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.

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  • 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