publication date: Jun. 14, 2019

In Brief

Brawley to receive 2019 AMA Distinguished Service Award

Otis Webb Brawley was named recipient of the 2019 AMA Distinguished Service Award by the American Medical Association board of trustees.

The award is the highest honor bestowed by AMA for “meritorious service in the science and art of medicine.”

Brawley is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at John Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and a Master of the American College of Physicians. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

He is a former chief medical and scientific officer at the American Cancer Society, where he was involved in cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. He continues to champion efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, detect cancer at the earliest stage, and provide the critical support cancer patients need.


Roswell Park’s NCI designation renewed

NCI has renewed Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s status as one of 50 Comprehensive Cancer Centers and awarded a $22.5 million Cancer Center Support Grant to fund core research and education programs.

This is the largest award of this type and highest application score in Roswell Park’s history.

“This is the most coveted and competitive distinction in cancer, and our team has once again demonstrated that we can serve our community in a way no one else can,” said Candace S. Johnson, Roswell Park president and CEO, in a statement.

“Roswell Park has strong basic science in many areas, an outstanding center director, and exceptional facilities,” the peer reviewers wrote in assessing Roswell Park’s application. “Roswell Park is an important regional and national resource for cancer research and care. Under the strong leadership of Johnson, and with the continued commitment of the Institution, Roswell Park is poised to continue its solid upward trajectory.”


NCI invites abstracts for conference on the $50M Childhood Cancer Data Initiative

NCI is formulating a plan to develop an innovative childhood cancer initiative focused on data sharing. The plan would be initiated with a proposed increase to NCI’s budget of $50 million beginning in fiscal year 2020 and continuing, as proposed by the White House, for a total of 10 years.

“At NCI, we strongly believe that harnessing the power of data can be a driver of that progress, which is why the institute plans to use these proposed funds to create the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative,” Douglas R. Lowy, acting director at NCI, said in a statement.

“The aim of the CCDI is to establish more efficient ways to share and use childhood cancer data to help identify novel therapeutic targets and approaches, underpin new drug development, and enable new research pursuits to better understand the biology of childhood cancers.”

To shape the scientific direction of the CCDI, NCI is hosting a planning symposium July 29–31 in Washington, DC. The symposium will gather leaders and stakeholders from academic, government, industry, and advocacy communities to discuss scientific and clinical research data needs, opportunities for developing a connected data infrastructure, ways to provide meaningful datasets for clinical care and associated research progress, and policies around collecting and sharing data.

Deadline for submitting an abstract is June 15.

Consideration will be given for abstracts submitted up until June 30 if space is still available, NCI officials said.


ACS, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance form research collaboration

The American Cancer Society and Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance partnered to fund multidisciplinary research projects to explore new ways of detecting, treating, and preventing ovarian cancer relapse and for improving quality of life among those diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The two organizations are committing to a total investment of $8 million to sustain four research teams over four years.

The joint initiative seeks to raise funds to support four multidisciplinary research teams to investigate biological, clinical, and psychosocial factors associated with ovarian cancer outcomes. Once initial funding is acquired, a request for proposal/critical peer review process will select the four research teams.


ACCC, AstraZeneca to launch initiative to support care for stage III/IV NSCLC

The Association of Community Cancer Centers and AstraZeneca announced a collaboration to support a national quality care initiative for patients with stage III and stage IV NSCLC.

To improve interdisciplinary communication and care coordination for patients with stage III and IV NSCLC, the ACCC, along with partner organizations: the American College of Chest Physicians, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and LUNGevity Foundation, is forming a multi-phase initiative: Fostering Excellence in Care and Outcomes in Patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC. 

This initiative will identify barriers to care excellence and provide guidance and support for process improvement projects centered around issues key to advancing optimal care for this patient population.

The project will include process improvement models developed and tested across a variety of care settings from large academic institutions to smaller community programs or practices. The project is supported by AstraZeneca.

An initial survey conducted for the project yielded robust cross-discipline responses providing data on current practice patterns, gaps and barriers to care coordination and communication, and other systemic processes that can hinder timely adoption of advances in staging, biomarker testing, and treatment planning for NSCLC.

The project’s steering committee will guide the selection of six cancer programs to serve as process improvement sites. The committee, composed of leaders from multiple disciplines committed to improving care in stage III and IV NSCLC, is chaired by David Spigel, chief scientific officer; director, Lung Cancer Research Program; principal investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Institute.

Facilitated by ACCC, the six selected sites will create and execute process improvement models aimed at overcoming identified barriers to excellence in care for patients with these NSCLC stages. The models tested will be applicable across care settings.


Krista Nelson received Leadership in Oncology Social Work Award

Krista Nelson was awarded the Association of Oncology Social Work’s 2019 Leadership in Oncology Social Work Award.

Nelson serves as secretary of the Association of Community Cancer Centers, program manager of Quality & Research, Cancer Support Services & Compassion, Providence Cancer Institute, Providence Health and Services in Portland, OR.

The award was conferred during the AOSW 35th Annual Conference.

Nelson is a past president of the board of directors of the Association of Oncology Social Work. She is also a past invited director of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. She serves as an invited director on the board of directors of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and as a director of the American Clinical Social Work Association. In 2015, Nelson was named as a finalist in the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award.

In presenting the award, Leora Lowenthal, AOSW Awards committee member, recognized Nelson for her leadership and strength in fostering partnerships across the wider oncology community.

The Leader in Oncology Social Work Award is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

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