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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Newsletter

January 30, 2012


Ear, Nose & Throat Institute Opens at University Hospitals
MD News - Jan 29, 2012
Dr. Pierre Lavertu director of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology at UHCMC, leads the team which also includes Drs. Rod Rezaee and Chad Zender...

U.S. Food And Drug Administration Approves Pfizer's INLYTA(R) (axitinib) For Patients With Previously Treated Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)
PipelineReview.com (press release) - Jan 27, 2012
This is important in helping physicians understand where these medications fit in the treatment armamentarium," said Dr. Brian I. Rini, Taussig Cancer ...

FDA OKs Axitinib for Kidney Cancer
MedPage Today - 2 days ago
"I think that axitinib moves the ball forward for renal cell carcinoma," said panelist Mikkael Sekeres, MD, a hematologic oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic ...

Polypectomy Outcomes Similar to Surgical Resection
Doctors Lounge - Jan 27, 2012
Using the linked Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database from 1992 to 2005, Gregory S. Cooper, MD, from Case Western Reserve University ...

AR: PACS Implementation Can Be A Roller Coaster Ride
CMIO - Jan 27, 2012
Jeffrey L. Sunshine, MD, PhD, of the department of radiology at UHCMC, and colleagues wrote that their implementation began in November 2002, with expansion ...

ER Presentation Not the End for Colon Cancer Patients
MedPage Today - Jan 25, 2012
The take-home message from this study is that the vast majority of people who present with symptoms of colon cancer are still curable, said Neal Meropol, from at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, ...

Stem Cell Blindness Treatment Study Reaction roundup
USA TODAY - Jan 24, 2012
"This really is a landmark study," said stem cell biologist Paul Tesar of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who was not part of the research.

Medical Field of Dreams: Doctor Meets Spirit of Baseball in Bob Feller
Plain Dealer - Jan 22, 2012
Mikkael Sekeres treated Cleveland Indians great Bob Feller for leukemia before his death on Dec. 15, 2010, at age 92. Sekeres recalls the Hall of Fame ...


Cancer Center Seminar Series: Green Nanomedicine: From Black-eyed Peas to Nanotechnology
Dr. Steinmetz

Friday, February 3
12 pm
BRB 105

Please join us Friday, February 3 for the next Cancer Center Seminar Series where Dr. Nicole Steinmetz, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at CWRU, will present Green Nanomedicine: From Black-eyed Peas to Nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize materials science and medicine. Currently, a number of different nanoparticles are being investigated for applications in imaging and therapy. The Steinmetz Lab focuses on engineering viral nanoparticles (VNPs). The VNPs of interest are harmless plant-derived materials such as the cowpea mosaic virus, brome mosaic virus, potato virus X, tobacco mosaic virus, and various others. From a materials scientist's point of view VNPs are attractive building blocks for several reasons: the particles are monodisperse, can be produced with ease in an indoor greenhouse, are exceptionally stable, and biocompatible. VNPs are "programmable" units, which can be specifically engineered using genetic modification or chemical bioconjugation methods.

The Steinmetz Lab's interest lies in the engineering of VNPs for applications in medicine: tissue-specific imaging, drug-delivery, and tissue engineering. The goal is to develop multifunctional VNPs that are displaying i) targeting ligands to direct the VNPs to sites of disease while avoiding healthy tissues, ii) imaging molecules that allow to track the nanoparticles or to image diseased tissues, and iii) therapeutic molecules to treat diseased cells and tissues. Such "smart" nanodevices are expected to open the door for the development of next-generation therapies and improved detection methods. Cancer nanotechnology has the potential to become clinical reality.

In this lecture, Dr. Steinmetz will highlight the properties of viral nanoparticles and give examples of how these materials can be engineered to become useful for applications in medicine.

Office of Cancer Centers Learning Series Webinar

Register for the next Office of Cancer Centers Learning Series Webinar, An Overview of the FY 2012 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award Application and Review Process for Prospective Applicants, Wednesday, February 1 from 2-3:30 pm.

Dr. Jennifer Hayes, the NCI Program Director who oversees the Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award Program, will present an overview of the FY 2012 program and discuss the application and application review process.

Professorship Celebrating Dr. Mark R. Chance
Dr. Chance

Please join the Dr. Pamela Davis, Dean of the CWRU School of Medicine, in celebrating Dr. Mark R. Chance as the inaugural Dr. Charles W. and Iona A. Mathias Professor of Cancer Research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine on Thursday, February 2 at 4:30 pm in the Wolstein Research Building.

Dr. Chance was named Vice Dean for Research at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in October 2011. Additionally, he serves as Professor of General Medical Sciences, Director of the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics and Interim Chair of the Department of Genetics. Through collaborative research and innovative approaches to proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics, Dr. Chance has distinguished himself as a scientist, a leader and an active member of our campus community.

Please RSVP to kathy.malone@case.edu.

Research Best Practices Day 2012

Registration is now open for Research Best Practices Day 2012, February 22 from 9 am - 4 pm in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium. This annual event is open to the entire research community. Each year, several topics are presented by local experts as part of CWRU's ongoing training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend one or more of the sessions that are applicable to their research:

  • The Nuts and Bolts of Research Documentation
  • Communication and Collaboration in Research: Tips and Tactics for Investigators, Students and Staff to Enhance Integrity in Research
  • Commercializing Research: Working with the Technology Transfer Office
  • Animal Research: Working Effectively with IACUC



**All events are open to anyone interested in attending

January 30

Pathology Research Seminar
Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Topic: p21-Activated Kinases as Anti-Cancer Targets
12 pm WRB 1-413

Physiology and Biophysics Seminar
Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Harvard University
Topic: Cellular Mechanisms of Kidney Repair and Fibrosis: Implications for Regenerative Medicine
4 pm SOM E501

January 31

Cancer Biology Invited Speaker Seminar
Ping Xia, PhD
Professor, Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Engineering
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Modern Radiation Therapy: Challenges and Opportunities
11 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

February 1

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference
Topic: TBD
8 am Lerner Tower B-151

Immunology Students/Fellows Research in Progress Seminar Series
Jeongsu Do, PhD
Research Associate, Min Lab
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: An Unexpected Role for MHCII-peptide Complexes in Shaping CD8 T cell Expansion and Differentiation in vivo
Katayoun Ayasoufi
Graduate Student, Valujskikh Lab
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: The Effects of Lymphoablation on Memory T cells in Transplant Recipients
12 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

February 2

Cancer Center Special Seminar
Luis Carvajal-Carmona, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
University of Oxford
Topic: Novel Approaches to Dissect the Genetics of Colorectal Cancer
2 pm WRB 3-136

February 3

Hem/Onc Fellows Conference
Oana Paun, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: TBD
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Akila Viswanathan, MD, MPH
Director, Gynecologic Radiation Oncology
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology
Harvard University/Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Topic: Advances in Image-Guided Therapy for Cervical Cancer
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Nicole Steinmetz, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Topic: Green Nanomedicine: From Black-eyed Peas to Nanotechnology
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Research in Progress Seminar
Steve Fink, PhD
Instructor, Markowitz Lab, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Determining the Predictive and Prognostic Value of 15-PGDH in Colon Cancer
4 pm WRB 3-316



Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


Cancer Cell Signaling Program Retreat
February 29
6-8 at the College Club
RSVP to Tracy Rehl at tracy.rehl@case.edu


Department of Biomedical Engineering Special Seminar
May 3
Steve Zullo, PhD
Program Director, Division of Discovery Science and Technology
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH
Topic: NIH Grant Machine Revealed, Not a Black Box Anymore
12 pm Wickenden 509

NCI Second Symposium on Translational Genomics
March 15-16
NIH, Bethesda, Maryland


Clinical Trial Year-End Summary

Message from Dr. Neal Meropol, Associate Director for Clinical Research, Case CCC

Clinical Trials Accrual Table

We have just compiled the year-end data for clinical trial accrual in 2011. Congratulations are in order for Case CCC clinical researchers and everyone involved in the conduct of clinical trials! Our overall accrual to therapeutic clinical trials in 2011 was 911, with 474 accruals at CCF, 414 at UH, and 23 at affiliate sites. Our totals represent a 6% increase over 2010, and a 14% increase over 2009. Of special note is that 47 clinical trials had enrollment at both UH/Case and CCF, representing 248 patients (182 in 2010).

This success is a true team effort, with many thanks to our research nurses, data managers, regulatory staff, finance groups, and everyone involved in patient recruitment, treatment, and specimen processing. As we begin 2012, we are poised to build upon these accomplishments with further collaboration across the consortium, increased investigator-initiated high impact clinical trials, and expanded opportunities for our patients to take part in research.

Cancer IRB Transition

The IRB review responsibilities of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Institutional Review Board (Cancer IRB) were transitioned to the IRB offices and committees of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) on December 12, 2011 and to the Cleveland Clinic (CC) beginning on October 24, 2011. Approvals by the Cancer IRB will remain in effect until further review is undertaken by the UHCMC or CC IRB. All new cancer and cancer-related protocols will be submitted to the IRB of the lead Principal Investigator's institution using their existing electronic systems (iMedRIS at UHCMC and WebKit at CC). The same procedures apply to amendments, continuing reviews, SAEs, deviations and other protocol-related actions on currently active protocols that were processed and approved previously by the Cancer IRB. These activities will be reviewed by the IRB of the lead Principal Investigator's institution which will be the IRB of record.

It remains a high priority of the Case CCC to foster clinical research collaborations between the UHCMC and CC. To that end, the IRBs of each hospital have agreed to accept the approval of the other site in a facilitated review arrangement. Thus, opening of clinical trials at both sites requires only a single full board review at the site of the lead investigator.

All cancer and cancer-related research protocols will continue to be submitted to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (Case CCC PRMC) for scientific review and approval, prior to review and approval by the respective institutional IRB.

List of people to contact for more information

NCI Provocative Questions Initiative

The NCI Provocative Questions initiative received attention recently lately thanks to an article by NCI Director, Dr. Harold Varmus and his senior advisor Ed Harlow that was published in Nature: Science Funding: Provocative Questions in Cancer Research (Nature 481, 436–437; 26 Jan 2012).

A follow up article by Bloomberg offers additional background information on the initiative: Cancer Chief Varmus Seeks to Solve 24 Mysteries to Reduce Toll of Disease (Bloomberg, Jan 27, 2012).


Cancer Research Institute STaRT Program

Through its Student Training and Research in Tumor Immunology (STaRT) Program, the Cancer Research Institute seeks to attract bright young minds to rewarding careers as cancer immunologists. STaRT Grants provide up to two years of support for graduate students conducting thesis research in the area of tumor immunology. A panel of scientists drawn from the Institute's Scientific Advisory Council rigorously evaluates each candidate, the thesis advisor and training environment, and the nature and feasibility of their research.

Deadline: March 1

Prostate Cancer Foundation-Honorable A. David Mazzone Special Challenge Award Research Program

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce the PCF-Honorable A. David Mazzone Special Challenge Award Research Program 2012. These two-year awards will provide a total of $1 million per team. Challenge Awards support large-scale research projects. Proposals must be from teams of at least 3 highly experienced investigators capable of providing unique scientific expertise to the solution of a significant problem in prostate cancer research. A team may be assembled from one institution, or several institutions, from across the globe.

Applications will be accepted February 15-March 16.

ASH Trainee Research Award

The American Society of Hematology(ASH) Trainee Research Award supports a hematology-relevant research project and a travel award to the society's annual meeting. Trainees will be exposed to hematology research early in their career and hopefully be encouraged to continue hematological research as part of their future training.

Deadline: March 16

2012 ENGAGE Summer Program

Applications are currently being accepted for the National CENter for ReGenerAtive Medicine UnderGraduate StudEnt (ENGAGE) Summer Program. This program promotes and supports undergraduate student participation in research and creative projects within the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Proposed projects will be expected to match the complexity for what is accepted by SOURCE and SPUR funding. This program is now open to all undergraduate students, not just CWRU students. Mentors must be full NCRM members in order to qualify for funding. Projects that provide matching funds and reduce the overall cost of the student will be given higher consideration for inclusion into the program. Maximum awards are $3000 stipend plus $500 in material support.

Deadline: March 30


January 24, 2012

Featured Article: Genetic Abnormality Predicts Treatment Benefit for Patients with Rare Brain Tumor

Ovarian Cancer Patients with BRCA Mutations May Fare Better than Non-Carriers

Experimental Drug Improves Survival in Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Differences in Estrogen Metabolism May Influence Breast Cancer Risk

Epigenetic Study Suggests Possible Treatment for Retinoblastoma

Also in the Journals: Before Breast Cancer Surgery, Two Anti-HER2 Drugs May Be Better than One

A Conversation with the NCI Women Scientist Advisors

In Depth
More than a Game: Super Bowl Initiative Helps Scientists Study the "Normal" Breast

Staying Alive: New Technique Grows Normal and Cancer Cells Rapidly

Targeted Therapies Offer Treatment Options for Advanced Kidney Cancer

Featured Clinical Trial: First-in-Humans Study of New Immunotherapy Agent

FDA Update



Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA)
Deadline: January 31

2012 Lasker Awards
Deadline: February 1

ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Awards
Deadline: February 1

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation-AACR Grants for Carcinoid Tumor and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Research
Deadline Extended: February 1

Fight Colorectal Cancer-AACR Career Development Award, in memory of Lisa Dubow
Deadline Extended: February 1

Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for International Collaboration in Cancer Research
Deadline Extended: February 1

Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Research in Personalized Cancer Medicine
Deadline Extended: February 1

Oncology Nursing Foundation
Deadline: February 1

Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation: Individual Research Proposals
Internal Deadline: February 1
External Deadline: March 15

Lymphatic Research Foundation (LRF) Additional Support for NIH-funded F32 Postdoctoral Fellows
Deadline: February 3

Innovations for Health: Solutions that Cross Borders
Deadline: February 13

Advancing Health Services through System Modeling Research
Deadline: February 15

Leukemia Research Foundation New Investigator Grants
Deadline: February 15

Ohio Cancer Research Associates
Deadline: February 17

NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT)
Internal Deadline: February 27

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program
Deadline: February 29

New York Academy of Medicine David E. Rogers Fellowship Program
Deadline: March 1

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Translational Research Program
LOI Deadline: March 1
Full Application Deadline: March 15

Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF)
Deadline: March 12

James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Research Awards
Deadline: March 14

Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award
Deadline: March 15

American Legacy Foundation Sybil G. Jacobs Award for Outstanding Use of Tobacco Industry Documents
Deadline: March 23

American Legacy Foundation Christine O. Gregoire Youth/Young Adult Award for Outstanding Use of Tobacco Industry Documents
Deadline: March 23

Irvington Institute Fellowship Program
Deadline: April 1

Wendy Will Case Cancer Fund
Deadline: April 1

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowships
Deadline: April 2

Translational Technology Concept Studies of Circulating Tumor and Endothelial Cells (CTC/CEC)
Deadline: Open

AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards - Other Conferences and Meetings
Deadline: Open

Case CCC Protocol Specific Research Support (PSRS)
Deadline: Open

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

SAIC-Frederick Support of the Cancer Genome Atlas Program
Application Deadline: Open

Solving Kids' Cancer Therapeutic Development Initiative
Application Deadline: Open

NCI Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program
Application Deadline: Open

NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities

IACUC 101 Workshop and PRIM&R IACUC Conference: March 19-21, 2012 in Boston, MA (NOT-OD-12-039)

New NIH Policy on Efficient Spending Related to Grants Supporting Conferences and Meetings (NOT-OD-12-041)

Administrative Supplement to Extend NIH Common Fund GTEx Project Statistical Analyses (NOT-RM-12-010)

NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory - Pragmatic Clinical Trials Demonstration Projects (UH2/UH3)(RFA-RM-12-002)

Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (T32)(PAR-12-084)

Produced by:
Gillian Irwin Todd
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn 149
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5065
216-844-8317 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.