sun Sy, PhD
Professor, Pathology
Topic: The Saga of Prion: From Mad Cow Disease to Cancer
12:00 pm BRB 105

Case CCC/ Biostatistics Faculty Candidate Seminar
Carmen Dwele Tekwe, MSc
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Dept. of Infectious Diseases
Buffalo, NY
Title: An Application of Generalized Multiple-Indicator, Multiple-Causes Measurement Error (G-MIMIC ME) Models to Adjust for Radiation Dose Uncertainty in RERF Data
4:00 pm WRB 3-136


For a complete listing of LRI seminars click here.



Case CCC Scientific Series
March 24
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm WRB 1-413

May 11
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm WRB 1-413

October 8
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm WRB 1-413

Emerging Trends in Cancer Immunotherapy
February 18
Holiday Inn, Independence
Course Directors: Drs. Henry Koon, Joseph Baar, Andrew Sloan
Brochure and Registration

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

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

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

Case CCC Scientific Retreat 2009
July 10-11
Details to follow

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS- Farewell Party for Dr. Joanna Brell

Save the date for an event to wish Dr. Joanna Brell all the best in her new role at the National Institutes of Health. A party in her honor is planned for January 23 at 5:00 pm in Wearn 137.

We give special thanks to Dr. Brell for her dedicated and capable service as Chair of the Case CCC Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee for the past year. In addition to that role, Dr. Brell has been an active faculty member in the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 7 years. She will be missed!

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 through January 27.

For details, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– James S. McDonnell Foundation

The Foundation offers Collaborative Activity Awards to initiate interdisciplinary discussions on problems or issues, to help launch interdisciplinary research networks, or to fund communities of researchers/practitioners dedicated to developing new methods, tools, and applications of basic research to applied problems.

In each case the focus of the collaborative activity must meet the program guidelines for one of the following program areas:
–Bridging Brain, Mind, and Behavior
–Studying Complex Systems
–Brain Cancer Research

Applications are continuously accepted for these awards.

For more information, please click here.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS–2nd Annual Biospecimen Research Network (BRN) Symposium: Advancing Cancer Research Through Biospecimen Science

March 16–18, 2009
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Bethesda, MD

Human biospecimens are the foundation of the translational research that will transform patient care. The 2009 BRN Symposium: Advancing Cancer Research Through Biospecimen Science will focus on the significant impact of pre-analytical biospecimen variables on cancer research and molecular medicine. This promises to be a stimulating and informative three-day event that will feature interactive discussions and presentations about biospecimen quality and recent advances in biospecimen science.

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 9
Registration Deadline: February 17

For more information, please click here.


AACR Stand Up To Cancer
LOI Deadline: January 22
Application Deadline (invite only): May 15

ASCO Cancer Foundation Translational Research Professorship
Deadline: January 22

Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP)
Deadline: January 27

Pfizer Oncology Clinical Fellowship Awards
Deadline: January 31

Pfizer Fellowship In Health Disparities
Deadline: January 31

Pfizer Visiting Professorships in Oncology
Deadline: January 31

Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund
Deadline: February 1

Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
Deadline: February 2

Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award
Deadline: February 2

Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science
Deadline: February 2

Komen/ASCO Medical Student Rotation
Deadline: February 20

Komen/ASCO Resident Travel Award
Deadline: February 20

Ohio Cancer Research Associates
Deadline: February 20

National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
Deadline: February 26

2009 NASA Space Radiation Summer School
Deadline: February 28

NCI Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program
Deadline: Open

NIH Bulletin – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts Under the Current Continuing Resolution (NOT-OD-09-037)

Pre-Application Meeting for RFA-CA-09-010 "Genome Characterization Centers and Genome Data Analysis Centers for The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network (TCGA)[U24]" (NOT-CA-09-012)

Transdisciplinary Cancer Genomics Research: Post-Genome Wide Association (Post-GWA) Initiative (U19) (RFA-CA-09-002)

Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (K07) (PAR-09-078)

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


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@case.edu.

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