publication date: Mar. 2, 2018

In Brief

Frederick Lab and Georgetown launch research, education collaboration

A collaboration between Georgetown University and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research aims to expand research and training missions in the biomedical sciences for both institutions.

Representatives from Georgetown and the Frederick National Laboratory signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for appointments and exchange of scientific staff, sabbatical opportunities, student training, postdoctoral fellowships and student internships aimed at enhancing the institutions’ quality of science, technology, and education.

The new framework builds on past collaborations between Georgetown and Frederick researchers and formalizes an ongoing relationship.


Yale joins BMS International Immuno-Oncology Network

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company said the Yale Cancer Center has joined the International Immuno-Oncology Network, a global peer-to-peer collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and academia that aims to advance translational Immuno-Oncology science.

Formed in 2012 by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the II-ON was one of the first networks to bring academia and industry together to further the scientific understanding of I-O, and has since expanded from 10 to 16 sites across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.

The partners collaborate to generate innovative I-O science, launch biology-driven trials and apply cutting-edge technologies with the goal of translating research findings into clinical trials and, ultimately, supporting efforts to improve survival outcomes across tumor types.

The II-ON was formed on the foundation of three fundamental scientific pillars aimed at addressing key research priorities in I-O: understanding the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy; identifying patient populations likely to benefit from immunotherapy; and exploring novel combination therapies that may enhance anti-tumor response through complementary mechanisms of action. By providing a streamlined framework for peer-to-peer collaboration among global cancer research leaders, the network is able to more rapidly facilitate I-O innovation and drug discovery.

In addition to the II-ON, the company has invested in several other models of scientific collaboration with academic partners across the globe, including the Global Expert Centers Initiative, the Immuno-Oncology Integrated Community Oncology Network, and the Oncology Academic Research Group.

In addition to Bristol-Myers Squibb, the II-ON currently comprises 16 cancer research institutions, including: Clinica Universidad Navarra, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute (Providence Health & Services), Institut Gustave Roussy, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Cancer Center Japan, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, University College London, The University of Chicago, West German Cancer Center/University Hospital Essen, Columbia University Medical Center, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and now, Yale Cancer Center.


Fung and the Fox Chase BMT Program receives “Game Changer Award”

Henry Fung and the Fox Chase-Temple University Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Program willl receive the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation’s first “Game Changer Award” during the 7th Annual Bash March 3.

The Fox Chase-Temple University Hospital BMT Program is one of only three institutions in the country to provide bloodless transplant procedures for patients who request this complex technique.  They earned the status of a “Blue Distinction Center for Transplants” by IBC in 2015 in recognition of the Fox Chase-Temple University Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Program’s expertise in performing adult bone marrow transplants. 

The program is fully accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy—the gold standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States—and the National Marrow Donor Program.

Fung came to Fox Chase from Rush University Medical Center, where he was a professor of medicine since 2005. He served as director of the section of bone marrow transplant and cell therapy; director of the Coleman Foundation Blood and Marrow Transplant Center, where he also held the Coleman endowed chair; clinical leader of hematologic malignancies; and senior attending physician.

Recognition will also be given to Joseph Pawlowski, a Lycoming College Football player who registered as a potential donor at Lycoming Football’s first “Get in the Game, Save A Life” drive in the spring of 2015, was selected as a match, and in November 2015, he had the opportunity to save a football game on Saturday, and a life just four days later. Pawlowski will be recognized, as will the patient who got a second chance, together for the first time in public.


MD Anderson and RaySearch form alliance to advance radiation therapy

MD Anderson Cancer Center and RaySearch Laboratories formed a strategic alliance with the aim of enhancing cancer radiation therapy through several initiatives, including more precisely targeting of tumors and improving upon, and making more available, an existing radiation therapy called adaptive radiation therapy, currently only used at highly specialized care centers.

Traditionally, additional margins are set around the target area to allow for tumor movement and variations in how patients are positioned during treatment.

However, these margins do not always compensate for unexpected changes in the tumor and surrounding normal tissue over the full course of radiation treatment. Adaptive radiation therapy uses frequent imaging to give an up-to-date assessment of physical changes and enable precisely tailored treatment for each patient.

The partnership, which builds upon a previously established relationship between RaySearch and MD Anderson centered on RayCare, RaySearch’s new oncology information system, combines MD Anderson’s clinical data and expertise with the latest technology and platforms available through RaySearch and will focus on the following areas:

  • Integration of advanced imaging into the treatment planning process to help define the tumor targets better.

  • Management of changes in the tumor that may occur during treatment, and monitoring and adjusting treatment to accommodate each patient’s individual circumstances at any point during therapy.

  • Building software components with the aim of creating a new standard of care in radiation therapy.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Cancer Letter Inc.