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ISSUE 22 – MAY 30, 2014PDF


DePinho Explains Tenure Decision,
Professors Dispute Key Details

Confronted with the prospect of censure by an academic freedom group, Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, is defending his decision to deny tenure renewal to two faculty members.

Responding to an inquiry by the American Association of University Professors, DePinho said that his critics are incorrect in asserting that his administration gave no formal explanation for denying tenure renewal to two faculty members.

photoDePinho’s Letter to the AAUP

Responding to an inquiry by the American Association of University Professors, MD Anderson Cancer Center President Ronald DePinho said his critics are incorrect in asserting that his administration gave no formal explanation for denying tenure renewal to two faculty members.

photoBoyd’s Rebuttal

Douglas Boyd, a professor at MD Anderson, sent his own letter to the American Association of University Professors, responding to DePinho’s version of events.

Boyd is chair of MD Anderson’s Faculty Senate Promotion & Tenure Issues Committee.

photoMoffitt, Ohio State Form Network,
Invite Major Cancer Centers to Join

Moffitt Cancer Center and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute earlier this week announced that they are constructing a bioinformatics framework that would enable a multi-center collaboration.

photo
ASCO 2014 Annual Meeting: The Special Awards

 

photoFunding Opportunity
DoD Offering $10.5 Million for Lung Cancer Research

The Department of Defense Lung Cancer Research Program will provide $10.5 million to support innovative, high-impact lung cancer research during fiscal 2014.

photoIn Brief

  • Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium names Susan Goodin exec. officer

  • ASCO launches online resource center for the Affordable Care Act

  • James Graham Brown Cancer Center receives $5.5 million grant

  • MD Anderson signs consulting agreement with Concord Medical Services Holdings for hospital projects in Beijing and Shanghai

  • Mayo Clinic signs agreement with N-of-One for molecular diagnostics

  • CDC is recruiting for director of the Division of Cancer Prevention

photoDrug Approvals

  • FDA approves Vectibix in mCRC with KRAS companion diagnostic

  • European CHMP issues positive opinions for Arzerra in CLL and Halaven in metastatic breast cancer

20140530 - May. 30, 2014
May 2014PDF

Lung Cancer Screening

Model Projects 54,900 New Lung Cancer Cases In Five Years with Nationwide LDCT Screening

A model projecting outcomes for nationwide low-dose CT screening for lung cancer estimated that gradual implementation of the program would detect roughly 54,900 more cases over five years in a high-risk Medicare population. The large majority of new cases would be early-stage disease. 

The model assumes that over a five-year period, an additional 20 percent of high risk patients are offered screening each year. Investigators considered three different screening use scenarios for the implementation: an expected-use scenario based on historic experience with mammography (50 percent of patients offered screening undergo screening every year), a low-use scenario (25 percent), and a high-use scenario (75 percent).

Breast Cancer 
ASCO Publishes Two Clinical Guidelines For Treating HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology published two clinical practice guidelines on treating women with advanced, HER2-positive breast cancer. 

The first guideline lists appropriate systemic therapies for women newly-diagnosed with advanced disease and those whose early-stage disease progressed to advanced cancer. The second provides recommendations for treating brain metastases. Both guidelines were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Also:

Prostate Cancer
Study: Delaying ADT Until Symptoms Appear Can Be Safe in Men with a PSA-based Relapse

A study found that it may be safe to postpone androgen deprivation therapy in men with a PSA-only based relapse after prostate surgery or radiation therapy.

Delaying ADT until the onset of symptoms or appearance of cancer on a scan does not substantially compromise long-term survival, according to the population-based observational study. 

“Rising PSA levels trigger a lot of anxiety, and many men want to start treatment as soon as possible,” said lead study author Xabier Garcia-Albeniz, a research associate at Harvard University School of Public Health. 

“These findings suggest that there may be no need to rush to ADT.”

Also:

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Colorectal Cancer
New Biomarker Findings Show Improvement in KRAS Subtype In Phase III Erbitux Trial
Childhood Neuroblastoma
Immunotherapy Shrinks Tumors In Phase I Study at St. Jude
Chemotherapy
Anti-Nausea Drug Successful In Phase III Trial in Highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy
NCI Approved Trials for the Month of May
Drug Development

  • FDA grants orphan drug designation to Advaxis HPV immunotherapy

  • EMA Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issues positive opinion for Gardasil

20140529 - May. 29, 2014
ISSUE 20 – MAY 16, 2014PDF


Over $20 Million Carved Out
From Statistical, Operations Centers

The budgets of operations and statistical centers of adult clinical trials groups were cut by about $20.4 million, group chairs say.

The cuts make it difficult for the groups to continue to support ongoing trials and raise questions about the prospects for starting a new generation of trials. 

NCI officials say that, overall, the budget for the groups is staying flat, in part because some of the money is being channeled into 30 sites that received the Lead Academic Participating Site designation. 

LAPS, which are run by cancer centers, will be allowed to charge more for putting patients on studies. 

So where are the cuts? 

photoNo Justification Provided
AAUP Demands Reinstatement of Faculty Denied Tenure Renewal at MD Anderson

The American Association of University Professors sent a letter to Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, urging the reinstatement of two faculty members who were denied tenure renewal without stated reasons.

The letter is a part of AAUP’s response to a request for an investigation, which was triggered by the administration’s refusal to provide justification for denying tenure renewals to faculty who received unanimous votes for renewal from the Faculty Senate Promotions & Tenure Committee. 

photoReport: Rising Treatment Costs Due to 340B Discounts

The 340B drug discount program is causing a rise in the costs of treating cancer patients, according to a new report.

Published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the report, “Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,” showed that marketplace behaviors, triggered by a lack of eligibility integrity, are a major reason for increasing costs of cancer care, said the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B in a statement.

photoTGen and George Mason Form Precision Medicine Alliance

The Translational Genomics Research Institute and George Mason University announced a strategic research alliance May 6.
Called the TGen-George Mason Molecular Medicine Alliance, the effort is designed to recommend medications and treatments to clinicians based on each patient’s molecular profile.

photoIn Brief

  • Oncology Nursing Society names board of directors

  • American College of Radiology names new officers

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celldex Therapeutics Inc. enter agreement

  • Moffitt Cancer Center collaborates with Vermillion Inc.

  • Children’s Oncology Drug Alliance helps form international collaborative

20140516 - May. 16, 2014