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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Newsletter

June 8, 2009


The Case CCC will have a couple of new faces in the upcoming months.

Neal Meropol, MD, has been recruited as Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Meropol has an outstanding track record as a clinical and translational investigator and will assume a prominent role at our cancer center. He received his MD from Vanderbilt, was a resident at University Hospitals, CWRU SOM, and a fellow at University of Pennsylvania. He began his academic career at Roswell Park Cancer Institute where he was on faculty with Dr. Derek Raghavan and moved to Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1998 where he pursued his interests in GI malignancies, developmental therapeutics, and patient decision making. Dr. Meropol recently completed a sabbatical at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Meropol has a national reputation for his contributions in GI malignancies including evaluation of new agents, predictors of response and outcome, and assessment of the economic impact of care. He is also well-recognized for his work in patient decision making and doctor-patient communication, in particular with regard to early phase clinical trials. Through his national leadership roles as Chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Developmental Therapeutics committee, Chair of the NCI Colon Cancer Task Force, and Chair-elect of the ASCO Cancer Research Committee, he will be able to facilitate the introduction of local discoveries and ideas to the national stage. He has been honored with a number of awards including teaching awards and honorary lectureships.

At the Case CCC, Dr. Meropol will oversee clinical and translational research, working closely with Drs. Afshin Dowlati and John Sweetenham, who remain as Deputy Associate Directors for Clinical Research at their respective institutions. He will also work with Dr. Sweetenham in his role as Director for Clinical Trials to improve efficiencies of protocol development, implementation and monitoring. He and Dr. Sandy Markowitz will work together on the GI Spore initiative. Dr. Meropol will encourage investigator-initiated clinical trials across the cancer center, encourage translational and laboratory correlative studies, and provide a focal point for transdisciplinary research assessing outcomes and population impact of innovative therapies and predictors of treatment response.

Dr. Meropol will be a member of the Case CCC Senior Leaders group, helping to shape the priorities and developing strategies for allocation of the considerable resources available to the center. He will also have a position in the Department of Medicine at UHCMC, as Section Chief for Medical Oncology and within the Ireland Cancer Center as Associate Director for Clinical Programs.

Dr. Meropol will be on campus as of early July. He will attend our upcoming cancer center retreat, where he will deliver introductory comments. If you would like to contact him prior to his arrival, please use his email: neal.meropol@fccc.edu.

I would also like to welcome Mitchell Machtay, MD, who has been appointed as Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at CWRU SOM and University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Dr. Machtay comes to Cleveland from the Bodine Center for Cancer Treatment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he served as the Walter J. Curran Jr. Professor and Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Machtay will also be present at the July cancer center retreat, and will make a presentation about radiation oncology developmental therapeutics.

To read more about Dr. Machtay and his recent appointment, please click here.

Please join me in welcoming Drs. Meropol and Machtay to our cancer center community.

Dr. Stan Gerson
Director, Case CCC


ASCO: Investigational Drug Active in Advanced Kidney Cancer
MedPage Today - May 30, 2009
... of what we'd expect" from such an agent, according to Brian Rini, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, who was not part of the study...

UH, Clinic doctors find good results in treating throat cancer
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com - May 29, 2009
Of the 127 patients involved in the study, six were treated at the Cleveland Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Gary Falk. One patient was treated at University Hospitals Case Medical Center by Dr. Amitabh Chak...

KUDOS– Dr. Cheng-Kui Qu Paper Published in Nature Cell Biology

Congratulations to Dr. Cheng-Kui Qu, whose paper, "Deficiency of MIP/MTMR14 phosphatase induces a muscle disorder by disrupting Ca2+ homeostasis" was published in the June 2009 issue of Nature Cell Biology.

In this paper, the investigators report identification and functional characterization of a novel phosphatase MIP. Dr. Qu's primary research interest is cell signaling mechanisms involved in regulating blood cell development. His laboratory has been searching for novel phosphatases essential for normal hematopoietic stem cell function and leukemia stem cell development. Interestingly, they found a new phosphatase that turns out to play an important role in muscle performance. This study was accomplished through multidisciplinary collaborations with Dr. Tom Nosek of Department of Physiology and Biophysics, CWRU, Dr. Marco Brotto at the University of Missouri, and Dr. Hector Valdivia of Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin.

For details, please click here.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS– 2009 Case CCC Breast Cancer Retreat

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is planning a one-day Breast Cancer Research Retreat for mid-September, and is inviting all members of the Cancer Center community to attend.

This retreat is aimed at bringing together basic scientists and clinicians whose research focus is understanding Breast Cancer, with an intent to:

– Explore the development of a Breast Cancer working group within the Cancer Center

–Bring together faculty performing breast cancer research with the goal of establishing fundable collaborative multi-investigator projects

–All principal investigators currently examining topics related to all aspects of breast development and cancer are encouraged to submit abstracts.

The abstracts that are chosen will be incorporated into the agenda either by giving a short talk or presenting a poster.

We look forward to a stimulating and informative retreat.

Please contact Retreat Co-Directors, Ruth Keri, PhD or Mark Jackson, PhD with any questions.

Please send abstracts by August 1, 2009 via email to: Gillian Irwin.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS– Drug Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Retreat

Join your colleagues on Saturday, June 20 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm at the Squire Valleevue Farm Sheep Barn for a broad scientific discussion of new drug targets, screening approaches, and examples of successful pathways towards clinical development.

Our goal is to develop a more cohesive scientific initiative in drug discovery leading to therapeutic development of new agents and combinations in cancer. The emphasis of the retreat will be on aligning our programmatic strengths in targets, disease-based research, study design and laboratory correlatives, and exploring potential new directions in drug discovery.

Please RSVP to gillian.irwin@case.edu as soon as possible.

For more information and to view the retreat agenda, please click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– Bone Marrow Failure Hypothesis Development Awards (BMFRP)

The FY2009 Bone Marrow Failure Hypothesis Development Awards will support the initial exploration of innovative, untested, novel, and potentially groundbreaking concepts in bone marrow failure research. Results of studies conducted through this award may provide the scientific rational upon which a new hypothesis can be based, or it should provide initial principles of an innovative hypothesis. The award mechanism is not intended to support ongoing work. Scientific peer reviewers will be blinded to the identity of the PI and the PI's institution. The presentation of preliminary data is not required. Clinical trials will not be supported under this award mechanism. Because these awards are designed for preliminary investigations, projects involving human subjects or specimens will not be supported unless they are exempt under 32 CFR 219.101(b) or eligible for expedited review (32 CFR 219.110 or 21 CFR 56.110).

Pre-Application Deadline: July 9
Application Deadline: July 30

For more information, please click here.


**All events are open to anyone interested in attending

June 8

Research in Progress Seminar cancelled

Physiology & Biophysics Seminar
Dmitri Kudryashov, PhD
Assistant Biochemist
Molecular Biology Institute
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles
Topic: Actin and the Price for VIP Status: Monomers, Filaments, and V.cholerae Cross-Linked Oligomers
4:00 pm SOM E501

June 9

Taussig Cancer Institute Core Curriculum Series
Ramon Tiu, MD
Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Philadelphia Chromosome Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasm's Part 2
12:00 pm R3-002 Cleveland Clinic

June 10

Grand Rounds
Rana Hejal, MD
Associate Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Topic: TBA
8:00 am Lerner Tower B-151

Case CCC Faculty Candidate Chalk Talk
Seung-Hwan Kim, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University
Topic: Checkpoint Silencing During DNA Damage Response in Early C. Elegans Embryos
2:00 pm WRB 3-136

CSCRM Seminar
Jan Jensen, PhD
Director, Diabetes Research
Department of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: GeneSpeed Stem Cell- A View of the Stem Cell Expression Space
4:30 pm NA5-08 Cleveland Clinic

June 11

Taussig Cancer Institute Core Curriculum Series
Brooke Phillips, MD
Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Thyroid Cancer
12:00 pm R3-002 Cleveland Clinic

Case CCC Faculty Candidate Chalk Talk
Seung-Hwan Kim, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University
Topic: Molecular Basis of DNA Damage Checkpoint Silencing in Early C. Elegans Embryos and Cancer Development
2:00 pm WRB 3-136

TREC Seminar
Ruth Keri, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Topic: Hormonal Control of Breast Development and Contributions to Carcinogenesis
4:00 pm BRB 732

June 12

Hematology/ Oncology Fellows Seminar cancelled

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Lawrence Einhorn, MD
Professor, Medicine- Hem/Onc
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Topic: Update in Testicular Cancer
8:00 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic


For a complete listing of LRI seminars click here.


Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO)
June 15 - 17
CWRU campus

Annual Breast Cancer Update: Highlights of the National Meetings
June 19
Marriott Cleveland East, Warrensville Heights
Brochure and Registration

Developmental Therapeutics Programs Retreat
8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Squire Valleevue Sheep Barn

ASCO Review
June 25
InterContinental Hotel

Case CCC Scientific Retreat 2009
July 10-11
Bertram Inn & Conference Center, Aurora

Management of Lung Cancer in the Emphysema Patient: From Surgery to Cyberknife and Beyond
September 11
Embassy Suites, Independence

Paradigms in Lymphoma Management: A Case Based Approach
September 25
Marriott Downtown Cleveland at Key Center

Case CCC Scientific Series
October 8
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm WRB 1-413

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


Center for Mind-Body Medicine CancerGuides® II
June 11 - 14
Washington, DC

2nd Annual Business Education Course The Business of Regenerative Medicine: From Stem Cells to the Market Place
July 13-16
George S. Dively Building, CWRU Campus

2009 caBIG® Annual Meeting: Solving Basic and Clinical Research Challenges in Cancer and Beyond
July 20 – 22
Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC

ACS Pan Ohio Hope Ride
July 30 - August 2

MSC2009: The Regenerative Medicine and Adult Stem Cell Therapy Conference
August 17-19
Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center

ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium
October 8-10
San Francisco Marriott
San Francisco, CA

Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Clinical Trials Methodology Workshop
January 9 -15, 2010
Scottsdale, Arizona

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– Lustgarten Foundation

The Lustgarten Foundation is accepting grant applications to provide funding for research into the biology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pancreatic cancer. The goal of this initiative is to make rapid advances in the battle against pancreatic cancer through a combination of cutting edge technology and novel ideas.

Grants must focus on adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Applications will be accepted from individual investigators, as well as collaborating investigators. One-year grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000. National and international applications will be accepted.

LOI Deadline: July 24
Application Deadline: August 7

For more information, please click here.


Featured Article: Early Chemo to Prevent Ovarian Cancer Recurrence Fails to Increase Survival

Lung Cancer Screening Leads to High Rates of False Positives

Combo Treatment Boosts Survival in Biliary Tract Cancers

Breast Cancer Drug Helps Patients with Gastric Cancer

HPV Status Can Predict Outcome in Oropharyngeal Cancer

Bevacizumab Does Not Prevent Recurrence of Colorectal Cancer

Drugs that Inhibit DNA Repair May Treat Advanced Breast Cancer

Radiofrequency Ablation Effective Against Barrett Esophagus

Exposure to PCBs In the Home May Increase Risk of Childhood Leukemia

In Depth
Special Report: Treatment Vaccines for Cancer Perform Well in Clinical Trials

Spotlight: Making Personalized Cancer Care Routine

Featured Clinical Trial: Imaging the Extent of Prostate Cancer

Community Update: Through Play, Kids and Families Cope with Cancer

MARK YOUR CALENDARS– Prostate Cancer Forum: A Pathway to Support, Education and Empowerment

Prostate Cancer Forum: A Pathway to Support, Education and Empowerment, is an all-day forum that will cover a variety of topics, including sexuality, osteoporosis, genetic issues, incontinence, and complementary therapies. All sessions are open to spouses, significant others and family members. This event is scheduled for Saturday, June 20 from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm at Corporate College East, 4400 Richmond Road, Warrensville Heights.

Cancer Center members Drs. Edward Cherullo, Jay Ciezki, Douglas Einstein, and Charles Nock are scheduled to present.

This program is free, but advance registration is required. For more information, please contact The Gathering Place at 216-595-9546 or info@touchedbycancer.org.

This forum is sponsored by Ireland Cancer Center, with additional sponsorship provided by the American Cancer Society, the Cleveland Clinic, the Gathering Place, and the Foundation for Cancer Research and Education.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS– Fanconi Anemia Research Fund

The Fanconi Anemia Research Fund has released a Call for Abstracts for the 21st Annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium, schedule for October 1-4, 2009 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland. Abstracts may be submitted online at http://www.fanconi.org May 11- June 19.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY– Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) Pilot Funds

The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) announces the July 1, 2009 quarterly competition for pilot funding of up to $10,000 to support activities provided by any of the CTSC Core facilities. This program is being supported by Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and MetroHealth Medical Center, and investigators whose primary appointments are based at these sites are eligible for this competition. For details and instructions, click here.

Investigators at the Cleveland Clinic have access to internal pilot funds for clinical and translational research through the RPC Program. Please click here for details. Contact Charlotte Bhasin at with any questions about the Cleveland Clinic program.

To find out how the CTSC can help you and support research, please contact Carolyn Apperson-Hansen, Director, Research Concierge or Ginny Petrie, Executive Director.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION– Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics

The Ohio Bioinformatics Consortium will hold the 4th Annual Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO) on June 15-17 at Case Western Reserve University.

The conference provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of methods, research findings, and experiences. An important goal for the conference is to foster long-term collaborative relationships and networking opportunities within the domain of computational approaches to biology that benefit Ohio.

Keynote Speakers:
Igor Jurisica, Canada Research Chair in Integrative Computational Biology, University of Toronto
Integrative Network Analysis of Prognostic Markers in Lung Cancer (in collaboration with M. S. Tsao, F. Shepherd, D. Strumpf, C.Q. Zhang)

Tao Jiang, Presidential Chair Professor, University of California - Riverside
Searching and Predicting Active Chemical Compounds Using Maximum Common Substructure

Daniel R. Schoenberg, Center for RNA Biology and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The Ohio State University
Cytoplasmic Capping: A New Post-Transcriptional Step That May Expand the Transcriptome and the Proteome

For more information about this event, please click here.


The American Cancer Society's Pan Ohio Hope Ride is a bicycling tour that enables you to take an incredible bicycle journey and to support ACS Hope Lodges and other vital patient services. The Pan Ohio Hope Ride will take cyclists from Cleveland to Cincinnati in a four-day tour through Ohio's scenic countryside from July 30 - August 2. Challenge yourself to hit the road and make the road smoother for those battling cancer.

For more information, please click here.


Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative
Deadline: June 15

BCRP Impact Awards
BCRP Multi-Team Awards
BCRP Era of Hope Scholar Awards
BCRP Innovator Awards
Application Deadline: June 17

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Innovation in Clinical Research Award Competition
Proposal Deadline: July 8

NCRR Competitive Revision Application
Deadline: July 10

DOD PCRP Prostate Cancer Pathology Resource Network Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 15
Proposal Deadline: August 5

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR) Grants
Full Application Deadline: July 31

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Career Catalyst Research (CCR) Grants
Full Application Deadline: July 31

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Career Catalyst in Disparities Research (CCDR) Grants
Full Application Deadline: July 31

DOD PCRP Prostate Cancer Pathology Resource Network Award
Pre-Application Deadline: July 15
Proposal Deadline: August 5

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
Deadline: August 15

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellowships
Deadline: August 17

ASCO Cancer Foundation Improving Cancer Care Grant, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure
LOI Deadline: September 1

William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation
Deadline: September 16

AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards - Special Conferences
Deadline varies

NCI Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program
Deadline: Open

James S. McDonnell Foundation
Deadline: Open

NIH Bulletin – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Biomedical Research, Development, and Growth to Spur the Acceleration of New Technologies (BRDG-SPAN) Pilot Program (RC3) (RFA-OD-09-008)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Small Business Catalyst Awards for Accelerating Innovative Research (R43) (RFA-OD-09-009)

Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hematopoietic Malignancies (R01) (PA-09-197)

Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hematopoietic Malignancies (R21) (PA-09-198)

Identifying Non-coding RNA Targets for Cancer Early Detection and Prevention (R01) (PA-09-199)

Identifying Non-coding RNA Targets for Cancer Early Detection and Prevention (R21) (PA-09-200)

Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNEs) (U54) (RFA-CA-09-012)

Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships (U01) (RFA-CA-09-013)

Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (P01) (PAR-08-245)

Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships (U01) (RFA-CA-09-013)

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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