41-41 Edith Perez Steps Down as Vice Chair of Alliance Clinical Trials Network

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Edith Perez Steps Down as Vice Chair of Alliance Clinical Trials Network

EDITH PEREZ was named vice president and head of Genentech/Roche BioOncology U.S. Medical Affairs. Perez stepped down as vice chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

Perez’s primary focus at Genentech and Roche will be to develop and implement medical strategies to optimize the utilization of cancer medicines and to lead a broad spectrum of oncology medical affairs activities including phase IV trials, medical education, publications, medical communication, advisory boards, promotional material review and product launches.

She will remain a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, where she will continue to pursue basic and translational research in breast cancer.

Perez has been a key Alliance leader since 2010, when she joined in planning and implementing the merger of three cooperative groups that created the Alliance.

In addition to her role as vice chair, she served as vice president of the Alliance Foundation. Perez also worked closely with the Alliance Patient Advocate Committee, serving as an advisor and facilitating the implementation of initiatives such as published plain-language summaries of Alliance studies for patients and the general public.

As the principal investigator of one of the landmark trials for the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer by using Herceptin in combination with chemotherapy, she helped paved the way for the 2005 discovery that changed how treatment is managed for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

She also holds positions with the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and NCI and continues to serve on the editorial boards of multiple academic journals and has authored more than 700 research articles and abstracts.

STAND UP TO CANCER, Cancer Research UK and the Lustgarten Foundation selected members for a Dream Team focused on pancreatic cancer.

Daniel Von Hoff, physician-in-chief and distinguished professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, chief scientific officer at HonorHealth, and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, will lead the team—with Ronald Evans, professor and director of the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Gerard Evan, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, serving as co-leaders.

Stand Up To Cancer, Cancer Research UK, and The Lustgarten Foundation are providing $12 million in funding over three years. The team was announced during the 2015 International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, NCI, and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. The AACR is SU2C’s Scientific Partner and will administer the grant.

Serving as principal investigators on the team are lead investigator Christopher Heeschen, of the Centre for Stem Cells in Cancer and Ageing at the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London; David Propper, a consultant medical oncologist at Barts Cancer Institute and the London NHS Trust; and Joshua Rabinowitz, professor of chemistry and integrative genomics at Princeton University.

The team also includes more than two dozen other researchers based in the U.S. and the U.K., and two advocates, Suzanne Berenger of England and Howard Young of the U.S., both of whom are pancreatic cancer survivors.

The dream team aims to develop new approaches to reset malfunctioning SEs in pancreatic tumors, increasing sensitivity to chemotherapy and to anticancer immune cells.

NCI recognized 11 investigators nationwide with its Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards.

The awards support clinical investigators at NCI-designated cancer centers who participate in NCI-funded clinical trials. Established in 2009, the awards are intended to help retain investigators in academic clinical research careers. The award provides partial salary support for 2 years for the recipient to engage in activities and efforts related to the award.

The 2015 recipients are:

Leora Horn, of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

• David Hyman, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

• Matthew Katz, of MD Anderson Cancer Center

• Edward Kim, of UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

• Frederick Lansigan, of Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

• Charles Leath III, of University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center

• Elizabeth Plimack, of Fox Chase Cancer Center

• Andrew Poklepovic, of Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University

• Yvonne Saenger, of Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

• Emma Scott, of Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute

• Liza Villaruz, of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

For details of the 2016 program announcement, open through Dec. 4, visit the NCI website.

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH launched an international genomic and clinical data sharing initiative, known as AACR Project Genomics, Evidence, Neoplasia, Information, Exchange—or GENIE.

The initial phase of the project, which is being conducted in partnership with seven global leaders in genomic sequencing for clinical utility as well as two informatics partners, will aggregate participants’ clinical-grade sequencing data.

The seven founding members of the consortium and phase one participants are: The Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment, in Utrecht, Netherlands; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Institut Gustave Roussy; Johns Hopkins University’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

The two informatics partners are Sage Bionetworks, of Seattle, and cBioPortal, of New York.

“Numerous factors are driving an increase in the amount of genomic data available for analysis; however, these data are typically insufficient in number or lack the necessary clinical outcomes data to be clinically meaningful,” said Charles Sawyers, chair of the Project GENIE Steering Committee. “Thus, to effectively benefit patients, the genomic and clinical outcomes data from as many institutions as is practical should be combined through a data-sharing initiative.”

The project will pool existing and ongoing CLIA- and ISO-certified sequencing data from the participating institutions into a single registry, and link the data with select clinical outcomes. All project data will be made open-access following defined periods of project exclusivity, and the initial genomic data set will be publicly available Nov. 6, 2016.

The GENIE registry already contains more than 17,000 genomic records.

CANCERCARE announced the availability of co-payment assistance for pancreatic cancer patients through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation.

People receiving assistance from CCAF also have access to the full array of CancerCare services, including counseling, support groups, resource referrals, publications, education and financial assistance with treatment-related expenses such as transportation and child care.

“We are thrilled to provide this crucial co-payment assistance to people coping with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis,” said Patricia Goldsmith, CEO of CancerCare. “Pancreatic cancer can be an especially challenging diagnosis to treat, and the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation is committed to easing the financial burden so that patients can focus on managing their diagnosis and maintaining quality of life during treatment.”

SRI INTERNATIONAL was awarded a contract of up to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to the NCI PREVENT Cancer Program.

Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation to conduct a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs.

The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to bring new cancer preventing interventions and biomarkers through preclinical development towards clinical trials. PREVENT enables milestone-driven progression of novel cancer preventive chemical or biological agents and biomarkers from the laboratory bench towards proof-of-principle clinical testing and registration or validation.

The current contract calls for SRI to deliver high-quality laboratory data to support NCI-PCP’s efforts to develop promising therapeutic candidates such as vaccines and cancer chemopreventive agents that will inhibit, delay or reverse manifestations of cancer. SRI will be responsible for managing therapeutic candidates from conception to submission of an Investigational New Drug application to FDA.


President Joe Biden April 9 announced his FY2022 budgetary plans for ARPA-H—Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health—a federal entity designed to “deliver breakthroughs to find cures for cancer and other diseases.” In his initial White House budget proposal—dubbed skinny budget, or budget-lite—Biden is requesting $6.5 billion to fund ARPA-H.  “The discretionary request calls for $6.5 billion to...