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Issue 35 - Sep. 21, 2018
Issue 34 - Sep. 14, 2018
  • José Baselga resigns as physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering

    José Baselga has resigned from his position as physician-in-chief and chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center less than a week after The New York Times and ProPublica reported that he had failed to disclose his conflicts of interest in scientific and medical journals and at professional meetings.

  • A color-coded document Baselga created to explain himself instead illustrated the extent of his confusion and exposure

    The discussions that took place in the executive offices of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center over the past week aren’t publicly known. Ditto conversations at top-tier medical journals and professional societies, which are assessing the aftermath of José Baselga’s systematic failure to disclose his conflicts of interest.

  • ASCO urges CMS to drop proposal that threatens to reduce access for Medicare cancer patients

    Through a combination of payment reductions, some provisions of the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule will undermine access to cancer care for Medicare beneficiaries, the American Society of Clinical Oncology wrote in a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

  • In Brief

    • Nearly 350 groups join AACR in Rally for Medical Research
    • Stand Up To Cancer 2018 telecast raises $123.6 million
    • Allis, Grunstein, Glen, Steitz win 2018 Lasker Awards
    • $3.2 million NIH grant aims to correct diagnostic errors for breast cancer
    • CPRIT surpasses $2 billion milestone with 64 new grants
    • Sidney Kimmel – Jefferson joins Driver network
    • Three community health care systems to use Flatiron’s OncoCloud Suite
  • Funding Opportunities

    NCCN-Lilly RFP on quality of care in gastric cancer

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co. to offer a new opportunity seeking proposals to bridge gaps in care for gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer patients in the U.S. The Request for Proposals outlines the scope and process that will be followed for the submission of Letters of Intent.

  • TCCL Logo

  • Clinical Roundup

    • Study details incidence and timing of immunotherapy-related fatalities
    • CARsgen Therapeutics and CrownBio complete CAR-T study for gastric cancer
    • Bavencio + Inlyta improved PFS in advanced RCC
    • IMV Inc. and Merck to evaluate DPX-Survivac + Keytruda
    • Clinical trial shows best outcomes to date for older Hodgkin lymphoma patients  
    • Children who develop ALL may have dysregulated immune function at birth
    • Drug for pancreatic cancer targets two genes at a time
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk for hairy cell leukemia
    • Boehringer Ingelheim acquires all ViraTherapeutics shares to develop next-gen viral-based therapies
Issue 33 - Sep. 7, 2018
  • To “free the data,” expert group urges NCI to spend money to speed up data sharing

    A working group formed by NCI Director Ned Sharpless has recommended that the institute devote additional funds informatics researchers could use to  harmonize existing cancer datasets.

  • Twitter star Vinay Prasad retires @VinayPrasadMD

    Vinay Prasad, a cyber-iconoclast for all things cancer, appears to have closed the Twitter account that made him a brand in oncology.

  • Mendelsohn retires from MD Anderson

    John Mendelsohn has retired from MD Anderson Cancer Center, which he served as president for 15 years, from 1996 to 2011.

  • Obituary

    Radiation oncology pioneer Moody Wharam, dies at 77

    Moody Wharam Jr., professor emeritus of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences, and former Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, died Aug. 10 at age 77.

  • In Brief

    • Northwestern Lurie Cancer Center earns “exceptional” rating from NCI
    • Northwestern awarded brain cancer SPORE grant
    • Rogel Cancer Center awarded CCC designation and $33.4M from NCI
    • Rutgers Cancer Institute redesignated as comprehensive cancer center
    • Bernard Fisher turns 100
    • Agios announces CEO succession plan
    • Ruth McCorkle named AAN Living Legend
    • Vamsidhar Velcheti named director of thoracic medical oncology at NYU
    • NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center expands blood, marrow transplant program
    • Siteman Cancer Center expands to Illinois
    • ACS selects first project in “accelerator pipeline”
    • Smith, Thompson, Yau receive LUNGevity Career Development Awards
    • bluebird bio, Gritstone Oncology form collaboration to develop cancer cell therapies
    • JNCCN strengthens focus on original, impactful research into care delivery
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • SOLAR-1 trial of Novartis meets primary endpoint in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer
    • PARP inhibitor improves progression-free survival in patients with advanced breast cancers and BRCA mutations
    • NCI-led research team develops predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma
    • Cetuximab + radiation found inferior to standard treatment in HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer
    • Secondhand smoke exposure in childhood may raise risk of adult lung disease
    • Mount Sinai researchers create RNA and DNA-sequencing platform to match broader swath of cancer drugs
    • Duke researchers find missing immune cells that could fight lethal brain tumors
    • Hopkins researchers seeking ways to monitor effectiveness of immunotherapy
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Kymriah gets European approval for B-cell ALL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma indications
    • FDA gives priority review to BMS Empliciti + pomalidomide, dexamethasone in multiple myeloma
    • Rafael Pharmaceuticals receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation of CPI-613 for peripheral T-cell lymphoma
    • ASLAN003 gets Orphan Drug Designation for AML
Issue 32 - Aug. 31, 2018
  • NIH Director Francis Collins tricked into debating disguised Sacha Baron Cohen on Showtime spoof “Who Is America?”

    Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D., is a character eerily reminiscent of someone we know, a distant relative who picks political fights on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    It took an elaborate ruse to get NIH Director Francis Collins on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?”

    Intricate deception went into luring NIH Director Francis Collins onto Sacha Baron Cohen’s television show.

  • Senate spending bill gives NIH $2 billion raise

    The US Senate Aug. 23 passed a spending bill that will increase the NIH budget by $2 billion to $39.1 billion—a 5.4 percent boost over the current level.

  • An Appreciation

    James D. Cox, former RTOG chair, dies at 80

    Jim Cox, professor emeritus in radiation oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, passed away on Aug. 14.  He was 80.

  • In Brief

    • Rosenberg, June and Allison share 2018 Albany Prize
    • Karen Knudsen named AAACI president-elect
    • Cory Wiegert named CEO of CancerLinQ LLC
    • Moffitt’s chief information security officer named fellow to America’s cybersecurity think tank
    • Exact Sciences, Pfizer enter into U.S. promotion agreement for Cologuard
    • MD Anderson, Accelerator Life Science form Magnolia Neurosciences
    • UCLA awarded $9.3 million to help provide prostate cancer treatment
    • Ana María López to lead medical oncology at Sidney Kimmel
    • Noriega joins Fox Chase Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care
    • Yahanda, Loaiza-Bonilla receive promotions at CTCA
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • NCCN publishes first U.S. guidelines for rare cancers associated with pregnancy
    • Collection of brain cancer data accessible to global researchers
    • Comprehensive CAR T-cell therapy pediatric guidelines developed
    • University of Maryland scientists to conduct first FDA-approved study of focused ultrasound to open blood-brain barrier
    • Liquid biopsy could ease the way to immunotherapy for lung cancer
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Imbruvica + rituximab becomes first non-chemo combination for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia
    • FDA approves lenvatinib for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Lenvima gets European approval for advanced, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma
    • FDA approves pembrolizumab + chemo for first-line metastatic non-squamous NSCLC
    • FDA updates prescribing information for Keytruda, Tecentriq
    • Nivolumab gets accelerated approval for third-line metastatic small cell lung cancer
    • FDA approves Kyowa Kirin’s Poteligeo for mycosis fungoides and Sézary Syndrome
Issue 31 - Aug. 3, 2018
  • With 11 new partners, AACR’s Project GENIE to make available genomic data from 60,000 tumors by 2019

    Project GENIE, already the largest publicly available genomic data repository in the U.S., is on track to publish information on 60,000 sequenced tumors—derived from an international network largely comprised of academic cancer centers—by January 2019.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    AACR’s Sweeney: Adoption of data standards necessary for advancing real-world evidence in precision oncology

    Researchers at Project GENIE, the largest publicly available genomic database in the U.S., understand what it takes to convert sequencing data into real-world evidence: a lot of money, manpower, and data harmonization, said Shawn Sweeney, director of the American Association for Cancer Research Project GENIE Coordinating Center.

  • House committee defoliates NIH funding for WHO program that declares weedkiller Roundup a carcinogen

    The House Committee on Appropriations has withheld funding for the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer—which receives about $2 million from the United States per year—because of controversy over the agency’s label for glyphosate, a chemical commonly used in weedkillers.

  • In Brief

    • University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center receives “outstanding” rating
    • Dominic Seraphin named VP of Strategic Alliances & Network at Moffitt
    • Constanza Martinez Piñanez joins Miami Cancer Institute
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Study identifies genes associated with risk for triple negative breast cancer
    • Lung cancer mortality rates in women to increase worldwide by over 40 percent by 2030
    • Tumor Treating Fields + paclitaxel may improve survival in ovarian cancer
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves first treatment for rare adrenal tumors
    • TheraBionic P1 device receives European regulatory approval
    • Keytruda + pemetrexed and platinum gets EMA’s positive opinion for first-line NSCLC
    • Tafinlar + Mekinist gets positive CHMP opinion for adjuvant BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma
    • Lenvima + Keytruda get Breakthrough designation for endometrial carcinoma
    • Pfizer receives European approval for biosimilar trastuzumab
  • NCI Trials

    NCI Trials for August

    The National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program approved the following clinical research studies last month.

Issue 30 - Jul. 27, 2018
  • New drugs and new ideas are transforming AML

    An actuary might note that if you were in residency at the time when the 7+3 protocol of cytarabine and daunorubicin was first used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia, chances are you are considering retirement just about now.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    OSU’s Byrd: “It’s becoming necessary to consult with an expert, because it is complicated, and things are moving”

    As the landscape in acute myelogenous leukemia changes, consultations with top-tier experts have become a necessity, said John Byrd, the principal investigator of Beat AML, Distinguished University Professor, the D. Warren Brown Professor of Leukemia Research at The Ohio State University, a member of the NCI Leukemia Steering Committee, chair of the Leukemia and Correlative Science Committee within the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Agios’s Schenkein: “It’s not one disease. Just like lung cancer’s not one disease”

    Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., the sponsor of two drugs that may change the outcomes for a subset of acute myelogenous leukemia patients, is focused on more than AML.

  • FDA will organize new review divisions around disease types, Gottlieb testifies

    To modernize drug development, FDA plans to add review divisions to its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and organize those divisions around disease types, FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb said July 25 to members of Congress in a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

  • In Brief

    • DuBois, Pollak named editors of Cancer Prevention Research 
    • Walker named new COO of City of Hope
    • Manotti named senior vice president, chief development officer at MSKCC
    • Agarwal named chief medical officer at Epizyme
    • IU’s Broxmeyer receives NHLBI Outstanding Investigator Award
    • Royce, Kircher selected for ASCO’s 2018-2019 Health Policy Fellowship Program
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • UCLA’s Yang receives $1.4M to develop cellular therapy using blood stem cells
    • Takeda’s Alunbrig meets PFS primary endpoint
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves magnetic device system for sentinel biopsies in breast cancer  
    • FDA accepts Celyad IND application for CYAD-101, a non-gene edited allogeneic CAR-T candidate
    • Keytruda approved in China for advanced melanoma
    • BMS, Tsinghua University to develop therapies for autoimmune diseases, cancer
Issue 29 - Jul. 20, 2018
Issue 28 - Jul. 13, 2018
  • Immunologists seek ways to make TIL in solid tumors as effective as CAR T in blood cancers

    For more than four decades, Steven Rosenberg’s work on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes has met with equal measures of skepticism and cheer—but now, as more patients across multiple cancer types respond to cell transfer immunotherapy, researchers are eager to join the movement Rosenberg indisputably leads.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    NCI’s Rosenberg: Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes offer a strategy for treating recalcitrant solid cancers

    After achieving complete regression in several patients with different solid tumor types, Steven Rosenberg is eyeing the biggest prize imaginable—advancing the therapies he has championed for over four decades into the clinic as treatments for commonly occurring cancers.

  • House committee proposes $1.25 billion raise for NIH

    The fiscal year 2019 spending bill marked up by the House Committee on Appropriations gives NIH a $1.25 billion raise.

    “The National Institutes of Health, our nation’s premier biomedical agency, is funded at $1.25 billion above last year’s appropriation,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Labor-HHS subcommittee chair.

  • In Brief

    • Gerstle named chief of Pediatric Surgery Service at MSK
    • Pestell joins CytoDyn as chief medical officer
    • Beck named COO at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
    • UCLA’s Ribas named “Great Immigrant” by Carnegie Corp.
    • Abbott joins the Fox Chase Department of Diagnostic Imaging
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • ACA credited with earlier diagnosis of gynecologic cancers in young women
    • Phase III trial of Ninlaro meets PFS primary endpoint in multiple myeloma
    • New blood test measures four protein biomarkers, can help identify lung cancer
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA grants accelerated approval to Yervoy for MSI-H or dMMR metastatic colorectal cancer
    • FDA approves Xtandi sNDA for CRPC
    • FDA grants Priority Review to Merck’s sBLA for Keytruda for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Genentech submits sNDA for Venclexta for an AML indication
Issue 27 - Jul. 6, 2018
Issue 26 - Jun. 29, 2018
  • Senate committee proposes $2 billion raise for NIH, signaling fourth good year in a row

    When the Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up the fiscal 2019 spending bill, NIH came out ahead—$2 billion ahead.

  • NCI Director’s Report

    What NCI did with the money: Sharpless boosts funding for RPGs, centers, SPOREs, NCTN, and NCORP

    In addition to a $147 million increase to the Research Grant Project pool, NCI has added $60 million to targeted research opportunities and a $20 million increase for centers and SPOREs, and $10 million for the National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

  • Turkish oncologist Murat Tuncer jailed

    A. Murat Tuncer, a pediatric oncologist and former rector of Hacettepe University, has spent the past two months in a very uncomfortable place—the Sincan Prison in Ankara.

  • In Brief

    • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center earns “exceptional” rating, $31.9M in NCI grants
    • UPMC to advise cancer treatment center in Beijing
    • UPMC and Pitt open genome center for precision medicine, immunotherapy
    • MSKCC expands its presence in Northern New Jersey
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Lynparza delays disease progression in phase III trial in first-line ovarian cancer
    • Tecentriq + chemo increase OS, PFS in untreated extensive stage small cell lung cancer
    • Trifluridine and tipiracil meet OS endpoint in phase III trial
    • ONS develops hazardous drugs safe handling toolkit for oncology nurses
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves Braftovi + Mektovi combination in a melanoma indication
    • Kymab, Roche agree to evaluate KY1044, anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy in solid tumors
    • FDA grants orphan drug designation for CPI-613 for Burkitt lymphoma
  • CTEP Protocol

    NCI Trials for June

    The National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program approved the following clinical research studies last month.

    For further information, contact the principal investigator listed.

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