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
  • TCCL Logo

  • 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.