publication date: Sep. 5, 2014
20140905 - Sep. 5, 2014
ISSUE 33 – SEPT. 5, 2014PDF

Timeline Pinpoints the Role of Cancer Scandal

In a Progression Leading to Perry’s Indictment

The indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry by a Travis County grand jury brings together two complex subplots:

• The controversy over the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which came into public view May 8, 2012, with the resignation of its scientific leader, Nobel Laureate Alfred Gilman, who claimed that political interference had caused a departure from standard peer review in the handling of a proposal to fund a $20 million “biotechnology incubator” at MD Anderson Cancer Center, triggering a delay in funding of previously reviewed grants.

• The political wrangling that followed the April 12, 2013, drunk driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose duties include administering the Public Integrity Unit, which investigates corruption of state officials.

Device Maker Threatens Legal Action Against Doctor Who Launched Campaign to End Power Morcellation

A German company that makes devices now under FDA scrutiny for their potential to spread sarcoma threatened legal action against the U.S. surgeon whose wife’s cancer cells were disseminated during routine surgery to remove fibroids.

Setting decorum aside, Hooman Noorchashm has been haranguing FDA, Congress, and the gynecology and oncology profession into partial abandonment of the procedure. Though he hasn’t sued anyone, several law firms are looking for women harmed by the procedure who would be willing to take part in litigation.

CPRIT Awards $107.2 Million Round of Grants

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas last month awarded 101 new grants: 84 for research, 15 for prevention and two for product development.

CPRIT received nearly 600 grant applications, and after review, awarded grants to cancer researchers, prevention initiatives and product development projects from institutions and organizations across the state.


NCI launched another in a series of targeted treatment trials referred to as the Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trial.

ALCHEMIST seeks to identify mutations in early-stage lung cancer patients, and uses this information to assign them to treatments targeted for those mutations.

CAP Issues Active Surveillance Guidance
For Prostate Cancer

The College of American Pathologists published recommendations for active surveillance of patients with prostate cancer. 

The report highlighted key pathologic parameters for identifying patients likely to succeed with active surveillance, including: sampling, submission, and processing issues in needle biopsies; tumor extent in needle biopsies; biopsy reporting for all and special cases; Gleason scores; and precision medicine markers.

Health Groups Urge FDA To Regulate Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes

The American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology urged the FDA to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. 

Additionally, 24 public health and medical organizations filed public comments in response to an FDA proposal to extend its regulatory authority over tobacco products. 


Jessie Gruman, 60, CFAH Founder and President

Jessie Gruman, founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health since 1992, died July 14. 

Jesse Leonard Steinfeld, 87, U.S. Surgeon General

Jesse Leonard Steinfeld, U.S. surgeon general from 1969 to 1973, died Aug. 5.  

photoIn Brief

  • George Weiner to become president of AACI

  • Stanton Gerson named AACI president-elect

  • Charles LeMaistre and Hans Mark named University of Texas System chancellors emeriti

  • James Davis elected chairman of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

  • Joyce Wong named certified pediatric nurse of the year by Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

  • Patrick Soon-Shiong named global bioinformatics director of Providence Health and Services

  • Shawn Cline Tomasello appointed Pharmacyclics chief commercial officer

  • Jeffrey Litwin named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Trial Results

  • MD Anderson and Memorial Hermann Health System to form partnership

  • LIVESTRONG Foundation to launch LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes

  • MD Anderson opens diagnostic imaging center in West Houston

photoDrug Approvals

  • FDA grants accelerated approval for Keytruda in metastatic melanoma

  • FDA approves Cologuard; CMS issues national coverage determination

  • FDA approves new use for Avastin in late-stage cervical cancer

  • European Medicines Agency acclerates assessment of lenvatinib

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