publication date: Sep. 4, 2015
20150904 - Sep. 4, 2015
ISSUE 32 – SEPT. 4, 2015PDF

UT Chancellor Mandates Unprecedented Shared Governance Structure at MD Anderson


After years of turmoil and plunging morale at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the UT System took what observers describe as an unprecedented step—forming a Shared Governance Committee.

The new structure, instituted Sept. 1, disbands the once powerful Executive Committee, thereby changing the cancer center’s top-down power structure.

The new governance committee is designed to incorporate input from the faculty, and serve as the top advisory body to the institution’s president, Ronald DePinho.



Judge: Amgen Can’t Depose Cancer Letter Reporter (Me)

A federal judge ruled that Amgen Inc. cannot force me to answer questions related to a 2007 story that sparked a class action suit by investors and triggered a change in FDA regulations of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.

Judge Amit Mehta, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, quashed a subpoena filed by Amgen that sought information related to my reporting of a story about a critically important clinical trial showing that patients who received Aranesp did worse than patients who did not.

NCI-MATCH Trial Opens

ECOG-ACRIN opened the NCI-MATCH precision medicine trial, the largest, most scientifically rigorous precision medicine trial in cancer to date.

NCI-MATCH seeks to determine whether matching certain drugs or drug combinations to people whose tumors have specific gene abnormalities will effectively treat their cancer, regardless of their cancer type.

ASCO Updates Policy on Genetics and Genomic Testing

The American Society of Clinical Oncology issued an updated policy statement on genetic and genomic testing for cancer susceptibility.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the statement reviews the ways in which new technologies are transforming the assessment and identification of inherited cancer susceptibility, and makes a series of recommendations for the optimal deployment of these technologies in oncology practice.


UNMC’s Sidney Mirvish, 86

Cancer researcher Sidney Mirvish died at age 86. His research into nitrosamines and carcinogenesis led to changes in the way lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages were made.

Mirvish served as professor emeritus in the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he was faculty member for 46 years. Mirvish died due to complications following emergency surgery on Aug. 18.

In Brief

  • Edith Mitchell named president of National Medical Association

  • Robert DiPaola, Stephen Gruber, and Candace Johnson named to AACI Board of Directors
  • NIH Director Francis Collins awarded Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award

  • Massimo Cristofanilli named associate director for precision medicine at Northwestern University Lurie Cancer Center
  • Jeffrey and W. Kimryn Rathmell appointed to leadership roles at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • Lois Travis named director of survivorship research program at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center

  • Rachel Humphrey named chief medical officer of CytomX

  • Donald Sheldon appointed regional president at University Hospitals

  • Keith Perry named chief information officer at St. Jude

  • Northwestern Medicine names breast cancer OncoSET program

  • CPRIT awards seven grants, totaling $23 million

Drugs and Targets

  • FDA approves Varubi for CINV

  • European Commission grants authorization to Unituxin for pediatric neuroblastoma
  • FDA grants Orphan Designation to Toca 511 and Toca FC

  • FDA grants Orphan Designation to MTG-20
  • FDA grants Priority Review to MCNA

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