Issue 35 - Sep. 23, 2016
CL42-35
  • No Moonshot Funds In House & Senate FY17 Appropriations Bills

    The National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is not slated to receive funding in fiscal 2017—neither the House nor Senate appropriations bill includes the $680 million the White House proposed for Vice President Joe Biden’s project.

    Despite great bipartisan breast-beating in support of boosting the NCI and NIH budgets, Congress has not set aside funding for the moonshot, a broad scientific and public health effort focused on improving clinical trials, data sharing, and streamlining regulatory processes for oncology products at FDA.

  • Obituary

    Sargent, Mayo Biostatistician and Clinical Trialist, Dies Unexpectedly at 46

    Dan Sargent, one of the world’s foremost experts in oncology clinical trials, died unexpectedly on Sept. 2. Sargent died from an acute illness, Mayo officials said. He was 46.

    “This is a tremendous loss to Mayo Clinic as well as the national and international cancer research community. Dan has given so much to so many,” said Robert Diasio, director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “We are deeply saddened by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.”

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    OHSU Seeks to Raise another $1 Billion; Keith Todd Describes the Strategy

    After raising $1 billion for Knight Cancer Institute, the Oregon Health and Science University fundraising team set out to raise another $1 billion over five years—before 2020.

    Some of the money—at least $200 million—would go to cancer, but the rest is slated to support research and patient care in other areas of medicine, including neuroscience, HIV, heart disease, blindness, and child health.

  • In Brief

    • American Association for Cancer Research releases 2016 Cancer Progress Report
    • 90 cancer groups and centers urge CMS to rescind proposed lung cancer screening reimbursement cuts
    • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-MD) receives ASCO Congressional Leadership Award
    • Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. under investigation for potential securities fraud
    • Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian rename shared medical campus for donors Herbert and Florence Irving
    • Shirley Johnson named senior vice president of Nursing & Patient Care Services of Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    • Falk Medical Research Trust awards $485,000 for uveal melanoma research
    • American Brain Tumor Association awards 16 brain tumor research grants
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives launch Precision Medicine Alliance
    • EMA recommends conditional marketing authorization for olaratumab
    • Golden Meditech and MD Anderson announce creation of Cellenkos Inc.
    • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute agree to exchange cancer mutation data
    • ORIEN and HudsonAlpha announce new research collaboration
Issue 34 - Sep. 16, 2016
  • ODAC Slams Spectrum for Massaging Data From Two Bladder Cancer Trials

    A brief consult with an undergraduate earning a B or above in Statistics 101 might have acquainted Spectrum Pharmaceuticals executives with all the science that would have saved them from a devastating encounter with an FDA advisory committee.

    Yet, there they were, black suits and all, at a suburban Maryland conference center, watching the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee vote unanimously against approval of Spectrum’s bladder cancer therapy Qapzola (apaziquone). 

    During the Sept. 14 meeting, FDA officials said repeatedly that taking apaziquone, a drug chemically related to mitomycin, to ODAC wasn’t their idea.

  • White House: New Moonshot Initiatives On Clinical Trials Will Improve Speed, Access

    Vice President Joe Biden Sept. 16 announced a series of initiatives to improve the safety, accessibility, and impact of clinical research—one of the central goals of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    The programs, which span four federal entities—NCI, FDA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and NIH—would make existing clinical trial search sites more user-friendly, and ensure that results of clinical trials are shared in a timely fashion.

  • NCI Director’s Report

    Lowy: RPG Funding Increased by $100M From 2013 to 2015—150 More Grants Funded

    Research Project Grant funding at NCI has increased 25 percent, from $400 million in 2013 to $500 million in 2015, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy said to the National Cancer Advisory Board Sept. 7.

    NCI’s fiscal 2016 budget is $5.21 billion, an increase of $260.5 million over fiscal 2015. This represents the  first time in about three years that funding for the institute has recovered to above pre-sequestration levels.

  • Abcodia Suspends Sale of Ovarian Cancer Screening Test After FDA Communication

    Abcodia Inc., a British company that manufactures a controversial ovarian cancer screening test, said it will temporarily suspend the availability of the product in the United States.

    ROCA, also known as the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm, uses a blood test called CA-125 and patients’ history to determine their risk for developing ovarian cancer.

  • Obituary

    John Bailar, Epidemiologist and Critic of War on Cancer, Dies at 83

    John Christian Bailar III, an epidemiologist and biostatistician known for his criticism of NCI’s emphasis on treatment, died Sept. 6. He was 83.

    Bailar riffed on the bellicose language of President Richard Nixon’s “War on Cancer” to suggest that the war in question was being lost. Researchers have focused too much on treatment and not enough on prevention, he argued.

  • Obituary

    Hopkins Biologist Saul Sharkis Dies at 72; Studied Blood Stem Cells’ Role in BMT

    Saul Sharkis, a scientist who studied the biology of blood stem cells and how they could be used to treat cancer through bone marrow transplantation, died Sept. 4. He was 72.

    Sharkis was a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for more than 40 years.

  • In Brief

    • Eric Fearon named director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • William Kaelin, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza receive 2016 Lasker Award for basic medical research
    • NCI publishes full list of FY2016 SPORE grantees
    • NCCN collaborates with New Century Health to integrate Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria
    • Levi Garraway succeeds Richard Gaynor as Lilly Oncology senior vice president, Global Development & Medical Affairs
    • Brian Goldstein named chief health system officer of UW Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University of Washington
    • Ashani Weeratna named Ira Brind Associate Professor at the Wistar Institute
    • Thomas Imperiale named inaugural Lawrence Lumeng Professor in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Indiana University School of Medicine
    • The Terry Fox Foundation awards $27.3 million to six Canadian research teams
    • FDA issues first warning letters for selling e-cigarettes, e-liquids and cigars to minors
    • FDA modifies dosage regimen for nivolumab (Opdivo) for the currently approved indications
    • The European Commission issues marketing authorization for lenvatinib (Kisplyx) in combination with everolimus
Issue 33 - Sep. 9, 2016
  • NCI’s Moonshot Advisory Panel Identifies Ten Opportunities in Cancer Research

    The Blue Ribbon Panel—a group of experts selected to identify scientific opportunities for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—has submitted 10 recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    The panel proposes creating tumor atlases and national networks for patient engagement, immunotherapy clinical trials, and data sharing. Recommendations also include supporting research on drug resistance, fusion oncoproteins, symptom management, and development of cancer technologies.

    “The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations outline a set of opportunities that, if implemented, will transform our understanding of cancer and result in new opportunities to more effectively prevent and treat the disease,” the authors write.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Lowy: Implementation Will Depend on NCI Funding in Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018

    NCI will urge increased and sustained appropriations for carrying out ten recommendations put forward by the Blue Ribbon Panel, the institute’s scientific advisory panel to the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    On Sept. 7, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy accepted the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel, which presented its report to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    “To the extent that NCI would be involved in making a case to Congress, we would be talking about the scientific validity of what is being recommended as a really important way of augmenting what NCI is already doing,” Lowy said.

  • FDA Warns Against Ovarian Cancer Screening

    FDA has recommended against the use of ovarian cancer screening tests, regardless of risk level.

    In a safety communication published Sept. 7, the agency warned women and their physicians against relying on “unproven” technology. No study published to date has provided reliable evidence that ovarian cancer screening saves lives, the agency said.

    “FDA is concerned that women and their physicians may be misled by such claims and rely on inaccurate results to make treatment decisions,” FDA said in a statement. “Available data do not demonstrate that currently available ovarian cancer screening tests are accurate and reliable in screening asymptomatic women for early ovarian cancer.”

  • Obituary

    Robert Frelick, Former CCOP Program Director, Dies at 96

    Robert Westscott “Dr. Bob” Frelick died Sept. 1, 2016. He passed away in his sleep after an accident and short illness. He was 96.

    Born in 1920, in Potsdam NY, Frelick graduated from Union College, Schenectady NY and received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

    He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1942, rising to the rank of captain. After marrying Jane Owen Hayden in 1944 and serving a medical internship at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, he went on active duty with the U.S. Army in 1945, first assigned to Madigan General Hospital in Fort Lewis WA, and then to the Army of Occupation in Munich, Germany.

  • In Brief

    • Washington University receives $10.4 million NCI SPORE grant
    • Hollings Cancer Center receives $8 million grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
    • Jacques Galipeau joins the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
    • Frank Vrionis to become director of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute
    • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Oncology Research Program (ORP) awarded three grants to investigators
    • Bassel El-Rayes to hold the John Kauffman Family Professorship for Pancreatic Cancer Research
    • Michael Jan Bartel joins the Department of Medicine as a gastroenterologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Allison Aggon joins the Department of Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • The Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health Proton Therapy Center opened with the ProBeam System from Varian Medical Systems
    • Ruth Browne to become new president and chief executive officer of the Ronald McDonald House
    • The Prostate Cancer Foundation announces five new Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards
    • The American Society for Radiation Oncology selects 44 cancer researchers and clinicians to receive a total of $36,500 in individual awards 

     

  • Drugs and Targets

    • 21 hospitals across China will adopt Watson for oncology
    • Amgen acquires rights from Boehringer Ingelheim for BI 836908 (AMG 420)
    • FDA accepts Array Biopharma’s NDA for binimetinib
    • Cumberland Pharmaceuticals begins distributing Ethyol (amifostine) for injection
    • EMA accepts for review Mylan’s MAA for a proposed biosimilar trastuzumab
    • BTG International Canada receives approval from Health Canada for DC Bead LUMI
    • Palmetto GBA issues final local coverage determination for ProMark
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Adicet Bio to develop next-gen engineered immune cell therapeutics

     

Special Report - Sep. 7, 2016
  • NCI’s Moonshot Advisory Panel Identifies Ten Opportunities in Cancer Research

    The Blue Ribbon Panel—a group of experts selected to identify scientific opportunities for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—has submitted 10 recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    The recommendations include creating tumor atlases and national networks for patient engagement, immunotherapy clinical trials, and data sharing, and supporting research on drug resistance, fusion oncoproteins, symptom management, and development of cancer technologies.

    “The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations outline a set of opportunities that, if implemented, will transform our understanding of cancer and result in new opportunities to more effectively prevent and treat the disease,” the authors wrote.

Issue 32 - Sep. 6, 2016
  • AACI, Biden’s Task Force Eye Matching Investors With Projects at Cancer Centers

    The Association of American Cancer Institutes and the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force are developing a new method for funding research at academic cancer centers through private investment and philanthropy.

    The move promises to establish a mechanism for matching investors with commercially viable research. It appears that this system would work separately from NCI.

  • Amgen to Pay $95 Million to Settle Suit Over Failure to Disclose Aranesp Data

    Amgen Inc. agreed to pay $95 million to settle a class action suit filed by investors who bought the company’s securities between April 2004 and May 2007. 

    The settlement ends a controversy that began on Feb. 16, 2007, when The Cancer Letter reported that Amgen didn’t disclose the results of a study called DAHANCA 10, which tested Aranesp in head and neck cancer patients in Denmark (The Cancer Letter, Feb. 16, 2007).

  • Obituary

    Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien Dies at 64

    Roger Tsien, co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry and professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry at University of California San Diego School of Medicine for 27 years, died Aug. 24 in Eugene, Ore. He was 64.

    UCSD officials said Tsien died on a bike trail. The cause of his death hasn’t been determined.

  • Funding Opportunities

    DOD Publishes Instruction for Applying For $120 million in Breast Cancer Program

    The Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations Act provides $120 million to the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) to support innovative, high-impact breast cancer research to accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer.

  • In Brief

    • Wisconsin wins head and neck SPORE

    • Robert Comis to step down from his position as group co-chair of ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
    • Jeff Allen named president and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research
    • The American Association for Cancer Research established award in honor of Waun Ki Hong
    • James Morgan named scientific director and executive vice president of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    • Michael Maitland to direct therapeutics for Inova Center for Personalized Health
    • Scripps Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center reached partnership agreement to create Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center joined the Winship Cancer Network
    • Montefiore Health System and SBH Health System agreed to explore a closer integrated relationship
    • The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas awarded 26 new grants totaling just over $61.5 million
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Novartis and MEI Pharma receive breakthrough therapy designations
    • Exact Sciences Corp. said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an updated Evidence of Coverage notice for Medicare Advantage plans 
    • Biolinerx Ltd. and MD Anderson Cancer Center signed collaboration agreement 
    • Apotex Corp. launched imatinib mesylate tablets
    • Janssen Biotech Inc. submitted supplemental Biologics License Application for daratumumab (Darzalex) to FDA
    • The Department of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai established the Center for Computational and Systems Pathology
Issue 31 - Aug. 5, 2016
  • MD Anderson (Again) On Top
    of U.S. News and World Report Ranking

    The U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best cancer hospitals for 2016 brought no great surprises. The top four remained unchanged from last year:

    1) MD Anderson Cancer Center

    2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    3) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

    4) Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

    There was a change in the No. 5 slot: UCLA Medical Center. Last year, the Seattle Cancer Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center held that position. MD Anderson placed first nine times in the past 10 years.

  • News Analysis

    The Quantified Impact of Reputation On the U.S. News Best Hospital List

    League tables like those published by U.S. News and World Report should probably be taken with a pinch of salt in any case, but it is the self-marketing of these tables that is just a bit problematic.

    USNWR underlines that “rankings were developed…to help consumers determine which hospitals provide the best care…” and are based on “hard data.” That may be a stretch.

  • An Appreciation

    Gregory Curt, Clinician and Drug Developer, Dies at 64

    Greg Curt died last Sunday. For us in oncology, this one was especially personal. He was a wonderful, generous young man. Greg was a beloved friend and colleague. He was an accomplished cancer researcher and leader in oncology who died of the disease we treat.

    The standard obituary reads that he was born in 1952 in Fall River, Mass. He graduated from Providence College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He did residency at New England Deaconess Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at the NCI.

  • Nature Editorial Urges Congress To Pass RACE for Children Act

  • In Brief

    • UT Southwestern receives $11 million SPORE grant for kidney cancer program
    • Dana-Farber to get over $100 million for PD-L1 royalty interests
    • University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute gets NCI preclinical research contract
    • Pierre Massion to direct Vanderbilt-Ingram’s early detection initiative
    • Christopher Manley and Kristen Scully Manley join Fox Chase
    • Natascia Marino named Breast Cancer Research Foundation Investigator at Indiana University
    • Vanderbilt-Ingram receives $3 million grant from Kleberg Foundation
    • Community Oncology Alliance launches Advanced Practice Provider Network
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA grants Breakthrough Designation to LEE011 in metastatic breast cancer
    • FDA and CMS to undergo parallel review of FoundationOne genomic assay
    • Advanced Accelerator Applications and NCI form clinical trial agreement
    • Cellectar Biosciences Inc. receives second-phase of NCI SBIR award

    The Cancer Letter will return Sept. 2, after a short publication break

Special Report - Aug. 1, 2016
  • MD Anderson (Again) On Top
    of U.S. News and World Report Ranking

    The U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best cancer hospitals for 2016 brought no great surprises. The top four cancer centers did not change from last year:

    1) MD Anderson Cancer Center,

    2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,

    3) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. and

    4) Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

    There was a change in this year’s No. 5 slot: UCLA Medical Center. Last year, it was the Seattle Cancer Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center

    Though the system used by U.S. News isn’t regarded as scientific, directors of cancer centers and folks in marketing pay close attention to even the smallest of changes in the standing of their institutions.

Issue 30 - Jul. 29, 2016
  • Foundation Medicine Contributes 18,000 Cases to NCI’s Genomic Data Commons

    When the Genomic Data Commons opened June 6, the $20 million portal that consolidates NCI’s datasets contained genomic information from 14,500 patients.

    Before the end of the month, that number jumped to 32,500, as a result of a contribution from Foundation Medicine Inc., a molecular information company founded in 2011.

    The GDC was announced in June by Vice President Joe Biden as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    “We’re adding 18,000 cases from Foundation,” said Louis Staudt, director of the NCI Center for Cancer Genomics. “Many important cancer genes, up to 287, have been sequenced by Foundation in these cases. We applaud their public spirit, and we are really glad that they anted up.”

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Pellini: Data Sharing Central to Mission At Foundation Medicine

    Making data broadly available to clinicians and researchers has always been a part of the mission for Foundation Medicine Inc., said Michael Pellini, the company’s CEO.

    “We are proud to say the data that we contributed represents an important part of the GDC in terms of its sheer size,” said Pellini, discussing FMI’s decision to contribute 18,000 de-identified patient cases to NCI’s Genomic Data Commons.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Staudt: Foundation Medicine’s “Philanthropy of Data” More Than Doubles GDC Portfolio

    Foundation Medicine approached NCI with the idea to make their data useful in the public domain.

    “They had heard through a variety of mechanisms that we were doing the Genomic Data Commons, and they thought this was a good possible fit,” said Louis Staudt, director of the NCI Center for Cancer Genomics. “In the end, it did turn out to be good for both of us.”

    Foundation donated the data from 18,000 de-identified cases, more than doubling the GDC’s total, up to 32,500.

  • Funding Opportunity

    Shire, ACMG Foundation Offering Fellowships in Medical Genetics

    Applications are being accepted for the ACMG Foundation/Shire Laboratory Geneticist Fellowship Awards and Clinical Genetics Residency Program. The program will facilitate 10 one-to-two-year training awards for medical geneticists over the next three years, after a $1.65 million commitment from Shire.

    Applications are available online and will be due in early September for residency programs accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, beginning in July 2017.

  • Drugs and Targets

    • CHMP issues positive opinion for Onivyde 
    • EMA grants PRIME designation to DNX-2401
    • Mylan and Biocon submit marketing application to EMA for biosimilar Pegfilgrastim
Issue 29 - Jul. 22, 2016
  • Health Centers Limit Reach of Texas Law Allowing Guns on University Campuses

    This may not be the sort of targeted therapy Texas healthcare institutions wish to be known for, but starting Aug. 1, visitors to designated areas at MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Southwestern, and UT Health Science Center at San Antonio will be able to carry their guns.

    Texas Senate Bill 11, colloquially known as “campus carry,” decrees that “concealed handgun license holders can from now on carry handguns in a concealed fashion at institutions of higher education.”

    Controversy in Texas is fueled by belief of some that gun-carrying, law-abiding citizens are owed the opportunity to defend themselves.

    On the other side of this debate are doctors who—if an MD Anderson survey is an indication—don’t welcome the opportunity to pack heat, and believe that guns would, in fact, make them less safe in the workplace.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Weber: We Cannot Completely Ban Guns From MD Anderson’s Campus

    In response to Texas concealed carry laws, MD Anderson proposed a plan that would allow guns only in designated buildings—the rest, specifically areas of worship and hospital facilities, are gun-exclusion zones.

    The UT System Board of Regents approved the cancer center’s recommendations on campus carry July 15.

    “We cannot invoke a policy that explicitly or implicitly bans guns from campus, so the primary message was we are going to follow Texas law,” said Max Weber, associate vice president and deputy chief compliance officer at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “I think we sort of fell into this law incidentally…

    “We are a comprehensive cancer center. We are in the business of healing and curing cancer. We’re not a traditional school or university.”

  • Speaking of Guns

    MD Anderson Faculty, Staff Responses to Gun Survey

    MD Anderson surveyed 450 faculty, trainees and staff Sept. 29 through Nov. 10, 2015, to gather their opinions on campus-carry gun laws. Here’s what they said:

    “The American Medical Association has identified gun use and gun violence as a major medical problem in the US. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us as a health care institution to reflect the medical priorities and the values of those of us who have taken oaths to care for the health of others.”

  • BSA and NCAB Approve Three Concepts

    At a June 21 joint meeting, the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and the National Cancer Advisory Board approved three concepts and deferred one.

  • In Brief

    • UC Santa Cruz receives $2.5 million grant from St. Baldrick’s for Treehouse initiative
    • Susan Pitt receives young investigator award from UW Carbone Cancer Center
    • Charles Simone II named medical director at Maryland Proton Treatment Center
    • Abishek Aphale named assistant professor of dermatology at Fox Chase
    • Rajeswari Nagarathinam joins Fox Chase department of pathology
    • Vy Dinh and Mariana Khawand-Azoulai join Miami Cancer Institute
    • NIH to work with Wondros communications firm for Precision Medicine Initiative
    • Merck to build new campus in Burlington, Mass.
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Health Canada approves Imbruvica in untreated CLL
    • CHMP issues positive opinion for Kisplyx in renal cell carcinoma
    • GlaxoSmithKline and University of Leicester to form collaboration
Issue 28 - Jul. 15, 2016
  • New NCI Clinical Trials Program Will Automate Matching Through Third-Party Data Software

    NCI is developing an open-source application intended to make it easier for patients and physicians to get information on clinical trials supported by the institute.

    Vice President Joe Biden endorsed the initiative June 29 at the National Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C., saying it will “strengthen participation in cancer research studies to help accelerate medical discoveries and treatments for cancer.”

    When the institute’s application programming interface—a set of routine definitions, protocols, and tools for building software—is completed, data companies and programmers will be able to incorporate information on NCI-sponsored trials into their bioinformatics software. This enables physicians to search NCI’s clinical trials database via a more targeted and intuitive process eventually provided by any third-party software that uses the API.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Kibbe: Anyone Can Build Search Interface With Open-Source NCI Clinical Trials API

    Vice President Joe Biden announced a new NCI application programming interface June 29 that will enable third-party developers to connect their bioinformatics software to NCI’s clinical trials database.

    When completed, the API is expected to improve access to the data available from NCI on cancer clinical trials that are supported by the institute.

  • Capitol Hill

    House Committee Approves Spending Bill Cutting Funding for CDC Anti-Smoking Programs

    The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would fund the Department of Health and Human Services through 2017, including the NIH, NCI and other related agencies.

    Released last week, the bill includes $161.6 billion in discretionary funding—a $569 million reduction below levels enacted for the 2016 fiscal year. However, the bill increases funding for the NIH by $1.25 billion and the NCI by $264 million.

    The bill contains several provisions to defund implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and prohibits the use of new discretionary funding for the president’s signature health care law. The committee considered more than 30 amendments over two days before approving the bill in a 31-19 vote July 14.

  • Capitol Hill

    Bill Introduced to Mandate Pediatric Clinical Trials

  • Obituary

    Alfred Knudson, Author of Two-Hit Hypothesis, Dies at 93

    Alfred G. Knudson Jr., the creator of the “two-hit hypothesis,” and a director of the Institute for Cancer Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, died July 10. He was 93.

    The two-hit hypothesis postulates that cancer is produced by accumulated mutations in a cell’s DNA. The hypothesis explains the relationship between the hereditary and non-hereditary forms of cancer, and predicted the existence of tumor-suppressor genes that can suppress cancer cell growth.

  • In Brief

    • NCI announces 13 winners of its Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award winners
    • Jeff Boyd receives ovarian cancer research award from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance
    • Daniel Shasha joins Northside Radiation Oncology Consultants
    • Michelle Russell-Einhorn joins Schulman IRB
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals names three winners of its Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation
    • American Society for Radiation Oncology elects five officers to board of directors
    • Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Van Auken Private Foundation announces team award winners
    • USC Norris and Trovagene to collaborate on liquid biopsy testing
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves Roche cobas HPV test with BD SurePath specimen vial
    • Health Canada approves Tagrisso in non-small cell lung cancer
    • FDA grants Rare Pediatric Disease Designation to ABT-414
    • FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation to TK216
    • FDA approves premarket supplement application for Novocure’s second-generation Optune system
    • U.K.’s NICE recommends use of Firmagon in prostate cancer
    • Guardant Health and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals to collaborate on custom blood test
    • Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim to collaborate in metastatic breast cancer